Dictating to the Estate, a documentary play

Date and time
Monday 6 June 2022. Play from 7.30 pm with panel discussion from 9.15 pm.

Location
Maxilla Social Club, 2 Maxilla Walk, London, W10 6SW (the nearest tube is Latimer Road)

Dictating to the Estate, a documentary play

The Urban Salon is delighted to be hosting a face to face eventa documentary play Dictating to the Estate by Nathaniel McBride, directed by Lisa Goldman and Natasha Langridge, followed by a panel discussion with Pete Apps, Inside Housing; Loretta Lees, co-organiser of the Urban Salon and outgoing Chair of the London Housing Panel; and Liam Ross, Edinburgh School of Art.

Dictating to the Estate is a documentary play about events leading up to the Grenfell Tower fire. Using emails, blogs and council minutes, it tells the story of the refurbishment of the tower and the residents’ attempts to hold the council to account. At the same time, it places these events in a wider context of austerity, deregulation and estate regeneration.’

Tickets for the event are available at: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/2a-maxilla-walk/maxilla-social-club/dictating-to-the-estate/e-rxzyjz

The tickets are £15 each, £7.50 concessions.

This event will also be a chance to say goodbye to Loretta who moves to Boston University in the US in late June, but will remain a co-organiser of the Urban Salon.

 

 

Natura Urbana: Ecological constellations in urban space – Matthew Gandy

Date and time
Tuesday 3rd May 2022
6-7.30 pm (British Summer Time)

Location
via Zoom

Natura Urbana: Ecological Constellations in Urban Space by Matthew Gandy 

Speakers: 

Matthew Gandy (University of Cambridge)

Harriet Bulkeley (Durham University)

Rivke Jaffe (University of Amsterdam)

Erik Swyngedouw (University of Manchester)

Discussant:

Phil Hubbard (King’s College, London)

Chair:

Jenny Robinson (University College London)

Register here.


The Urban Salon is delighted to host the launch of Matthew Gandy’s new book, Natura Urbana: Ecological Constellations in Urban Space (MIT, 2022). Matthew draws together different strands of urban ecology as well as insights derived from feminist, posthuman, and postcolonial thought to explore the “other nature” that flourishes in marginal urban spaces, at one remove from the controlled contours of metropolitan nature. This is not the poor relation of rural flora and fauna. As he notes, these islands of biodiversity underline the porosity of the distinction between urban and rural, which he explores through close attention to diverse cultures of nature at a global scale.

Matthew Gandy (University of Cambridge) will present his new book which will be followed by a panel discussion and then a Q&A with the audience. 

Matthew Gandy is Professor of Cultural and Historical Geography at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of Concrete and Clay and The Fabric of Space, both published by MIT Press.

 

Book launch: Defensible Space on the Move – Loretta Lees and Elanor Warwick

Date and time
Tuesday 19th May 2022
7-9 pm (British Summer Time)

Location
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR, United Kingdom

Book launch: Defensible Space on the Move – Loretta Lees and Elanor Warwick

Direct link for registration: https://www.rgs.org/events/summer-2022/book-launch-defensible-space-on-the-move/

 

Please join us in our next event for the launch of the latest book in the RGS-IBG Book Series: Defensible Space on the Move, by Loretta Lees and Elanor Warwick.

The event will include reflections on the book from the authors and experts in the field of housing policy and design.

A drinks reception will follow.

 

Book Description

Both theoretically informed and empirically rich, Defensible Space makes an important conceptual contribution to policy mobilities thinking, to policy and practice, and also to practitioners handling of complex spatial concepts.

