Ed Charlton, British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow, LSE Cities, will be talking on “Divided Feelings: Ponte City as Melancholy Archive” at the Divided Cities II: Culture, Infrastructure and the Urban Future Programme at the University of Oxford on 3 November 2017. Ponte City is an iconic tower in Johannesburg’s downtown. Charlton’s talk builds on his research into Metropolitan Melancholia. The workshop is funded by the British Council US and TORCH.
Suzanne Hall, Director of the Cities Programme, has won a Philip Leverhulme Prize (2017). Valued at £100,000, this award recognises the achievement of outstanding researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future career is exceptionally promising. The prize will see her Ordinary Streets project on how migrants inhabit the city extended to Cape Town, South Africa.
Philipp Rode, Executive Director at LSE Cities, is participating in opening panel of the Creating Urban Tech Summit in Berlin on 25 October 2017. The panel, “Roadmap Smart Cities”, will debate which technologies will shape the urban tech development over the next few years.
Muhammad Adeel, a Research Officer at LSE Cities, and freelance political and global affairs analyst Saad Khan co-authored “The curious case of urban population in Pakistan” on South Asia @ LSE. The blog examines Pakistan’s recently released census data, arguing not only has the urban population been undercounted, but that there exists an urban bias that is affecting vital service delivery. For example, if Islamabad’s ‘rural’ population – where residential expansion is now legal by law is now home to almost half of the entire population of the Islamabad Capital Territory – is taken into account, this area becomes the sixth largest city in Pakistan, with a total population of two million.
Philipp Rode, Executive Director at LSE Cities, will chair a panel on 17 October at NYU School of Law. ‘Better Transport Makes Better Cities: Tales from the Trenches’, led by the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy and free to attend, focuses on how cities are stepping up with new strategies to improve access to walking, cycling and public transit infrastructure. The event is in partnership with Transportation Alternatives, 100 Resilient Cities, and Vital Strategies.
Theatrum Mundi, which has been based at LSE Cities since 2012, is moving to Somerset House. Growing out of a series of conversations bringing together artists, performers, and urbanists to discuss shared questions about the ways culture produces public life in cities, Theatrum Mundi has developed into an independent charitable organisation.
Founded at the LSE in 2012 by urbanist and sociologist Professor Richard Sennett, Theatrum Mundi (TM) convened workshops, conferences, and publications examining the design of the urban public realm through the crafts of artistic practices such as choreography and music, and assembled a network of young artists and urbanists that generously contributed to its work. As it grew, TM coordinated more ambitious projects, such as a series of international design challenges asking whether political ideals can be designed into the city and developing programme with partners such as Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens and weareherevenice.
Within the last year at LSE Cities, under the directorship of Adam Kaasa, TM has commissioned a film bringing to life the Quito Papers with UN Habitat and presented it in events in Paris, New York, and Beijing; undertaken a major piece of research on cultural infrastructure in London to be launched at Museum of London on 14th November; created a series of experimental seminars with architects and musicians at the Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme in Paris; and produced its first book from a series of workshops on speculative fiction to be launched at Somerset House on 20th October.
TM will continue to create programmes and partnerships that aim to enrich urban design and research through encounter with arts practices, as well as providing a setting for rich critical discussion between its network of collaborators. In London, TM will be led by John Bingham-Hall, who has been with the project since 2015, with a board of trustees chaired by Richard Sennett. Through a new link with Columbia University, TM will also expand its activities in New York and Paris, as well as creating an exchange with Beijing with support from the Kaifeng Foundation.
Upcoming programming includes workshops on urban sound, a salon at the Museum of London, and film screenings raising questions about culture in migration. A full announcement detailing new staffing and programmes will be released in January 2018.
In other news: TM is recruiting for a researcher and a coordinator, so please get in touch here if you are interested in working for the new charity.
Alexandra Gomes, a Research Officer at LSE Cities, has contributed a chapter to Senses in Cities: Experiences of Urban Settings, a Routledge publication. Urban landscapes are usually thought of as engineered formations designed for functionality, however, the book explores how sights and sounds impact on our sense of quality of place. Gomes’ chapter, “A Framework of Analysis for Urban Sensory Aesthetics: Looking at Sensescapes as ‘Brush Strokes’ of an Urban Canvas” provides insight into how public spaces are perceived through touch, sight and smell.
A new working paper by the Coalition of Urban Transitions, an international initiative set up by the New Climate Economy project to work towards the sustainable economic and social transition of cities, has been released. Financing The Urban Transition found that, despite an annual global infrastructure investment deficit is $1 trillion, there could be savings generated of up to a $17 trillion by 2050 if national policymakers can transform their urban financial systems to ensure compact, coordinated, and connected cities. The working paper, which includes major input from LSE Cities and PwC examines the major financing mechanisms for achieving this. LSE Cities, as part of the coalition’s Steering Group, provides strategic advice, technical expertise, and academic research.
The 2018 cycle of the Richard Rogers Fellowship, a three-month residency residency programme based at the Wimbledon House, which was designed by Lord Rogers in the late 1960s is now open. The London-based Fellowship is intended to encourage in-depth, original forms of investigation as a way to expand both practice and scholarship. Open to accomplished practitioners and scholars, the Fellowship is inspired by Lord Rogers’s commitment to cross-disciplinary investigation and engagement, evident across his prolific output as an architect, urbanist, author, and activist. The deadline for applications is November 14, 2017. The Fellowship Selection Committee includes: Ricky Burdett, K. Michael Hays, Hanif Kara, Mohsen Mostafavi, Farshid Moussavi, Patricia Roberts, and Lord Richard Rogers.