This year's Banister Fletcher Lecture was given by author and broadcaster Robert Elms. Over 500 people registered to hear his talk on the subject that "Cities Need Slums", which you can watch on the link below.
The reaction on Twitter was almost rapturous: fantastic, bravo, bloody brilliant, thought provoking, brilliantly delivered, impassioned. See for yourself on the video of the talk, and leave your comments below.
"The poor, the marginal, the young, the creative and the bohemian are the lifeblood of urban life, but they are being excluded, expelled, exiled from our great urban centres by the process of making everything luxury, exclusive, designed and desirable.
We must desist from ‘developing' every area to within an inch of its life; Kings Cross, once a dangerous wonderland is now a chic but sterile designer mall. Punk once happened on the Kings Road.
Pushing people to the periphery, like in Paris, is disastrous for the health of a city which is hollowed out.Cities need areas of arrival, they need slums, where people from all around the world and all classes can settle and start their journey. Notting Hill, Spitalfields, Camden Town, Brixton, these were all considered ‘slums' in living memory but are now gentrified and atrophied by affluence."