New Theatrum Mundi essay on public space

9 February 2016

The UK Government Office for Science has published an essay written by John Bingham-Hall as part of Future of Cities, a foresight project looking at the opportunities and challenges facing UK cities over the next 50 years. This Theatrum Mundi essay explores the possibilities of collective approaches to public space. Many public spaces in cities are privately owned; “Future of cities: urban commons and public spaces”  looks at the practice of ‘commoning’ – creating spaces in the city owned and maintained by the local community.


Philipp Rode talks at Design After Planning

5 February 2016

Philip Rode, Executive Director at LSE Cities, will be talking today at Design After Planning on “Strategic Planning and Policy Integration: Governance hierarchies and networks in London and Berlin”. This one-day interdisciplinary conference will explore the possibility of going beyond the limitations of liberal-modernist policy-making and urban planning, and the implications of doing so.

Theatrum Mundi annouces new director, 2016 programme

3 February 2016

Dr Adam Kaasa, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Architecture at The Royal College of Art , has been appointed Director of Theatrum Mundi (TM) at LSE Cities, a research centre at The London School of Economics. For 2016 TM’s core themes are ‘Writing Cities’ and ‘New Spaces for Culture. Alongside these a third global ideas challenge will take place in Rio de Janeiro, following last year’s Designing the Urban Commons in London. Further information.

Urban Age speaker wins Pritzker Prize

14 January 2016

Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, who recently spoke at the Urban Age 10 Global Debates has been named the 2016 recipient of the Pritzker Prize, the architecture world’s equivalent to the Nobel Prize. Aravena, best known for the Elemental “half-houses” designed to help tackle poverty through incremental building,  will curate this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale. The Biennale will include a special project by LSE Cities and Habitat III.

Two new papers on Access to the City

13 January 2016

Two new papers have been added to our research on Access to the City, which focuses on the relationship between transport, urban form and social exclusion. Transportation disadvantage and activity participation in the cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, Pakistan in Transport Policy and Towards an inclusive public transport system in Pakistan in UNESCAP’s Transport and Communications Bulletin for Asia and the Pacific are by Muhammad Adeel, Anthony G.O Yeh and Zhang Feng.

Suzi Hall and Mike Savage publish paper in International Journal of Urban and Regional Research

15 December 2015

‘Animating the Urban Vortex: New Sociological Urgencies’ is written by Suzanne Hall from LSE Cities and Mike Savage from the Department of Sociology at LSE. The paper was published in December 2015 and responds to the current rethinking of worldwide processes of urbanization sparked by Brenner, and Brenner and Schmid, arguing for a renewed sociological approach to urban formations that probes beyond the economic logic of urban ‘de-territorialization’, towards the capricious life-worlds and forms of planetary organization that define the urban.

Super-diverse streets project Data Profiles | Ethnicity, economy and migration

14 December 2015

New data on ‘super-diverse streets’ provides insights into the micro-economies that provide important economic and civic resources across UK cities. These are streets that are located in ethnically diverse and comparatively deprived urban places, where urban retail spaces shape and are shaped by migrant investments.

The first phase of this project incorporates a qualitative survey conducted in 2015, on four ‘super-diverse’ high streets: Rookery Road (Birmingham); Stapleton Road (Bristol); Narborough Road (Leicester); and Cheetham Hill (Manchester). In total, the face-to-face surveys across four streets incorporate 910 units. This included 480 retail units and 351 proprietors were surveyed.

The ‘Super-diverse streets’ project is funded by the ESRC (ref: ES/L009560/1), and focuses on the intersections between city streets, ethnic diversity and economic adaptations in the context of accelerated migration.

The phase one survey of these four streets was conducted by Suzanne Hall, Robin Finlay and Julia King.
For further enquires contact Suzanne Hall (Principal investigator) on

Paris COP21 Special Feature | LSE Cities work on climate change and the environment

3 December 2015

On the occasion of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21), LSE Cities highlights some of its most relevant research and outreach around climate change, the green economy and cities, supporting the evidence base on why cities are increasingly central in efforts to reduce global carbon emissions. 

Confronting Climate Change: can cities be the solution?
An Urban Age public lecture at LSE with Nicholas Stern, Karen Seto, Bruce Katz and Philipp Rode, Tessa Jowell (chair).
19 November 2015

In the run-up to the Paris Climate Conference (COP21), this debate highlighted the fundamental role that cities can play in reducing global energy demand and limiting carbon emissions. It challenged national and international decision-makers and institutions to recognise that action at the metropolitan level can have a direct impact on the health and environmental stability of the planet, as well as promoting green jobs and social equity.

Cities and the New Climate Economy: the Transformative Role of Global Urban Growth
A paper by Graham Floater, Philipp Rode, Alexis Robert, Chris Kennedy, Dan Hoornweg, Roxana Slavcheva, Nick Godfrey. November 2014
Urbanisation is one of the most important drivers of productivity and growth in the global economy. If managed well, the potential benefits of this urban growth are substantial. However, poorly managed urban growth is likely to have substantial economic costs. This paper explores the potential of the 3C model (Compact urban growth; Connected infrastructure; and Coordinated governance) to maximise the
benefits of urban growth while minimising the costs in Emerging Cities, Global Megacities and Mature Cities, and we review examples of cities where elements of the model have already been implemented.

Steering Urban Growth: Governance, Policy and Finance
A paper by Graham Floater, Philipp Rode, Bruno Friedel, Alexis Robert.
November 2014

The pace of global urbanisation is one of the greatest challenges that governments face in the 21st century. This raises an important question for policy makers: how can governments manage the growth of cities to capture the benefits of productivity and growth, while reducing the costs of urban poverty, pollution and carbon emissions? This paper develops the argument that cities and national governments can develop an urban strategy based on the principles of the 3C model while retaining the flexibility to tailor its implementation to local circumstances.

Accessibility in Cities: Transport and Urban Form
A paper by Philipp Rode, Graham Floater, Nikolas Thomopoulos, James Docherty, Peter Schwinger, Anjali Mahendra, Wanli Fang.
November 2014

This paper focusses on one central aspect of urban development: transport and urban form and how the two shape the provision of access to people, goods and services, and information in cities. The more efficient this access, the greater the economic benefits through economies of scale, agglomeration effects and networking advantages.

Analysis of Public Policies that Unintentionally Encourage and Subsidize Urban Sprawl
A paper by Todd Litman, Victoria Transport Policy Institute.
November 2014

This report investigates evidence that current development policies result in economically excessive sprawl. It defines sprawl and its alternative, “smart growth,” describes various costs and benefits of sprawl, and estimates their magnitude. It identifies policy distortions that encourage sprawl, which mostly have direct benefits to sprawled community residents, while many costs are external, imposed on non-residents.

Better Growth, Better Climate.
The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.
September 2014

LSE Cities led the work for the cities chapter of the New Climate Economy Report.

Better Growth, Better Climate: cities and the new climate economy.
An LSE Cities public lecture at LSE with Graham Floater, Philipp Rode, Dimitri Zenghelis.
29 January 2015

This event is structured around research for the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate and the cities workstream of the Commission’s New Climate Economy (NCE) project which LSE Cities is leading. The overall aim of NCE is to provide independent and authoritative evidence on the relationship between actions which can strengthen economic performance and those which reduce the risk of dangerous climate change.

Adaptive publics: the politics of climate change in Bogotá
An article by Austin Zeiderman.
October 2015
Austin Zeiderman writes on the potential for the adaptation agenda in Bogotá to stimulate progressive climate politics elsewhere.

Towards New Urban Mobility: The case of London and Berlin
A report by Philipp Rode, Christian Hoffman, Jens Kandt, Duncan Smith, Andreas Graf.
September 2015
This report provides insight into how urban transport policy can better leverage new and emerging mobility choices in cities by investigating how people’s attitudes towards transport modes, technology and travel frame their willingness to adopt new and more sustainable forms of transport.

Going Green: how cities are building the next economy.
A keynote presentation by Philipp Rode at FutureBuilt.
3 June 2015

Philipp Rode delivered a presentation on ‘Going green: How cities are leading the next economy’ in the session on ‘The City as a Catalyst for Green Growth’ at the Future Built 2015 annual Conference in Oslo, Norway. This took place on Wednesday 3 June and focused on the benefit of climate friendly architecture and urban development as well as how cities can be catalysts for smart, green growth.

Cities and the New Climate Economy: The Role of Urban Form and Transport.
A keynote presentation by Philipp Rode at the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
9 March 2015

It has been repeatedly argued that cities have a unique opportunity to build a different model of economic growth – one that achieves the benefits of growth but with significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions alongside benefits such as improved health. This will require a focus on actions that are systematically important for how cities function including decisions around urban form, city design and transport. Philipp Rode shares the research conducted for the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.

Cities and climate change.
An LSE Cities public lecture at LSE with Joan Clos and Tony Travers on the 28 March 2011
Urban areas will have to play an increasingly important role as part of strategies addressing global climate change: due to their wealth, they disproportionately contribute to global carbon emissions. At the same time, dense, compact cities have repeatedly shown to be far more carbon efficient than other settlement types of similar affluence. Joan Clos, United Nations Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-HABITAT examined climate change in an urban context and discussed UN Habitat’s new Global Report on Human Settlements: Cities and Climate Change.

Want cheap energy bills? Move to a city
Philipp Rode in The Guardian.
21 May 2014

New research shows that the compact, taller buildings typical of inner-city areas are often the most heat-energy efficient.

Cities and Energy: Urban Morphology and Heat Energy Demand
A report by Philipp Rode, Christian Keim, Guido Robazza, Pablo Viejo and James Schofield.
March 2014

This research report focuses on heat energy efficiencies created by the spatial configuration of cities and is based on the identification of the five most dominant residential building typologies in each of the four largest European cities: London, Paris, Berlin and Istanbul.

Climate change: the city solution.
An LSE Cities public lecture at LSE with Ritt Bjerregaard on Tuesday 1 June 2010
As mayor of Copenhagen, Ritt Bjerregaard presided over a number of pioneering initiatives – including promoting cycling and low emissions zones – which help demonstrate how cities can provide solutions to global challenges such as climate change.

Cities, design and climate change.
An LSE Cities public lecture at LSE with Richard Sennett and Saskia Sassen on Tuesday 17 November 2009
With cities contributing disproportionatly to global carbon emissions, urban design is increasingly important when planning for climate change. This discussion examines the social, political and economic impacts of creative urban design solutions coming out of the world’s cities.

UNEP Green Economy report (buildings chapter)
Philipp Rode, Ricky Burdett, Joana Carla Soares Gonçalves,  Ludger Eltrop, Duygu Erten, Jose Goldemberg, Andreas Koch, Tom Paladino, Brinda Viswanathan, Gavin Blyth.
November 2011

LSE Cities was coordinating author on the ‘Buildings’ and ‘Cities’ chapters of Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication, a new report from the United Nations Environment Programme. The report challenges the myth of a trade-off between environmental investments and economic growth, and makes central the roles of cities in an emerging ‘green’ economy.

UNEP Green Economy report (cities chapter)
Philipp Rode, Ricky Burdett, Joana Carla Soares Gonçalves, Edgar Pieterse, Brinda Viswanathan, Geetam Tiwari, Dimitri Zenghelis, Debra Lam, Xin Lu.
November 2011

LSE Cities was coordinating author on the ‘Buildings’ and ‘Cities’ chapters of Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication, a new report from the United Nations Environment Programme. The report challenges the myth of a trade-off between environmental investments and economic growth, and makes central the roles of cities in an emerging ‘green’ economy.





Cities may be booming, but who is invited to the party? : Suketu Mehta in Guardian Cities

30 November 2015

In his Guardian Cities piece titled ‘Beyond the maximum: cities may be booming, but who’s invited to the party?’ Suketu Mehta writes that ‘to build a great city, a just city, we have to look at who’s included and who’s excluded’.

Suketu Mehta is the author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found, and an associate professor of journalism at New York University. He is speaking at the LSE on Thursday 3 December at the Urban Age Global Debate on Narratives of Inclusion: can cities help us live together.

Read the piece in full here.
For information about the Urban Age Global Debates click here .