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CITY | TOWN | NEIGHBOURHOOD | STREET | PLACE Poetry by Ian McMillan

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MANIFESTO The Academy of Urbanism brings together a group of thinkers and practitioners involved in the social, cultural, economic, political and physical development of our villages, towns and cities. The Academy was formed in February 2006 to extend urban discourse beyond built environment professionals and to create an autonomous, politically independent and self-funded learned voice. We aim to advance the understanding and practice of urbanism by promoting a culture of scholarship through evidence-based inquiry, providing an inclusive forum for dialogue across all disciplines, sharing knowledge with the community and our peers and nurturing, recognising and rewarding excellence in achievement. Principles Urban settlements must perform at their fullest potential to advance the quality of human habitation and ensure the survival and recovery of the natural environment, at both a global and local scale. The practice of good urbanism can establish a high quality of living, nurture a healthy and creative way of life, support economic, social, political and cultural activity and deliver robust, distinctive and attractive physical environments.

1. Successful urbanism is the result of a collective vision, realised through creative and enduring relationships between the community, government, developers and professionals involved in its design, delivery, governance and maintenance. 2. The culture or cultures of the people and the ecology of the place must be expressed at a human scale and through both physical and social structures. 3. The identity, diversity and full potential of the community must be supported spiritually, physically and visually to sustain a sense of collective ownership, belonging and civic pride. 4. Vibrant streets and spaces, defined by their surrounding buildings and with their own distinct character, should form a coherent interconnected network of places that support social interaction and display a hierarchy of private, commercial and civil functions. 5. There must be a permeable street network with pedestrian priority that gives maximum freedom of movement and a good choice of means of transport.


6. Essential activities must be within walking distance and there should be a concentration of activity around meeting places. 7. Places must provide a diversity of functions, tenure, facilities and services; have a mix of building designs and types; and include a variety of appropriately scaled districts and neighbourhoods. 8. The social, cultural and economic needs of all inhabitants must be capable of being met without detriment to the quality of the lives of others. 9. Security should be achieved by organising the urban environment in ways that encourage people to act in a civil and responsible manner. 10. The pedestrian environment should be closely associated with active frontages at street level and there should be an appropriate intensity of use in all areas at all times. 11. The design of spaces and buildings should be influenced by their context and seek to enhance local character and heritage whilst simultaneously responding to current-day needs, changes in society and cultural diversity. 12. The public realm and civil institutions must be supported and protected by sound and inclusive

processes that respond to the local community and changing economic and social conditions. 13. Decision-making for the ongoing development and management of the urban fabric must engage stakeholders and the local community through public participation. 14. Diverse, accessible, affordable and active villages, towns and cities will encourage successful commercial activity, promote prosperity and support the well being of their inhabitants. 15. New and existing places must respect, enhance and respond to their local topography, geology and climate and connect to the natural environment within and around them. 16. Urban parks and other landscaped areas should provide space for recreation, encourage biodiversity and help support a balanced environment. 17. New urban forms should be capable of adaptation over time to meet changing needs and to promote the continued use of existing resources, including the built environment. 18. The built environment must seek to minimise the use of carbon-based products, energy and non-renewable resources.


This is the sixth edition of Space Place Life, a sequence of great places at the levels of the City, Town, Neighbourhood, Street and Place. Once again there is an excellent set of exemplars from which we can draw learning from the different patterns and processes that nurture lives in different spaces. The Places provide a range of scales, formality and informality, as well as activities for their respective communities at different times of the year. The Streets are very diverse in their scale, length and sheer diversity of activity, including different types of use by traffic and pedestrians. The Neighbourhoods are contrasting in content, with some important lessons for introducing modernity to a wider historical context. The Towns provide some excellent examples of sub-city dwelling with a comparatively good quality of life, distinctive culture and heritage, and local involvement that builds consciousness and confidence. This year’s three European City finalists are excellent on a number of levels, though all with very different backgrounds. Two are capitals, two are Scandinavian, and all have an important maritime dimension to their history and identity. There are no simple reductive lessons from all this, nor should there be. However a recurring theme is that a place does not have to be exclusively modern to deliver a contemporary quality of life. Accommodating modernity creatively, and in a

