Exploring Inequalities in the Built Environment: Historical Perspectives conference at the University of Roehampton

    Activity: Public engagement and outreachPublic speaking engagements


    In the last few years considerable scholarly attention has been directed to the problems of entrenched structural inequalities and inequities in the built environment in Britain. This follows, in particular, exposure of the unequal effects of Covid-19 on different social, racial and economic groups in urban areas, and high-profile movements challenging racial inequality. Ideas about how to tackle inequality and provide support to and transform areas of social deprivation have becoming pressing once again. In early 2023 a conference titled ‘Inequality and the Built Environment: Historical Perspectives’, sponsored by the Royal Historical Society, brought together scholars from the humanities and social sciences to discuss the historical roots of urban inequality in order to inform present understanding. This conference built on many ground-breaking studies in economics, geography, politics and sociology which have identified and explained the growth of urban inequality since the 19th century. But the divisions between richer and poorer sorts of people in our towns and cities, and the ways in which inequality manifests and develops across time and space, predate the advent of class and capitalism as defining features of western and global society. The tensions between the transnational, national and local identities, and their interaction with urban space, pose considerable challenges for different age-groups, socio/economic categories, and ethnic groups. This conference explored the long history of urban inequality from the early-modern period to the modern, generating new discussions and directions in understanding urban inequality historically.

    Estimated audience numbers (if applicable)

    45 participants drawn from UK universities, schools and members of the general public.
    Period12 Jan 2023
    Degree of RecognitionNational


    • Class
    • Covid-19
    • housing
    • immigration
    • inequality
    • legislation
    • poverty
    • London
    • United Kingdom