  • Critically examines the geographical concept Defensible Space, which has been influential in designing out crime to date, and has been applied to housing estates in the UK, North America, Europe and beyond
  • Evaluates the movement/mobility/mobilisation of defensible space from the US to the UK and into English housing policy and practice
  • Explores the multiple ways the concept of defensible space was interpreted and implemented, as it circulated from national to local level and within particular English housing estates 
  • Critiquing and pushing forwards work on policy mobilities, the authors illustrate for the first time how transfer mechanisms worked at both a policy and practitioner level
  • Drawing on extensive archival research, oral histories and in-depth interviews, this important book reveals defensible space to be ambiguous, uncertain in nature, neither proven or disproven scientifically

 

About the Authors

Loretta Lees is an urban geographer who is internationally known for her research on gentrification/urban regeneration, global urbanism, urban policy, urban public space, critical geographies of architecture, and urban social theory. She has been identified as the only woman in the top 20 most referenced authors in urban geography worldwide (Urban Studies, 2017). Since 2009 she has co-organised The Urban Salon: A London Forum for Architecture, Cities and International Urbanism. She is also a Scholar-Activist who supports, and co-produces research with, community groups and social movements, most recently with respect to the demolition of council estates in London. She is the current Chair of the London Housing Panel funded by the GLA and Trust for London; and the incoming Director of the Initiative on Cities at Boston University, USA.

Elanor Warwick worked as an architect and urban designer before focusing on built environment research, particularly design quality and the delivery of good, affordable housing and places. As Head of Research at CABE (Commission for Architecture and Built Environment), she delivered research to shape the policy for a wide range of Central Government Departments (MHCLG, DfE, HO, and the Treasury) and the Greater London Authority. She now works within the social housing sector leading the research and policy team at Clarion Housing Group, England’s largest housing association, whilst continuing to teach and supervise postgraduate students at UCL and Cambridge Universities.

 

Roundtable: Living heritage and urban informalities: perspectives from Southeast Asian cities

Date and time
Monday 6th December 2021
12.30 – 2 pm (GMT); 7.30 – 9 pm (Bangkok)

Location
Online

Roundtable: Living heritage and urban informalities: perspectives from Southeast Asian cities

Panelists

Marina Kolovou Kouri (Urban Designer and Researcher, Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL, U.K.)

Elizabeth Rhoads (Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Lund University, Sweden)

Jayde Roberts (Senior Lecturer, UNSW, Australia; SEAC Visiting Fellow)

Sri Suryani (PhD student, Sheffield University, U.K.)

Supitcha Tovivich (Lecturer, Silpakorn University, Thailand)

Moderator

Catalina Ortiz (Associate Professor, Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL, U.K.; SEAC Associate)

Chair

Hyun Bang Shin (Professor of Geography and Urban Studies, LSE, U.K.; Director, LSE SEAC)


The Urban Salon is delighted to host a roundtable discussion together with the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre (LSE SEAC) at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Bartlett Development Planning Unit at the UCL on community practice and heritage featuring the voices of researchers working on Southeast Asia.

Heritage making has often focused on the built form, at the expense of leaving out intangible heritage and everyday life of communities. Living heritage is a concept that enables to rethinking of urban futures based on multiple temporal trajectories and alternative epistemologies of what gets valued in the city and whose spatial practices are legitimized. In exploring living heritage in South East Asian cities we bring together diverse researchers reframing the understanding of it as a process grounded in the everyday practices of communities and as a strategy to gain political leverage to combatting spatial and epistemic violence.

Biographies of Participants

Marina Kolovou Kouri is an urban designer and researcher working on community-led development with a focus on Myanmar. She has been collaborating with grassroots organizations in Yangon, coordinating and/or participating in projects around urban safety, housing, informality, and displacement. She is part of the research team in the ongoing project “Yangon Stories: Framing Living Heritage as Tool to Prevent Spatial Violence,” led by the Development Planning Unit.

Elizabeth Rhoads is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Human Rights in Southeast Asia, splitting time between the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies and the Centre for Human Rights Studies at Lund University.

Jayde Roberts (@JaydeThissa) is a senior lecturer in the School of Built Environment at UNSW Sydney and an interdisciplinary scholar of Urban Studies and Southeast Asian Studies. Her research in Myanmar focuses on urban informality, heritage-making, and the effects of transnational networks. During her 2016-2018 Fulbright US Scholar term, she worked with Myanmar’s universities and municipal departments to investigate discourses of urban development in Yangon. Her book, Mapping Chinese Rangoon: Place and Nation among the Sino-Burmese, was published by University of Washington Press in 2016.

