UCL Urban Laboratory


Remembering Ruth Glass and the Centre for Urban Studies at UCL

25 April 2014, 1:00 pm–5:00 pm


Event Information

Open to



Wilkins Haldane Room, UCL Wilkins Building, Gower Street WC1E 6BT

This event will reflect on the activities and ambitions of Ruth Glass (1912-1990) and the Centre for Urban Studies (1958-c.1980) at University College London.

The Centre for Urban Studies was established at UCL in 1958 with the aim of contributing to 'the systematic knowledge of urban development, structure and society, and to link academic social research with social policy'. The Centre brought together historians, epidemiologists, geographers, demographers, planners, and health scientists. It was led for many years by the urban sociologist Ruth Glass, who is perhaps best known for coining the term 'gentrification' in 1964 in London: Aspects of Change, a book edited by the Centre for Urban Studies.

This event seeks to look back at the institutional aims and research agenda of the Centre for Urban Studies. This will help address a surprisingly limited archival record held at UCL around the Centre, despite Ruth Glass's continued high profile within urban studies. It will also develop historical resonances and connections with much more recent institutional efforts at UCL to forge interdisciplinary, policy relevant research and teaching initiatives, not least the UCL Urban Laboratory (2004-) and the Urban Studies MSc (2008-).

The afternoon will bring together people who were part of the Centre for Urban Studies and/or were students or colleagues of Ruth Glass with present-day staff and students within the UCL Urban Laboratory and the London Action and Research on Regeneration Group (LARRG). Through a series of short, informal presentations, topics for discussion which we hope will arise include the possibilities and challenges of working across disciplines and departments at UCL, interaction and exchange across institutions in London, ways of engaging with and presenting work to policy-makers, and issues of global exchange in research and teaching.

The event will be documented and we hope that the event will yield new and old material which can form the basis of a more permanent archive in the College, as well as helping develop ideas for an event marking the fiftieth anniversary of London: Aspects of Change to be held later in the year.

Please get in touch if you have any memories or connections with Ruth Glass and the Centre for Urban Studies: urbanlaboratory@ucl.ac.uk or andrew.harris@ucl.ac.uk

This event is now full. If you have not managed to get a ticket, but you have a specific interest or connection to this topic, please contact
urbanlaboratory@ucl.ac.uk and we may be able to accomodate you.

This event is supported by the UCL Urban Laboratory and the UCL Joint Faculty Institute of Graduate Studies