In January of this year, and after 6 years of serving as an Academician, I was honoured to be invited to join the board for the Academy of Urbanism (AoU).
Founded almost two decades ago, the AoU is a politically independent, not-for-profit organisation that brings together both the current and next generation of urban leaders, thinkers and practitioners – supporting the belief that 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 whilst delivering robust, distinctive and attractive physical environments.
Now in my third decade as a practitioner in architecture and urban design, I have found the AoU to be a place of endless knowledge and wisdom, a platform for an intellectual debate on what makes a great city, neighourbood, street or place, annually celebrated by the much-acclaimed AoU Awards.
Since my joining I have had the great privilege of being an Assessor for European City of the Year. Host cities have included Bilbao, Utrecht, Malaga, Nantes and Sheffield (!) where we have been met with passionate government bodies, private stakeholders and local citizens. And through this role my network and friends in the space of urbanism has grown tremendously both in the UK and abroad.
I very much look forward to being even more involved with the AoU as a Director on the board – for it is with the AoU that I have found a tribe where I can be a nerd amongst fellow urbanists – always curious, always learning and most importantly always sharing.