Event Date 22 – 23 May 2012
Royal Holloway University of London
11 Bedford Sq
London WC1E 6DP
Speculating on Slums
This two day workshop in May 2012 in Bedford Square, London will examine the role played by global financial investments in land markets and globalised networks of capital in slums of developing countries. It questions some of the underlying assumptions through which informal housing in the global South has been understood, gives insights into new emerging forms of marginality, highlights contradictory, complex tensions that emerge for donors, governments, and NGOs in relation to the urban poor. The workshop draws together interdisciplinary intellectual debates, key conceptual, political and policy lessons which will enable a new research agenda for work in informal housing in the global South. Leading academic scholars working on informal housing issues and NGO practitioners will be the main selective participants in the workshop.
Michael Edwards (University College London) – Some things we can do with rent
Rent is a social relation which appears at a variety of scales, from land grabs in Africa to the price of an espresso in St Pancras Station. Here are 4 applications:
1. Property relations in the UK and how they became so destructive in recent decades;
2. Wider and deeper commodification of urban space;
3. Built environment professions: making sponges for value;
4. The detailed mechanisms of development and effects on reproduction (Scope depends a bit on whether Joon is presenting.)
The aim here is to sketch examples of how rent concepts can be of analytical help.