A vision for the next urban economy: from macro to metro

Public lecture of the LSE Works series hosted by LSE Cities

LSE Cities and the Brookings Institution have carried out new research on how cities and metropolitan areas are responding to current economic challenges. Ricky Burdett discussed how selected European and Asian cities – Torino, Barcelona, Munich and Seoul – have overcome crises in the recent past and shown significant progress in urban economic development over the past two decades.

Bruce Katz outlined a vision of the next American economy, one that is driven by exports, powered by low carbon, fueled by innovation and rich with opportunity and led by major metropolitan areas, which concentrate the nation’s economic assets. This included connecting lessons of economic restructuring from abroad to the challenges facing US metros.

A central finding of the research is that cities will continue to play a critical role in creating and sustaining stable economies that foster social inclusion and environmental equity, but only if metropolitan governance is active and aligned, and cities continue to invest in social capital, job creation and quality of place.

Event materials



Listen to podcast


  • Ricky Burdett

    Ricky Burdett

    Ricky Burdett is Professor of Urban Studies and Director of LSE Cities and the Urban Age Programme. He sits on the Mayor of London’s Cultural Leadership Board, is a Council Member of the Royal College of Art and Trustee of the Norman Foster Foundation. He was Chief Advisor on Architecture and Urbanism for the London 2012 Olympics and architectural advisor to the Mayor of London from 2001 to 2006. He was Director of the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2006 and curator of the Global Cities exhibition at Tate Modern in 2007. Burdett has been on architectural juries for high-profile projects including Tate Modern, London’s Aquatic Centre, Rothschild Bank Headquarters, Holland Green and Elizabeth House and has worked on major regeneration projects across Europe and the USA, including the 8-million sq ft redevelopment around Penn Station in New York City. He was appointed CBE in the Queen’s 2017 New Year’s Honours List.

  • Bruce Katz

    Bruce Katz

    Bruce J. Katz is a vice president at the Brookings Institution and founding director of the Metropolitan Policy Program. He is also co-author of The Metropolitan Revolution (Brookings Press, 2013), a distillation of his work on the emerging metropolitan-led "next economy" and its practitioners around the country working to produce more and better jobs driven by innovation, exports and sustainability. Katz regularly advises federal, state, regional and municipal leaders on policy reforms that advance the competitiveness of metropolitan areas.

  • Alexandra Jones

    Alexandra Jones

    Alexandra is Chief Executive of Centre for Cities. She is an influential voice in the cities debate, regularly providing advice for senior policymakers in national and local government as well as Local Enterprise Partnerships and businesses. She is also chair of the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium and the Fast Growth Cities group, a Commissioner on the London Finance Commission and the Cardiff Capital Growth Commission, and is a member of the HEFCE Catalyst Fund panel.