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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 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.

  • Henk Ovink

    Henk Ovink

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