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Defensible Space on the Move: Mobilisation in English Housing Policy and Practice
In this talk, Professor Lees will discuss Defensible Space on the Move: Mobilisation in English Housing Policy and Practice co-authored with Elanor Warwick (RGS-IBG Book Series, Wiley, 2022). She will evaluate the geographical/spatial concept of Defensible Space, which has been influential in designing out crime and has been applied to housing estates in the UK, North America, Europe, and beyond. She will trace its movement/mobility/mobilisation from the US to the UK and into English housing policy and practice, exploring the multiple ways the concept was interpreted and implemented, as it circulated from national to local level and within particular English housing estates. Critiquing and pushing forwards work on policy mobilities, she will illustrate for the first time how transfer mechanisms worked at both a policy and practitioner level. Drawing on extensive archival research, oral histories and in-depth interviews, she will reveal defensible space to be ambiguous, uncertain in nature, neither proven or disproven scientifically. Along the way she will tell a geography HER-Story and the story of the then Prince Charles on a geography fieldtrip to council estates in London.