Thursday, 25 August 2016

Town and Gown: The Studentification of Urban Space

I will be giving a talk at the Fourth World Congress of Psychogeography on Saturday 10th September 2016 at Heritage Quay at the University of Huddersfield. Here is the programme for the whole event, which takes place over Friday 9th and Saturday 10th of September. Below are further details on my talk: Town and Gown: The Studentification of Urban Space.

Abstract from the conference programme:

Tina Richardson will discuss the rise of privately owned halls of residences in university towns and cities. By providing examples from Huddersfield and Leeds, and revealing her own model of studentification, Tina will demonstrate how private student housing conforms to the new wave of capitalism: aesthetic capitalism.

Additional information:

I will talk about how these forms of private student accommodation appear as innocuous buildings offering a service to universities, filling a gap that they are unable or unwilling to provide. However, student housing is a global asset worth billions, making it ripe for investment, with the effect of driving up property prices in a given area.

I will be using examples from both the University of Huddersfield and the University of Leeds. In particular Castings House in Huddersfield (above) and also some 'heritage' private student accommodation on the University of Leeds campus.

This presentation suggests a specific way that private student housing developers, and management companies, adopt in order to sell their accommodation to students. This method is part of the current moment in the evolution of capitalism. I will be revealing, for the first time, the model I have developed which expresses this process of studentification: “The selling and branding of place, and the burnishing of the image of place…becomes integral to how capitalist competition works.” David Harvey (Marxist Geographer)

You can download the slides here.

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