Guest Lecture “Luxury City: Aesthetics and Exclusion After Lockdown” by Christoph Lindner

ASCA Cities – guest presentation by Christoph Lindner (University College London) |  Tuesday 10 January 2023, 15:00-17:00 | University Library, Belle van Zuylenzaal | To register: Linda Kopitz (

From the redevelopment of London’s iconic Battersea Power Station and the opening of the infamous Sky Pool to the global spread of fintech e-bikes and the greenwashing of post-industrial ruins, this talk explores the relationship between aesthetics and exclusion in rapidly gentrifying cities. Presenting findings from the recently published book Aesthetics of Gentrification – but also sharing new work on pandemic reshapings of public space – I argue that many cities worldwide are experiencing a rise in coercive aesthetic practices following the social-spatial restrictions of lockdown. This has enabled new forms of gentrification to emerge. Post-lockdown, it has also led to a proliferation of immersive spaces designed to promote exclusionary forms of luxury living. The talk ends by considering the role of art and activism in resisting these trends and creating shared imaginaries of a more inclusive urban future. 

Christoph Lindner is Professor of Urban Studies and Dean of The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment at University College London, where he writes about cities, visual culture, and social-spatial inequality. He is the author or editor of 15 books, including Imagining New York City (Oxford UP, 2015) and the edited volumes Aesthetics of Gentrification (Amsterdam UP, 2021), Deconstructing the High Line (Rutgers UP, 2017), and Cities Interrupted (Bloomsbury, 2016).