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Urban Age Governing Urban Futures conference

Conference hosted by LSE Cities in partnership with Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft, London School of Economics and National Institute of Urban Affairs

Organised by LSE Cities at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society, the 2014 Urban Age conference investigated the link between urban governance and our capacities to engage with and shape the future development of cities.

The conference, hosted in partnership with the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), was held in Delhi on 14-15 November 2014 and acted as a platform for exchange and debate amongst over 350 policy-makers, academics, business leaders, urban designers, architects, and representatives of NGOs and local community groups. It built on the Urban Age network established through previous conferences held since 2005 in New York, Shanghai, Mexico City, Johannesburg, Berlin, Mumbai, São Paulo, Istanbul, Chicago, Hong Kong, London and Rio de Janeiro.

Speakers at the conference included key global figures in the field, including UN Habitat Executive Director Joan Clos, leading academics Edward Glaeser, Saskia Sassen, Richard Sennett, Neil Brenner, Benjamin Barber, Ananya Roy, and senior policy-maker Enrique Peñalosa.

As India enters a critical juncture in its development path and embarks on a major new urbanisation initiative, its cities will be key sites of evolution, contestation and opportunity. Speakers from different parts of the world met in Delhi to exchange experiences on decentralisation and devolution, leadership and institutional capacity, and new forms of network governance. The conference enquired into the underlying conditions and processes that allow for the participatory, effective, accountable and future oriented decision-making for cities.

The accompanying Urban Age investigation showcases interdisciplinary analysis of the major governance challenges facing cities and the strategies that are being adopted to cope with these. Alongside Delhi, governance structures and dynamics in London, Bogota, Tokyo and other cities are also explored. Discussions analyse the way urban governance operates and shapes the following key interlinked policy issues in cities: sustainable growth, innovative infrastructure, and social inclusion.