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The Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies

- the research arm of the Department of Architecture

Studying at Cambridge


Cambridge City Seminars: Blurring Boundaries: Reconsidering the Urban Inside

The City Seminar at Cambridge has a prominent history of exploring relevant and provocative topics in the field of urban studies with a commitment to taking an interdisciplinary perspective by bringing together theorists, practitioners and students.

The theme for this academic year’s City Seminar is: 

Blurring Boundaries: Reconsidering the Urban Inside

If we truly now inhabit an urbanised planet and an urban century, what does this mean for the city as a site of study and concern? From the flaneur to the subaltern, outsiders ‘looking in’ have played defining roles in the history of urban theory, while the edges, margins and outsides of urban life have come increasingly into focus for researchers. But if the bounds of the urban have exploded to a planetary scale, what then does the urban ‘inside’ come to mean? Who and what are included in our visions of and for the city and how do new mobilities of people, things, ideas, data and capital shape the various contours of the urban from the inside? Within and between cities, models of centres and peripheries still abound urban practice and research despite the blurriness and contestation around the spaces in question.

This year’s City Seminar Series will convene a range of thinkers to consider the people, spaces and processes that have the potential to redefine the established centres and foci of urban theory, research and power. It will draw on examples from across the world where new urban constellations of people and things are emerging that challenge our received notions of where the limits of the city lie, as well as the people and things that constitute their insides.

Michaelmas Term 2017

 31 October

Jerusalem marginalia: the exclaves behind the Separation Barrier and the interstitial position of the Palestinian city

Hanna Baumann, Centre for Urban Conflicts Research, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge 

7 November

Commoning the city [or The common good city]: the opportunities and challenges of making land work for everyone

Mark Walton, Founder and Director of Shared Assets

28 November

Affirmative, critical and minor architecture: Ethics, urbanism and Agamben's ontology

Camillo Boano, Professor of Urban Design and Critical Theory, The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL


Time and Location
City Seminar take place on Tuesdays from 5:30PM - 7:00PM at University of Cambridge Department of Architecture, Scroope Terrace, Cambridge CB2 1PX.


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Ahmed Husseiny, Department of Architecture -
Marcus Nyman, Department of Geography -
Dena Qaddumi, Department of Architecture -

City Seminar was hosted by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) from 2006-2015. An archive of past events can be found here:


Archive of City Seminar from 2006-2015:

City Seminar - 07 November 2017 - Mark Walton

City Seminar - Jerusalem Marginalia - Hanna Baumann

City Seminars Poster Michaelmas 2017