Natura Urbana: Ecological constellations in urban space – Matthew Gandy

Date and time
Tuesday 3rd May 2022
6-7.30 pm (British Summer Time)

via Zoom

Natura Urbana: Ecological Constellations in Urban Space by Matthew Gandy 


Matthew Gandy (University of Cambridge)

Harriet Bulkeley (Durham University)

Rivke Jaffe (University of Amsterdam)

Erik Swyngedouw (University of Manchester)


Phil Hubbard (King’s College, London)


Jenny Robinson (University College London)

Register here.

The Urban Salon is delighted to host the launch of Matthew Gandy’s new book, Natura Urbana: Ecological Constellations in Urban Space (MIT, 2022). Matthew draws together different strands of urban ecology as well as insights derived from feminist, posthuman, and postcolonial thought to explore the “other nature” that flourishes in marginal urban spaces, at one remove from the controlled contours of metropolitan nature. This is not the poor relation of rural flora and fauna. As he notes, these islands of biodiversity underline the porosity of the distinction between urban and rural, which he explores through close attention to diverse cultures of nature at a global scale.

Matthew Gandy (University of Cambridge) will present his new book which will be followed by a panel discussion and then a Q&A with the audience. 

Matthew Gandy is Professor of Cultural and Historical Geography at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of Concrete and Clay and The Fabric of Space, both published by MIT Press.


Book launch: Defensible Space on the Move – Loretta Lees and Elanor Warwick

Date and time
Tuesday 19th May 2022
7-9 pm (British Summer Time)

Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR, United Kingdom

Book launch: Defensible Space on the Move – Loretta Lees and Elanor Warwick

Direct link for registration:


Please join us in our next event for the launch of the latest book in the RGS-IBG Book Series: Defensible Space on the Move, by Loretta Lees and Elanor Warwick.

The event will include reflections on the book from the authors and experts in the field of housing policy and design.

A drinks reception will follow.


Book Description

Both theoretically informed and empirically rich, Defensible Space makes an important conceptual contribution to policy mobilities thinking, to policy and practice, and also to practitioners handling of complex spatial concepts.

  • Critically examines the geographical concept Defensible Space, which has been influential in designing out crime to date, and has been applied to housing estates in the UK, North America, Europe and beyond
  • Evaluates the movement/mobility/mobilisation of defensible space from the US to the UK and into English housing policy and practice
  • Explores the multiple ways the concept of defensible space was interpreted and implemented, as it circulated from national to local level and within particular English housing estates 
  • Critiquing and pushing forwards work on policy mobilities, the authors illustrate for the first time how transfer mechanisms worked at both a policy and practitioner level
  • Drawing on extensive archival research, oral histories and in-depth interviews, this important book reveals defensible space to be ambiguous, uncertain in nature, neither proven or disproven scientifically


About the Authors

Loretta Lees is an urban geographer who is internationally known for her research on gentrification/urban regeneration, global urbanism, urban policy, urban public space, critical geographies of architecture, and urban social theory. She has been identified as the only woman in the top 20 most referenced authors in urban geography worldwide (Urban Studies, 2017). Since 2009 she has co-organised The Urban Salon: A London Forum for Architecture, Cities and International Urbanism. She is also a Scholar-Activist who supports, and co-produces research with, community groups and social movements, most recently with respect to the demolition of council estates in London. She is the current Chair of the London Housing Panel funded by the GLA and Trust for London; and the incoming Director of the Initiative on Cities at Boston University, USA.

Elanor Warwick worked as an architect and urban designer before focusing on built environment research, particularly design quality and the delivery of good, affordable housing and places. As Head of Research at CABE (Commission for Architecture and Built Environment), she delivered research to shape the policy for a wide range of Central Government Departments (MHCLG, DfE, HO, and the Treasury) and the Greater London Authority. She now works within the social housing sector leading the research and policy team at Clarion Housing Group, England’s largest housing association, whilst continuing to teach and supervise postgraduate students at UCL and Cambridge Universities.