︎︎︎R-Urban Poplar is an eco-civic hub located on the edge of the Teviot estate, in Poplar, London.

The project aims to develop civic resilience in the face of climate change through a public programme of events, workshops and infrastructures. We have two main strands to our work, the first works towards prototyping a just food system which places circularity at its heart, the second focuses on resource re-use and repair.

site drawing

The hub itself is a collection of prototype infrastructures which work towards developing resilient urban systems in Poplar. Composting and Anaerobic Digestion (AD) are central to producing nutrient rich fertilisers for our community food growers, demonstrating the potential for localised circular waste systems. An on-site workshop hosts regular repair and skill sessions, whilst supporting small enterprises with space to fabricate and share tools. At the heart of the project are the kitchen and classroom, which offer a welcoming space for events and bring people together.

A Short History

R-Urban was started in 2012 by public works and was originally located further down the Lea river in Hackney Wick.

R-Urban Wick was a mobile eco-civic hub, exploring local resilience before setting up a temporary recycling/re-use hub at the Mobile City Garden.  

In 2017, when the temporary use site in Hackney Wick was lost, we relocated our container infrastructure to Poplar. Since then, the project has grown incrementally and in response to emerging local needs of Teviot and the neighbourhood.


R-Urban Network

R-Urban is a bottom-up strategy that supports the emergence of more collaborative resilient models of living, producing, and consuming in the city. It is part of a European network of hubs, and was started in collaboration with aaa (Paris). R-Urban is an award-winning research project including the Zumtobel Group Award and the Curry Stone Design Prize and the New European Bauhaus award.

R-Urban is home to

R-Urban is a collaborative project, involving multiple partners, stakeholders and citizens, collectively working towards the project goals. Our site is currently home to multiple organisations working with sustainability and circularity.

public works are a critical design practice working within the terrain of architecture, art and activism to bring about positive social and environmental change.

LEAP Micro AD develop prototype systems for food waste recycling and circular food growing.

SunnyJar run workshops which make low waste, sustainable living accessible for all.

Billy Adams is a freelance designer and maker who works with community groups across London.

We work with

Leaders in Community is a youth-led charity run by a group of active local young people from Tower Hamlets. LiC run the Teviot Centre, where we help to manage the garden through a public workshop programme.

Spotlight run Youth Centres across East London, including our local centre in Langdon Park. We have run a number of workshops with Spotlight including planter building, seat making and furniture designing.

Wen (the Women’s Environmental Network) work in East London and nationally to support women and grass-root movements aiming at environmental justice. We work with Wen on the JustFACT (Just Food and Climate Transition) project.

Making for Change is a fully-equipped workshop that produces to an industry standard across a wide range of products including daywear, accessories and homeware. Together, we were part of the UAL Climate Studio project.

We are funded and supported by

We are funded and supported by a number of groups including Wen, Poplar Harca, Hill Housing, ReLondon (as part of the Food Wave project), the LLDC, the National Lottery, the University of Sheffield, the University of the Arts London, and more. Thanks to them all for allowing our work to happen.