On 27 November, the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – ‘Reporting From the Front’ – organised by La Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta and curated by Alejandro Aravena concluded in Venice, Italy. The exhibition, which lasted 6 months and registered 260,000 visitors, featured LSE Cities’ Special Project “Conflicts of an Urban Age”, which explored the trends and implications of the past twenty-five years of global urban growth. It outlined global urban trends from 1990-2015, including comparison of how Los Angeles, Johannesburg, London, Manila, Kolkata, Accra, Madrid, Kinshasa, Singapore, Bogotá, Quito, Dhaka, Kabul, and Hong Kong have grown. A projection of future growth highlighted how accommodating the world’s urban population by 2030 at Los Angeles’ density would cover almost half of the European Union; at Hong Kong’s density, the global urban population would take up less than half of Italy.
Conflicts of an Urban Age also included seven case study cities – Shanghai, Addis Ababa, London, Istanbul, São Paulo, Mexico City, and Mumbai – to provide an in-depth understanding of the major changes that have impacted on equality and access to open space since 1990. Film-based animations provided analytical texture to the case study cities, while comparable statistics and analysis of spatial, social and environmental data provided insight into the consequences of planning decisions on the social and physical fabric of these cities. Two other sections – Solutions from Above and Solutions from Below – contrasted top-down interventions with smaller, community-led initiatives supported by urbanXchanger.
The Special Project was jointly organised by the London School of Economics and Political Science and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft. All of the photographs and data from Conflicts of an Urban Age can be accessed here.