locally distinctive way, is an evident advantage, especially in attracting and holding a younger populace. So many of our finalists do this in a unique way, offering up places for all ages that are neither predictable nor formulaic. Our years of study indicate that places that were designed and delivered through locally-specific combinations of social, cultural and economic entrepreneurship have shown the greatest ability to re-invent themselves over time. Local engagement is an increasingly important dimension in this, as is an imaginative approach to funding. Our European City finalists have many lessons to offer us in these dimensions. The Academy’s Programmes of Learning from Place (Awards), UniverCities, City X-Rays, provide us with deeper insights into the critical relationships between Space, Place and Life. Our new Place Partnering programme allows us to bring such insight to assist specific places. If you would like to join us in our quest to synthesise great placemaking into sustainable urbanism for the 21st Century, please get involved. Our Academy is all about people passionately committed to great urbanism.

Kevin Murray, Chairman The Academy of Urbanism

The URBANISM AWARDS 2012


a figure ground

a memorable image

and a poem


GOTHENBURG LISBON OSLO


You will need: cutlery and a bib. You will embrace: the light on the water. You will hear: that roar as that goal is scored. You will walk: through woods and stand for a moment, Listening. You will need: to steady yourself stepping onto the boat. You will embrace: shopping like you embrace a friend. You will hear: songs that stay with you for ever, or longer. You will walk: down streets that dazzle with colours, Refracting. You will need: time, so make some and take it with you. You will embrace: midnight, and beyond, still dancing. You will hear: birds singing in Swedish. No, really: listen. You will walk: and walk, and walk, and still this city’s surprises Are waiting‌

GOTHENBURG


LISBON

Seven hills, they say, seven viewpoints From which to see this place grow and change First hill: the Hill of History, of people Building a city from stone, sea and air. Second hill: the Hill of Singing; hear it In the cadence of speaking, the word-dance. Third hill: the Hill of Art. Capturing light In a frame, movement in a sculpture. Fourth hill: the Hill of Commerce; these shops Are theatres, galleries, participatory sports. Fifth hill: the Hill of Newness; thinking, rethinking And street art reshaping itself every night. Sixth Hill: The Hill of Continuity: sit at this cafĂŠ And everyone who as ever sat here sits with you. Seventh Hill: The Hill of the Future: brighter Than the reflecting sun on these walls, much brighter.


Take a deep breath, here in the city’s shining centre; Breathe deeply, Deeper. Deeper. They say that when you breathe you’re breathing in Tiny particles of history. Deeper. So somewhere in the centre of this shining city Your deep breath mingles with the breath of kings And poets and the makers of the Sagas. And the others who made this city a great one,

OSLO Built from the words of Ibsen, and the long proximity Of water, built from Edvard Munch Built from the House of Literature And the long proximity of sky. Deeper, breathe deeper The air of a city that survives and prospers The air of a city like no other.


BURY ST. EDMUNDS DERRY~LONDONDERRY TOTNES


BURY ST. EDMUNDS ENGLAND

Great stories, they say, have a narrative arc And yet they should fit in a nutshell; Be accessible as the best public gardens, As spacious as a Cathedral:

The Nutshell: smallest pub on the globe The Arc: a 21st Century mall Breathe in the air at the fine Abbey Gardens The Cathedral delights and enthralls

You see what I did there? I cleverly put Places from Bury in this little verse To distil the essence of Bury St. Edmunds That shining coin in Suffolk’s purse!

You see what they did there? They cleverly showed Ancient and modern can both rub along So let’s raise our voices to Bury St. Edmunds, In a medieval plainchant and a popular song!


DERRY~LONDONDERRY Here is a bridge. Here is a Peace Bridge. Here is a Peace Bridge at night: it shines. Here is a Peace Bridge at dawn: it sings With hope and promise and the idea That simply walking across a bridge can make you whole. Here is a bridge. Here is a Peace Bridge. Here is a Peace Bridge over the water: reflective. Here is a Peace Bridge under the sky: it brings Places and people close with the notion That simply standing on a bridge can be a song of peace. Here is a bridge. Here is a Peace Bridge. Stand. Gaze. Walk. Dance. Sing. Peace Bridge.

