Category Archives: LSE Cities

Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, delivers public lecture at LSE

18 February 2019

On 19 February, Rahm Emanuel discussed the role of cities as world leaders in the 21st century, in a public lecture jointly hosted by Chicago Council on Global Affairs and LSE Cities.

Cities have risen as global centres for innovation and energy across economics, entrepreneurship, culture and public policy. As the leader of the City of Chicago, Mayor Emanuel has been uniquely positioned to address the complex challenges and opportunities posed by education, health care, technology, immigration, infrastructure, climate change, and much more.

More information can be found here

Executive MSc in Cities participant presents Amaravati Taskforce Report at Happy Cities Summit

13 February 2019

Sisto Andama, a participant of our 2017-2018 Executive MSc in Cities cohort, launched the findings of the Amaravati Taskforce at the Happy Cities Summit in Amaravati, India today. The formal handing-over ceremony was attended by Chandrababu Naidu, Rt. Hon Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and Dr. Sreedhar Cherukuri, Commissioner of the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA), as well as other APCRDA and government officials. The report, entitled “Amaravati 2050: Strategic planning for sustainable housing, transport and financing” was prepared by a group of participants that have been working with the local government in Amaravati since June 2018 as part of the urban infrastructure and strategic planning course of the Executive MSc in Cities. The taskforce identifies three strategically important planning challenges for this rapidly growing new capital city and suggested ways in which Amaravati might deal with affordable housing provision, improved public and active transport, and more sustainable financing as it grows from a collection of villages into a new capital of 3.5 million inhabitants by 2050. Following the public launch, sessions to discuss the findings of the Taskforce Report in more detail with the APCRDA staff will take place later on this week.

New special issue of the Journal of Urban Affairs

23 January 2019

The most recent issue of the Journal of Urban Affairs, co-edited by Nuno F. da Cruz, Philipp Rode and Michael McQuarrie is now open to free access. This special issue, entitled New Urban Governance, shows that engaging with modern-day urban governance study and practice will require an interdisciplinary and mostly empirical research agenda from diverse global contexts. By presenting a set of articles that explore the relationships between institutional settings, national urban policies, and city-specific reforms and changes while also offering perspectives on current governance challenges and future opportunities in Brazil, China, Europe, India, and South Africa, this special issue lays an important foundation for that agenda. The article is an output from LSE Cities’ New Urban Governance research project.

Lent Term LSE Cities Seminars: The Emotional Life of the City

15 January 2019

The Emotional Life of the Cities seminars are expert led discussions hosted by LSE Cities and open to all both within and beyond the LSE Community. They are held in the LSE Cities seminar room 8.01H from 12.00-13.30 with lunch provided. 

This seminar series thinks in critical as much as creative terms about the place of extreme emotional life in the city. Gesturing toward a tradition of urban observation that extends back to the likes of Flora Tristan and Walter Benjamin and reaches forward to writers such as Rebecca Solnit and Teju Cole, seminars will provide lively, incisive commentary willing to experiment, formally as well as methodologically. If you would like to attend any of the seminars please RSVP to

The speakers and dates for the Lent Term Seminars are as follows:

January 17 2019, 12.00pm – 1.30pm

Dr Ruth Raynor (Newcastle University)

March 21, 12.00pm – 1.30pm

Dr Thomas Jellis (Oxford University)

May 2, 12.00pm – 1.30pm

Dr Lauren Elkin (Liverpool University)

For more information please contact

Over 400 people attend Urban Age conference in Addis Ababa

7 December 2018

Over 400 people attended the Urban Age “Developing Urban Futures” conference in Addis Ababa between 29-30 November 2018. They included over 60 speakers from 26 cities in Africa, Asia, Europe, South and North America. Ahead of what was the 17th Urban Age conference, speakers and guests explored Addis Ababa’s changing dynamics on a city tour guided by local experts from the EiABC, Addis Ababa University. The two-day Urban Age conference explored the interrelationships between urban form and urban society. Jointly organised by LSE Cities at the London School of Economics and the Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft, it is considered the most authoritative interdisciplinary conference on global urbanism. To coincide with the conference, an Urban Age newspaper was published with new research and contributions from keynote speakers and international urban experts. Videos and slides of presentations will be available shortly.

Urban Age Scholarships announced for LSE Executive MSc in Cities

14 November 2018

LSE Cities provides scholarships for outstanding Executive MSc in Cities applicants. The 2018/19 Urban Age scholarship recipients include Olusola Ikuforiji, Environmental Specialist: African Development Bank; Cecilia Vaca Jones, Programme Director: Bernard van Leer Foundation; and Lealem Berhamu, Deputy Commissioner: Addis Ababa City Government Plan Commission. Bloomberg Scholarships for Public Service were awarded to Prajakta Verma, Joint Managing Director: CIDCO; and Brett Herron, Member of the Mayoral Committee, Transport & Urban Development: City of Cape Town.

Now in its third year, the Executive MSc in Cities will see 24 professionals from 22 cities convene at LSE
for five teaching weeks to explore how they and their organisations can deliver effective change in their
cities. Representing diverse sectors including local government, urban design, planning, infrastructure,
real estate, social enterprise and education, the class of 2018 embodies the necessary sectoral diversity
to deal with the cross-cutting challenges and opportunities facing contemporary cities.


Programme and speaker annoucement for Addis Ababa Urban Age conference

2 November 2018

Over 60 speakers from 26 cities in Africa, Asia, Europe, South and North America will gather in Addis Ababa, using Ethiopia’s urban transformation as a platform to debate one of the most pressing problems of the 21st century: how to develop urban futures in rapidly urbanising countries that are inclusive, productive and sustainable? The conference will raise questions about the economic foundations of urban change and investigate how current models of planning and governance can achieve greater integration between productivity, accessibility and social justice.

