In 2014-15, the Global Justice Academy launched its Urban Justice Lab. Based on the MIT-pioneered model to address global challenges, the Urban Justice Lab creates space for discussions and debates as well as collaborations in research, teaching, and outreach for university academics that study or operate on the city.
Dr Tahl Kaminer, GJA Co-Director (Urban Justice Lab), is a Lecturer in Architectural Design and Theory at the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA). One track of Tahl’s research studies the means of social amelioration via urban transformation. In 2014, students from the MSc programme in Urban Strategies and Design produced the Craigmillar Project Report – an extensive analysis of the Edinburgh neighbourhood, of the regeneration project, and of current conditions.
A team from the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (University of Edinburgh) consisting of three MSc Urban Strategies and Design students (Madeleine Lundholm, Kerstin Plain, Stelios Zavos) directed by a member of staff (Tahl Kaminer) studied in spring 2014 Edinburgh’s Craigmillar neighbourhood and produced the Craigmillar Report. It was a rigorous study of the area, consisting of analysis and concrete proposals for social betterment. The analysis was carried out against the backdrop of an ambitious –though also controversial- but stalled urban regeneration project which has dramatically altered the area by mass demolitions. The fieldwork included interviews with stakeholders, discussions with residents groups, a historical survey, morphological and economic analyses and much more. It highlighted the transition of the area and the extent to which a new identity is emerging, a transition caused by the urban regeneration project yet not steered by it or by current residents. The report included a re-thought vision, supported by an alternative masterplan for the area’s civic centre, a proposal for a different approach to realising affordable housing, and a study of means of increasing employment and access to jobs of quality.