UCL Urban Laboratory


Global Garbage: Excess, Waste, and Abandonment in the Contemporary City

20 September 2013, 3:00 pm–6:00 pm


Event Information

Open to



Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (venue TBC)

Sept 20: "The Excesses and Wastes of Urban Regeneration"

Dr. Ben Campkin (The Bartlett School of Architecture/UCL UrbanLab)

Location: Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, room TBA, Time: 3-6pm.

The theme of the 2013-2014 Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA) Cities Seminar is "global garbage", exploring the many ways in which garbage - in its diverse forms and articulations - is being produced, managed, experienced, imagined, circulated, concealed, and aestheticized in contemporary urban environments and across different creative and cultural practices.

To what extent are contemporary cities becoming wastelands? In what ways are the global economics of excess and waste reshaping urban communities? How do the ever accelerating cycles of production, consumption, and disposal redirect urban flows of capital, commodities, data, and people? What new types and concepts of waste are produced by mechanisms of time-space compression and intensified global connectivity? How do imaginaries of trash or ruination figure in urban policy discourses and their counter-narratives? And what is the position of waste, dirt, and residue in a pervasive visual culture of excess?

Engaging with these sorts of questions, the seminars will explore how, and under what conditions, contemporary forms/sites of excess, waste, and abandonment perpetuate - but also sometimes counter - the imbalances of power that recent books such as Mike Davis' Planet of Slums, Edward Soja's Seeking Spatial Justice, and Arjun Appadurai's The Future as Cultural Fact have associated with the global metropolitan condition.

In this talk Ben Campkin, Director of the UCL Urban Laboratory, will discuss "excess" and "waste" in relation to urban regeneration in London.

The seminar is open to all ASCA/NICA members and registered participants, including PhD and Research MA students from all Dutch universities. Selected Research MA students may participate in the seminar for university credit and have it count as a tutorial for their studies. Please contact the organizer for eligibility and further details of the seminar series.