UCL Urban Laboratory


Speculating on Canary Wharf

31 July 2019, 5:00 pm–8:00 pm

Canary Wharf

Developing new perspectives on Canary Wharf - how might the area be used to assess the strengths and weaknesses of London as a hub of different forms of urban speculative activity?

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Andrew Harris


UCL School of Management
Level 38, One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
E14 5AA

Canary Wharf is a key location for observing the way London has transformed over the last thirty years. Initiated by a Canadian firm in the late 1980s and now owned by a company with major stakes from the Qatari State and China Investment Corporation, Canary Wharf symbolises the central role for global capital and architectural ideas in reshaping London. An area of former docks converted into a commercial zone, and now employing more bankers than the City of London, it contains numerous international banking headquarters, tech-firms, shopping malls, as well as several high-rise residential buildings under construction. Yet, directly in the shadow of Canary Wharf’s glass and steel towers lie some of the most deprived residential areas in the UK.

Despite its increasing centrality to contemporary London, Canary Wharf has received limited academic interest since the property crash of the early 1990s. This event seeks to develop new perspectives on the distinctive role and place of Canary Wharf in London, and how the area might be used to assess the strengths and weaknesses of London as a diverse and dynamic hub of different forms of urban speculative activity.

Organised by Aris Komporozos-Athanasiou (UCL Social Sciences), Dan Hancox (writer/journalist) and Andrew Harris (UCL Geography). Funded by UCL Grand Challenges.


  • Yolande Barnes, Professor of Real Estate at UCL Real Estate Institute
  • Jack Brown, Lecturer in London Studies and London Partnerships Director at King’s College London
  • Sue Brownill, Reader in Urban Policy and Governance at Oxford Brookes
  • Michael Hebbert, Emeritus Professor of Town Planning at UCL
  • Anna Minton, writer, journalist and Reader in Architecture at UEL


There is step free access to the room on Level 38 at One Canada Square. For any further accessibility questions, please contact the UCL School of Management at mgmt-enquiries@ucl.ac.uk.