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UCL Urban Laboratory invites you to a roundtable in honour of Professor Alan Gilbert’s retirement. In his illustrious career of teaching, research and consultancy in the field of urbanization and development, he has addressed the challenges of urban poverty through detailed investigations of specific problems such as housing, infrastructure and employment. More recently, he has launched a thought-provoking criticism of the "return of the slum" as an epistemological shorthand for portraying the problems of urban poverty. The purpose of this roundtable is to engage with his concern about this emotive term not just creating dangerous stereotypes about the poor and the marginalised, but also glossing over a highly differentiated landscape of urban poverty. We hope this roundtable, by drawing on a series of guest presenter's own research experiences (see the list of speakers below), will help to critically explore this argument. In doing so, we wish to consider the extent to which Alan’s work has influenced development research and how his recent provocative concerns about the return of the slum challenge or refine contemporary approaches to urbanization, specifically asking whether the use of the term in any sense represents a danger for the poor and what its re-invention says about the relationship between policy making and academic research.
Professor Sylvia Chant, Department of Geography, London School of Economics
Dr Julio Davila, Development Planning Unit, UCL
Dr Gareth Jones, Department of Geography, London School of Economics
Dr Sunil Kumar, Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics
Dr Deborah Potts, Department of Geography, King’s College London
Professor David Simon, Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London
Date: 24 June 2010
Time: 2.30 – 6 pm
Venue: Exhibition Room, Pearson Building, University College London
Drinks and dinner: 6.30pm onwards
RSVP to Pushpa Arabindoo: firstname.lastname@example.org
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