180516 - A Tale of Two Doors: Housing Mobilities, Outgoers and Incomers in Post-Olympics East London

16 Mai, 2018 - 17:00 - 19:00


Seminar Cities are back in town "A Tale of Two Doors: Housing Mobilities, Outgoers  and Incomers in Post-Olympics East London"

Wednesday 16 May 2018, 5 - 7 pm, Sciences Po, Sciences Po LIEPP’s Conference Room, 254, boulevard Saint-Germain, 75007 Paris

This presentation provides a critical assessment of the London 2012 Olympic Games housing legacy with reference to three overlapping issues: firstly welfare restructuring under conditions of ‘austerity urbanism’ (Peck, 2012), secondly the political economy of new housing provision, and thirdly the ongoing expulsion of homeless families away from their East London boroughs. The paper draws upon several research projects focusing on housing and homelessness in the Olympics ‘Host Boroughs’ which the presenter has undertaken from 2010-17. The paper argues that Labour councils – such as Newham and Waltham Forest – have pursued neoliberal local state strategies predicated on urban competitiveness, extensive private housing market development and minimal social rental housing provision. The impacts of this strategy – alongside central government austerity cuts – can be seen in intensive capital inflows into new market housing and associated affluent professional incomers. These incomers enter East London via the doors of new apartment complexes, while around the corner in Stratford, the homeless poor are exiting East London via displacement processes which see them moving beyond the city limits into South East England. The spatial ‘legacy’ of the 2012 Olympic Games is therefore located in the city’s suburban periphery as well as the rapidly gentrifying East London landscape.


Paul Watt is Professor of Urban Studies in the Department of Geography at Birkbeck University of London.

Paul Watt has published widely on urban regeneration, social housing, the London housing crisis, gentrification, suburbanization, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. He is co-author of Understanding Social Inequality (Sage, 2007), co-editor of Mobilities and Neighbourhood Belonging in Cities and Suburbs (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), co-editor of London 2012 and the Post-Olympics City: A Hollow Legacy? (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), and co-editor of Social Housing and Urban Renewal: A Cross-National Perspective (Emerald, 2017). Paul Watt is on the Editorial Board of City, and is Board Member of the Research Committee on Sociology of Urban and Regional Development (RC21), International Sociological Association.

Collective Discussion

The Seminar will be held in English

Texts available upon request

Contact: francesco.findeisen@sciencespo.fr

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