Meet Alex....

Hi, As a volunteer on the Rethink Re:Place project I will be writing articles on topics that spark my interest, relating to placemaking and tactical urbanism. I am also looking forward to planning and delivering the Tactical Urbanism Festival 2021 alongside Verity.

I love being in nature whenever I can, and I believe tactical urbanism initiatives that increase access to greenspace, like guerrilla gardening, pocket parks and rewilding, could hugely benefit people’s lives. Engaging people with the places they live in could also be an effective way to get people invested in protecting the environment and tackling the climate crisis. Cycling was my main mode of transport at university, and I often found insufficient cycling infrastructure to be a big issue, so I am a strong advocate for placemaking projects that seek to resolve this. In my spare time, I love going to gigs and festivals with my friends, and finding new places to enjoy delicious, veggie food (the pop-up food stalls at Digbeth Dining Club, Birmingham, are incredible!). I think tactical urbanism can help us bring people together through music, culture and food.

I graduated in July 2020 with a first-class History and Philosophy degree from the University of Birmingham, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The lockdown has made job-hunting challenging and full of uncertainties, but for now volunteering on the Rethink Re:Place project is a great opportunity for me to gain valuable experience, whilst working on an exciting project. I hope to gain knowledge and experience to help push me towards a future career in social research and policy.

Within the philosophy side of my degree I focused on, and enjoyed, applied ethics, taking modules on the ethics of killing, war, sex, the beauty industry and global bioethics. I was lucky enough to attend an effective altruism conference with moral philosopher, Peter Singer, as well as appearing as an audience member for BBC’s The Big Questions (my claim to fame!). My final year history dissertation studied the relationships between public space and community interaction in Early 17th Century England, which unintentionally links nicely to the topic of placemaking.

Beyond academia, I am passionate about martial arts. I was an active member of my university’s judo and MMA clubs, and am a member of my local Brazilian jiu-jitsu club.