It is with great sadness that we learnt of Tessa Jowell’s death. Tessa was Professor in Practice at LSE Cities and the Department of Government and contributed with energy and passion to our programmes. She was most recently at the School in December 2017, reflecting with master’s students on the importance of leadership. Apart from her commitment to public life, Tessa recognised how critical it is to work with young people to improve their life chances, everywhere from young women in India to school-kids in deprived areas of south London. We will miss her enthusiasm, commitment and belief in public service.
Professor Ricky Burdett, Director of LSE Cities
The Urban Age “Developing Urban Futures” conference will take place in Addis Ababa on 29–30 November 2018. Jointly organised by LSE Cities at the London School of Economics and the Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft, the conference will focus on the development of cities in rapidly urbanising countries. By convening urban experts, policymakers and practitioners from Sub-Saharan Africa and other world cities, the conference will raise questions about the economic foundations of urban change and investigate how current models of planning and governance succeed or fail to achieve greater integration between efficiency, accessibility and social justice. This will be the seventeenth Urban Age conference organised since 2005, most recently in Delhi, the Venice Biennale, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro and London.
Urban Age research has been featured in Urban Sustainability Framework, a World Bank report aimed at providing a global platform for sustainble cities. The research includes trends in decoupling economic growth from resource use and enviormental impacts with case studies from Berlin, Copenhagen, London and New York City.
Professor Ricky Burdett, Director of LSE Cities, delivered the keynote at the opening of the 2017 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism in Seoul on 1 September. urbanNext recorded the talk on Global Cities: London and Seoul (video). The Seoul Biennale, which runs from 2 September to 5 November 2017 at Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), is introduced by Dynamics of the Urban Age, an exhibition that highlights the spatial and social consequences of dramatic urban growth in cities across the world.
Professor Ricky Burdett, Director of LSE Cities, will deliver the keynote at the opening of the 2017 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism in Seoul on 1 September. “Conflicts of the Urban Age: Lessons from London” will draw on lessons from the Urban Age, a research programme that has investigated the future of cities for over a decade. Registration (English version) is required to attend the keynote. The Seoul Biennale, which runs from 2 September to 5 November 2017 at Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), is introduced by Dynamics of the Urban Age, an exhibition that highlights the spatial and social consequences of dramatic urban growth in cities across the world.
LSE Cities is hosting two sessions as part of the African Centre for Cities international urban conference on 1-2 February 2018 in Cape
Town, South Africa. These sessions form part of the prelude to the next Urban Age conference, which will be hosted in an African city towards the end of 2018. The subject of the LSE Cities-hosted sessions will be: digitalisation and technology, particularly with respect to models of transport; and urban informality, particularly with respect to infrastructure. Please see the call for papers for more details.
Conflicts of an Urban Age opened today at BOX Freiraum in Berlin, and will run until 29 July 2017. The exhibition was first developed as a Special Project for the 15th International Architecture Exhibition (2016) of La Biennale di Venezia. The exhibition, jointly organised by LSE Cities and the Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft, highlights the spatial and social consequences of dramatic urban growth in cities across the world between 1990 and 2015. It describes how seven cities – Addis Ababa, Berlin, Istanbul, London, Mexico City, Mumbai and Shanghai – have changed over this 25-year period, foregrounding individual narratives on how the physical environment has adapted to societal change and presenting data on the urban dynamics that affect people’s lives. The exhibition also presents the findings of the Urban Age research programme, exploring the way selected cities perform in global hotspots of urbanisation and revealing the complex patterns of urban growth, mobility, density, social inclusion, economic development, environmental impact and governance structures that lie behind cities as diverse as Mexico City and Tokyo, Berlin and Johannesburg, Istanbul and London.
Alongside the exhibition, Urban Talks focusing on Berlin and on participative and sustainable approaches to planning and designing cities will be held each Wednesday at 7pm. For more information and to register click here.
Conflicts of an Urban Age was first developed as a Special Project for the 15th International Architecture Exhibition (2016) of La Biennale di Venezia. Now, the exhibition – jointly organised by LSE Cities and the Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft – will be displayed at BOX Freiraum in Berlin from 21 June to 29 July 2017. Conflicts of an Urban Age highlights the spatial and social consequences of dramatic urban growth in cities across the world between 1990 and 2015 by focusing on seven case studies: Addis Ababa, Berlin, Istanbul, London, Mexico City, Mumbai and Shanghai. It foregrounds individual narratives on how the physical environment has adapted to societal change and presents data on the urban dynamics that affect people’s lives, while featuring select examples of ‘incremental’ and ‘instant’ urbanism that are shaping the conflicts and tensions of the contemporary city.
In October 2016 the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development took place in Quito, Ecuador. The UN Conferences on housing/human settlements (Habitat) occur every 20 years (1976, 1996 and 2016). Habitat III was convened to reinvigorate the global commitment to sustainable urbanisation and to focus on the implementation of a New Urban Agenda for the next 20 years.
The New Urban Agenda is an action-oriented document which sets global standards of achievement in sustainable urban development, rethinking the way we build, manage, and live in cities in coming decades through drawing together cooperation with committed partners, relevant stakeholders, and urban actors at all levels of government as well as the private and third sectors. The ambitious document was adopted by United Nations member states during Habitat III.
LSE Cities and the Urban Age programme provided significant contributions to the official Habitat III programme and the establishment of the New Urban Agenda. This included:
- Co-hosting a three-hour Dialogue (300 people) on the Habitat III Policy Unit 4 ‘Urban Governance and the New Urban Agenda’ with United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). LSE Cities also co-led the preparatory process of Policy Unit 4 during 2015 and 2016. The policy paper also became an official UN General Assembly document.
- Hosting an official Side Event (150 people) on Conflicts of an Urban Age which looked at whether spatial planning policy can tame urban growth and what the impacts of urban form are, if any, on productivity, the environment and social inclusion.
- Organising one of three Urban Talks (2,500 people). ‘Designing the Urban Age’ featured Ricky Burdett, Richard Sennett, Saskia Sassen and Joan Clos. Unlike other events, which had several parallel events, Urban Talks were the only events available in their respective time slot.
- An Exhibition stand of Urban Age and LSE Cities material where, during the course of four days, over 5,000 people engaged with some of the core themes investigated by the Centre.
- Participation of LSE Cities staff in events co-ordinated by other organisations.
- Numerous meetings and networking opportunities with all levels of government, NGOs, private sector and leading academic institutions across the globe, and an important opportunity to establish strategic contacts in Africa and those involved with shaping Africa’s urban future.
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.