Centre staff


  • Ricky Burdett - photo

    Ricky Burdett

    Director, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science
    Professor of Urban Studies, London School of Economics and Political Science Global Distinguished Professor, New York University

    Ricky Burdett is Professor of Urban Studies, and director of LSE Cities and the Urban Age Programme. His research interests focus on the interactions between the physical and social worlds in the contemporary city and how urbanisation affects social and environmental sustainability.

    In addition to his roles at LSE, Professor Burdett is a Global Distinguished Professor at New York University, Visiting Professor in Urban Planning and Design in the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, a member of the UK Government’s Independent Airports Commission and member of Council of the Royal College of Art in London. He has been involved in regeneration projects across Europe and was Chief Adviser on Architecture and Urbanism for the London 2012 Olympics and architectural adviser to the Mayor of London from 2001 to 2006. He is a judge in the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative and is a member of the Hurricane Sandy Regional Planning and Design Competition organised by US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Professor Burdett was also a member of the Urban Task Force which produced a major report for the UK government on the future of English cities. He is co-editor of The Endless City (2007), Living in the Endless City (2011) and Transforming Urban Economies (2013).

  • Philipp Rode - photo

    Philipp Rode

    Executive Director, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Philipp Rode is Executive Director of LSE Cities and Senior Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He co-convenes the LSE Sociology Course on ‘City Making: The Politics of Urban Form’. As researcher and consultant he has been directing interdisciplinary projects comprising urban governance, transport, city planning and urban design over the last 10 years. The focus of his current work is on green city strategies which includes the coordination of the chapters on Green Cities and Green Buildings for the United Nations Environment Programme’s Green Economy Report. Rode organised Urban Age conferences in partnership with Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society in twelve world cities bringing together political leaders, city mayors, urban practitioners, private sector representatives and academic experts.

    He manages the Urban Age research efforts and recently co-authored ‘Going Green: How cities are leading the green economy’ (2012), ‘Transforming Urban Economies’ (2012) and ‘The Global MetroMonitor’ (2010); and published the reports ‘Cities and Social Equity’ (2009) and ‘Integrated City Making’ (2008). He has previously worked on several multidisciplinary research and consultancy projects in New York and Berlin and was awarded the Schinkel Urban Design Prize 2000.

    Research projects
  • Fran Tonkiss - photo

    Fran Tonkiss

    Academic Director, Cities Programme, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Fran Tonkiss is Reader in Sociology, and Director of the Cities Programme. She joined the Department of Sociology at LSE in 2004, and previously has taught at Goldsmiths College, and at the City University, London. Her research and teaching is in the fields of urban and economic sociology. Her interests in urban studies include cities and social theory, urban development and gentrification, urban divisions and public space. In economic sociology, her research focuses on markets, capitalism and globalisation, trust and social capital. Publications in these fields include Space, the City and Social Theory (2005), and Contemporary Economic Sociology: Globalisation, Production, Inequality (2006). She is the co-author of Market Society: Markets and Modern Social Theory (2001, with Don Slater), and co-editor of Trust and Civil Society (2000, with Andrew Passey). She is an editor of the British Journal of Sociology, and a member of the editorial board of Economy and society.

Centre staff

  • Sobia Ahmad Kaker - photo

    Sobia Ahmad Kaker

    Researcher, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Sobia Ahmad Kaker holds a postgraduate degree in Global Politics from the LSE, and is now pursuing a cross disciplinary PhD in cities, infrastructure, and political violence at Newcastle University. Her project analyses ‘enclavisation’ as a process that is closely tied to crises of governance and security in megacities of the global south. She has extensive professional experience as a researcher on governance, conflict and disaster management in Pakistan. She is also currently affiliated with the Center for Research and Security Studies (Pakistan) as a Visiting Research Fellow. Her research interests and expertise include urban conflict and violence, governance and local and global security.

    Research projects
  • Andrew Altman - photo

    Andrew Altman

    Visiting Senior Fellow, LSE Cities

    Andrew Altman is a Visiting Senior Fellow at LSE Cities. He was recently the founding Chief Executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company in London where he was responsible for leading the preparation of the post-games transformation of the 500-acre London 2012 Olympic Park – the largest regeneration project in the United Kingdom and Europe – into a new international growth centre. Prior to becoming Chief Executive for the Olympic Park, he was the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Planning, and Director of Commerce for the City of Philadelphia.

