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19:00 - 22:00 17 January 2013

UrbanLab Films: Defensible space and system-building revisited


Pembroke House | (link Map)
80 Tatum Street | London | SE17 1QR |

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: £4.00 - payable on the door
Ticketing: Ticketed

Speaker information

Anna Minton, Author of Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty-First Century City, 2009
Dr Ben Campkin, Director of UCL Urban Laboratory

In 1972 Oscar Newman published Defensible Space: People and Design in the Violent City, the legacy of which lives on in the UK and elsewhere in policies such as 'secured by design'. In this rare BBC documentary footage, Newman tours around the then recently completed Aylesbury Estate, critiquing the design and suggesting a causal relationship between its environment, crime and social problems. The film was controversial, with Building Design claiming that the Aylesbury had been ‘scarred forever' by Newman's 'trial by TV' and The Architect referring to his ‘hysterical patrol around the estate’.

In this screening and panel discussion we will re-consider Newman's widely disseminated theory, its influence on perceptions of the Aylesbury Estate, and the wider implications of its translation from the USA to the UK.

Alongside The Writing on the Wall we'll watch 17,000,000 New Homes By 1999, a documentary that helps to contextualise the enthusiasm for system-building in the early 1970s.


Laura Hirst
020 7679 1890 | l.hirst@ucl.ac.uk


Further Information