Dr Suzanne Hall

Dr Suzanne Hall

Associate Professor in Sociology, Director of the Cities Programme

Department of Sociology

020 7955 7056
Room No
STC S212
Key Expertise
Urbanisation, Migration, Livelihoods, Ethnography, Visual Methods

About me

I am an interdisciplinary urban scholar and have practised as an architect in South Africa. My research and teaching interests connect the asymmetries of global migration with the ferocities of urban marginalisation. From the grounded perspective of peripheral street economies, I explore the racialised frameworks of citizenship and economic inequality and their everyday contestations. By moving between spaces of globe, state and street, I explore the margins as a capricious space in which social sorting, cultural intermixtures and claims to difference are forged. My work engages with how wide geographies shape our knowledge of the urban condition, and I am invested in the rich ethnographic and visual possibilities of seeing political economies through the everyday.

I’m interested in varied spatial formations of precarious livelihoods and citizenship including:

- the ‘regeneration’ of global urban space in the context of a South London Street  (supported by an LSE Cities Fellowship);

- the de-industrialisation of work from the vantage point of streets in urban peripheries in Birmingham, Bristol, Leicester and Manchester  (funded by an ESRC award); and

- the distinctive racial formations of colonisation and apartheid in Cape Town in the working life of women refugees (funded by a Philip Leverhulme Prize).

I’ve relished participating in collaborative projects, most recently working with Huda Tayob and Thandi Loewenson on an evolving curriculum on ‘Race, Space and Architecture’. I’ve been part of the ‘Digital Makings of the City of Refuge’ project led by Myria Georgiou, and a project led by Claire Alexander on ‘Continuity, Change and New Urban Economies in Brick Lane’.

Selected Publications:


2017    Hall, S., and Burdett, R. (eds) The Sage Handbook of the 21st Century City, London: Sage.

2012    City, Street and Citizen: The Measure of the Ordinary, London: Routledge.
Reviewed in: British Journal of Sociology, International Journal of Urban and Regional Studies, Symbolic Interaction, Polis, LSE Review of Books (reprinted in the Digest of South African Architecture). 

Burdett 3  Hall     

Edited volumes

2015    Editor, Special Issue on ‘Migration and Election 2015’, Discover Society, Issue 17, February.

2010    Hall, S., Dinardi, C. and Fernandez, M. (eds) Writing Cities, a graduate student publication, London: London School of Economics and Political Science (in collaboration with the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Harvard Graduate School of Design and Harvard Law School). 

Peer-reviewed journal articles

2020     Georgiou, M., Hall, S. and Dajani, D. ‘Suspension: Disabling the City of Refuge?’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. In press.

2018    ‘Migrant Margins: The street life of discrimination’, The Sociological Review, 66(5), pp.968-983.

2017    ‘Mooring “Super-diversity” to a Brutal Migration Milieu’, commissioned for the 40th Anniversary Special Issue of Ethnic and Racial Studies, 40(9), pp. 1562-1573.

2017    Hall, S., King, J. and Finlay, R. ‘Migrant Infrastructure: Transaction economies in Birmingham and Leicester, UK’, Urban Studies, 54 (6), pp. 1311-1327. *Shortlisted for the Urban Studies Best Article Award.

2016    Hall, S. and Savage, M. ‘Animating the Urban Vortex: New sociological urgencies’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 40(1) pp. 82-95. 

2015    Hall, S., King, J. and Finlay, R. ‘Envisioning Migration: Drawing the infrastructure of Stapleton Road, Bristol, New Diversities 17(2), pp. 59-72.

2015    ‘Migrant Urbanisms: Ordinary cities and everyday resistance’, Sociology, 49(3), pp. 853-869.

2015    ‘Super-diverse Street: A ‘trans-ethnography’ across migrant localities’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 22-37.

2013    ‘The Politics of Belonging’, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, vol. 20, issue 1,  Special Issue: Settling Differences in a Land of Strangers, pp. 46-53.