  • Kiera Blakey - photo

    Kiera Blakey

    BA (Hons) MA

    Programme Coordinator, Communications Assistant, LSE Cities, London School of Economics

    Kiera Blakey is Programme Coordinator at Theatrum Mundi, an LSE Cities research project. She holds an MA in Philosophy and BA in Fine Art. Her main area of research is reviewing modes of measuring value in cultural organisations. Kiera has previously worked with the British Museum, Camden Arts Centre and Southwark Council examining structures of knowledge dissemination in the arts. Kiera is also curator at Legion TV, a contemporary arts space in East London.

    Research projects
  • Sarah Davis - photo

    Sarah Davis

    BA (Hons) FCCA

    Management Accounts Coordinator, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Sarah Davis joined the Urban Age in June 2009. She manages and operates the finance activities of the programme. She acts as accounts co-ordinator for all accounting and daily financial procedures, as well as providing daily & management accounting support to management. She has previously worked as an accountant for National Air Traffic Services (NATS), the Automobile Association (AA), Thorn EMI and Foster Wheeler. She holds a BA(Hons) in Sociology from the University of Reading and is a qualified Chartered Certified Accountant. She is married with three children.

  • Graham Floater - photo

    Graham Floater

    Principal Research Fellow, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Graham Floater is a Principal Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Programme Director of the Stern programme on the Economics of Green Cities. He is Director of the Climate Centre, a group of researchers and consultants who specialise in the low carbon economy.

    Previously, he was deputy director at the Department of Energy and Climate Change and a senior advisor to the Prime Minister. He led various Reviews for No.10 including the Eliasch Review on international financial frameworks to reduce global deforestation and the Lazarowicz Review on global carbon trading. He led the creation of the UK’s £1 billion Low Carbon Industrial Strategy covering clean technology, energy efficiency and transport, and later went on to coordinate a review of the UK’s energy delivery landscape, including the creation of the Green Investment Bank and reform of Ofgem.

    He oversaw the Stern Team on the economics of climate change, and represented Lord Stern on the steering board of China’s Economics of Low Carbon Development. He held various positions in HM Treasury including private secretary to a Cabinet Minister and head of European economic negotiations. At the European Commission, he was an EU trade negotiator in the WTO.

    He has a first class degree in natural science from Oxford University, a postgraduate degree in economics from Cambridge University, and a PhD in population risk modelling from Queensland University.

    Research projects
  • Bruno Friedel - photo

    Bruno Friedel

    BA MA

    Researcher, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Bruno Friedel is a researcher at LSE Cities working on the New Climate Economy project. After working for State and Federal Members of Parliament in Australia, he came to London to undertake the MA Sustainable Cities Programme at King’s College London. He graduated with distinction, winning the ‘Best Thesis Award MA/MSc Sustainable Cities’ for his dissertation analysing domestic energy efficiency and in particular the UK Government’s Energy Companies Obligation and its application in London council housing. Previous to that, he completed a BA (Hons) in Political Science at Melbourne University.

  • Adam Greenfield - photo

    Adam Greenfield

    Senior Urban Fellow, LSE Cities

    Adam Greenfield is Senior Urban Fellow at LSE Cities, concentrating his research on the interaction of networked information technology with urban experience, and particularly on the implications of emergent technologies for the construction of public space and the right to the city.

    In 2010, he founded Urbanscale, a New York City-based practice dedicated to “design for networked cities and citizens.” Between 2008 and 2010, he lived and worked in Helsinki, as Nokia’s head of design direction for service and user interface design; earlier in the decade, he had worked as lead information architect for the Tokyo office of Internet consultancy Razorfish. He is the author of Everyware: The dawning age of ubiquitous computing (2006), “Urban computing and its discontents” (2007, with Mark Shepard) and “Against the smart city” (2013), the last of which constitutes the first part of a forthcoming book entitled The City is Here For You to Use.

    With his wife, artist Nurri Kim, Adam is also co-founder of Do projects, a platform for collaborative making. Since 2010, Do projects has conducted the innovative Systems/Layers “walkshops” in cities around the world, a series of walking tours dedicated to investigating the ways in which digital networks gather information from and return information to the street. After graduating from New York University with an honors degree in Cultural Studies in 1989, Adam has been a rock critic for SPIN Magazine, a San Francisco bike messenger, a medic at the Berkeley Free Clinic and, between 1995 and 2000, psychological operations specialist (later sergeant) in the 7 PSYOP Gp of the United States Army’s Special Operations Command. He has, additionally, taught at NYU’s graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program and the Copenhagen Institute for Interaction Design.

