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Little capital: the super-rich in a second-tier city

Bush House North East Wing, Strand Campus, London

13 Mar dry earth Part of Human Geography seminars

Speaker: Dr Katie Higgins, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, University of Sheffield

Following the Global Financial Crisis, the wealth of a small social fraction dubbed the super-rich has been the subject of growing public anger and media attention (BBC ‘The Super Rich and Us’, 2015; CNBC ‘The Secret Lives of the Super-Rich’, 2013; Frank, 2007; Kampfner, 2014). Academic publications, such as Piketty’s (2014) Capital and Dorling’s (2014) Inequality and the 1%, have documented the recent intensification of wealth and some of the damaging consequences of inequality.

While we are beginning to know more about the lives of the profoundly wealthy in global cities and high-status tourist enclaves, the impact of wealth and the very wealthy on ‘second-tier’ cities, such as Manchester, remain relatively under explored. How might second-tier cities exhibit different social and spatial patterns? Does the urbanism of smaller cities offer a distinctive formation of social life for wealth elites in urban settings? How are cities on the margins being restructured for, and by, the super-rich?

This presentation seeks to contribute new insights about how wealth is cascading into cities on the margins.


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