20/10/16 Opening of the annual theme "Luxury – Spatial Politics of Comfort"
The notion of luxury, while heavily contested, is back on the housing agenda. Cities in Western Europe are characterised by an increasing lack of affordable housing vis-à-vis a growing luxury sector marketing high-end office and living spaces. If luxury describes anything above and beyond the necessary, this raises important questions not only around justice and criteria for the distribution of resources, but also about the city itself as a resource. What is luxury to whom in the city? Which typologies of luxury exist? Which practices, places and things articulate the luxury of the urban and how does this occur? What kinds of socioand spatio-political decisions and legislation influence this?
The first of a series of lectures around our annual theme inquires into ways of studying and understanding the luxury sector of contemporary housing politics and practices.
Our guests present research perspectives and share insights and methodological approaches to studying the housing crisis from the top.
Luna Glucksberg (LSE) looks at Luxury as exclusion: the impact of global wealth on elite urban neighbourhoods. Her contribution considers luxury as individualising and individualised process that is yet characterised by the ever-recurrent design patterns and branding strategies. She researches into Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (30m $) and the impact this population has on the built environment of the most exclusive and expensive areas in London. The perspective on luxury as exclusivity brings to the fore an increasingly common practice of dividing the city even further by physically separating social housing units and luxury developments.
Yuca Meubrink (HCU) speaks about The Elusive Promise of Luxury Housing for All: Reflections from London and New York. Her research into the so-called 'poor-door' practice unpacks the controversial 'inclusionary housing programme' under which buildings with separate entrances for rich and poor residents have proliferated in London and New York. She considers the implications for the provision of affordable housing and the social mix of residents.
Thursday, 20/10/16, 6:30pm, Café HCU
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