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School of Geography

Urban culture and public life

Our research has explored how cities are spaces of possibility, creativity and identity formation. This has included investigations of urban public space, collective culture and the imagination of cities (Regan Koch); the city as a site of diasporic identity (Alison Blunt) and of placemaking and the cultural, material and infrastructural bases of different forms of living together (Regan Koch). At a transnational scale this work also considers cities and post-disaster settings as sites of humanitarian vs collective engagement (Simon Reid-Henry, Edyta Materka), the role of space and territoriality in grassroots social movements (Sam Halvorsen) and histories of democracy and inequality (Simon Reid-Henry). It also includes work on cities, communities and philanthropy (Alison Blunt, Tim Brown and Alastair Owens).

The City Centre is a network of communication and activity at that aims to promote and develop collaborative, cross-disciplinary work across Queen Mary University of London on city lives and connections that is based in School of Geography and directed by Regan Koch. Its members explore the research themes of: convivial cultures; rent and renting; the public life of cities; urban livelihoods; urban politics; and urban imaginaries and performances.

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