Nuno Ferreira da Cruz and colleagues have published a paper entitled ‘Structuring composite local governance indicators’ in the journal Policy Studies. The authors argue that using a multi-criteria model which employs several objective (quantitative and qualitative) indicators and relies on a participatory method to aggregate them is a suitable way of developing sensible Local Governance Indicators.
On July 14-15, the Urban Age “Shaping Cities” conference brought over 40 speakers from 25 cities to Venice. During the conference, mayors, planners, architects, academics and commentators grappled with one of the dominant questions of an increasingly urban 21st century: How are cities shaped? A Conference Summary is available, however, particular points of interest included:
– behind the global statistics there are far more nuanced, and at times, contradictory patterns of urbanisation that both give voice to citizens and allow external forces to frustrate democratic processes through new ownership and planning regimes;
– that the rights to the city are both social and spatial, and that urban policy should recognise that the two are intrinsically connected rather than autonomous processes;
– that intensification and densification are fundamental to creating more environmentally and socially sustainable cities but that we need to re-learn what it means to plan well-designed urban expansion that accommodates large and small-scale interventions;
– that the practice of urban design is limited by its understanding of complex social and economic forces, and that urban policy struggles to accommodate complex processes of incremental growth and incompleteness which determine authenticity in the city;
– that the frameworks, language and practice of ‘urbanism’ is woefully inadequate when it comes to capturing the reality of much of the urbanisation of the Global South.
This was the 16th in a series of Urban Age conferences. Since 2005, over 6,000 speakers and participants have participated in conferences in several rapidly growing and mature cities including Istanbul, Delhi, New York City, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro, London and Johannesburg. The next Urban Age conference will be the second to take place in Africa.
On July 14-15, the Urban Age “Shaping Cities” conference was held at the Teatro alle Tese in Venice. Hosted by La Biennale di Venezia in partnership with Habitat III, the conference focused on how people, institutions, policymakers, investors and designers affect the physical form of cities, and how this impacts on the way we live in them. Jointly organised by LSE Cities at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft, it was integrated with the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (28th May – 27th November 2016), the world’s most high-profile architectural event visited by over 300,000 people.
The conference was livestreamed in English and Italian and all of its content – video, written and audio – will soon be available at urbanage.lsecities.net.
LSE Cities Researcher Nicole Badstuber today participated in a meeting of the London Assembly’s Budget and Performance Committee as an expert guest to discuss the challenges facing Transport for London and the implications of the new Mayor’s commitments (see the agenda here). At LSE Cities, Nicole works on the New Urban Governance project, investigating the governance networks of urban transport in London and New York. A transcript of the discussion on Transport for London’s Financial Challenge can be found here.
On July 14 at 10:30am (CET), the Urban Age “Shaping Cities” conference will commence in Venice. The two-day conference is jointly organised by LSE Cities at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft. Hosted by La Biennale di Venezia in the context of the Special Project “Report from Cities: Conflicts of an Urban Age”and in partnership with United Nations Habitat III, it will investigate how people, institutions, policymakers, investors and designers affect the physical form of cities, and how this impacts on the way we live in them. Open to all visitors to the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (28th May – 27th November 2016), the entire conference will be livestreamed in both English and Italian at urbanage.lsecities.net/streaming.
LSE Cities today co-hosted a research seminar on the health effects of urban pollution at ETSAM in Madrid. In collaboration with Nerea Calvillo, “Urban Pollution and Health Effects: What Can Cities Do?” was the fourth and final event in the foresight seminar series run by LSE Cities as part of the New Urban Governance programme supported by the MacArthur Foundation. The series of seminars has sought to discuss the notion that ever more complex and interrelated urban challenges as well as technological change will require city institutions to adapt; focusing, in particular, on the role of big data and real-time information which in many cities have already led to the establishment of new urban governance processes and structures.
This final seminar included a general debate on the policies that may alleviate pollution in cities and what are or should be the roles of local governments, citizens, as well as private and third sector actors in facing the problem and shaping these policies. It also explored questions surrounding which innovations may assist Madrid and other cities in facing current environmental and health challenges.
Suzanne Hall, Cities Programme Director and LSE Cities Senior Research Associate, is today presenting on “urban politics at the margins” at the University of Vienna’s summer school in urban studies. Her talk, “The street is not a square: urban politics from the margins”, will consider how the street is embedded in the context of marginalisation and argue that the figurative and physical “streetness of the street” fundamentally matters for who is able to participate in the reconfiguration of the city, and under what conditions that participation is brokered.