New Urban Diversities: London perspectives

Book launch hosted by LSE Cities

This event looked at how new diversities and (im)mobilities are lived in the contemporary urban space of the ‘world’ city. The discussion was directed through a presentation of two key ethnographies, both of which are based in London, and engage with the accelerated diversification of the city through the lens of everyday life.

Susanne Wessendorf’s book Commonplace Diversity: Social relations in a super-diverse context (2014), explores how the ‘diversification of diversity, also described as “super-diversity”’ impacts local life in the London Borough of Hackney.

In her book, Young Homeless People and Urban Space: Fixed in mobility (2015), Emma Jackson delves into the occupied spaces and traversed routes of young homeless people who converge in a day centre in central London. Together, these important accounts expose new views of discrimination and conviviality, in the context of an increasing unequal and diverse city.

(Supported by an ESRC project on Super-diverse Streets: Economies and spaces of urban migration in UK Cities’,  ES/L009560/1) 

Event materials


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    Suzanne Hall

    Suzanne Hall is an urban ethnographer and has practised as an architect in South Africa. Her research and teaching interests focus on everyday formations of global migration in the context of inequality, discrimination and resistance, particularly migrant economies and urban multi-culture. From 1997 to 2003 her practice engaged with the role of design in marginalised and racially segregated areas in Cape Town. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including the 2006 Venice Architectural Biennale, and the 2005 Sao Paulo Biennale of Architecture and Design. She was awarded an ESRC Future Research Leaders grant (2015–2017) for a comparative project on ‘Super-diverse Streets: Economies and spaces of urban migration in UK Cities’, which emerges out of her LSE Cities research project on ‘Ordinary Streets’. She is a recipient of an LSE Teaching Award (2017), the Phillip Leverhulme Prize (2017), the LSE’s Robert McKenzie PhD Prize (2010), and the Rome Scholarship in Architecture (1998–1999). Suzi is author of City, Street and Citizen (2012), and The SAGE Handbook of the 21st Century City, co-edited with Ricky Burdett (2017).

    Emma Jackson

    Lecturer, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths University of London.

    Susanne Wessendorf

    Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Institute for Research into Superdiversity (IRiS), University of Birmingham.