Online SPS Seminar with Mark Pendras and Charles Williams, University of Washington - Navigating Pandemic Urbanism: Regional Gentrification in Secondary Cities

When: Wednesday 8 September 2021, 17.00-18.00

Where: Online, via Zoom.

Prior registration needed here.

Please join us for the next SPS Seminar on Wednesday 8 September 17.00-18.00 CET (Online). This time we welcome Dr Mark Pendras and Dr Charles Williams, from the University of Washington Tacoma, and editors of the recent book Secondary Cities: Exploring Uneven Development in Urban Regions of the Global North.

Mark and Charles will discuss some of the new challenges of, and opportunities for, Secondary Cities, as the COVID-19 pandemic makes us reconsider our assumptions about what is desirable for our cities and regions.

Recent years have brought growing recognition of the ongoing concentration of jobs and resources in a narrow selection of dominant ‘superstar’ cities that have initiated the conditions needed to fuel agglomeration. However, growing frustrations over the diseconomies of scale associated with this agglomeration—lack of affordable housing, high costs of living, traffic, congestion, struggling schools—have raised new concerns about the future of the superstar development pattern. Such concerns have been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, challenging many of the assumptions about urban density and proximity that have served as the bedrock of urban studies for decades. As patterns of regional gentrification bring new pressures and, potentially, new opportunities, to ‘secondary cities’ and other peripheral spaces, this seminar attempts to navigate and reflect on the shifting terrain.