2011   High Street Adaptations: Ethnicity, independent retail practices and Localism in London’s urban margins Environment and Planning A, 43(11), pp. 2571-2588.

2010   Hall, S. and Datta, A. The Translocal Street: Shop signs and local multiculture along the Walworth Road, south London in R. Tavernor (guest editor), Theme Issue on ‘London 2000 – 2010’, in City, Culture and Society, 1(2), pp. 69-77.

2010    ‘Picturing Difference: Juxtaposition, collage and layering of a multi-ethnic street’, in Anthropology Matters, 12(1).
*Reprinted in Steven Vertovec (Editor) 2014, Migration and Diversity, Edward Elgar, London.     

2009    ‘Being at Home: Space for belonging in a London caff’, in A. Datta (guest editor), Theme Issue on ‘Home, Migration and the City’, in Open House International, 34(3), pp. 81-87.
*Reprinted in Dick Hobbs (Editor) 2011, Ethnography in Context: The Urban Condition, vol. 1, London: SAGE.

2008    ‘Narrating the City: Diverse spaces of urban change’, in M. Mitchell (guest editor), Theme Issue on ‘The Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources’, in Open House International, 33(2), pp. 10-17. 

Book chapters

2018    Hall, S. ‘Interior City’, in Ricky Burdett and Philipp Rode (eds), Shaping Cities in an Urban Age, London: Phaidon, pp. 120-127.

2017    Hall, S., Finlay, R. and J. King, ‘The Migrant Street’, in Suzanne Hall and Ricky Burdett (eds), The Sage Handbook of the 21st Century City, SAGE, pp. 464-477.

2017    Hall, S and Burdett, R. ‘Urban Churn’, in Suzanne Hall and Ricky Burdett (eds), The Sage Handbook of the 21st Century City, SAGE, pp. 1-9.

2017    ‘The Street is not a Square: Urban politics from the margins’, in Yvonne Franz and Christiane Hintermann (eds), Unravelling Complexities: Understanding Public Spaces, ISR-Forschungsbericht, Vienna, pp. 33-42.

2015    ‘Designing Public Space in Austerity Britain’, in Juliet Odgers, Stephen Kite and Mhairi McVicar (eds), Economy and Architecture, Routledge, Oxon, pp. 226-236.

2014  Emotion, Location and Urban Regeneration: The resonance of marginalised cosmopolitanism in Emma Jackson and Hannah Jones (eds.), Emotion and Location: Stories of cosmopolitan belonging, Routledge, London, pp.  31-43.

2014    ‘Unrecognised Street: The social space of global change’, in Ryan Locke (ed.), Shifting from Objects to Places, Ax: Johnson Foundation, Stockholm, pp. 83-92.

Research Reports

2020      Alexander, C., Carrey, S., Lidher, S., Hall, S. and J. King, Beyond Banglatown: Continuity, Change and New Urban Economies in Brick Lane, The Runnymede Trust.

2018       King, J., and Hall, S., Roman-Velazquez, P, Fernandez, A., Mallins, J., Peluffo-Soneyra, S. and N. Perez (2018) ‘Socio-economic value at the Elephant & Castle London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Sociology, London, UK.

2017    High Streets for All, We Made That and LSE Cities, commissioned by the Mayor of London, Greater London Authority, September 2017.

2015    Hall, S., King, J. and R. Finlay (2015) City Street Data Profile on Ethnicity, Economy and Migration. Rookery Road, Birmingham, an ESRC report, LSE, December 2015.

- Stapleton Road, Bristol, an ESRC report, LSE, December 2015.

- Narborough Road, Leicester, an ESRC report, LSE, December 2015.

- Cheetham Hill, Manchester, an ESRC report, LSE, December 2015.

2014    London’s High Streets: The value of ethnically diverse micro-economies, submitted by invitation to Just Space, in response to the London Plan, March 2014.

2013    Future of London's Town Centres, submitted by invitation to the Planning Committee, London Assembly, 10 January 2013.

