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Image: © Catarina Heeckt

Apprenticeship Programme in City Design

A novel outreach programme for young adults from the London Borough of Brent based at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The Programme is engaging five young adults from the London Borough of Brent, to learn through practice at the London School of Economics (LSE). It is a legacy project of Seen and Heard, a project coordinated by LSE Cities and commissioned by Brent 2020.

The Apprenticeship Programme in City Design is a collaboration between LSE Cities, and the Blueprint Collective and Brent Youth Parliament (a network of young people closely involved with Brent 2020, the London Borough of Culture). It is supported by Quintain and the LSE Department of Sociology.

The project responds to a profound level of democratic deficit in UK cities, where the next generation of urban dwellers are excluded from the process of ‘making space’ in the city. London is now growing at a faster rate than ever before with at least one million more residents expected by 2030. 15,000 new homes are planned for Brent, one of London’s boroughs with a significant increase in density and housing provision, approximately half of it centred on the substantial 85-acre Wembley Park project, led by developer Quintain.

Getting young people involved in this process of urban transformation before designs are developed and construction commences will establish a new model of collaboration for Brent and for London. The LSE Cities Apprenticeship Programme is engaging six young adults from the borough to learn through practice at LSE. They will be trained to apply methodologies and tools – including social science-based ethnographic survey and mapping - to understand the potential and imagine the future of new public spaces in the Wembley Park development.

Uniquely for an academic research project, the process will influence the real-time design development and realisation of a number of public space projects that will be realised by Quintain on the Wembley Park site from 2021 onwards.

The long-term aspiration of the project is to improve the quality and sense of ownership of public space in Brent specifically with young adults in mind, deepening LSE’s relations with key stakeholders in the capital. By connecting a higher education institution with a group of young adults, public officials and a major property company, the project is creating opportunities for young residents in London, offering them a voice in the process of making new public spaces for the city.  


Ayan Abdi_bw

Ayan Abdi 
Age: 16
Ayan is currently studying her A levels in English Literature, Biology and Psychology this year. She doesnt know what career she wants but knows she wants to be part of a postive change for the greater good. As a Brent resident she wants to learn more about the decision making behind urban change and the impact regeneration has on locals.


Keshav Harivardhan_bw

Keshav Harivardhan
Age: 21
Keshav hopes to have a career in the service of his community after completing his degree in medicine. He wants to destigmatize how young people are perceived and believes that the strength of Brent can be found in its diversity and ethnic cohesion.


Loshini Subendran_bw

Loshini Subendran
Age: 17
Loshini is passionate about politics and youth activism. She is interested in the links between economics and politics and how this intersects with young adults. Having already been involved in campaigns lobbying on behalf of young Londoners she hopes to find herself one day as a policymaker. She is currently studying PPE at Warwick University. 


Nellie Khossousi_bw

Nellie Khossousi
Age: 24
Nellie graduated with a degree in economics and has a passion for different cultures and languages. She is currently a freelance web designer and video editor. She sees Wembley Park's multiculturalism as its key strength and has been involved in various initiatives as part of the Brent London Borough of Culture programming.


Shreya Kachalia_bw

Shreya Kachalia
Age: 19
Shreya is a student at Ealing Green College. She wants to do something in future to do with finance and hopes to be able to travel. She has lived in Brent her whole life and is passionate about the borough and the people who live there.  


Project Team

Ricky Burdett, Co-Director, Professor of Urban Studies, LSE Cities
Julia King, Co-Director and Principle Investigator, Research Fellow, LSE Cities 

Akil Scafe-Smith, Course Convenor and Researcher, LSE Cities
Bethany Mickleburgh, Course Convenor and Researcher, LSE Cities
Lisa Ker Jia Goh, Project Architect, Researcher, LSE Cities
Kayleigh De Sousa, Researcher, LSE Cities
Ragavendran Gowrisankar, Researcher, LSE Cities




Ricky Burdett, LSE Cities
Julia King, LSE Cities 
Akil Scafe-Smith, LSE Cities
Bethany Mickleburgh, LSE Cities
Lisa Ker Jia Goh, LSE Cities
Project Partners
Blueprint Collective, Brent Youth Parliament
Project Funders
Quintain, LSE Department of Sociology 
Research strand
Cities, Space and Society
September 2020 - August 2021
public space, public-private space, youth culture, urban development