NORTHERN IRELAND


TOTNES ENGLAND

A heavenly town, a smart addres A place in which I must confes I feel the opposite of stres In fact I glow with happines: Streets are tidy, there’s no mes; Shouts are of joy, not of distres. The sun shines down and seems to bles A town that’s built around a ‘Yess’. The architecture seems to dres To energise and to impres, The opposite of dry blandnes Antithesis of boringnes; What this town has, nothing les Is a fine abundance of Totnesnes… Encapsulate it


ACCORDIA BOROUGH / BANKSIDE MARGATE OLD TOWN / HARBOUR


The name of this place plays soft mood music; And it sounds like Utopia or Shangri-la But it’s real. Real as the people who walk its streets From the old nuclear bunker to Hobson’s Brook And it could be Nirvana and it sounds like Arcadia But life is lived here from breakfast to bedtime From evening to morning the lifestyle hum Of curtains being drawn and kettles boiling Doors opening and closing, people coming and going And still the name sounds like something amazing Something from a future so close you can touch Something from a present so real it just sings…

ACCORDIA CAMBRIDGE


BOROUGH / BANKSIDE LONDON

Walk where Shakespeare walked, sit where Dickens sat, Feel Chaucer’s stories surround you in the market Watch the river flow with all the Bankside Set: Dreamers and poets who were there when it started And who are watching The Shard grow, glass in the air Not a sonnet’s length from where Pepys saw the fire. Here by the water taste regeneration Hope in a hard hat, a full skip, a crane: The past and the future seen through the prism Of buildings and people, of singing and stone Of thinking as wide as those alleys were narrow Of Bankside and Borough embracing tomorrow…


OLD TOWN / HARBOUR MARGATE Here in the heel of England, something stirs; As the tide rolls in an artist takes her brush And paints. And major cultural shift occurs And preconceptions get crushed in the rush And that’s a good thing. What Turner saw Was Margate water and Margate light And this cultural quarter, this artistic core Spreads Margate’s wings. A town takes flight, A town rethinks the way it views itself Through art, the subtle connections that art Can make with cohesion, inclusion, and health In the heel of England. That’s more than a start….


BYRES ROAD COCKBURN STREET STEEP HILL


BYRES ROAD GLASGOW

Start at one end hungry, begin your journey; Chew your way through a map of the world Sit with a bib on or glug from a flagon, Down Byre’s Road the foody standard’s unfurled; Start at one end tense but follow your senses: You’ll relax as Byres’ Road unwinds.

Start at one end quiffy but then in a jiffy You’ll have a haircut as sharp as the sharpest minds And you’ll be sure that the best manicure Awaits you: your hands will be gorgeous as jewels Stop reading. Get strolling: Byres Road is waiting Making the future, rewriting the rules…


COCKBURN STREET Street of connections, street of diversions Street of attractions, street of musicians Street of decisions: this cafĂŠ, that shop Street of collisions: that haircut, this top.

EDINBURGH

Street of palaver and street of kerfuffle Street of hot coffee and street of cold trifle Street of backpacker and worker and slacker Street of street culture and Edinburgh weather.

Street of pulled suitcase on small squeaky wheels Street of long scarves and big hats and high heels Street celebrating, street laughing, street meeting Street caught on camera or captured by tweeting Street of discussions, street of assertions Street of commotions, street of emotions Street of all nations: that language, this smile Street from the Station to the Royal Mile!


Halfway up or halfway down your breath begins to pull, Your legs start to feel like you’ve been dancing for a month Non stop. Hold onto the handrail as you negotiate Steep Hill And pause, take your time, gaze in the window of a café Or a shop,

And picture people from the past or the years yet to come Who took their time up this slope, paused and stood and looked Or who will. And celebrate the fact that some places simply aren’t the same As each other. They’ve got a handrail for instance. They’re unique, Like Steep Hill.

STEEP HILL LINCOLN


GILLETT SQUARE QUEEN SQUARE VICTORIA QUARTER


GILLETT SQUARE HACKNEY

All roads lead here. All thoughts lead here To this vortex, this hub, this shifting perception Of what a square can be. Stand here. Sit here. Listen here: this square is here, makes here A place to be. A definition of Gillett Square Would have to take in this thriving collection Of shopfronts and cafes. Tea square. Hair square. And a saxophone solo drifting over the square. All sounds lead to square. All talking is here In the visceral here they call Gillett Square; Here present, here future; renaissance is here: Just listen, just take part, just complete the square.


