Lecture: Georgia Butina Watson - Place Identity through Urban Design



On Tuesday, 24 January, at 7 p.m. in Oris House of Architecture, architect Georgia Butina Watson will deliver a lecture titled Place-identity through Urban Design that is a part of the project City making: space, culture and identity.  

Many people today, in many parts of the world believe that places we live in or visit should have their own special character, or what we commonly refer to, unique and distinctive place-identity. There are many theoretical perspectives on what place-identity means and how this quality could be achieved today, but historically it was the result of the traditional and vernacular methods of building cities, towns and neighbourhoods. Today, however, this is more difficult to achieve due to many local and global tensions as well as political, social and cultural factors.

The lecture introduces some of the key theories that deal with the concept of place-identity, explaining what it means, and what are the key challenges today for all those involved in studying, designing and managing urban settings. Through a number of illustrative case studies, drawn from different parts of the world, the lecture discusses how different groups of professionals as well as ordinary users shape and co-create different types of place-identity.

The final part of the presentation opens a discussion on the value of such interventions and conceptualizations and how we could work collaboratively to create places that are loved and valued by their users.

Georgia Butina Watson BA MA PhD FRSA is Professor and Research Director of Urban Design at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK. She is also Academician and Regional Co-ordinator of the Academy of Urbanism, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK. Until 2015 she was Head of Department of Planning and Urban Design at Oxford Brookes University and Chaired the Oxford Brookes University Research Degree Committee. Her professional background and academic training come from History of Art (University of Zagreb), and from Architecture, Planning and Urban Design (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA and Oxford, UK). She also holds a Certificate in Non-for Profit Governance (Harvard, USA).