Seminar – Council Housing Estates in London: From Urban Marginality to State-Led Gentrification by Dr. Paul Watt (Birkbeck)


Date : Wednesday 11th March,

Time : 4pm

Location : Goldsmiths, University of London,  RHB142

This paper examines how processes of ‘state-led gentrification’ are occurring at London’s council housing estates via area-based regeneration programmes. These estates are currently disappearing from the city’s skyline in the name of regeneration and improving the lives and opportunities of their residents. New mixed-tenure developments are arising where the estates used to stand. These developments are dominated by gleaming private tower blocks, the 21st century distorted mirror image of their much-maligned modernist council housing antecedents. What long-term processes have brought this dramatic state of affairs about? How have London’s council housing residents (primarily multi-ethnic working class) responded to their estates’ demise or threatened demise? What political responses can be identified to state-led gentrification at this time of ever-deepening housing crisis in London? This paper examines these questions with reference to London-wide research on the changing nature of social housing provision, but with a focus on the outer London Borough of Barnet. 

Paul Watt is an urbanist whose research interests span geography, sociology and social policy. My over-arching research focus is the inter-relationship between social inequalities, space and place, especially in global cities and their hinterlands. This includes the following themes:

  • Social housing and urban regeneration.
  • Neighbourhoods and communities. 
  • The 2012 London Olympics and the regeneration of East London.
  • Suburbanisation and the suburbs

For more information contact Dr Michaela Benson

Image Copyright  by Andrew Mager is licensed under CC by 2.0


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