London, A Global, Multicultural and Olympic Capital, 2010

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London, A Global, Multicultural and Olympic Capital
26-27 November 2010
Organising committee: Roseline Théron and Timothy Whitton

Co-organised by IDEA and the EHIC (Espaces Humains et Interactions Culturelles) research team at the Blaise Pascal University of Clermont-Ferrand and hosted at the Nancy campus of Sciences-Po, Paris, ‘London, A Global, Multicultural and Olympic Capital’ proposed an analysis of the complicated present situation of the city of London. In an effort to offer the fullest possible vision of the subject, an interdisciplinary approach was resolutely adopted at the conference. The event therefore worked to create the conditions necessary for productive dialogue between geographers, economists, sociologists, historians, political scientists and practitioners of cultural studies.

The city of London has had its hours of glory and its times of trouble, weathering wars, periods of economic upheaval and political changes. Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, this tumultuous and often rebellious past is part of the city, making it ‘unique’ at a time when it is faced with unprecedented challenges. The conference presentations offered a variety of perspecives on this situation, seeking to respond to such questions as: How will London maintain its role as a financial capital in a global economy shaken by the economic crisis and in a situation where it finds itself increasingly challenged by emerging markets? To what extent will it be possible for London to reconcile sustainable development and the pressures of the real estate market and demographic growth? How will London respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by the 2012 Olympic Games?

The conference brought together fifteen French and British scholars who spoke on subjects as varied as ‘London 2012, an Olympic target : “zero rough sleeping”’, ‘Londres: une ville plus favorable à l’euro que le reste de l’Angleterre?’, ‘Exister ou disparaître dans le jeu économique de la globalisation: un défi pour Londres et Paris’ or ‘Londres: de la capitale impériale à la ville globale’. The keynote speakers were Ian Gordon (London School of Economics), who gave a presentation entitled ‘London: Capital of Boom and Bust?’, and Andy Thornley and Nancy Holman (London School of Economics) who spoke on ‘Urban Planning and the London Context’.

Conference programme