Mayors and urban leaders of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Kampala (Uganda), Lagos (Nigeria), Medellín (Colombia), and Paris (France) will debate these questions with the key players in international and national organisations including the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Africa and Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, United Cities and Local Governments, the Cities Alliance, GIZ, the World Resources Institute, Uber, McKinsey & Company and India’s National Institute of Urban Affairs. Urban decision-makers, researchers and commentators will join leading entrepreneurs, architects, planners and designers to explore how different urban models and infrastructures are impacting on urban and rural lives.

The two-day Urban Age conference explores the interrelationships between urban form and urban society. Jointly organised by LSE Cities at the London School of Economics and the Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft, it is considered the most authoritative interdisciplinary conference on global urbanism, bringing together presidents, prime ministers, governors, mayors, designers, planners, academics and activists. This is the 17th Urban Age conferences. Held since 2005, over 6,500 speakers and participants have met to understand the dynamics of cities as diverse as London, New York City, Shanghai, Istanbul, Delhi, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg.

Jantirar Abay, Minister for Urban Development and Housing, Government of Ethiopia and Takele Uma Banti, Mayor of Addis Ababa, will provide key insights into the country’s urban transformation. Babatunde Fashola, Minister for Power, Housing and Works, Nigeria, Jean Louis Missika, Deputy Mayor of Paris, Jennifer Musisi, Executive Director, Kampala Capital City Authority, Mohammed Adjei SowahMayor, City of Accra, and Mpho Parks Tau, President, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and former Mayor of Johannesburg, alongside Ulrich Hoerning, Deputy Mayor, City of Leipzig and Erion Veliaj, Mayor of Tirana, Albania, who will broaden the discussion to other contexts of urban change.

Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Alcinda Honwana, Inter-Regional Adviser on Social Development Policy, UN DESA, Geci Karuri-Sebina, Associate, South African Cities Network, Johannesburg, Somik Lall, Lead Urban Economist, World Bank and Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology, Columbia University, NYC will outline the unique challenges African cities face, impacted by local needs and global demands.

Edgar Pieterse, Director, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town, Fasil Giorghis, EiABC, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, and other leading academics like Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning, Harvard University, Cambridge and Gautam Bham, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Delhi will ground the discussion, reflecting on the unique urban dynamics in rapidly growing cities.

The Urban Age “Developing Urban Futures” conference (November 29-30) will act as a platform for debate on the development trajectories of key sub-Saharan African cities, including Addis Ababa, Lagos, Nairobi, Kampala, Accra, Cairo, Dar es Salaam and Cape Town alongside corresponding cases from the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, South America, Europe and North Africa. It is organised around eight distinct sessions:

Core challenges for African cities: What are trends driving urban growth and core challenges confronting city leaders, investors and civic institutions in Africa?

Urban growth, productivity and innovation: How can better urban design and management help Africa’s continued urbanisation become a catalyst for productivity growth, rather than an extension of rural poverty?

Planning fundamentals: What is the relevance of Latin American social urbanism, European urban retrofitting and Southeast Asia’s development state models in shaping the new urban realities of Africa cities?

Delivering housing for all: What lessons can be drawn from national housing programmes in terms of funding, planning and participatory design for Africa cities rushing to deliver much-needed shelter?

Transport transitions and technology: How can new policy measures and investments ensure that the smart mobility transition is aligned with broader strategic goals of urban development?

Ethiopia’s urban transformation: How will the wholescale transformation of nation’s and city’s physical footprint balance the competing demands of modernisation with social inclusion and environmental responsibility?

Financing urban futures: How will governments mobilise international and domestic resources to fund expenditure, increase tax-collecting powers and boost revenues?

The inclusive city: Whose voice is being heard in the debate about the future city, how the physical fabric is being designed to promote social inclusion and environmental responsibility, and what institutions are in place to ensure that African cities are democratic, accountable, equitable and open?

One in three African nations will be represented at the conference, and Urban Age travel bursaries have been provided to participants from Khartoum (Sudan), Lusaka (Zambia), Lagos (Nigeria), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Nairobi (Kenya), Kampala (Uganda), Accra (Ghana) and Arba Minch (Ethiopia) to support broader accessibility. The conference will be livestreamed and is open to visitors who have registered at:

To coincide with Developing Urban Futures conference an Urban Age newspaper will be published with new research and contributions from keynote speakers and international urban experts. The conference is organised by LSE Cities at the London School of Economics and Political Science and the Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft and in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa; the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing, Ethiopia; the City Government of Addis Ababa; EiABC, University of Addis Ababa; the Forum for Social Studies, Addis Ababa; and the Ethiopian Civil Service University.

National Geographic interviews Ricky Burdett and Peter Griffiths on London’s future

Ricky Burdett, Director of LSE Cities and Urban Age and Peter Griffiths, Managing Editor of LSE Cities have been interviewed by National Geographic on How London Became the Centre of the World. The article, by Laura Parker, investigates how three decades of growth reinvented the urban landscape in London—and transformed it into the preeminent global city, and what the impact might be of Brexit and housing unaffordability.

The Quito Papers a fresh perspective on embracing the urban

The The Quito Papers and the New Urban Agenda, authored by Ricky Burdett, Joan Clos, Saskia Sassen, and Richard Sennett has been reviewed on LSE Review of Books. Amish Sarpotdar, a PhD student at the University of Manchester, finds the work, which emerged out of UN’s Habitat III conference, “a fresh perspective on embracing the urban” and “a welcome effort towards acknowledging and celebrating ‘a more open, malleable and incremental urbanism”.