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Hanseul

February 13th, 2024

Attending an LSE World Café event: How would you make a better London?

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Hanseul

February 13th, 2024

Attending an LSE World Café event: How would you make a better London?

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

As a social science specialist university, LSE offers a wide range of social science disciplines to undergraduates and postgraduates. While all first-year undergraduates must take LSE100, an interdisciplinary module that enables students to share diverse insights on a chosen thematic issue, in my second year I have been looking for more opportunities to learn from other academic disciplines outside of my own.

Well, if you’re one of those people like me (super excited to discuss potential solutions to prominent contemporary issues) you should check out the World Café sessions. Whether you’re completely new to LSE, or continuing student or staff, I’m here to introduce you all to the most recent World Café event centred on the question of: “How would you make a better London?”

A Special Introduction

At the recent World Café on Thursday 25 January 2024, two speakers shared information on the upcoming London mayoral election, as well as the London Student Assembly. The audience got a general sense of what political and student initiatives are going on in this city. Useful to know, right?

The event began at 6.30pm, and drinks and nibbles were provided at the LSE LIFE reception from 6pm, giving participants time to freely exchange greetings and share opinions while enjoying some snacks.

Roundtable Discussion 1: Solving the Housing Crisis in London

The first sub-topic on making London a better place was the housing crisis. As we may have all noticed on our way to campus (and virtually anywhere in London, to be fair), I often see people on the streets, and discussion arose around the issue of vacant properties in London. Indeed, there are buildings that are bought but barely occupied – and given the context of increasing homelessness, this directed attention to the stark inequality observed in this city.

During the 12-minute roundtable discussion, students from various disciplines shared how their knowledge can help solve this social inequality. A variety of methods to regulate vacant properties were suggested – from revising housing law to reinforcing punishment if property was found to be vacant for over a year, to transforming vacant properties into supportive housing units for homeless people. The atmosphere of the event is designed to be respectful and accommodating of diverse opinions, making it easier for participants to contribute to the discussion.

Roundtable Discussion 2: London’s Environmental Challenge

The second discussion covered the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) across all boroughs, intended to improve London’s air quality, as well as questions around lighting in London, and creating more green spaces within the city.

Participants were respectful and listened to each other’s thoughts on the conundrums, suggesting international, national, and local measures.

Coming up next

The next World Café, on the topic of “What’s the future of democracy?”, will be live on Thursday 7 March – I would strongly recommend future scholars, policy-makers, and social scientists to attend!

About the author

Hanseul

Hello, I'm Hanseul from South Korea! I'm currently a first-year undergraduate studying International Relations and History. Apart from my academics, I enjoy writing about my daily life as an international student in London, listening to Kpop and reading.

Posted In: Campus | LSE | Student life

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