Governing Compact Cities

Book launch hosted by LSE Cities

Governing Compact Cities investigates how governments and other critical actors organise to enable compact urban growth, combining higher urban densities, mixed use and urban design quality with more walkable and public transport-oriented urban development. In this talk, Philipp Rode drew on empirical evidence from London and Berlin to examine how urban policymakers, professionals and stakeholders have worked across disciplinary silos, geographic scales and different time horizons since the early 1990s.

Rode focused on how the underlying institutional arrangements connecting strategic urban planning, city design and transport policy in the two case study cities has supported more integrated urban governance and enabled more compact growth.

Photography courtesy: Colin / Wikimedia Commons

Event materials


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    Philipp Rode

    Philipp Rode is Executive Director of LSE Cities and Associate Professorial Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. As researcher, consultant and advisor he has been directing interdisciplinary projects comprising urban governance, transport, city planning and urban design at the LSE since 2003. The focus of his current work is on institutional structures and governance capacities of cities, and on sustainable urban development, transport and mobility. Rode is co-directing the cities workstream of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate and has co-led the United Nations Habitat III Policy Unit on Urban Governance. He is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP).

    Sue Parnell

    Susan Parnell is the Global Challenges Chair, University of Bristol & Emeritus Professor, University of Cape Town. She has been actively involved in local, national and global urban policy debates around the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal and is an active advocate for better science policy engagement on cities. She co-founded the African Centre for Cities and held previous academic positions at Wits University and the School of Oriental and African Studies as well as visiting research fellowships from Oxford, Durham and the British Academy. She was a Leverhulme Visiting Professor at UCL and Emeka Anyaoku  and visiting Chair, University of London. Recent books include Building a Capable State: Post Apartheid Service Delivery (Zed, 2017) and The Urban Planet (Cambridge, 2017).

    Ben Plowden

    Ben Plowden is Director of Strategy and Network Development for Surface Transport at Transport for London. He has been at Transport for London since 2002, in which time he has held a number of senior roles including Managing Director of Communications and Director of the Smarter Travel programme.   Ben’s current role includes accountability for planning and delivery of London’s highways capital programme, delivery of the Mayor’s Ultra Low Emission Zone and wider business strategy.   Prior to working at TfL, Ben spend ten years in the non-profit sector, including being the founder CEO of the walking advocacy group Living Streets.  

    Tony Travers

    Tony Travers is Director of the IPA and also of LSE London.  He is a professor in the Department of Government. His key research interests include local and regional government and public service reform. He has been an advisor to the Communities & Local Government Select Committee and also to other Parliamentary committees. He has published a number of books on cities and government, including Failure in British GovernmentThe Politics of the Poll Tax (with David Butler and Andrew Adonis); Paying for Health, Education and Housing: How does the Centre Pull the Purse Strings (with Howard Glennerster and John Hills); The Politics of London: Governing the Ungovernable City and, most recently, London’s Boroughs at 50. He has chaired a number of official commissions, including the Independent Commission on Local Government Finance in Wales and the London Finance Commission.