Back to All Events



Apologies to all those who, like us, were looking forward to hearing Roger Burrows speak. Full refunds will be applied to all who purchased tickets, and we hope to reschedule the lecture for Autumn 2019.


Luxified Troglodytism? Mapping the Subterranean Residential Geographies of Plutocratic London

Speaker: Roger Burrows

Discussant: Simon Parker


Much has been written about the ‘luxified skies’ sprouting up across London; ‘high-rise’, ‘super prime’ housing for new elites. Thus far less attention has been paid to what has been happening to subterranean London. As a corrective to this, this paper examines the extent of elite residential basement development across seven London boroughs between 2008 and 2017. We identify some 4,650 basements granted permission over the decade and classify each into one of  (six and then) three different types: standard; large; and mega. We present a series of maps and tables detailing the locations and the amenities contained within each basement. This empirical material is contextualized by way of a discussion of form and functioning of what we conceptualize as the ‘plutocraticization’ of London following the 2008 global financial crash.

Roger Burrows is Professor of Cities at Newcastle University. Prior to this he was a Pro-Warden for Interdisciplinary Development at Goldsmiths, University of London. He recently led a major ESRC funded project examining the impact of transnational uber-wealth on housing markets in central London. His most recent book is the co-authored The Predictive Postcode: The Geodemographic Classification of British Society (Sage, 2018). His current research is a critical examination of neo-reactionary urban imaginaries.

Simon Parker  is co-director of the Centre for Urban Research at York University .He is the author of Cities, Politics and Power (Routledge 2010) and Urban Theory and the Urban Experience: Encountering the City ( Routledge second edition forthcoming 2015) . His  current projects include a historical investigation of migration policy and politics in London (1880-to present) and a five volume edited collection for the Routledge Major Works reference series on Urban Theory: Critical Concepts.


When:  May 29  2019  6-8pm  Where: Institute of Advanced Studies  Forum Room G17 South Wing at University College London Gower Street WC1E 6BT

Tickets 10.00  5.00 concession  Book on Eventbrite