  • Suzanne Hall - photo

    Suzanne Hall

    BArch MCPUD PhD

    Lecturer and Research Fellow, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Suzanne Hall is an urban ethnographer and lecturer in the Department of Sociology, LSE. She has practised as an architect and urban designer in South Africa. From 1997 to 2003 she focused on the role of design in rapidly urbanising, poor and racially segregated areas in Cape Town, and her work has been published and exhibited nationally and internationally. She teaches in the MSc City Design and Social Science programme at the LSE and has taught in the Departments of Architecture at the University of Cambridge and the University of Cape Town. Her research and teaching interests include social and economic forms of inclusion and exclusion, urban multiculture, the imagination and design of the city, and ethnography and visual methods. She is a recipient of the Rome Scholarship in Architecture (1998-1999) and the LSE’s Robert McKenzie Prize for outstanding Ph.D. research (2010). She co-edited (with Dinardi and Fernández) Writing Cities (2010, LSE), and her research monograph, City, street and citizen: The measure of the ordinary, was published in June 2012.

    Research projects
  • Catarina Heeckt - photo

    Catarina Heeckt

    BA (Hons) MSc

    Researcher, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Catarina Heeckt received her MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation from the LSE in 2011. She also holds a BA (Hons) in Political Science and International Development from McGill University in Montreal. Her dissertation focused on promoting accountability in corporate water management and she has done extensive research on furthering transparency in the private sector.

    After graduating from the LSE, she spent a year working for corporate communications consultancy Context in London and New York, supporting clients such as Cisco Systems and McGraw-Hill in their internal and external sustainability communications and strategy. Prior to joining Context, she worked for the Carbon Disclosure Project on the newly established CDP Cities Team, helping large cities around the world measure and report their carbon emissions. Before that, she was a researcher at the Institute of Health and Social Policy in Montreal, where she worked on creating a global database of city-level environmental indicators for the Institute’s Sustainable Cities in a Changing Climate programme.

    Research projects
  • Anna Livia Johnston - photo

    Anna Livia Johnston

    BA (Hons) Dip. Law

    Administrator, Cities Programme, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Anna holds a degree in modern languages (Mandarin Chinese) from the University of Westminster and a Graduate Diploma in Law (City University). She has lived and studied in China and the US and worked in a wide range of roles before coming to LSE.

  • Jens Kandt - photo

    Jens Kandt

    Researcher, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Jens Kandt is a researcher at LSE Cities where he focusses on the application of quantitative methods, including survey design and spatial analysis for urban geographical research. He is particularly interested in understanding dynamics of urban environments and their implications for people’s health, transport and mobility through comparative research designs. He is also a PhD researcher at the Department of Geography, University College London, where he studies urban health disparities through geo-spatial and socio-epidemiological methods. He holds an engineering degree in planning from the German University of Dortmund and has research and work experience in the UK, India, Germany, Ghana and Hong Kong.

    Research projects
  • Madeleine Lee - photo

    Madeleine Lee

    BA MPA

    LSE Graduate Intern, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Madeleine Lee joined LSE Cities in 2013 after completing her graduate programme at the LSE with a Master of Public Administration in International Development. She has former work experience with the German Development Agency, in addition to professional experience in logistics and economic research. Her interests include the fields of disaster management, migration and urban planning policies. She is working on the RAMSES project in quantifying the economic costs and benefits of urban adaptation to climate change in addition to work on the Urban Age Conference 2014, Governing Risk and Uncertainty. Madeleine holds a B.A. in International Management with a concentration on emerging markets.

  • Tessa Norton - photo

    Tessa Norton

    MA MA

    Communications Manager, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Tessa Norton has ten years’ experience in communications and publishing, specialising in international development, communities and urban regeneration. Prior to joining LSE Cities she worked at the international NGO EveryChild, working on audience engagement, and leading and redeveloping the largest individual funding stream in the organisation. Before this she was responsible for corporate communications at the Community Development Foundation, and worked as a commissioning editor on social policy titles at Thomson Sweet and Maxwell. She is particularly interested in culture and public space, and holds an MA in Cultural and Critical Studies from Birkbeck, University of London specialising in public and participatory art, and a degree in Law from Cambridge University.

