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Professor Wendy Pullan

Professor Wendy Pullan

Head of Department

Professor of Architectural and Urban Studies

Clare College (Fellow)

Office Phone: 01223 332962


Professor Wendy Pullan is Senior Lecturer in the History and Philosophy of Architecture at the University of Cambridge. She is Principal Investigator for 'Conflict in Cities and the Contested State’, and from 2003 to 2007, directed the ESRC funded ‘Conflict in Cities: Architecture and Urban Order in Divided Jerusalem’, upon which the present project is built. In 2006, Professor Pullan received the Royal Institute of British Architects ‘ inaugural President’s Award for University Led Research for work on Conflict in Cities.

Professor Pullan’s research focuses on meaning and change within urban conditions, both historical and contemporary. Her work is informed by the underlying relationships of urban praxis to planning, policy and theory, and she has studied various multidisciplinary situations that reflect the city. She has published widely on Mediterranean and Middle Eastern architecture and cities, especially Jerusalem, including the recent edited volume Making Architecture (Jerusalem: 2006). With Political Scientist Mick Dumper, she is now completing Politics and Urban Order in Divided Jerusalem.

At the Cambridge Department of Architecture, Professor Pullan directed Tripos (undergraduate) teaching and more recently Graduate Studies. Her research students have studied various sites in Europe and the Middle East, focusing upon the culture of cities and architectural themes within them.

Professor Pullan holds a BA from the University of Toronto, a BArch from the University of British Columbia and a PhD from Cambridge. She lived and taught in Jerusalem for 13 years.


Research Interests

Conflict in Cities and the Contested State

Everyday life and the possibilities for transformation in Belfast, Jerusalem and other divided cities


Project leaders:
Dr Wendy Pullan, Architecture, University of Cambridge
Professor James Anderson, Geography, Queens University Belfast
Professor Mick Dumper, Politics, University of Exeter
Professor Liam O’Dowd, Sociology, Queen’s University Belfast

'Conflict in Cities and the Contested State' is a five year research project starting in 2007 that focuses on divided cities as key sites in territorial conflicts over state and national identities, cultures and borders. The research objectives are to analyse how divided cities in Europe and the Middle East have been shaped by ethnic, religious and national conflicts, and conversely, how such cities can absorb, resist and potentially play a role in transforming the territorial conflicts which pervade and surround them. The project seeks to understand the cities as arenas of intensified ethno-national conflicts, particularly with respect to the role that architecture and the urban fabric play as a setting and background for everyday activities and events. Phenomena related to creating, maintaining, crossing, transcending or ignoring ethnic and territorial borders, both physical and symbolic, are central to the study.

The main research sites are Belfast and Jerusalem, two very distinctive cities - one firmly embedded in the West and one central to the Middle East - and both at different stages of national conflict and peace-building. A team of researchers from three UK universities, Cambridge, Exeter and Queen’s Belfast, will lead the multi-disciplinary initiative that includes: architecture, urban studies, politics, geography and sociology. Teams reflecting the divisions being researched will carry out work in situ in Belfast and Jerusalem. Six PhD students will be attached to the programme and, in conjunction with an international network of academics and practitioners attached to the project, will consider other divided cities, such as Nicosia, Mostar, Berlin, Brussels, Beirut and Kirkuk. Within this overall project framework a contextual and comparative approach will be developed to explore wider issues of urban conflict and the possibilities for resolution.

'Conflict in Cities and the Contested State' is generously funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) of Great Britain. It builds on an earlier project begun in 2003 and supported by the ESRC