On 12 May 1976, Secretary of State for Scotland Bruce Millan announced the cancellation of the plans to expand the village of Stonehouse outside Glasgow into a New Town of 40,000 inhabitants, and the redirection of the corresponding funds to the Glasgow Eastern Area Renewal (GEAR). After three decades, the era of enhanced greenfield developments outside British cities was finally drawing to an end, and policy was increasingly focusing on the renewal of the inner city as a place of residence.

The Glasgow experience was by no means unique. Although, in reality, suburbanisation was continuing virtually unchecked, from the 1970s onwards national and municipal policies in many European countries increasingly promoted living in the inner city. The International Building Exhibition, or IBA, in West Berlin (1979-1987), the regeneration of Rotterdam’s nineteenth-century neighbourhoods (begun 1973), the redevelopments of the London Docklands (begun 1981), Amsterdam Eastern Harbour (begun 1988) and Copenhagen South Harbour (begun 1995) as well as numerous infills and industrial redevelopments in the inner cities of Barcelona, Hamburg, Vienna or Gothenburg evidence the increasing emphasis on housing in the inner cities.

The conference will examine the architectural outcomes of the “return to the inner city” – that is, the numerous variations of dense, multi-storey “New Tenement” architecture, and the conditions that generated this architecture – the political and socio-economic background as well as the different ways in which living in the inner city was both conceptualised and realised.


  • Sjoerd Soeters (Soeters Van Eldonk Architecten, Amsterdam)
  • Brouwersgracht, Amsterdam, Soeters Van Eldonk architecten (1999-2010)
  • Brouwersgracht, Amsterdam, Soeters Van Eldonk architecten (1999-2010)

Conference organisers: Prof. Florian Urban and Dr Ambrose Gillick, Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow School of Art, and Prof. Miles Glendinning, University of Edinburgh.

The conference is supported by the Leverhulme Trust. A limited number of travel bursaries are available.

Thursday 5th May 2016

9.00 Greetings 

  • Christopher Platt, Florian Urban and Miles Glendinning

9.10-10.30 Back to the City - Theoretical Frameworks

Ola Uduku (moderator) - University of Edinburgh

  • Wolfgang Sonne - University of Dortmund 
  • Ruxandra Stoica - University of Edinburgh
  • John Pendlebury - University of Newcastle

11.00-13.00 The European Context 

Florian Urban (moderator) - Glasgow School of Art

  • Ambrose Gillick - Glasgow School of Art
  • Paul van de Laar - Erasmus University Rotterdam and Museum of the City of Rotterdam
  • Jens Kvorning - Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen
  • Theodor Winters - S.T.E.R.N., Berlin

15.00-16.45 The Retreat of the State

Robert Proctor (moderator) - University of Bath

  • Susanne Schindler - ETH Zurich/ Columbia University, New York
  • Evandro Florin - São Paulo State University
  • Alicja Gzowska - University of Warsaw
  • 16.45-17.00 Coffee break

17.00-18.00 Keynote Address

  • Sjoerd Soeters - Soeters van Eldonk Architects, Amsterdam

20.00 Speakers’ Dinner at the Glasgow School of Art

Friday 6th May 2016

9.00-11.00 Politics and the Return to the City - The Case of Glasgow 

Keith Kintrea (moderator) - University of Glasgow

  • David Adam - University of Glasgow
  • Johnny Rodger - Glasgow School of Art
  • Sarah Mass - University of Michigan

11.30-13.30 New Residences in the Inner City

Brian Evans (moderator) - Glasgow School of Art

  • Piers Gough - CZWG, London
  • Jakob Dunkl - Querkraft Architekten, Vienna
  • Søren Nielsen - Vandkunsten Architects, Copenhagen

15.00-15.30 Closing Address 

  • Kathleen James-Chakraborty - University College Dublin