Making Public Cities


A new event in June for everyone interested in how cities are made: Citymaking Sessions


What is The Citymaking Sessions?

The Citymaking Sessions is a new initiative for everyone interested in how cities are made. Bringing together both professionals and the public through a programme of talks and debates, the Citymaking Sessions will provide a platform for all those involved in the city making process.

The inaugural event is a one-day convention in June exploring several ideas of making public cities, from ground-up activism to the digital city. As the needs of London’s residents – in fact most urban residents around the world – become centre stage, this convention asks, how do we make cities more equitable? How do we involve residents in shaping their neighbourhoods – the places where they live, work and play? And what is it about the ‘social infrastructure’ of cities that enables us to live together and support each other? 


What will the event do?

Capture the imagination of the professional sector through showcasing best practice from

across the UK and establish London as a world leader

Give the public a voice in the city-making debate alongside professional decision-makers

Provide a platform to engage senior policy makers defining the future of city-making and regeneration

Inspire engagement with ethical citymaking ideas

Build upon the success of Open City’s previous professional sustainability programmes 

(eg. Green Sky Thinking)


A curated day of talks, panels and interactive events for both public and professional audiences in June will culminate in the annual Thornton Lecture - with Julia Barfield of Marks Barfield Architects exploring what makes ‘an open city’ (the inaugural lecture in 2017 having been given by Maria Balshaw, Tate Director). Throughout the day, architects, industry professionals, academics and cultural commentators will craft discussion around contemporary issues and fresh perspectives including:

Ground-up thinking and initiatives, including the GLA’s Crowdfund London 2019

The future of cities, exploring insta-architecture and big data

Hard talk: Crossrail with Nick Raynsford, Crossrail Deputy Chair

Thornton Lecture – Julia Barfield

Citymaking awards to an outstanding piece of design with transformative power