Open City

Open City is a charity promoting people-centred cities with a year-round programme of events and initiatives serving the public, the education sector and the construction industry for everyone.

Much of what we do – from Open House to our learning programmes for schools – bring professional city-makers and the public together. Our credo? Everyone should have a role in shaping the city they live in.


Find out more about our mission and meet the Open City team.

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Our business intelligence programmes are designed for built environment professionals and promote and share best practice in sustainable, equitable city making.

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As well as the highly popular Open House London festival in September, we run a year-round programme of architecture tours and events.

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Our learning programmes include curriculum-friendly architecture and urban design projects for schools and tailored programmes for communities.

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Latest from Open City

No tree-hugging, please.


Architecture journalist, Harriet Thorpe, writes about the infrastructure of or cities beyond the bricks and mortar, celebrating the trees of our city.

We announce the judge for Junkitecture Challenge


Judge announced for home education programme, Junkitecture Challenge. 

Big/little city life


Camilla Middleton responded Open City's Newsletter and our call for contributions from our community. Read about her new lease of perspective on London and what it means to live here and experience the city. 

Every city needs an ending: the story of the green belt


Open City Director, Phineas Harper, writes for Icon about the green belt. We look at it's formation, it's perhaps lost public ambition and what it means to limit the city.  

A new normal for pubs.


Our guest writer, Rachel Mills-Powell, speaks about how the historic role of pubs and how these could be repurposed as part of the post-pandemics 'new normal'. Rachel is an architectural designer who started her own studio in 2019 and is co-founder of a new community interest company, 'IRL Residencies'.  

Peeping Tom and the Everyday


Our Development and Comms Manager, Zoë Cave, wrote about the simples bits of the everyday life around the city that keep wheels turning even when everything else is in lockdown. 

Significant Spaces: Alexandra Palace.


In a city that is host to hundreds of exciting venues, galleries, gigs, events, our focus seems so often to be on the new and undiscovered. When your list of new exciting places to visit seems to be endless it’s important to think about the places you return to time...

This creative approach to learning is something that our school values: providing learning through real-life, practical situations with a purposeful outcome.  Architecture in Schools is a rich learning experience for our pupils that encourages me to consider how we incorporate architecture into our curriculum.

Sarah Smith, Teacher,

Henry Maynard Primary School 2014-2016 Participant

A great way to get back to the basics of Architecture. I found it helped me unlock other problems when I was explaining various principles to the students. It was refreshing to see their enthusiasm and also their unique ideas were inspirational.

Tim Bergin,

Weston Williamson + Partners

Our professionals were amazing and so helpful during the process. I found it extremely helpful that they had done it before as I felt quite overwhelmed in the beginning. I wasn't sure what to expect and exactly how it would all come together. They were confident and reassuring.

Erica Van Driel,

Year 4 Teacher, Streatham Wells Primary School

UCL takes the need to broaden our intake of students very seriously. Diversity of background and perspective are essential in creating an excellent student group and experience. We work with Open City’s Accelerate programme to help tackle the barriers to entry to university and the architectural profession.

Prof. Alan Penn,

Dean of The Bartlett

Accelerate is an exceptional programme with a great ethos. It is important not only because it provides a valuable opportunity for younger people to have an insight into the study and practice of architecture, but it also develops links between the architects of today and tomorrow.

2013/14 Accelerate Mentor

Accelerate offers a fully coordinated support system from the dedicated, inspirational team at Open City and from the outstanding mentoring from architects. It gives passionate and dedicated students from a diverse range of backgrounds  opportunities to access what can often seem a ʻclosedʼ profession.

Stephen Bell Brown,

Talented Co-ordinator, Walthamstow Academy

All of it was absolutely amazing, and really helped me make the decision to study architecture. The best parts were working with the architects, especially on a long-term basis, which is very different from work experience, and meeting others with the same interests. Also, the support from the leaders was brilliant. So inspiring, thanks!

Accelerate Mentee, 2012,

Now studying Architecture at Cambridge University

The Archikids festival is invaluable because it encourages public enjoyment of culture and technology, and greater public education and understanding of our surroundings.

Parent, 2017

The festival opens architecture up to families who would not necessarily engage with it. It was lovely to see parents working with their children to create something. It's timing, at the beginning of the summer holidays, will hopefully be encouraging children and parents to spend the time creatively.

Archikids Volunteer, 2017

Archikids is a hands on and enjoyable way for children to understand and interact with the built environment that surrounds and effects them.

Parent, 2017