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  Debating High Rise Urbanism

G07, Pearson Building, Gower Street, University College London, London WC1E 6BT

Pushpa Arabindoo, UCL Department of Geography

Dr. Andrew Harris, UCL Department of 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

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, with high-rises seen 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.

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