2012    London’s High Streets: Bringing empty shops back into use, submitted by invitation to the Economy Committee,      London Assembly, 31 August 2012.

2010    Building Confidence: The emergence of the Bankside Urban Forest project, A Process Case Study, commissioned by the Council for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE).


2015    Hall, S. and Yetton, S. Ordinary Streets. A film. LSE Cities. 

Book reviews, essays and web publications

2020     ‘Drawing as Listening’, Themed Issue on ARCH+ Ethnography, ARCH+, pp. 1-5.

2019     ‘A Narrow Passage’, Themed Issue on Passages, Cityscapes, No. 9, pp. 1-3

2019     ‘Street Density’, Workshop proceedings, Rethinking Density, Department of Geography, Durham, pp. 1-3.

2019     ‘The Colonisation of the Climate: Thinking through cities and the anthropocene’, Conference keynote, Cities and the Anthropocene: A Mediterranean perspective, British Academy and Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona Conference, pp. 1-10.

2017    ‘London Night Lines’, Real Review, 3, pp. 87-93.

2016    Hall, S. and Davis, J. ‘“Worlding” the Studio: Methodological experiments and the art of being social’, in Ben Campkin and Ger Duijzings (eds.), Engaged Urbansim, I.B. Tauris, London, pp. 53-56.

2015    Book Review: N. Foner, J. Rath, J. W. Duyvendak and R. van Reekum (eds.), 2014: ‘New York and Amsterdam: Immigration and the new urban landscape’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 38(8), pp. 1449-1451.

2014    Book Review: Jones, H. 2013. ‘Negotiating Cohesion, Inequality and Change’, LSE Review of Books, 15 December.

2014    ‘World Wide Street’, Migration: A COMPAS Anthology, B. Anderson and M. Keith (eds.), COMPAS: Oxford.

2014    Book Review: Millington, G. 2011, ‘Race’, Culture and the Right to the City: Centres, peripheries, margins, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 368-70

2013    Blog Entry: ‘Multilingual Citizenship’, Discover Society, launch issue of the British Sociological Association online magazine, Issue 1, October.
* Reprinted in World on the Move vol. 20, no. 2, newsletter of the American Sociological Association’s section on International Migration.

2012    Blog Entry: ‘For the future good of our high streets we need a better understanding of the       social and economic life of local worlds in the context of global change’, British Politics and             Policy at LSE.

2012    Book Review:  Bremner, L. 2010, ‘Writing the City into Being: Essays on Johannesburg 1998-2008 and Murray, M.J. 2010 City of Extremes: The spatial politics of Johannesburg, Antipode, vol.44, no.2, pp. 1569-1571.

2009    Book Review: C. Calhoun. and R. Sennett (eds.) 2007, ‘Practicing Culture’, British Journal of Sociology, vol.60, no.1, pp. 193-195.

2009    Book Review: Shaw, W. (2007), ‘Cities of Whiteness’, Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, vol.9, no.1, pp. 164-166

2008    ‘Armed with our Inexperience: a Survey of the Walworth Road’, in Street Signs, Centre for Urban and Community Research: Goldsmiths University of London, Autumn, pp. 10-11 http://www.gold.ac.uk/media/streetsigns-aug08.pdf

2006    ‘Philippi Public Transport Interchange’ co-authored with J. Perrin, in T. Deckler, A. Graupner and H. Rasmuss, Contemporary South African Architecture in a Landscape of Transition, Cape Town: Double Storey, pp. 79-81

2003    ‘Transforming Terrain: The case of South African cities’, forward in South African Architect, Sept issue.

2002    ‘Foregrounds and Backgrounds to Housing’, in South African Architect, Jan/Feb, pp. 41-44.

2002    ‘Cities in Transition: The South African realities’ co-authored with I. Low, in The Digest of South African Architecture, vol. 6, pp.17-20.

Expertise Details

Urbanisation; Migration; Migrant city-making; Ethnography; Visual Methods