On a bench in Queen Square in the Bristol sun I open my sarnies, reflect on the scene: The walking, the sitting, the talking, the ones Who just stand for a moment and grin. Funny how words sometimes get it all wrong: Square says ‘enclosure’ ‘restriction’, A geometric tightness of angle and form, So this square’s a fine contradiction As it lets people out, lets them breathe and delight In the life-force a city can bring; As I sit on this bench all my dreams can take flight And I can’t sing, but I wish I could sing. Because just for a moment the world’s a fine place; In Queen Square with the public in a fine public space.

QUEEN SQUARE BRISTOL


VICTORIA QUARTER LEEDS

Step in here and feel suddenly alive, Suddenly beautiful, somehow available For experience, somehow more aware Of who you are and who you can be, Somehow strolling down the cusp Of history and the future, somehow Caught up in a great enhancement, a great Surge of anticipation, a great grin spreading All over your face as you gaze and walk And sip a coffee that’s a sharp as the light in here; You’re somehow suddenly great, like this place.


SPONSORS

ACADEMICIANS

Sponsors Alan Baxter Associates Architecture + Design Scotland Barton Willmore Clyde Gateway Crest Nicholson Dublin City Council Glasgow City Council Howard de Walden Estate Land Securities Merchant City Townscape Heritage Initiative The Muir Group Parabola Land Savills Scottish Centre for Regeneration Scottish Government St. George Plc The Trevor Osborne Property Group

Directors Prof Kevin Murray (Chairman), John Thompson (Honorary President), Pam Alexander, Prof Chris Balch, Steven Bee, Chris Brett, Prof Brian Evans, Dick Gleeson, Tim Stonor, Janet Sutherland, John Worthington. Academicians Arthur Acheson, Robert Adam, Marcus Adams, Lynda Addison OBE, Kyle Alexander OBE, Peter Alexander-Fitzgerald, Sandy Allcock, Joanna Allen, Ben Allgood, Nigel Anderson, Ian Angus, Debbie Aplin, Judith Armitt, George Arvanitis, Stephen Ashworth, Philip Askew, Jasvir Atwal, Jeff Austin, David Balcombe, Jonathan Barker, Yolande Barnes, Alistair Barr, Andrew Barton, Jemma Basham, Trevor Beattie, Ian Beaumont, Matthew Bedward, Simon Bee, Andrew Beharrall, John Bell, Michael Bennett, Neil Bennett, Robert Bennett, Janet Benton, Duncan Berntsen, John Best, John Betty, Joost Beunderman, Richard Bickers, Juliet Bidgood, David Bishop, David F. L. Bishop, David Blackwood Murray, Martin Boddy, Christopher Boyle, Mark Bradbury, Andrew Bramidge, Guy Briggs, Ross Brodie, Annabel Brown, Jonathan Brown, Patricia Brown, Mark Burgess, Andrew Burns, Andrew Burrell, Jonathan Burroughs, John Bury, Malcolm Bushell, Peter Butenschøn, Prof Georgia Butina Watson, Peter Butler, Stephen Byfield, Blanche Cameron, Fiona Campbell, Kelvin Campbell, Charles Campion, Steve Canadine, Tony Carey, Emma Cariaga, James Carr, Sam Cassels, Lynne Ceeney, Tim Challans, Sarah Chaplin, Prof James Chapman, Peter S. Chapman, Richard Charge, Prof David Chiddick, Nick Childs, Harry Christophides, Tom Clarke, Tom Coffey, Robert Coles, Garry Colligan, Paul Collins, Martin Colreavy, Max Comfort, Peter Connolly, Karen Cooksley, Malcolm Cooper, Prof Rachel Cooper, Nick Corbett, Rob Cowan, David Cowans, Toby Crayden, Linda Curr, Liam Curtin, Ned Cussen, Justine Daly, Jane Dann, Alex Davey, Michael Davies, Philip Davies, Prof Trevor Davies, Nick Davis, Paul Davis, Simon Davis, Mark Davy, Eric Dawson, Neil De Prez, Sophia De Sousa, Ian Deans, Guy Denton, Andrew Dick, Hank Dittmar, Andrew Dixon, Sir Jeremy Dixon, Lord John Doune, Martin Downie, Roger Dowty, Paul Drew, Peter Drummond, Rosamund Dunn, Paul Dunne, Prof Mark Dyer, John Dyke, Duncan Ecob, Luke Engleback, Gavin Erasmus, Karen Escott, Roger Estop, Prof Graeme Evans, Roger Evans, Nick Ewbank, Richard Fagg, Dr Nicholas Falk, Ross Faragher, Kerri Farnsworth, Max Farrell, Sir Terry Farrell, Jaimie Ferguson, George Ferguson CBE, Diana Fitzsimons, David Flannery, John Foddy, Sue Foster OBE, Bernie Foulkes, Jane Fowles, Simon Foxell, Alan Francis, Jerome Frost, Daisy Froud, William Fulford, Jeremy Gardiner, Carole Garfield, Angus Gavin, John Geeson, Lia Ghilardi, Andy Gibbins, Prof Mike Gibson, Bruce Gilbreth, Ian Gilzean, Christopher Glaister, Francis Glare, Stephen Gleave, Keith Gowenlock,

