Necrotecture: Lifeless dwellings and London's super-rich.
- Room 1150 Muirhead, University of Birmingham
- Social Sciences
Professor Rowland Atkinson, Chair in Inclusive Societies, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, University of Sheffield.
In this presentation I want to draw attention to the role of the rich in damaging and denuding the social landscapes of the cities they congregate in. This work seeks to problematise the relationship between the global super-rich and processes of property development that have generated large volumes of under-used residential space. Evidence is presented to show that much of the London’s new skyline is under-used or lies entirely empty so that one interpretation of this new landscape of super-prime residential development is that it is a kind of dead residential space, or necrotecture. These relatively lifeless spaces can be interpreted as the particularly wasteful result of continuing rounds of international capital investment in the built environment and the over-consumption of housing and other resources by the super-rich, courted by a compliant enabling elite in the city that has pursued austerity and cuts to areas of core social investment. The dead space of investment by the rich influences and negatively impacts on the capacity of the city to deal with social and housing need.