The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction


Seminar series: Grenfell Tower Inquiry

09 October 2020–23 October 2020, 11:00 am–2:00 pm

Grenfell Tower one year on

This series of seminars, hosted by The Bartlett, seeks to accompany the Grenfell Inquiry by discussing the key aspects that led to the disaster in an academic setting.

Event Information

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The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management

About the seminars

This series of seminars, hosted by the Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management in association with the School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences, Bangor University, seeks to accompany the inquiry by discussing the key financial, economic, management and social phenomena in urban housing that led to the disaster in an academic setting.

The seminars will examine the key aspects of the climate and context in which the disaster occurred to try to extrapolate the wider implications and lessons for how urban housing is funded, managed, and supports the social and working lives of urban inhabitants.

The format

Each seminar will consist of 3 chaired panels of papers, author presented to an audience, with comments and general discussion.

The seminars will be held virtually on Friday 9, Friday 16 and Friday 23, October 2020.

How to register

To register and attend please click the relevant registration link in the programme below where you will be taken to an Eventbrite page to sign up.


Please explore the programme below to find out which seminar(s) you would like to register to attend. 

Panel 1  |  Friday 9 October

Class, race, economic status and housing
Professor Peter Shapely 
Watch a recording of the event

11.00Open and Welcome from Peter Shapely 
11.10Prof Miles Glendinning, Edinburgh, A Curate’s Egg – Post-war Mass Housing in London
11.40Dr Eva Branscome Bartlett, UCL, Before Grenfell: North Kensington’s slums and suburbs
12.00Dr. James Greenhalgh, Lincoln, Constructing the Unsuitable Tenant: the development of attitudes towards inhabitants of social housing since the 1920s
12.20Dr Alun Ephraim, Bangor University, From Path Dependency to Tragedy? Grenfell Tower and the historical background to the marginalisation of social tenants in the United Kingdom, 1956-2017
12.40BREAK for Lunch 
13.10Sharda Rozena (PG) Leicester, Gentrification and the significance of racial and class inequalities in Kensington on the Grenfell Tower Tragedy
13.30Dr Sam Wetherell, York, A History of high-density council housing and race in Britain
13.50Discussion and questions chaired by Prof Shapely 
14.30Closing remarks: Adrian Williamson Q.C
Panel 2  |  Friday 16 October

Building regulation and deregulation
Panel chairs:
Dr. Judy Stephenson, The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management, and Sam Stein Q.C. 
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11.00Open and welcome from Dr Stephenson
11.10Holly Smith, University of Cambridge, The Ronan Point disaster: 50 years of negligence in high-rise council housing policy

Shane Ewen (Reader), Leeds Beckett University, Before Grenfell: A slow disaster four decades in the making

11.50Professor Stefan Muthesius - UEA
12.40Comment from Peter Apps – Inside Housing
13.00Carl Makin, Deconstructing the ‘risk-based’ regulation of social housing
13.20Dr Judy Stephenson, Bartlett UCL, Managing building contracting in the long run 
13.30Dr Nader Naderpajouh, Dr Rita Zhang, and Prof Jan Hayes, RMIT,  Regulation and Deregulation: Case of the Building Industry in Australia
14.00Comment from Matt Wrack of the FBU
14.20Comment from Brian Richardson
14.40Discussion and Questions 
14.55Closing remarks: Sam Stein Q.C.
Panel 3  |  Friday 23 October

The fundamental problem of co-ordination and procuring building services and contracts 
Panel chairs:
Dr Vanessa Davies; Michael Bowsher, QC 
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11:00Open and welcome from Dr Davies 
11.10Introduction: Mr Bowsher
11.20:Prof. Albert Sanchez-Graells, University of Bristol Law School, Atomised contractualised governance, disincentives and complex public procurement
11.50Dr. Richard Craven, University of Sheffield, The Grenfell Tower disaster as a case study of decision-making in local government procurement 
12.50Dr. Jas Kalra, UCL, Prof. Michael Lewis, University of Bath, Dr. Mehrnoush Sarafan, University of Bath and University of Cambridge, and Dr. Rehema Msulwa, University of Bath, Characterising (and closing?) the accountability-capability gap in complex public procurement
13.20Discussant: Mr. Duncan Brock, FCIPS, Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply 
13.30Discussant: Roberto Caranta, Professor of Administrative Law at the University of Turin
13.40Discussion chaired by Mr Bowsher
14:00Closing remarks: Dr Davies


Adrian Williamson QC
Sam Stein QC
Dr. Judy Stephenson
Dr. Vanessa Davies
Professor Peter Shapely

Photo credit: Grenfell Tower 2018 by ChiralJon is licensed under CC BY 2.0