Conference Report: Informal housing in Europe and North America

illegal-housingThis is the second of the two conference reports by Dr Steve Millington from the Royal Geographical Society’s Annual Conference 2016.  You can also read the report on the IPM site. You can read the first conference report here.


by Steve Millington

Informal housing is often seen as a defining characteristic of cities in the Global South, but housing problems in US and European cities is producing both practices and policy responses, which begin to question the nature of housing tenure in places where formal housing provision is considered the norm.

This is not to say informal housing is new to the Global North, indeed poorer groups in society have for a long time become subject to informal, illegal and temporary forms of tenure. But, housing shortages and affordability is beginning to expose a broader range of social groups to informal housing. Does this represent this transposition of the culture of informal dwellings form the Global North to the Global South?  In other words, can we expect “shanty” style housing to emerge in European and American cities? Continue reading “Conference Report: Informal housing in Europe and North America”

Conference Report: Managing places at risk from coastal erosion

CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=594080
CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=594080

This is the first of the two conference reports by Dr Steve Millington from the Royal Geographical Society’s Annual Conference 2016.  You can also read the report on the IPM site. You can read the second conference report on Monday, 3rd October.


by Steve Millington

In the UK one reality of climate change is accelerated coastal erosion and the impact on natural assets, farming and communities located in vulnerable locations. This raises profound questions for place management when the place in question will inevitably disappear into the sea as the coastline retreats.  Continue reading “Conference Report: Managing places at risk from coastal erosion”

Ordinary Place Making: Special Sessions at the Royal Geographical Society

Bildschirmfoto 2016-08-19 um 13.37.11

2nd September 2016, Annual International Conference of the Royal Geographical Society, 2016

Aim of the sessions

Despite the complex and multi-faceted dimensions of place making and development, critical engagements often focus on large metropolitan centres, whilst practice is informed by predominantly Western, metropolitan and professional experiences, suggesting an implicit tension arising through the privileging of social and cultural positions of both the observers and observed. Overlooked, perhaps, is the ordinary, everyday and banal sites of lived experience – the vernacular realm, neighbourhoods, small towns, the rural and informal settlement (Bell & Jayne, 2006; Edensor et al, 2010; Jones et al, 2012, Lombard, 2014). These three related sessions present inter-disciplinary research that focuses on ordinary place making, to reveal multiple, nuanced and diverse practices emergent through the lived experiences of communities engaged with attempts to inscribe place identity within their localities, exploring interconnections and conflicts arising within the nexus of professional/non-professional practices. In the first session, the tensions and disconnections between place making imaginaries, policy rhetoric and lived experience are explored through place-based case studies. The second session foregrounds critical enquiry and methodology applied to the context of everyday spaces within ordinary places, including adaptations that extend beyond physicality/materiality to generate atmosphere and engagement with multiple sensory experiences of place-making. The third session explores creative place making strategy and tactics to reveal affordances of arts and creativity as a source of inscribing place identity. Continue reading “Ordinary Place Making: Special Sessions at the Royal Geographical Society”