UCL Urban Laboratory


Urban Salon: Debating high-rise urbanism

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, 09 June 2014


Event Information

Open to



UCL Pearson Building, Exhibition Room GO07, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT

London, and the UK in general, are witnessing an increased interest in popular debates around the recent spurt in high-rise buildings. While much of these have been rooted in the architectural discussion around its appropriateness as a design typology to a city like London (and other British cities), the discourse is not new to urban studies either, where concerns around the practice of building skyscrapers have been set against the pressures of capitalist urbanisation - high-rises have been viewed as a symbolically and economically essential ingredient of the 'entrepreneurial city'. While these are crucial dimensions of the debate, recently scholars have begun to diversify the dialogue by exploring aspects of everyday practices that explain how this specific urbanity is globalised and localised, ranging from the design and construction process to the more quotidian reality of high-rise living.

It is in this context that this event by bringing together academics and practitioners proposes an inter-disciplinary engagement with the larger challenges and opportunities embedded within the production of high-rise urbanism to bring a more nuanced understanding to the debate. The panel includes:

Dr. Andrew Harris (Co-director, UCL Urban Laboratory and UCL Geography)
Justin McGuirk (Writer and director of Strelka Press)
Dr. Richard Baxter (School of Geography, Queen Mary University of London)
Paul Scott (Make Architects)
Professor Peter Wynne Rees (Bartlett School of Planning, UCL, and former City Planning Officer, City of London)

Contact: Dr. Pushpa Arabindoo