Migration is integral to the cultural and economic life of cities. Yet we live in a migration milieu in which migrants are rendered as illegal subjects, and where migration processes are reduced to crises at national border points. This event explored the relation between cities, migrants and migration systems. The event also launched ‘The Sage Handbook of the 21st Century City’ edited by Suzanne Hall and Ricky Burdett, both of LSE Cities. This edited collection engages with the volatile processes of urbanisation that reveal the turbulent nature of our early twenty-first century.