Message From the Chair

AoU Chair Andrew Burrell reviews the last few months and provides belated new years greetings

I trust you all had a good Festive Season, despite the trying circumstances created by the pandemic, and approach 2022 with renewed optimism.

The tail end of 2021 and the start of 2022 have been both busy and productive for the Academy, the high point of which was our hybrid Awards ceremony staged in London and simultaneously streamed for those who couldn’t make it.  And a great success it was too!  Congratulations to all our short-listed contestants and thanks for making it such a great evening with friends, new and old. If you missed it, or want to revisit, we’re devoting our lunchtime talks on the first Friday of each month to hear from finalists.

January saw the first major event of our year discussing the role and importance of markets to our towns and cities, whilst the role of urbanism in health will be the focus of our attention this spring. These lead up to our Annual Congress in June which we will hold in Belfast and which promises to be something special.

If you would like to become more personally involved in the future of the Academy we are keen to encourage interest in our Working Groups covering Events and Marketing, Membership and Sponsorship, and Policy. In addition, we will lose the services of five of our directors later this year and are keen on taking this opportunity to attract more diversity to our core governance body. Please consider what you might offer the Academy.

Other opportunities to bring your views and skills to the benefit of the Academy include our Regions and Nations network, our Scottish Advisory Group, the growing importance of our Young Urbanists, and, indeed, assisting the editorial team who produce the document you are currently reading.

As always, we are keen to attract a greater membership in order to further increase the weight and scope of our message and ask everyone to consider who they might encourage to join – as Academicians, Young Urbanists or Group Members. Wishing you all a great 2022.