Supporters in kind BDP Charles Russell Solicitors Ecobuild Gillespies John Thompson & Partners Miles + Partners Consulting PPS Group Prentis & Co Space Syntax Terry Farrell & Partners Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design URBED


Charles Graham, Gerry Grams, Gary Grant, Michele Grant, Mark Greaves, Stephen Greenberg, Ali Grehan, Simon Guest, Richard Guise, Patrick Gulliver, Paul Guzzardo, Trutz Haase, Tim Hancock, Annette Hards, Geoff Haslam, Helen Hayes, Michael Hayes CBE, Nicholas Hayward, Peter Heath, Prof Michael Hebbert, Michael Hegarty, David Height, Wayne Hemingway, Simon Henley, James Hennessey, David Hennings, Mark Hensman, Peter Hibbert, Paul Hildreth, Jason Hill, Stephen Hill, Marie Hodgson, Tom Holbrook, Eric Holding, Guy Hollaway, Stephen Howlett, Jun Huang, David Hughes, Jonathan Hughes, Michael Hurlow, Prof Maxwell Hutchinson, John Hyland, Delton Jackson, Philip Jackson, Dr Ying Jin, Cathy Johnston, Chris Jones, Gwilym Jones, Philip Jones, Stephen Jordan, Dr Kayvan Karimi, Andy Karski, Dr Harald Kegler, John Kelpie, Jonathan Kendall, Angus Kennedy, David Kennedy, John Kennedy, Mary Kerrigan, Ros Kerslake, Hugo Kirby, Janice Kirkpatrick, Stefan Krummeck, Prof Motoo Kusakabe, Chris Lamb, Cllr Andrew Lamont, Charles Landry, Christer Larsson, Derek Latham, Diarmaid Lawlor, Adrian Lee, Sir Richard Leese, Mick Leggett, Alan Leibowitz, John Letherland, Harry Lewis, Michael Lewis, Kevin Leyden, Chris Littlemore, Michael Liverman, David Lock, Robin Lomas, Fred London, Tom Lonsdale, John Lord, Vivien Lovell, David Lumb, John Lyall, Barra Mac Ruairi, Robin Machell, Mary MacIntyre, Keiji Makino, Riccardo Marini, Andreas Markides, Derek Martin, Kat Martindale, Alona Martinez-Perez, James McAdam, Steve McAdam, Richard McCarthy, Donald McCreadie, Frank McDonald, Prof Michael McGarry, Kevin McGeough, Aideen McGinley, Marie-Thérèse McGivern, Patrick McGrogan, Nigel McGurk, Martin McKay, Craig McLaren, Paul McTernan, Ian Mellor, Prof Roger Milburn, David Miles, Stephan Miles-Brown, Gerry Millar, Robert Millar, Willie Miller, Shane Mitchell, Kris Mitra, Prof Bill Morrison, Prof Ruth Morrow, Paul Morsley, Elizabeth Motley, John Muir, Ronnie Muir, Eugene Mullan, John Mullin, Barry Munday, David Murphy, Chris Murray, Dr Claudia Murray, Prof Gordon Murray, Hugh Murray, Peter Murray, Vivek Nanda, Stephen Neal, Peter Nears, Marko Neskovic, Trevor Nicholson, Lora Nicolaou, Ross Nimmo, Taryn Nixon, John Nordon, William Nowlan, Dr Dellé Odeleye, Simon Ogden, Killian O’Higgins, Adeola Oke, Sean O’Laoire, Chris Oldershaw, Wally Olins CBE, Tiago Oliveira, Breffne O’Malley, John O’Regan, Trevor Osborne, Paul Ostergaard, Chris Pagdin, Dr Susan Parham, Chris Parkin, John Parmiter, Prof Richard Parnaby, Liz Peace, Richard Pearce, Adam Peavoy, Ross Peedle, Prof Alan Penn, Alison Peters,

