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Thursday 21st June

Does gentrification have to necessarily mean the displacement of local communities?

Venue: RICS, Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AD

Time; 7.45 - 10.15am



Gentrification was first coined by Ruth Glass in 1964 to describe the change faced by north London neighbourhoods. But this term is describing something that has taken place for centuries in our cities.


Come and join us as we discuss the impact demographic and social change is having on our urban environment and the people that live there.


  • Is gentrification just a natural evolution of the urban environment?

  • Can gentrified areas retain their diversity & vibrancy that made them popular in the first place?

  • Does gentrification have to result in displacement?

  • How do you ensure that regeneration benefits the local community affected?


Alan Benson
LB Haringey 

Alan Benson has been working in government - central, local and regional - since 1987, working mainly in housing and corporate strategy. He was responsible for housing strategy and performance management at the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. From 2004 Alan Benson was responsible for housing policy at the Greater London Authority, providing advice and support to the Mayor's Office on housing issues. He managed the GLA's Housing Policy Unit, which lead on housing-related policy development and research for the GLA, including producing the statutory London Housing Strategy.


He has recently taken on the role as Head of Housing Strategy and Commissioning at the London Borough of Haringey.


LinkedIn: Alan Benson

Paul Quinn
Clarion Housing Group
Paul has worked in housing and urban regeneration for over 30 years. He has spent most of his career in the North and Midlands, managing regeneration projects in the East Midlands and Black Country. He is currently leading the 3000 home Merton Regeneration Project and a number of smaller projects throughout the South East for Clarion Housing Group. From a community development background, he has a particular interest in issues surrounding community engagement, urban design and regeneration.
Linkedin: Clarion Housing Group
Twitter: @Clarion_Group
Alex Ely

Alex Ely is founder of Mæ, an architecture and urban design studio. He has led the practice in establishing an international reputation for innovation and excellence. Alex balances working for architecture and civil society advising government and its agencies. He has been responsible for award winning schemes from masterplans to cultural buildings, housing to health care as well as public policy such as the Mayor of London’s Housing Design Guide.


Alex is a Mayor’s Design Advocate, a CABE Built Environment Expert, and on a number of Design Review panels. He is a frequent public speaker at national and international urban and design forums.

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