The Bartlett School of Planning


BSP Public Lecture: Social infrastructure and left-behind places: stories from County Durham

28 October 2021, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Public Lecture Series

We are pleased to invite you to join us on Zoom for the first of our 2021/22 Public Lectures.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Victoria Howard

Social infrastructure, according to Eric Klinenberg, consists of, ‘the physical places, and the organisations that have a physical plant... that shape our capacity to interact with one another’. Typically, once rich in social infrastructure, today’s left-behind communities have experienced a marked deterioration, exacerbated by austerity. But there is growing recognition of the value of investments – often small scale – that can rebuild social infrastructure and contribute to community wellbeing. There is a scarcity of work that defines and assesses the social infrastructure requirements of left-behind places that meet the needs of their communities. This paper reports on joint work between UCL and the Durham Miners’ Association in ‘left-behind’ places in northern England aimed at achieving a deeper understanding of their social infrastructure needs, assessing how policy meet these and highlighting examples of innovative local practice. The paper will offer broader conclusions about the efficacy of social infrastructures.

John Tomaney

About the Speaker

Professor John Tomaney

Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at Bartlett School of Planning, University College London

John was a member of the UK2070 Commission, chaired by Lord Kerslake, which investigated regional inequalities in the UK and is a Trustee of Redhills – the Durham Miners’ Hall.

More about Professor John Tomaney