Sri Suryani is a PhD student at the University of Sheffield investigating the displacement process of riverbank settlements by flood-risk mitigation policy in Jakarta, Indonesia. Her research aims to understand the social process in displacements, differentiated water infrastructures, and the temporality of spatial politics.

Supitcha Tovivich is a full-time Lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture, Silpakorn University. She was the Head of Department of Architecture (2015-2018). She received her Ph.D. from the Bartlett DPU, University College London, and her MA in Humanitarian and Development Practice, Oxford Brookes University. Her expertise is in participatory design, participatory community development, co-create city rehabilitation, community engagement, and urban design intervention. Her practice focuses on the integration of architectural education, community-based design studio, and tactical urbanism. She has been working with a number of local communities in Bangkok such as the Khlong Bang Luang community, which is an old canal-sided settlement, the 24-hours Bangkok Flower Market, and other communities in Bangkok Old City Area.

Catalina Ortiz (@cataortiza) is a Colombian urbanist. She uses critical pedagogies and decolonial methodologies to study the politics of space production in cities of the global south in order to find alternative ways to forge spatial-racial-epistemic justice. She currently works as Associate Professor and co-Programme Leader of the MSc Building and Urban Design in Development at University College London.  

Hyun Bang Shin (@urbancommune) is Professor of Geography and Urban Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science and directs the LSE Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre. He is Editor of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, and is also a trustee of the Urban Studies Foundation.

Register here.

Image is a photograph of Singapore from Hyun Bang Shin.

 

Roundtable: Comparative Urbanism for Southeast Asia

Date and time
Tuesday 26th October 2021
12 pm (BST)

Location
Online

Roundtable: Comparative Urbanism for Southeast Asia

Panelists

Emma Colven (University of Oklahoma; London School of Economics and Political Science)

Junjia Ye (Nanyang Technological University; ; London School of Economics and Political Science)

Shaun Sheng Kiat Teo (National University of Singapore)

Jeremie Molho (Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies)

Chair

Hyun Bang Shin (London School of Economics and Political Science)


The Urban Salon is delighted to host a roundtable discussion together with the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre (LSE SEAC) at the London School of Economics and Political Science on comparative urbanism in Southeast Asia. This event is also part of the Southeast Asia Forum organised by LSE SEAC.

The renewed and sustained interest of urban theorists in comparative methodologies has generated a wealth of comparative urban research over the past two decades. However, this scholarship remains dominated by research on African and European cities, with Southeast Asia cities not especially well represented. Bringing together scholars whose work engages with sites across Southeast Asia and beyond, this roundtable discussion is convened to reflect on the present state and future of comparative urban research, and the potential of comparative urbanism to enrich understandings of Southeast Asia. Two sets of questions will guide the discussion: (1) What kind of theory-building or testing does comparative research make possible? How do comparative methodologies generate insights into the particular and the general, the local and the global? (2) How do the panelists choose and conceptualize their research sites? Are some sites incommensurable? What kinds of connections or relationalities does comparative research elucidate?

 

Emma Colven (@EmmaColven) is Assistant Professor of Global Environment at the University of Oklahoma and SEAC visiting Fellow. Her research explores themes of socio-ecological change, environmental expertise, and environmental politics in cities of the global South.

Junjia Ye is is Assistant Professor in Human Geography at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and SEAC visiting Fellow. Her research interests lie at the intersections of cultural diversity, critical cosmopolitanism, class, gender studies and the political-economic development of urban Southeast Asia.

Shaun Sheng Kiat Teo (@ShaunSKTeo) is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography, National University of Singapore. He is interested in the development of comparative tactics for analytical and conceptual innovation in urban studies. Thematically, his work focuses on experimental urban projects and their underpinning state-society relations. His work seeks to contribute to furthering tactical innovation in comparative urbanism and to theorizing the state’s relevance for progressive urban transformation.

Jérémie Molho (@jeremiehmolho) is a Marie Curie Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies.

Hyun Bang Shin (@urbancommune) is Professor of Geography and Urban Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science and directs the LSE Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre. He is Editor of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, and is also a trustee of the Urban Studies Foundation.

Register here.

Images are collages of photographs from Hyun Bang Shin, featuring Bangkok, Hanoi, Manila, Ho Chi Minh City and Kuala Lumpur.

