Five cities selected as winners in Bloomberg Philanthropies 2014 Mayors Challenge

17 September 2014

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2014 Mayors Challenge has selected its five winning cities.

The Mayors Challenge is an ideas competition that encourages cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life and that have the potential to spread to other cities.

The grand prize of €5m was won by Barcelona. The city aims to create a digital and community ‘Trust Network’ for each of its at-risk elderly residents.

Four other cities have also been awarded funds for innovative solutions to pressing urban challenges – Athens, Greece; Kirklees in Yorkshire, UK; Stockholm, Sweden; and Warsaw, Poland.

LSE Cities’ Director Ricky Burdett was a jury member on the competition, and LSE Cities carried out evaluations of the submissions.

You can read the full announcement on the Bloomberg website. 

Dame Tessa Jowell joins LSE as Professor of Practice

LSE Cities and the LSE Department of Government are pleased to announce that the London School of Economics and Political Science has appointed Dame Tessa Jowell as a Professor of Practice on a part-time basis. Professor Jowell will be working with both LSE Cities and the Department of Government in a range of academic and outreach initiatives.

Tessa Jowell will stand down from UK Parliament at the next election in May 2015 after having served as an MP for the London constituency of Dulwich and West Norwood since 1992. Throughout her career in public service, Jowell has developed extensive experience of regeneration, urban policy and building the human capital of residents in inner city and deprived areas. She was Secretary of State for the Culture, Media and Sports for the UK Government from 2001 to 2007, and Minister for the Olympics responsible for guiding the successful 2012 Olympic Games in London and setting up the dynamics for a long-term legacy in East London. She was Minister for Women in 2006-2007 and has been awarded a Menschel Senior Fellowship in advanced leadership at Harvard University School of Public Health.

At LSE she will contribute to teaching and research activities across departments, take part in the Urban Age conference on ‘Governing Urban Futures’ in Delhi in November 2014 and will coordinate a public seminar series on key issues facing Londoners from January 2015.

On Monday 8 December 2014, Tessa Jowell will deliver an inaugural public lecture in LSE’s Sheikh Zayed Theatre, Building Capacity in Urban Communities, chaired by Professor Craig Calhoun, Director of LSE.

New Climate Economy Report launched

16 September 2014

The New Climate Economy, a global partnership of research institutes has published its report, Better Growth, Better Climate: The New Climate Economy Report. A central focus of the report is on the role of cities and urbanisation as part of a new climate economy. This forms the core theme of the cities workstream, which is led by LSE Cities’ Graham Floater and Philipp Rode.

The report was produced by a Global Commission of leaders from government, business and finance, advised by leading economists and supported by major international organizations. While many organizations have produced reports on the science of climate change or the costs of denying it, this report shows that climate action is, in fact, compatible with strong economic growth.

To find out more and to read the report, click here.

LSE Cities’ Urban Uncertainty project at the Royal Geographical Society Conference

3 September 2014

LSE Cities’ Urban Uncertainty research team organised a session titled Uncertainty at the Royal Geographical Society Conference on Thursday 28th August.

Sobia Ahmad Kaker participated as a discussant for Andrew Barry’s keynote lecture titled ‘The Politics of Contingency: Crisis, Event and Situation’ on Thursday 28 August.

Austin Zeiderman chaired the session Geographies of No-Man’s Lands (2) at the conference on Wednesday 27 August.

Jon Silver chaired Pluralizing Approaches to Urban Political Ecology in a ‘World of Cities’ (1), and spoke at Pluralizing Approaches to Urban Political Ecology in a ‘World of Cities’ (2) on Friday 29 August.


Read the LSE Cities’ MSc City Design Research Studio publication

31 July 2014

Resourceful City publication now online

LSE Cities’ MSc City Design Research Studio focused on the Elephant & Castle in south London as a site for thinking about the potential of the ‘resourceful city’. Against the backdrop of large-scale redevelopment in the area, and amid the wider rhetoric of the ‘smart’ city, the students aimed to explore in more critical ways the assets, resources and capacities of such an urban context. Focusing on the central regeneration site and on the local streets and spaces that run out from it, the Studio groups analysed the connections and disconnections, diverse actors and interests, problems and potential that characterise this complex piece of city.

Resourceful City was designed and edited by MSc students Regina Kertapati and Claudia Sinatra.  It can be read as a PDF (for each chapter) here.

Now launched: The Urban Governance Survey by UN Habitat, UCLG and LSE Cities

30 July 2014

LSE Cities, working in partnership with UN Habitat and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), is inviting local government administrations to contribute to a study on ‘Governing Urban Futures’ by taking part in a short [20 min] online survey that will cover the following thematic areas: Political power, budget & financing, multi-level governance, participation & accountability, continuity & strategic planning.

The survey and its underlying research has three main objectives:

1. Address the urban governance ‘data challenge’, i.e. deal with the problem that regardless of constantly increasing information on urban governance in individual cities, we continue to have very limited knowledge on the wide spectrum of different urban governance arrangements.
2. Establish a platform for individual cities to identify international urban governance cases that are of particular relevance to their own specific situations. This would potentially allow for a more fruitful exchange of good practice.
3. Explore new and innovative ways for communicating and mapping urban governance for public dissemination, comparative policy and research analysis.

For full details, click here.