[Séminaire] Rowland Atkinson, Presentation of the book Alpha City: How London was Captured by the Super-Rich (Verso, 2020)

23 octobre 2020

Thursday 5 November 2020, 5.30 – 7 pm CET, Sciences Po, Webinar (Compulsory registration)

Rowland Atkinson will present the main research findings from his latest book exploring the consequences of widening inequality on London’s urban landscape. The author defines London as the alpha city, characterized notably by the prominent role of the finance sector in its economy, its dominance over the world economy and the concentration of a super-rich elite in some of its neighborhoods. Throughout the book, Atkinson chooses to look into the lifestyles and behaviors of the wealthy to highlight important changes undergone by London since the 2008 financial crisis: he presents the history of London’s property market and its capture by its wealthiest inhabitants, identifies how real estate in the city has become increasingly accommodating to the wealthy, and underlines how this breeds exclusion from opportunity for its less fortunate residents. Alpha City questions the redefinition of the city’s functions and spaces as the metropolis is increasingly subject to the joint influence of capitalism and financiarisation.

Speaker: Rowland Atkinson, Sheffield University, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Research Chair in Inclusive Societies

Rowland Atkinson is Research Chair in Inclusive Societies at the University of Sheffield. His research has focused on the spatial impacts of social inequalities, taking in work on gentrification and displacement, gated communities, public housing and social exclusion, fortress homes and, of course, the super-rich. Seeing the role of social science as bringing attention to social problems, his work has highlighted the need for social housing and attention to the invisible casualties of complex urban processes.

Discussants: Bruno Cousin, Sciences Po, CEE and María Luisa Méndez Layera, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, IEU

For more information: citiesarebackintown@sciencespo.fr

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alpha city cover