I have written a lot about Lausanne and one of its flagship neighbourhood, the 'Flon'. I was recently back in the city and it was a real pleasure to stroll in the streets and reflect on the changes that have marked this former industrial neighbourhood. I started to gain an interest from this area back in 2003 when I was a geography student, in Grenoble. I then discovered this place which was about to change dramatically. I studied it as one of my case study for my PhD and since then I have always tried to go and check it, once in a while. While the site is indeed exemplary of a trajectory of gentrification which has been marked by significant displacements and mutations, he has still kept its unicity which makes it an 'urbanist hotspot': it is one of those places which triggers thoughts, ideas, visions about urban changes, temporalities, architecture, design ... in other words a place to go to think about cities and how to built, develop them, change them for everyday uses and for the future generations...
I have been blessed recently with two new projects for which I am acting as co-investigator. First with Emma Ferranti (PI), Andrew Quinn, we have secured internal EPSRC-funding and GEES pump priming funding to look at the transport legacies of recent mega-events in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Cape Town (South Africa) with regard to sustainability and climate resilience ambitions. Second we have just been notified that our UoB/Nottingham/FAPESP research grant application led by Lucelia Rodrigues (University of Nottingham) has been successful. Along with other colleagues in Nottingham, Birmingham (incl. Peter Kraft) and in Sao Paulo we will explore the issue of 'Re-Inhabiting the City' and question the re-use/re-design of vacant spaces in Sao Paulo's vacant urban core.
I am also very pleased to say that the GEES Urban Initiative has been successfully launched and is already demonstrating the School strength in promoting new innovative urban research while being an incubator for other collaborations across the university and beyond, while being a great asset for our students and external partners.
More of both items soon...
Lauren Andres, Urbanist