Social and Political Policy in the City - design, management and economic equity

Graham Cairns's picture
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Political Science, Public Policy, Political History / Studies, Sociology, Social History / Studies

Themes: Sociology, Poliitcal and public policy, planning, housing and human geography


Complexity and the City - Life, Design and Commercial interests: an examination of the Built Environment


Dates: 17-19 June 2020

Abstracts due: 01 December 2019 

Place: CITY, University of London



It is predicted that by 2050, sixty six per cent of the world’s population will be urbanised. As living requirements develop as a result of this fundamental change new demographic patterns are emerging and economic and political imperatives are morphing. The ways in which planners, politicians, economists, developers, architects and designers are responding inevitably contrasts. What represents re-development of neighbourhoods in one country can be seen as the destruction of communities in the next. The refurbishment of old houses in one place is seen as the erasure of heritage in another, and government intervention in one city can be interpreted as state control elsewhere. In this context it is clear that the sustainability of communities are a basic component of life quality; that badly planned developments bring unaffordable housing that fractures communities that poorly built infrastructure has effects of physical health and that global property speculation disrupts cultures and their heritage.

This complexity has historical roots identified as far back as the early 1970s, by which time Jane Jacbos had published The Death and Life of Great American Cities; the demolition of the Pruitt Igoe housing complex had been defined as the end of social housing, and modernism more broadly; and the UN had identified the negative impacts on health and communities of continued urbanisation. Indeed, within a decade the Healthy Cities initiative had been established, eventually giving rise to the reengaging of the public health sector with issues of architecture and design through initiatives such as walkable cities, accessibility by design and more.

Some fifty years on, this conference asks how issues such as the social justice and the city or the right to affordable housing remain relevant today, both on their own terms and in relation to the practices of other people: architects, urban planners, public health professionals and policy makers.



Presentation and Publication Details:

Pre-recorded and skype film presentation are available for delegates unable to attend in person. Pre-recorded presentations will be permanently available on the AMPS YouTube channel.


Publishers include:

Routledge Taylor&Francis, Intellect Books, Vernon Press, Cambridge Scholar Publishing, Libri Publishing and UCL Press.


The conference is coordinated by City - University of London and PARADE (Publication and Research in Art, Architectures, Design and Environments) in collaboration with AMPS (Architecture, Media, Politics, Society).

More information:

Contact Info: 

Michael Reid and Cindee Hogan

Contact Email: