Urban Age ‘Shaping Cities’ conference videos now available

25 July 2016

On July 14-15, the Urban Age “Shaping Cities” conference brought over 40 speakers from 25 cities to Venice. During the conference, mayors, planners, architects, academics and commentators grappled with one of the dominant questions of an increasingly urban 21st century: How are cities shaped? A Conference Summary is available, however, particular points of interest included:

– behind the global statistics there are far more nuanced, and at times, contradictory patterns of urbanisation that both give voice to citizens and allow external forces to frustrate democratic processes through new ownership and planning regimes;

– that the rights to the city are both social and spatial, and that urban policy should recognise that the two are intrinsically connected rather than autonomous processes;

– that intensification and densification are fundamental to creating more environmentally and socially sustainable cities but that we need to re-learn what it means to plan well-designed urban expansion that accommodates large and small-scale interventions;

– that the practice of urban design is limited by its understanding of complex social and economic forces, and that urban policy struggles to accommodate complex processes of incremental growth and incompleteness which determine authenticity in the city;

– that the frameworks, language and practice of ‘urbanism’ is woefully inadequate when it comes to capturing the reality of much of the urbanisation of the Global South.

This was the 16th in a series of Urban Age conferences. Since 2005, over 6,000 speakers and participants have participated in conferences in several rapidly growing and mature cities including Istanbul, Delhi, New York City, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro, London and Johannesburg. The next Urban Age conference will be the second to take place in Africa.

The Conflicts of an Urban Age exhibition, a Special Project of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, can be viewed until 27 November 2016.

Urban Age Shaping Cities conference held in Venice

18 July 2016

On July 14-15, the Urban Age “Shaping Cities” conference was held at the Teatro alle Tese in Venice. Hosted by La Biennale di Venezia in partnership with Habitat III, the conference focused on  how people, institutions, policymakers, investors and designers affect the physical form of cities, and how this impacts on the way we live in them. Jointly organised by LSE Cities at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft, it was integrated with the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (28th May – 27th November 2016), the world’s most high-profile architectural event visited by over 300,000 people.
The conference was livestreamed in English and Italian and all of its content – video, written and audio – will soon be available at urbanage.lsecities.net.

Urban Age Shaping Cities conference to be livestreamed in English and Italian

7 July 2016

On July 14 at 10:30am (CET), the Urban Age “Shaping Cities” conference will commence in Venice. The two-day conference is jointly organised by LSE Cities at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft. Hosted by La Biennale di Venezia in the context of the Special Project “Report from Cities: Conflicts of an Urban Age”and in partnership with United Nations Habitat III, it will investigate how people, institutions, policymakers, investors and designers affect the physical form of cities, and how this impacts on the way we live in them. Open to all visitors to the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (28th May – 27th November 2016), the entire conference will be livestreamed in both English and Italian at urbanage.lsecities.net/streaming.

LSE Cities co-hosts seminar on the health effects of urban pollution

4 July 2016

LSE Cities today co-hosted a research seminar on the health effects of urban pollution at ETSAM in Madrid. In collaboration with Nerea Calvillo, “Urban Pollution and Health Effects: What Can Cities Do?” was the fourth and final event in the foresight seminar series run by LSE Cities as part of the New Urban Governance programme supported by the MacArthur Foundation. The series of seminars has sought to discuss the notion that ever more complex and interrelated urban challenges as well as technological change will require city institutions to adapt; focusing, in particular, on the role of big data and real-time information which in many cities have already led to the establishment of new urban governance processes and structures.

This final seminar included a general debate on the policies that may alleviate pollution in cities and what are or should be the roles of local governments, citizens, as well as private and third sector actors in facing the problem and shaping these policies. It also explored questions surrounding which innovations may assist Madrid and other cities in facing current environmental and health challenges.

Suzi Hall speaks at the University of Vienna

1 July 2016

Suzi Hall, Cities Programme Director and LSE Cities Senior Research Associate, is today presenting on “urban politics at the margins” at the University of Vienna’s summer school in urban studies. Her talk, “The street is not a square: urban politics from the margins”, will consider how the street is embedded in the context of marginalisation and argue that the figurative and physical “streetness of the street” fundamentally matters for who is able to participate in the reconfiguration of the city, and under what conditions that participation is brokered.

Interview with Ricky Burdett on Conflicts of an Urban Age

27 June 2016

La Biennale di Venezia has released a video interview with Professor Ricky Burdett on the Special Project ‘Report from Cities: Conflicts of an Urban Age.’ Professor Burdett, Director of LSE Cities and the Urban Age, curated ‘Conflicts of an Urban Age’ for the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (28th May – 27th November 2016) in the context of Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development that will be held in Quito, Ecuador on 17-20 October 2016. He describes how the exhibition highlights the conflicts of “density against sprawl”, “equality against inequality” and “regulation against laissez-faire“, within a wider 25-year context characterised by “rice fields becoming megacities” and “deserts becoming urban playgrounds.” The full interview can be viewed here.

Envisioning Migration: New article on Super-diverse Streets research

16 June 2016

A new article, “Envisioning Migration: Drawing the Infrastructure of Stapleton Road, Bristol” by Suzanne Hall, Julia King, and Robin Finlay has been published in the “New Diversities” journal. Emerging from the “Super-diverse Streets” research project, it explores the different ways drawing can be practiced to understand how migration shapes the infrastructure of the so-called ‘British’ high street. Focusing on Stapleton Road, Bristol, the article contributes to discussions on the role of drawing as a critical visual practice in social research, while elaborating on a conception of “migrant infrastructure” to bring practices of economic life into view, relating the processes of migration and marginalisation to the spaces of world, street, shop and body.

Opening of new exhibition: Johannesburg: A City Between

13 June 2016

Ed Charlton, Mellon Fellow in Cities and the Humanities at LSE Cities, has today launched an exhibition showcasing photographs and literary renderings of Johannesburg. “Johannesburg: A City Between” features photographs from Jodi Bieber’s collection, Between Dogs and Wolves: Growing up with South Africa  (1996). They reveal spaces and people struggling to survive amidst the city that was and the city yet to come. Pairing these images with words from some of the city’s most incisive biographers, this exhibition prompts to us think about how Johannesburg has always been in one way or another a twilight space, a city forever caught between its own irreconcilable extremes.

The exhibition, in LSE’s Atrium Gallery, is open to all, no ticket required. Visitors are welcome during weekdays (Monday – Friday) between 10am and 8pm (excluding bank holidays, when the school is closed, at Christmas and Easter, or unless otherwise stated on the web listing). It is open until Friday July 8, 2016.