Leicester Urban Observatory

Leicester Urban Observatory Satellite Seminar 1: Urban Change in Small Cities

Brought to you by the University of Leicester is the first in a new set of partner provided seminars which is being developed to support of the main ‘City Series’ lecture programme.

The Satellite Seminars are intended to provide a more focussed opportunity to join one of the Observatory partner organisations in discussing a topic in more detail than the main City Series programme which is aimed at a more general interest audience.

The free talk will be delivered by Richard Ocejo on Tuesday 10th October 2017 and will focus on ‘Urban change in small cities’. Dr Ocejo is an Associate Professor at City University of New York and is author of  Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy and Upscaling Downtown: From Bowery Saloons to Cocktail Bars in New York City

The event will start at 5:00pm in LT2 Lecture Theatre 2, Bennett Building (University of Leicester). Registration is not required

Seminar summary from Richard: “I’m studying a small city (population 30,000) 60 miles north of New York City that underwent a steep decline in the late 20th century and is starting to rebound.  The people moving there are mostly middle class and finding New York City unaffordable.  They are in their late 20s-40s, established in their careers, want to maintain a certain urban lifestyle (to live in a place that’s walkable, bikeable, diverse, architecturally interesting), and have to commute to New York City infrequently if at all.  The artisan, light manufacturing, and arts economies are also expanding, as some new retail (a farm-to-table restaurant, cafes, a clothing boutique) have opened.  Meanwhile, the city is remarkably poor with a lot of crime, drugs, and abandoned and vacant properties. My initial macro-level thoughts revolve around the idea that the gentrification story in large, successful cities like New York is continuing in smaller nearby cities as the middle class gets priced out (low-income folks are obviously too poor to leave).”