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Car-free Rye Lane: a short-term experiment with a long-term impact

Sauntering through Rye Lane, mid-August, amid London’s summer infection lull, something felt different. An inexplicable serenity. No cars! That was it. The road was chock-full of loitering pedestrians, congregating freely, emboldened by the sudden emergence of an informal agora. Rye lane, Peckham’s distinctly narrow epicentre, needed to make space for social distancing. As of July…

Illuminated River: the understated art installation transforming the Thames

It is a frosty November evening on the River Thames, last winter, pre-coronavirus. The Illuminated River Foundation were conducting tours of the first four bridges adorning a new art installation – an exquisitely coded LED display by artist Leo Villareal in partnership with architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. Erected in July, the lights had yet to…

Urban Sociology in Film: Chungking Express and Do the Right Thing

Appropriate, or indeed inappropriate, to our time of effective social distancing, I have identified two films with narratives distinctly rooted in urban sociology – Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing (1989) and Wong Kar-wei’s Chungking Express (1994). Crucially, each film evokes a visceral reaction to the relative urban (human) condition. In Do the Right Thing…

Community Engagement in the Urban Construction Industry: systemic mismanagement

The construction industry is entrusted with assembling the indelible structure of the urban world. The community is so often a mere secondary place-maker. Friction persists between community ideals and construction initiatives, yet neither can be accused of actively perpetuating the situation. Something within the system itself must change – likely nuanced – so as to…


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About me

Fin Harbour: Writer and photographer seeking to engage people with their urban environments.

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