Prof. Roger Keil to deliver prestigious Sir Peter Hall Lecture in London, England

glendon global debate

A prestigious annual lecture that pays tribute to the late Sir Peter Hall, a global figure in the study of cities and regions and their planning, will be delivered this year by York University Faculty of Environmental Studies Professor Roger Keil.

The annual Sir Peter Hall Lecture will take place June 5 at University College London (UCL) Bartlett School of Planning in London, England, with the theme “Metabolic Suburbia: Facing the connectivity of the extended urban world.”

Roger Keil. Image credit: Ute Lehrer
Roger Keil

Keil is the York Research Chair in Global Sub/Urban Studies and researches global suburbanization, urban political ecology, cities and infectious disease, and regional governance. He will discuss the process of global suburbanization from the perspectives of its boundaries and limits embodied in human and non-human nature.

More specifically, the lecture will examine how the massive extension of extended forms of urbanization expose people to disease and ill health, and reconstitute the ways in which humans relate to non-human nature.

Keil will focus his talk on two areas where the impact of the peripheral urbanization of the world is felt: the interrelationship of peripheral urbanization with the spread of (re-)emerging infectious disease; and the metabolic societal relationships with nature at the urban edge, or “suburban political ecologies.”

“Each year we invite a leading scholar or practitioner to give the lecture,” said UCL Professor John Tomaney. “We invited Professor Keil to talk about his recent book Suburban Planet, which is making a big impact in the field of urban studies, addresses themes of global significance and resonates with research at UCL.”

Keil’s book examines how the projected increase in the population of Earth will live in some form of extended suburban environment, taking up about 1.2 million square kilometres globally by 2030 – twice as much area used as at the beginning of the century.

“I am tremendously honoured to have been invited to give this prestigious lecture,” said Keil. “It provides me with the opportunity to speak about the work my colleagues and I have done under the banner of the Global Suburbanisms project that has been hosted by York University’s City Institute and Faculty of Environmental Studies. Expanding from the results of this international project of more than 50 scholars, I will speak about the future challenges emerging on the suburban planet that is now our shared home.”

Keil is the author of Suburban Planet (Polity 2018), editor of Suburban Constellations (Jovis 2013) and co-editor, with Xuefei Ren, of The Globalizing Cities Reader (Routledge 2017). He is the editor of the Global Suburbanisms book series with UTP and the co-editor of Suburban Governance: A Global View (with Pierre Hamel) and Massive Suburbanization (with K. Murat Güney and Murat Üçoğlu) in that series. A co-founder of the International Network for Urban Research & Action, he was the inaugural director of the City Institute at York University and former co-editor of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.