Social Philosophy

Vertical Cities: from basement to rooftop

Professor Stephen Graham
11th April 2018, 7:00pm

Today we live in a world that can no longer be read as a two-dimensional map, but must now be understood as a series of vertical strata that reach from the satellites that encircle our planet to the tunnels deep within the ground. Stephen Graham rethinks the city at every level: how the geography of inequality, politics, and identity is determined in terms of above and below.

Starting at the edge of earth’s atmosphere and, in a series of riveting studies, descending through each layer, he will explore the world of drones, the city from the viewpoint of an aerial bomber, the design of sidewalks and the hidden depths of underground bunkers. He will ask why Dubai was built to be seen from Google Earth? how do the super-rich in São Paulo live in their penthouses far above the street? why do London billionaires build vast subterranean basements? and how does the technology of elevators and subversive urban explorers shape life on the surface and subsurface of the earth?

This lecture will be a revolutionary reimagining of the cities we live in, the air above us, and what goes on in the earth beneath our feet. It will make you look at the world around you anew - this is a revolution in understanding your place in the world.


About the Speaker

Stephen Graham is Professor of Cities and Society at  Newcastle University's School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape. He has an interdisciplinary background linking geography, urbanism and sociology. Since the early 1990s Professor Graham has explored how cities are being transformed through remarkable changes in infrastructure, mobility, digital media, surveillance, security, militarism and verticality. Prof. Graham’s work has been extremely influential across a wide range of urban, technological, social and political debates across the world. It has been translated into twenty languages.

Menu for Supper

Steamed salmon with a hollandaise sauce with new potatoes and vegetables

Stuffed peppers with tomato sauce (v)

New York cheese cake with raspberry coulis

Fresh fruit salad

N.B. the Lit & Phil office have to inform venues of catering numbers approximately 7 days before an event so please make sure you book as early as possible to avoid disappointment.