 

Informality and housing precarity: Urban perspectives across North-South

Date and time
Wednesday 16th June 2021
5pm (BST)

Location
Online

Informality and housing precarity: Urban perspectives across North-South

Panelists

Julie-Anne Boudreau (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)

Francesco Chiodelli (Università degli Studi di Torino)

Alex Vasudevan (University of Oxford)

Discussants

Matthew Gandy (University of Cambridge)

Dorothee Brantz (Technische Universität, Berlin)

Chair

Jennifer Robinson (University College London)


The Urban Salon is delighted to host a discussion together with the Center for Metropolitan Studies of the TU Berlin on of informality and housing precarity, on the occasion of the launch of a new book from Hanna Hilbrandt (University of Zurich). Inspired by concepts of informality which have been generated across the global South, the book develops new perspectives on practices of housing governance in Berlin through the twentieth century: normative judgements, room for manoeuvre and ongoing minor acts of negotiation add up to a way to mobilise the concept of informality as “routine enactments of rules and regulations”. The panelists will respond to Hanna’s detailed ethnography of the technically illegal use of allotment garden structures as dwellings in Berlin, both at times of housing crisis and on an ongoing basis.

 

Hanna Hilbrandt is assistant professor of social and cultural geography at the University of Zurich. Her research explores marginality and exclusion in housing and urban development as well as socio-spatial inequalities in the context of global economic restructuring.

 

Register here.

 

 

A dog’s life: canine geographies of the city

Date and time
Thursday, 29th April 2021

3-4.30 pm BST

Location
Online event

A dog’s life: canine geographies of the city

Speakers: Stefano Bloch (University of Arizona), Rivke Jaffe (University of Amsterdam) and Krithika Srinivasan (University of Edinburgh)

Discussant: Matthew Gandy (Cambridge).

A free event open to all.

Register here.


In a time of pandemic, the place of dogs in the city is being discussed as never before as more and more people introduce them into their household as a source of companionship and security: at the same time, dogs appear increasingly central to many rituals of exercise and play central to community-making and neighbourliness.

Reflecting on these issues – and the boundaries drawn between wild and tame animals – Urban Salon (London) and the Urban Futures group, King’s College, present a discussion of the place of dogs in the contemporary city, addressing questions of canine agency, the way this is harnessed as labour, and the forms of violence enacted against dogs as they are divided into categories such as the dangerous stray, the working animal and the domestic pet.

Presentations will be followed by a Q&A.


More on the speakers and their presentations:

Canicide: How dogs fall victim to intrusive police practices

Stefano is a cultural geographer who conducts research on neighborhood change, gentrification, criminality/criminalization, policing, and identity with expertise in LA-based gangs, the history and theorization of graffiti as a socio-spatial practice, and the use of ethnographic and autoethnographic research methods.

Dogs and Danger: More-than-Human Sensing of Urban Insecurity

Rivke’s work connects geography, anthropology and cultural studies, her research focuses primarily on the spatialization and materialization of power, difference and inequality within cities. Her current work studies the role of security dogs in mediating urban inequalities in Jamaica.

The future of conservation with Indian street dogs

Krithika’s interests lie at the intersection of political ecology, post-development politics, animal studies, and nature geographies. Her work draws on research in South Asia to rethink globally established concepts and practices about nature-society relations and has involved empirical projects on street dogs and public health, biodiversity conservation, animal agriculture, and non-elite environmentalisms.

 

 

 

London National Park City: a panel discussion

Date and time
Monday 15th March 2021
17.00 to 18.30

Location
Online event

London National Park City: a panel discussion


Participants

  • Cara Clancy (University of Plymouth)
  • Matthew Gandy (University of Cambridge)
  • Daniel Raven-Ellison (Guerrilla Geographer and National Park City campaigner)
  • Meredith Whitten (London School of Economics)
  • Judy Ling Wong (Black Environment Network and National Park City Foundation)

 

Theorising urban studies on/from China/Asia

Date and time
25 February 2021
2-3.30 PM GMT

Location
Online event

Theorising urban studies on/from China/Asia

Speakers
Julie Ren (University of Zurich) and Yimin Zhao (Renmin University of China)

Discussants
Jennifer Robinson (UCL) and Hyun Bang Shin (LSE)

Co-organisers
Hyun Bang Shin (LSE) and Matthew Gandy (Cambridge)

Registration
The event is free to attend but pre-registration is required.

