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The tale of two regions

Symposium hosted by Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, LSE Cities and PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency

LSE Cities, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment present:The tale of two regions

A comparison between the metropolitan areas of South East England and the Randstad Holland

Click here to read the full report.

How can European cities establish a healthier metabolism, while still maintaining economic growth? How can regional authorities promote access to both jobs and green for all income groups? How should planners respond to moderate economic growth or even decline? Making metropolitan areas more viable and more sustainable requires us to connect our thinking of the regional economy with its social capital and culture.

How can we make cities with a ‘regional DNA’ better? What can we learn from our neighbours? Over a period of eighteen months, the London School of Economics, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the Directorate General for National Spatial Planning of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment (DGR) have performed research in these questions, comparing London and the Randstad. By presenting facts and figures on London and the Randstad, and by positioning them in the context of analysis and explorative thinking about what makes cities strong, we hope to inspire debate on the future of the regional metropolis.

Ricky Burdett, professor of Urban Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Director of LSE Cities and the Urban Age programme, handed over the results to the Queen’s Commissioner in the Province of Zuid-Holland Jan Franssen. In the following programme we aimed to present our findings and open up a discussion on Making Cities.

Chaired by Henk Ovink, Deputy Director General and Director of National Spatial Planning at the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.


  • Ricky Burdett

    Ricky Burdett

    Ricky Burdett is Professor of Urban Studies at LSE and Director of the Urban Age and LSE Cities, a global centre of research and teaching at LSE which received the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education 2016-18. He is a member of the Mayor of London’s Cultural Leadership Board and was Director of the Venice International Architecture Biennale and Curator of the Global Cities Exhibition Tate Modern in London. He has previously been a member of the UK Government Airport Commission (2012-2015) and a member of UK Government’s Urban Task Force. In 2014, Burdett was a Visiting Professor in Urban Planning and Design at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University and Global Distinguished Professor at New York University (2010-2014). Alongside his academic activities, Burdett acts as a consultant to national and city governments, private companies and philanthropic agencies. He was Chief Adviser on Architecture and Urbanism for the 2012 London Olympics and Adviser on Architecture and Urbanism, Mayor of London (2001-2006). He is co-editor of ‘Shaping Cities in an Urban Age’ (2018), ‘The SAGE Handbook of the 21st Century’ (2017), ‘Living in the Endless City’ (2011) and ‘The Endless City’ (2007). Burdett was appointed CBE in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list for services to urban design and planning. Other trusteeships: Norman Foster Foundation.

  • Henk Ovink

    Henk Ovink

    Henk Ovink is Special Envoy for International Water Affairs at Kingdom of the Netherlands.