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The university and the city: Spaces of risk, decolonisation, and civic disruption

McNeill, D; Mossman, M; Rogers, D; Tewdwr-Jones, M; (2021) The university and the city: Spaces of risk, decolonisation, and civic disruption. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space 10.1177/0308518X211053019. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

This paper responds to a recent EPA Exchanges paper by Eric Knight, Andrew Jones and Meric Gertler ( Knight et al., 2021). It concurs with their argument for the significance of economic geography for explaining the “local-global” dilemmas facing the university in contemporary society. In response, it will propose three additional optics for understanding the role of the university in the contemporary city. First, as a space of risk, where the neo-liberal university is now undertaking various modes of financing their real estate models, drawing on bond markets to finance future growth, soliciting politically risky philanthropic donations, and betting on future student recruitment trends – including the high-risk international student sector – as being sufficient to fund capital investments in buildings and facilities. Second, as a space of decolonisation, where the university must seek to locate campus development within discussions about the university's responsibilities within systems of settler colonialism, and racially inflected gentrification. Third, as a civic disruptor, where the university campus is seen as more than just a backdrop or context to the university's governance, culture, and business models, but also as a front door to understanding the city and economy within which it is embedded.

Type: Article
Title: The university and the city: Spaces of risk, decolonisation, and civic disruption
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0308518X211053019
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/0308518X211053019
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Social Sciences, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Environmental Studies, Geography, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, Decolonisation, urban development, higher education, cities
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10138724
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