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UAL and Knowledge Quarter partners bring EU urban regeneration project to London

City rooftop garden with planters and a person watering plants
City rooftop garden with planters and a person watering plants
Photo © John Sturrock
2021
Written by
Cat Cooper
Published date
24 March 2021
    • London coalition of UAL, Camden Council, Knowledge Quarter London, Lendlease and Somers Town Community Association to advance Research & Development into temporary and ‘meanwhile spaces’ under T-Factor Horizon 2020 project
    • Large-scale London redevelopment projects to provide city pilot (Euston) and advanced case study (Kings Cross) in parallel with European and international cities
    • T-Factor research will build creative and entrepreneurial opportunities for residents into urban regeneration and city planning model

UAL is leading a coalition of partners: Camden Council, Knowledge Quarter London, Lendlease, Somers Town Community Association to deliver the London pilot for EU urban redevelopment research project, T-Factor. The project will work with Euston residents to build targeted opportunities for the local population into the area’s redevelopment over the next 3 years.

Funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme, T-Factor is a 4-year project involving 25 organisations from 12 countries. London is one of 6 European city pilots, alongside Amsterdam, Bilbao, Kaunas, Lisbon and Milan. The pilots will build opportunities for residents into large-scale city redevelopment projects by activating ‘meanwhile spaces’ – temporarily vacant and unused commercial and industrial sites that evolve into public spaces, becoming sites for social, cultural and entrepreneurial activity.

Recognising that opportunities for social innovation are an important asset to cities and their populations, the overall project will lead radical new approaches to regeneration; building cultural and creative hubs into city neighbourhoods that can transform urban redevelopment projects, potentially addressing some of the tensions created by large-scale regeneration.

With expertise in Creative Cities, UAL is building on its long-term civic engagement work to lead the London pilot. The UAL team will work closely with staff and students across the University’s 6 Colleges which are based across London. Lendlease was appointed ‘Master Development Partner’ for the Euston development by the government and will support the implementation of T-Factor together with partners and communities. Knowledge Quarter (KQ) London, Camden Council teams and Somers Town Community Association are engaging community groups, Euston residents, council officers and KQ London members to collaborate in the design and prototyping of interventions to meet local challenges.

T-Factor will also apply learning from 8 mature European and worldwide city case studies where proactive approaches to ‘meanwhile space/use’ have been implemented within the development process – including London’s King’s Cross, which became home to UAL’s award-winning Central Saint Martins college campus in 2011 - playing a defining role in the Kings Cross development.

T-Factor is dedicated to supporting city populations and the future of our cities, prioritising culture and co-creation, social innovation and diversity as key pillars alongside infrastructure. UAL is very pleased to bring our expertise in Creative Cities, public engagement and social design to the project, working with our London partners and the wider T-Factor cities including Bilbao and Lisbon

— UAL Vice-Chancellor Nigel Carrington
We're absolutely delighted that the Knowledge Quarter will be working to deliver T-Factor. Across its 100 member organisations, the KQ has the potential to unlock its unique concentration of world-class talent and resource across science, research and culture for the benefit of the local community. T-factor will provide a catalyst – and the evidence base – to support us in our ambition to ensure local residents benefit from the wealth of knowledge at their doorstep.

— Jodie Eastwood, Chief Executive of the Knowledge Quarter:

Jane Debono, Principal Planner, London Borough of Camden:

Camden Council is excited to be working collaboratively with partners in this innovative project. It will help to unlock the potential of meanwhile with and for the benefit of local communities in Euston.

Phil Gould, Project Director for Euston, Lendlease:

This project provides us with an important opportunity to share knowledge and work closely with local partners on ways to create outstanding new public spaces. It will help ensure Euston evolves in a way that reflects the culture and communities that are unique to the area.

Sarah Elie, Executive Director, Somers Town Community Association:

Projects will occasionally come along that just fit, they connect the dots and open doors to opportunities for those usually missed in the landscape of development and regeneration. T-Factor project is such a project and I look forward to working with the partners to open doors and creating opportunities.

UAL research: advancing creative cities

UAL believes that arts, culture and creativity can be at the forefront of meeting the challenges of contemporary urban living. By supporting a more creative environment, cities can function in more beneficial ways for their populations. T-Factor pilots are simultaneously taking place in Bilbao and Lisbon, where UAL has strategic city-level and academic partnerships which place culture and creative leadership at the centre of long-term regeneration, entrepreneurship and public engagement. UAL joined a city partnership with Bilbao in June 2019 and is working on programmes and research in support of the creative industries in the region.

The team from UAL leading the pilot project are based at Central Saint Martins, UAL - including Adam Thorpe, Professor in Socially Responsive Design and Mick Finch, Professor of Visual Art Practice. They will work with staff and students to build on over a decade of UAL wide research into related themes such as public, social and service innovation and public engagement.

T-Factor capitalises on the achievements of the 2015 AHRC-funded Public Collaboration Lab, which delivered projects designed in synergy with local government operational objectives serving residents in Camden; and the Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliance project, ‘Open Design and Manufacture’ - which created new value chains of innovation in design and manufacturing to promote social good.

MA Cities at Central Saint Martins UAL explores alternative, creative approaches to city-making, favouring culturally-engaged, participatory processes in the design of urban projects. Challenging conventional urban development and regeneration, it confronts the pressing social, ethical and environmental concerns of cities, by understanding alternative practices from around the world.

The Design Against Crime research centre based at Central Saint Martins has collaborated with Camden Council on around 30 projects via the Public Collaboration Lab, a co-design platform delivered in partnership with Camden Council’s Strategy and Change team. Students and staff from across UAL including MA Service Design at London College of Communication, UAL have worked with Camden Council on ways to innovate in the design of local services.

Find out more

Follow T-Factor on Twitter

Get the T-Factor Fact Sheet [PDF 4.6MB]

Download this press release [PDF 225KB]

Watch

Meanwhile spaces: Making cities in the age of uncertainty - EU Policies on culture as driver of urban regeneration - Maciej Hofman, European Commission, DG Education and Culture, for T-Factor.

T-Factor logo and Horizon 2020 agreement text
T-Factor logo and Horizon 2020 agreement info
2020