Cities are busy, hectic and diverse places. When groups of different people are forced to live in close proximities, conflicts can understandably arise. How does architecture influence these conflicts and what role does it play in preventing them?

Metropolises are becoming centres for ethno-national and religious conflicts. However, architecture can make a distinct contribution to the problem through its own spatial understandings and practices as well as strategic planning and building policies. These issues are increasingly urgent and need to be addressed in view of the conflicts that we witness today.

Dr Wendy Pullan, Head of the Department of Architecture, Cambridge University and Director of the Centre for Urban Conflicts Research, will deliver the 2016 RIBA East Spring Lecture ‘Architecture and Urban Conflict: How do they connect?’

Across the world, cities are increasingly becoming centres for ethnic and religious conflicts. Although conflict is a subject that has preoccupied sociologists, geographers and political scientists, architecture is a relative late-comer to the debate. There is a clear advantage to a multidisciplinary approach, yet architecture makes a distinct contribution.

Destruction and devastation present unique opportunities to radically rethink our environment. Strategic planning and building policies can be found to enhance particular political views. Architecture is fragile, yet architects have the power to instigate change. This lecture will address these issues, focusing on work done by the Centre for Urban Conflicts Research at the Cambridge Department of Architecture.

Dr Wendy Pullan received the Royal Institute of British Architects‘ inaugural President’s Award for University-Led Research for work on Conflict in Cities.

The ‘Architecture and Urban Conflict: How do they Connect?’ Talk is part of a series of events based around the subject of the RIBA Exhibition ‘Creation from Catastrophe – How architecture rebuilds communities’, which explores the varying ways that cities and communities have been re-imagined in the aftermath of natural or man-made disasters.

Book your tickets here.