Centre for URBan research (CURB) ‌

Research & Occasional Papers


Research Projects

Spaces of Urban Vulnerability in International Comparison (SUVIC).

SUVIC is an international network of researchers with a common interest in developing a comparative approach to the study of marginal, abject and vulnerable urban spaces and the populations that they contain.

Conditions of economic uncertainty and the selective distribution of financial benefits have given rise to a new context in which the vitality and creativity of certain urban economies and spaces contrasts markedly with disadvantaged urban districts and even entire towns and cities that have experienced declining populations, social and economic divestment and spatial dereliction.

Rising levels of urban poverty and inequality and increasing incidents of racism and intolerance—particularly towards minority groups and migrants—add to the perception that cities are becoming fractured through social exclusion, segregation, uneven access to services and municipal retrenchment, and that these factors are generating major stresses that now test contemporary citizenship and the ‘right to the city’.

The University of York has provided pump priming funding to CURB over the next three years to support the leadership and development of SUVIC’s international network and to build the capacity for a significant research program with global and local metropolitan coverage. As part of this initiative Simon Parker and Rowland Atkinson convened a panel on ‘The Fracturing Urban Citizenship in Europe’ during the International Sociological Association’s Research Committee on Urban and Regional Development (RC21) conference in Berlin in August 2013, and CURB will be hosting a follow-up international conference on 13 and 14 March 2014 with members of the network and interested academics and postgraduate researchers from around the world.

We welcome enquiries and expressions of interest.

Contact: simon.parker@york.ac.uk

Super-rich neighbourhoods study

Wealth and inequality have become major reference points for public debate since the start of the crash in 2008 yet little social research has focused on the impact of the wealthiest on British cities and economies. To address this gap a new project has been awarded by the ESRC to the Centre for URBan Research (CURB) and the Centre for Urban and Community Research (Goldsmiths University). The research, to start early in 2013, will seek to learn more about the history, populations and daily life of the richest places in the UK. The absolute bulk of the research will be focused in London and will generate a profile of the households, local institutions and service personnel operating in the neighbourhoods that the rich inhabit. The work will tell the public and policymakers more about how such places, housing markets operate and the social links and disconnects that may exist between the wealthiest workers and the neighbourhoods and cities they call home. The project will end in 2015 but a series of reports and papers will be places on a public website as the project progresses.

Contact: rowland.atkinson@sheffield.ac.uk

The York School: Review of social studies of the city, 1899 to date

Funded by the University of York priming fund this is a one year project to examine the range of distinctive social studies that have been carried out in the city over the past century. The review will produce a short report and database of all relevant sources that will be made available as a public resource in due course. The title of the project refers to a broader ambition to identify, catalogue and develop distinctive approaches to ‘middle-range’ urban studies that are relevant to the majority of people living in non-metropolitan urban settings.

View full report

Contact: simon.parker@york.ac.uk



Please click on individual staff profiles for all publications. These links will take you to a series of further papers and discussion documents

Palermo Open City: From The 

Mediterranean Migrant Crisis to a Europe Without Borders?

Leoluca Orlando & Simon Parker

The Power of Raw Money, Who Owns London Now and Why

Rowland Atkinson, Roger Burrows & Simon Parker


A Greek tragedy on the London stage: the City, the Eurozone crisis and an urban dark age to come

Simon Parker


Car Parks for Global Wealth

Rowland Atkinson


Cities for the Rich

Rowland Atkinson


Prisoners by Choice

Rowland Atkinson