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Sustainable City

Alison Killing: What happens when a city runs out of room for its dead

"If you want to go out and start your own cemetery" in the UK, says Alison Killing, "you kind of can." She thinks a lot about where we die and are buried — and in this talk, the architect and TED Fellow offers an eye-opening economic and social perspective on an overlooked feature of our towns and cities: the cemetery. Speaking specifically to UK laws, she unpacks the fascinating, sometimes funny, often contradictory laws about where you can be buried.

An architect and urban designer, Alison Killing uses journalism, filmmaking and exhibitions to help people better understand the built environment.

Alison Killing is an architect and urban designer working to engage people with their built environment, via design of buildings and urban strategies, film making, exhibitions and events. She explores the relationship between death and modern architecture, looking at how cities are rebuilt after disaster.

Recent projects include Death in the City (and its first iteration, Death in Venice, which was shown as an independent event during the opening week of the Venice Architecture Biennale), a touring exhibition about death and modern architecture; work with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on better rebuilding after disaster and how to integrate relevant urban design tools into humanitarian response; and a study of financial models for arts and community projects temporarily using vacant buildings to help these projects become self-sustaining.

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