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urban salon
The New Ruins


Monday 28 February, 6 pm
G07  Exhibition Room
Pearson Building


Owen Hatherley



Matthew Gandy


The New Ruins
Owen will talk about urbanism in the Blair/Brown era and the attempt at
achieving social democratic goals using quasi-Thatcherite means. Public
building increased, but tied to PFI and PPP; much housing was built, but in
a radically circumscribed and architecturally dubious manner. The curious
neoliberal dirigisme of New Labour, its fetish for the grand scheme, meant
that the crash left several pet projects - Pathfinder housing 'renewal',
inner city retail schemes - unfinished or cancelled, leaving huge swathes of
dereliction across British cities. In a context where even these measures
are considered overly profligate, 'statist' and left-wing by the coalition
government, is there anything to be salvaged from New Labour urbanism?'

Owen Hatherley is a journalist and researcher in Political Aesthetics at
Birkbeck College, London. He has written for Architecture Today, Building
Design, Cabinet, Frieze, Icon, the Guardian, the New Statesman and The Wire, and has had academic articles publishedin Collapse, Historical Materialism, the New Left Reviewand RadicalPhilosophy. His work appears in the edited anthologies MarkE Smith andThe Fall - Art, Music and Politics and The ResistibleDemise of MichaelJackson. He is the author of Militant Modernism(Zero, 2009), A Guide tothe New Ruins of Great Britain (Verso, 2010)and the forthcomingUncommon - An Essay on Pulp (Zero, 2011).

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