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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  September 2017  /  How is urban life really organised?

How is urban life really organised?

Third year students experiment with field methods on Vienna field class

How is urban life really organised?

Drs Russell Hitchings and Alan Latham have just come back from a seven day field class in Vienna with a crack squad of third year UCL Geographers.

Their aim: To question how different field methods help us understand how everyday life in the city is organised.

Their strategies: Varied, from examining how they cycle as a group in an unfamiliar place, to observing how strangers react if we offer them sweets on the underground!

In the final project our new skills were put to the test. Attention focused on the importance of urban 'separating', of people, objects, vehicles and other things, and how 'couples' feature in cities, through the movement of pairs of people, pairs of products, or in assumptions about how sitting together should happen.

Although we hadn't thought much about these themes before, they turned out to tell us a lot of new things about life in Vienna.

It was uncharacteristically rainy at the start which made for some rather stylish bike adaptations (see above). But we also left with a much better understanding of Vienna life, and of how we can study cities.

A lot of competitive pool took place too and the classic Ultavox song was cleverly incorporated into the group work. (see below).

As one student put it:

'I really learned a lot in these few days – it’s made me think about and look at cities differently to how I did before.'

We also had a lot of fun!




Biking around Vienna

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