Urban Futures in the 'Asian Century' : Uncertainty, Speculation, Experimentation

Hosted in Delhi as a precursor to the 2014 Urban Age Conference

Workshop hosted by LSE Cities

Hosted in Delhi as a precursor to the 2014 Urban Age Conference, this one day workshop sought to interrogate related debates around urban uncertainty. This landmark event of the hugely popular Urban Uncertainty workshop series marks the consolidation of the on-going theoretical and empirical work of the Urban Uncertainty project at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Advancing initiatives undertaken through the project, this workshop drew together international and local academics, practitioners, and wider publics to critically examine the influence of future uncertainty on contemporary processes of urban transformation. The debates were framed within the context of the so called ‘Asian century’ in order to engage with the region’s increasingly central place in debates on global urbanism.

The event was structured as a series of conversations and exchanges between local and international scholars, practitioners, and activists. By sharing reflections on the various ways in which urban uncertainty is lived, materialised, planned for, and produced, participants critically explored the social and political effects of urban uncertainty. The discussion focused on the multiple ways in which uncertain futures shape cities and urban life, and on conceptual and methodological challenges of studying uncertain futures. Overall, the lively conversations and debates generated through this workshop substantiated our ongoing exploratory work on urban uncertainty, while opening new pathways for theorising, analysing, and comparing the diversity of ways in urban uncertainty is understood, experienced, and governed.

The Urban Uncertainty workshop series is an integral part of LSE Cities’ collaborative investigation into emerging ways of envisioning and governing the future of cities. Each session focuses on a different dimension of urban uncertainty, from health and housing to crime and climate, and brings together scholars from a handful of disciplines whose work converges on common themes.

You can access the full write up about the workshop here.


    Lalit Batra

    Geography, University of Minnesota

    Amita Baviskar

    Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi University

    Solomon Benjamin

    Indian Institute of Technology, Madras

    Gautam Bhan

    Indian Institute of Human Settlements

    Karen Coelho

    Madras Institute of Development Studies

    Anant Maringanti

    IIHS/Hyderabad Urban Lab

    Partha Mukhopadhyay

    Centre for Policy Research

    Rohit Negi

    Human Ecology, Ambedkar University

    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).

    Kavita Ramakrishnan

    Geography, Cambridge University

    Dunu Roy

    Hazards Centre

    Ananya Roy

    Ananya Roy is Professor of Urban Planning, Social Welfare and Geography and inaugural Director of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin. She holds The Meyer and Renee Luskin Chair in Inequality and Democracy.

    Awadhendra Sharan

    Centre for the Study of Developing Societies

    Jonathan Silver

    Jonathan is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the Urban Institute in the University of Sheffield. Where he is undertaking a project on ‘Postcolonial urbanisms and a comparative theory of infrastructure’. He holds a PhD from Durham University and an MA from the University of Manchester. As an urban geographer, his research agenda is concentrated on developing new ideas and vocabularies specialising in the politics of urban infrastructure with a specific focus on Ghana, Uganda and South Africa.

    Liza Weinstein

    Sociology, Northeastern University

    Yue Zhang

    Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago