Shaping Cities in an Urban Age (London)

Book launch hosted by LSE Cities


2.5 billion more people will be living in cities by 2050. Nearly 90 per cent of this growth will take place in Asia and Africa. China alone will be home to nearly one billion urban residents by 2030. India is not far behind: but nearly 80 per cent of the urban infrastructure that will exist in 2050 has yet to be built. The decisions we take in the next decades will affect humankind for generations to come.

The Urban Age project has investigated these changes for over a decade, culminating in a new book, Shaping Cities in an Urban Age, edited by Ricky Burdett and Philipp Rode. The book is the third and final instalment in the ground breaking ‘Endless Cities’ series published by Phaidon.

Featuring 37 essays by leading policy makers, practitioners and scholars, Shaping Cities in an Urban Age, brings together authoritative research and fresh insights that explain the complexities of urbanisation. The book offers new perspectives on the dynamics of urban change and identifies and argues powerfully for a more integrated social, environmental and spatial approach that can inform and inspire the city makers who are shaping an increasingly urban world. It tracks how cities such as Addis Ababa, London and Delhi have transformed since 1990 and compares patterns of growth, inequality and energy consumption of other global locations, including New York, Hong Kong and Rio de Janeiro.

This event celebrated the global launch of Shaping Cities in an Urban Age, and included a panel with prominent authors featured in the publication. Drawing on a range of contemporary urban experiences, the panel explored current trends that are making cities more fragmented, less equitable and environmentally more damaging. This session extended to discuss how cities play a critical role in addressing these challenges and harnessing opportunities in an increasingly urban world.

Event materials


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    Eduarda La Rocque

    Eduarda La Rocque is a partner at Usina Pensamento and holds a PhD in Economics from PUC-Rio, Brazil. She is internationally renowned for her innovative administration as Rio de Janeiro’s Municipal Secretary of Finance (2009–12), as well as having served as president of Pereira Passos Municipal Institute (IPP; 2012–15). La Rocque was previously a partner at BBM Bank, president of the Brazilian Bank Federation’s Risk Control Commission (FEBRABAN) and president of the Corporate Risk Control board at the Brazilian Institute of Corporate Governance (IBGC). At IPP she focused on public–private partnerships to promote transparency, urbanchange and social inclusion and won two international prizes – from UN-Habitat and IFC/Cities Alliance – for the UPP Social programme of urban economic and social development in Rio slums.



    Saskia Sassen

    Saskia Sassen is Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and co-chairs its Committee on Global Thought. Her research and writing focuses on, immigration, global cities, the new networked technologies, and changes within the liberal state that result from current transnational conditions. Her most recent book is Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy (Harvard University Press 2014). She has received multiple honours, most recently the 2013 Principe de Asturias Prize for the Social Sciences.

    Nicholas Stern

    Nicholas Stern is the IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government and Chairman of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. He is President of the British Academy since 2013, and a Fellow of the Royal Society since 2014. He was Second Permanent Secretary to Her Majesty’s Treasury from 2003-2005; and Head of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, published in 2006. He has published more than 15 books and 100 articles, his most recent book is Why are We Waiting? The Logic, Urgency and Promise of Tackling Climate Change.

    Ricky Burdett

    Ricky Burdett is Professor of Urban Studies at the London School of Economics (LSE), and director of LSE Cities and the Urban Age project. He is a member of the Mayor of London’s Cultural Leadership Board, and 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 International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 2006. With Deyan Sudjic he is co-editor of The Endless City (2007) and Living in the Endless City (2011) and, with Philipp Rode Shaping Cities in an Urban Age (2018).