Rachel Taylor

Thesis title:

Cities of refuge and resistance: Everyday urban spaces, social inclusion & the hostile environment. The shaping of the urban lives of people seeking asylum in London


The research will explore the factors governing the urban lives of people seeking asylum in London. It will identify significant urban spaces and understand how they facilitate and inhibit opportunities for social connectivity, health and well-being against the constraints of legal status and an intentionally exclusionary asylum system. Focusing on the lived experiences of refused and current asylum seekers in two London boroughs, it will explore the spatial dimensions of urban inclusion and exclusion – from uses of public spaces such as urban greenspace, squares and the streets to accessible semi-public spaces such as cafes, libraries and community centres – and how people seeking asylum employ everyday tactics to subvert and resist the effects of precarious legal statuses and exclusionary policies which manifest psychologically and in the built environment.

First supervisor:

Johan Andersson


8-Urbanisation, Social Change & Urban Transformation