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PhD Student Andrew Hoolachan

PhD Student Andrew Hoolachan

PhD Student, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge


Andrew Hoolachan received his MA (Hons) in Geography from the University of St Andrews in 2007 and his MSc in International Urban Planning from the Bartlett School, University College London in 2009. He worked for two years in the UK Civil Service as an office assistant and administrator in the departments of Culture, Media and Sport, The Cabinet Office and for the Chief Whip in the House of Lords. He has also worked as a research assistant at the University of St Andrews and the University of Manchester, in both instances working projects that sought to understand the social implications of urban adaptation to climate change.

Andrew is a supervisor on Part IIA of the Architecture Tripos on the courses:

 - Urban Issues Today

 - History and Theory of Architecture (20th Century)

 - History of Gardens and Landscapes

 - History of British Housing since the 19th Century

Current Research:

The Olympic Games were bequeathed to London due to its commitment to a sustainable Legacy. The aims of this are to transform the site and the surrounding communities by reducing social, economic and environmental inequality. Various bodies responsible for planning and development have prepared plans for the coming decades. At the same time the government has introduced Localism, a radically new and untested planning paradigm. This aims to bring power "back to communities", and the London Development Agency has been abolished due to an ideological belief that Regional planning  is wasteful and inefficient. Given this, how can those responsible for the development of a "sustainable" legacy in all the affected boroughs,  bring together this coherent, unified vision, when Localism argues in the opposing direction, that communities, not regional level agencies should be responsible for implementation?

This project will look at a key piece of "green" infrastructure, and use it to ask broader questions and raise concerns about the validity of Localism, in a paradigm of "sustainable legacy", and in a context of deep social and economic fragmentation in East London.

Research Interests

General Interests:

Having studied undergraduate Geography in an interdisciplinary Scottish institution where History and Anthropology also comprised the Honours education, I am keen to continue working in an interdisciplinary fashion. Training in Urban Planning and Design allows this research to be grounded and policy-oriented. I enjoy epistemological discussions, experimental research methods and digital humanities.

Currently my general areas of interest are:

 - urban political-ecologies

 - mass housing

 - Urban Design and everyday life.

 - urban infrastructures, their past, present and future

 - post-modern landscapes (suburbia, Los Angeles, shopping malls, airports)

 - urban cinematics and literature

 - epistemology and methodology in social and urban research

Key Publications


Hoolachan, A., and Tewdwr-Jones, M. (2014) ‘Localism, scale
and place in claims for sustainable urbanism: Moving beyond the
idealist and materialist’ in Davoudi, S. & Mandanipour, A. (eds.)
Reconsidering Localism. Routledge; London

Hoolachan, A. (2014) ‘Localism and the scalar politics of a
sustainable Legacy’ in Poynter, G & Viehoff, V. (eds.) The
London Olympics and Urban Development: The Mega-Event
City. Routledge; London.

Hoolachan, A. (2014) 'The Legacy after Localism: nature and place along the Greenway'.
in Architectural Research Quarterly: Special Edition - Urban Design, Architecture and the SustainableRegeneration Legacy of London 2012. 18/4. Cambridge University Press.



Hoolachan, A. (2014) 'Glasgow's desperate moment: Iconoclasm
for 2014 Commonwealth Games' in AESOP Young Academics

"CARA Baghdad exchange programme". CinC Web Report. May 2012.

 Houston et. al. (2011). "Pluvial (rain-related) flooding in urban areas: the invisible hazard". Joseph Rowentree Foundation.