  • Emma Rees - photo

    Emma Rees

    BA (Hons)

    Executive and Admin Assistant, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Emma Rees joined LSE Cities in 2010 and has provided Executive support to both the Centre Director and Executive Director since then as well as wide-ranging administrative support to the Centre. Prior to this Emma has worked in an administrative capacity both at the NHS and the University of London.  In 2006 Emma completed her BA in English and History at the University of Southampton and is now studying an MSc in Politics and Communications part-time here at the LSE.

  • Andrea Rota - photo

    Andrea Rota

    BA MSc

    Researcher, Web Developer and Operations Co-ordinator, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Andrea Rota joined LSE Cities in 2009 as web developer and operations coordinator, creating and developing the centre’s free/open source software web infrastructure to bring legacy content in line with modern web standards and to make new research easily accessible to a wide public; he has also been developing microsites for the Urban Age conferences.

    Since 2012 he has been creating interactive data visualisations for the web, as a researcher in the centre’s European Metromonitor project.

    He has over a decade of experience in the management and development of large-scale web operations, as well as in data analysis, focusing more recently on Big Data.

    He is currently an MPhil/PhD student in the department of Sociology at LSE, focusing on the material culture of the Internet in the everyday life of university students. He holds a BA in Philosophy (Milano, Italy) and a MSc in Methods for social research (Firenze, Italy).

    Research projects
  • Priya Shankar - photo

    Priya Shankar

    BA (HONS) History from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University MA Modern History from the University of Oxford

    Research Officer, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Priya Shankar is Research Officer at LSE Cities, working on developing a research and outreach strategy on urban governance issues for the Urban Age 2014 conference to be held in Delhi. She also continues to be Senior Researcher and Project Developer at the Alfred Herrhausen Society, a role that she earlier held in a full-time capacity.

    Previously she was Senior Researcher at Policy Network. She most recently managed the Foresight project on globalisation, governance and rising powers. As part of this, she co-edited five readers on the role of China, Brazil, India, the United States and Russia in a changing world, and co-convened five international conferences in these countries bringing together political leaders, academics, and others. She has also worked on the Progressive Governance initiative, which promotes dialogue on policy challenges amongst centre-left leaders in different parts of the world. From 2006-2008, she conceptualised and managed the Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award, a traveling prize for grassroots initiatives in cities, and assisted with Urban Age India activities and research. Her writings have appeared in Internationale Politik, Global Policy, New Statesman, India Today, Times of India, Estadao São Paulo etc.

  • Andrew Sherwood - photo

    Andrew Sherwood


    Centre Manager, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Andrew Sherwood has 8 years of administrative experience within the Higher Education sector, having worked in programme management roles and more recently as European Institute Manager (LSE), before joining LSE Cities. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations and management of the Centre’s activities. He holds an LLB Law (Kings College London) and an LLM Law, specialising in Public International Law (University College London).

  • Jonathan Silver - photo

    Jonathan Silver

    BA (Hons) MA

    Researcher, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Jonathan Silver is a geographer who specializes in the governance of cities in Africa, particularly in Ghana and South Africa. His principal research interests explore the intersections between emerging climate change and energy agendas, urban infrastructures and issues of poverty and inequality.

    He has recently submitted his PhD at the Department of Geography, Durham University, ‘Reconfiguring electricity infrastructures in Accra and Cape Town; Understanding the political ecologies of networked urbanism’. Before that he had completed an MA at the Department of Geography, Manchester University and worked extensively in various international research contexts.

    Research projects
  • Roxana Slavcheva - photo

    Roxana Slavcheva

    BA MSc

    Researcher, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Roxana Slavcheva is a recent graduate of MSc Urban Economic Development from University College London, where she gained practical experience for consulting projects commissioned by the Greater London Authority in the UK and Mekelle University in Ethiopia. Her dissertation concentrated on researching successful examples of economic development and low-carbon strategies in eco-cities. This interest in the intersection of environmental and economic sustainability led her to join the LSE Cities’ New Climate Economy project, focusing on climate finance and green economy best practices around the world.

    She holds BAs in Economics and International Relations from Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts, where she has worked for various non-profit organisations focusing on tackling inner-city challenges, as well as for international affairs institutes.