Register now


 

One of the major on-going debates and challenges in critical urban scholarship is related to the call for de-centring knowledge production, especially the emphasis on the need of ‘theorising’ from outside the Global North. What can we learn from this endeavour to re-assert the importance of southern cities, and are there any limitations in our existing practices? Does the focus on a select number of southern cities result in replicating the extant shortfalls of urban studies from the Global North? In this Urban Salon event, we consider these questions by inviting contributions from scholars who have engaged with urban China studies situated in larger debates on Asian urbanism.

 

Exceptionalism and theorising from Urban China

Julie Ren

A review of segregation research on Chinese cities presents several intertwined findings: Chinese cities are framed in terms of their difference, mostly in contrast to Euro-American cities. In translating the findings, the research often resorts to a methodological nationalism, which contextualises Chinese cities in terms of their “Chinese-ness,” a reductionist heuristic that elides the diversity of these cities and renders residential segregation incommensurate with the experience of cities elsewhere. The effect of this is to limit the potential of this research to contribute to a “more global urban studies,” by inscribing a kind of exceptionalism into Chinese cities. 

 

Towards a translational turn in urban studies

Yimin Zhao

Engaging with reflections on improper urban vocabularies, this talk wants to introduce a “translational turn” to foreground dialogues—rather than equivalences—between languages. To better capture global urban experiences, we should recognise the role of translation that exposes us to strangeness and alterity. Drawing on hermeneutics and the philosophy of language, I suggest “the fusion of horizons” could become a new perspective to redefine translation where different languages encounter each other. This point is elaborated with heterogeneous names of the urban frontier, which inform us how and how far appropriating gaps/distances can initiate creative and unexpected dialogues for more global urban studies.

 

Short bio

Julie Ren is a Senior Scientist at the Department of Geography, University of Zurich. Formerly a Fulbright Fellow, she also held postdoctoral fellowships at the City University of Hong Kong and the London School of Economics. Her research considers the potential of comparative urban research for redressing existing modes of urban theorization. Currently, she is researching the contemporary art biennial in Dakar and Taipei to explore questions of cultural representation, public space, and la ville événementielle. Her most recent book is Engaging Comparative Urbanism: Art Spaces in Beijing and Berlin (Bristol University Press, 2020).

Yimin Zhao is an Assistant Professor in Urban Planning and Management at Renmin University of China. Trained as a human geographer, his research has been associating with the theme of space and politics in the urban change. After completing previous investigations on Beijing’s green belts and Jiehebu, his current research develops along two lines of inquiry, one focusing on the infrastructural lives of authoritarianism in Beijing, and the other looking into the urban mechanisms of “Global China.”

The post-covid city?

Date and time
Thursday 21st January 2021
17:00-18:30 (GMT)

Location
Online event

The post-covid city?

In June 2020 Florida proclaimed – This Is Not the End of Cities – both the coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement create opportunities to reshape cities in more equitable ways (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-06-19/cities-will-survive-p…).

In this first Urban Salon since covid hit we consider the post-covid future of cities in London and beyond, critically evaluating Florida’s proclamation by zooming in on 3 themes – urban public space, tourism, and young people.

We have invited four speakers from across the academic and urban professional sector to respond to the Florida proclamations from their research expertise and share with us their thoughts and hopes for the future of cities.

Once you subscribe to the event a zoom link will be sent in advance on the day. Register here.


Speakers

Dinah Bornat – Director at ZCD Architects – youth

Nuriah Benach– Lecturer, Geography at Barcelona University

Eleanor Warwick – Head of Strategic Policy & Research at Clarion Housing Group

Paola Jiron – University of Chile, the Housing Institute

Wilbard KombeUniversity of Dar es Salaam

 

Chairs

Monica Degen – Brunel University London

Loretta Lees – University of Leicester