taking action

Urbanistas empowers the women in our network to take action. We believe women's voices are under represented in city making and so we invite women to showcase their ideas at our expo meets. This is a small sample of the amazing work of Urbanistas all over the world.

We Are Cardiff Press

I presented my idea for the We Are Cardiff Press at the very first expo of the Cardiff Urbanistas, and I don’t think the Press would have been launched or our first book would have been published without them. I’m not a great public speaker, and the idea had lived in my brain for so long that I didn’t really believe that it was any good. Being given a space to explain and ‘sell’ it to a group of professional but entirely unthreatening women gave me the confidence to take it forward. I knew that they would tell me if any part of my plan sounded unworkable, but their positive feedback gave me the confidence to develop the idea and make it happen. I made new contacts, got really good advice from people in the business and most of all, became more sure of myself and my idea.

As a result, the We Are Cardiff Press has launched its first book! We ran a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign to pay for the print run that hit its target early, and our launch party was a sell out. I’m currently planning our next book, and I’ll probably do a second edition of our debut book as we’ve nearly sold out after less than a week!

The Cardiff chapter of Urbanistas is a brilliant place- full of advice, creativity, encouragement, support and goodwill. I felt like they believed in me, and without that boost my idea would have lived and died in my head, never seeing the light of day. Thank you!

Hana Johnson, Director

Office of Displaced Designers

Office of Displaced Designers (ODD) is a charitable architecture and design organisation that facilitates skills sharing and professional development opportunities in design for refugees and locals on the Greek island of Lesvos.

ODD operates on the premise that design and education are powerful tools to bring people together to problem solve and co-create a more equitable and inclusive society.


We collaborate with independent practitioners, international organisations, institutions, and aid agencies to create high quality learning experiences that support psychosocial well-being, reconnect the displaced with their professional identities, and promote social cohesion.


When we first pitched this project at an Urbanistas expo we had just successfully completed a one month pilot project but were unsure of how to develop the program more formally. We received a lot of positive feedback and also pledges of support that were instrumental in helping to push the project forward. The Urbanistas have managed to create an engaging critical thinking space that manages to interrogate, whilst also nurturing new ideas.


Our ‘ASK’ for the network:

We are looking for support and are currently seeking to grow our network and engage potential partners. We would love to know from you:


  • What do you find interesting about the project?

  • How would you like to be involved?


Email us - shareen@displaceddesigners.org or get in contact via the website - www.displaceddesigners.org

eXXpedition Round Britain 2017

At the Urbanistas Cardiff Expo Meet on 6 June Sarah Tanburn presented the eXXpedition Rough Britain project - an all women crew circumnavigation of British Isles by sail, trawling for plastics and toxics, raising awareness of ocean plastics pollution in 7 shore stops. 


The crew includes artists, journalists, businesswomen, filmmakers, activists and educators and on their journey they will add data and footage to the worldwide data set on plastics and toxics in the ocean, especially around Britain. They will also engage with communities through public workshops, giving information about the implications of ocean pollution, participate in beach clean ups and broaden awareness of the unseen - plastics and toxics. 

You can get involved by pledging financial support to the project - http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/exxpedition-round-britain - or if you have any other ideas about how you can help please contact Sarah sarah.tanburn@workthewind.com

Pauline Lomax - 'Cardiff Cares about the homeless'

Ever walked past a homeless person and wanted to help but didn't know what to do for the best? Or maybe you were afraid to stop and ask? The numbers of homeless on our streets is growing.. "I have been surprised by the amount of young women who are now homeless and many of their stories could be yours..."

So what can we do as citizens to make a difference? Pauline's idea is to set up a social media network that covers Cardiff and works in the various areas around the city to try and help the homeless with their wants and needs to help one person at a time back into a job and a home. This could be from an item of clothing to interview clothes, or application help or confidence-building. This would work in conjunction with the homeless charities in the city to identify those needs and wishes and in turn share them with the community to make them happen.

Pauline needs help and advice on setting up the right forum/network to ensure the best result to help make this project work. Contact Pauline - Paulinem.lomax@ntlworld.com or on twitter @redhillsannie

Nia Thomas - "Cardiff Cycle City"

As an avid cyclist Nia wants to help make Cardiff a cycle friendly place for everyone. It’s a well-known fact that fewer women cycle than men, but also fewer women are involved in groups pushing for better cycling conditions (and deciding what constitutes ‘better conditions’).Right now is a particularly crucial time for women to voice our opinions as Cardiff Council’s Integrated Network Plan is under public consultation. This plan will outline cycling infrastructure improvements over the next 15 years, so it’s really important we have our say. Nia wants to know, not only ‘What are the barriers to getting more women cycling?’ but also how do we encourage more women to get involved in groups such as Cardiff Cycle City, who are pushing for better cycling conditions. Without a diversity of voices in this discussion we may be missing key issues. So Nia would like to crowd source ideas and opinions from the Urbanistas: 

  • Would you prefer to share ideas and opinions in women only spaces?

  • Would you prefer platforms other than meetings (e.g online) where discussions can take place at a time convenient to each individual?

Contact Nia on twitter - @niaorfar​

Aisha Ali - "One Million Mentors"

“Mentors are gifts to the world. They encourage, motivate, reinforce, and guide others to reach individual greatness. Mentors have the power to change lives.”

One Million Mentors will build a national online platform to recruit, train and deploy mentors to organisations working with young people - http://uprising.org.uk/one-million-mentors/about-one-million-mentors. This ambitious project is being piloted in Cardiff before being launched in London and Manchester and we are looking to recruit 50 mentors for the first wave. The recruited mentors will benefit from online and face to face training so they'll be equipped with the skills to make a real difference to the life of the young person they're partnered with.


You can get involved by emailing Aisha -  aisha@cdfplanning.co.uk - or get in contact via twitter - @cdfplanning

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