  • Mona Sloane - photo

    Mona Sloane

    BA (Hons) MSc

    Programme Coordinator, Researcher, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Mona Sloane is MPhil/PhD candidate at LSE Sociology and manages the Configuring Light Project of Dr Don Slater and Dr Joanne Entwistle (King’s College). Her research interests evolve around the sociology of design, spatial atmospheres and urban aesthetics as well as material culture and Actor-Network Theory.

    Mona holds an MSc in Sociology from the LSE, where she graduated with distinction in 2012 and has been awarded the Hobhouse Memorial Prize for the best overall performance in the MSc in ‘Culture and Society’. She also completed a BA (hons) in Communication and Cultural Management (minor in Corporate Management and Economics) at Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen, Germany, and was trained as a professional dancer during her A-Levels.

    Before joining LSE Cities, she was responsible for the German division of the data collection process at the Global Executive Time Use Project, a joint initiative of the Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School and the London School of Economics researching the time management of CEOs.

    Research projects
  • Nikolas Thomopoulos - photo

    Nikolas Thomopoulos

    Research officer, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Nikolas Thomopoulos is a Research Officer at LSE Cities. His research interests are reflected in his publications which revolve around the socio-economic and business impacts of ICT for transport, the review of economic and environmental assessment methods and the evaluation of urban and regional development plans. He is currently co-editing a book about ICT for transport. Prior to joining LSE he was lecturing and researching in Leeds. He has acted as reviewer for several transport journals and as a member of the Expert Evaluation Panel of COST action project proposals. He has been involved in FP-6 and FP-7 European research projects and is currently chairing a RSA research network about ‘smart’ and ‘green’ ICT used for regional development.

    He studied economics at the University of Macedonia in Greece, then acquired his MSc in environmental policy from the University of Oxford and later completed his PhD at the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds where he was also a Marie Curie EST fellow. His work at LSE Cities is related to transport and  environmental impacts as key policy challenges to address carbon reduction, climate change and urban economic development within the New Climate Economy project.

  • Savvas Verdis - photo

    Savvas Verdis


    Senior Research Fellow, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Savvas is a Senior Research Fellow working in the advisory service of LSE Cities. He consults city and national governments on urban development strategies and the evaluation of urban projects. His most recent consultation includes an infrastructure feasibility study in the Amsterdam metropolitan area on behalf of the Dutch Government.

    Savvas has been teaching at the LSE Cities Programme since 2001 first with Richard Sennett and David Frisby and now co-convenes a course on urban project evaluation with Philipp Rode.

    From 2009 to 2012, he was founder and CEO of Rankdesk, a property ranking algorithm for residential investors. He received a PhD from Cambridge University in 2007.

  • Austin Zeiderman - photo

    Austin Zeiderman

    BA MESc PhD

    Research Fellow, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

    Austin Zeiderman is an interdisciplinary scholar who specializes in the cultural and political dimensions of cities in Latin America, with a specific focus on Colombia. He holds a PhD in Anthropology from Stanford University as well as a Master of Environmental Science degree from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Colgate University. Since 2012, he has been developing a new research project on how uncertainty about the future shapes cities and urban life.

    His research adopts an ethnographic and historical approach to shifting forms of governmental thought and practice throughout the contemporary urban world. He is particularly interested in how cities are planned, built, governed, and inhabited in anticipation of uncertain futures. His forthcoming book, Endangered City: The Politics of Security in Bogotá, focuses an ethnographic lens on the governance of environmental hazard in the self-built settlements of the urban periphery. Aspects of his research have appeared in a range of venues, such as American Ethnologist, Environment and Planning A, openDemocracy, and le Monde diplomatique. He has received fellowships and awards from the Fulbright Program, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation. Raised in Philadelphia, he has previously worked on urban and environmental issues in Baltimore and San Francisco.

    Research projects
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Photo credits

  • Professor Ricky Burdett by Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd.
  • Professor Ricky Burdett by Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd.
  • Professor Ricky Burdett by Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd.
  • profile-photo_arota by Inês Barbot
  • profile-photo_arota by Inês Barbot
  • Professor Ricky Burdett by Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd.
  • Professor Ricky Burdett by Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd.
  • Professor Ricky Burdett by Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd.
  • profile-photo_arota by Inês Barbot
  • profile-photo_arota by Inês Barbot