Andrew Petrie, Hugh Petter, Jon Phipps, James Pike, Steve Platt, Ben Plowden, Demetri Porphyrios, Dr Sergio Porta, David Porter, David Powell, Robert Powell, Sunand Prasad, John Prevc, Dr Darren Price, David Prichard, Paul Prichard, John Pringle, Rhona Pringle, Douglas Pritchard, Matt Quayle, Shane Quinn, Mark Raisbeck, Peter Ralph, Clive Rand, Mike Rawlinson, Tony Reddy, Richard Rees, Richard Reid, Cllr Sian Reid, Amanda Reynolds, Christopher Rhodes, Antony Rifkin, Prof Marion Roberts, Prof Peter Roberts OBE, Dickon Robinson, David Rodgers, Bryan Roe, Lord Richard Rogers, Angela Rolfe, Pedro Roos, Anna Rose, Graham Ross, Jon Rowland, Sarah Royle-Johnson, David Rudlin, Robert Rummey, Gerard Ryan, Dr Andrew Ryder, Robert Sakula, Rhodri Samuel, Clare San Martin, Andrew Sanderson, Peter Sandover, Hilary Satchwell, Jamie Saunders, Biljana Savic, David Schwarz, Dominic Scott, Toby Shannon, Dr Tim Sharpe, Cath Shaw, Richard Shaw, Barry Shaw MBE, Keith Shearer, Anthony Shoults, Ron Sidell, Paul Simkins, Dr Richard Simmons, Prof Alan Simpson, Anette Simpson, Tim Simpson, Alan Simson, Ann Skippers, John Slater, Jonathan Smales, Malcolm Smith, Paul Smith, John Smylie, Jim Sneddon, Carole Souter CBE, Adrian Spawforth, Jerry Spencer, Andy Spracklen, Visakha Sri Chandrasekera, Alan Stewart, Andrew Stokes, Alan Stones, Rosslyn Stuart, Peter Studdert, Mick Sweeney, Nicholas Sweet, Stephen Talboys, David Tannahill, Ian Tant, David Taylor, David J Taylor, Ed Taylor, Nick Taylor, Sandy Taylor, Alison Tero, Chris Thompson, Robert Thompson, Dale Thomson, Lesley Thomson, John Thorp, Andrew Tindsley, Niall Tipping, Damian Tissier, Canon Andrea Titterington, Ian Tod, Peter Tooher, Tricia Topping, Rob Tranmer, Stephen Tucker, Neil Tully, Jonathan Turner, Chris Twomey, Julia Unwin, Valli van Zijl, Atam Verdi, Andy von Bradsky, Brita von Schoenaich, Prof Lorna Walker, Ian Wall, Ann Wallis, Russell Wallis, Brendon Walsh, David Walters, Dr Gerry Wardell, Pam Warhurst CBE, Paul Warner, Elanor Warwick, Nick Wates, Camilla Ween, Rosemary Westbrook, Allison Westray-Chapman, Duncan Whatmore, Craig White, Paul White, Lindsey Whitelaw, Peter Williams, Patricia Willoughby, Marcus Wilshere, James Wilson, Chris Winter, Godfrey Winterson, Saffron Woodcraft, David Woods, Nick Woolley, Nick Wright, Ian Wroot, Tony Wyatt, Wei Yang, Bob Young, John Zetter. Honorary Academicians Prof Wulf Daseking, Jan Gehl. In Residence David Harrison (Artist), Ian McMillan (Poet)


The Academy of Urbanism 70 Cowcross Street London EC1M 6EJ United Kingdon  +44 (0)20 7251 8777 info@academyofurbanism.org.uk www.academyofurbanism.org.uk

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