Theme announced for 2013 Urban Age conference

Urban Age Conference: City Transformations Rio de Janeiro, 24-25 October 2013

Organised by LSE Cities at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society, the 2013 Urban Age conference will investigate the impact of large scale urban development projects on the social, economic, political and physical make-up of cities.

The conference will be held in the Olympic City of Rio de Janeiro in October 2013 and will act as a platform for exchange and debate amongst over 150 policy-makers, academics, urban designers, architects, and representatives of NGOs and local community groups building on the Urban Age’s network established through previous conferences held since 2005 in New York, Shanghai, Mexico City, Johannesburg, Berlin, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, Istanbul, Chicago, Hong Kong and London.

Click here to register your interest in attending the Urban Age City Transformations Conference.

4 June 2013: Arup Foundation lecture with Jo da Silva

On Tuesday 4 June 2013 in LSE's Sheikh Zayed Theatre, Jo da Silva gave the Arup Foundation lecture "From Response to Resilience: the role of the engineer in disaster risk reduction". Da Silva explored how engineers and built environment professionals need to shift from responding to natural disasters to building everyday resilience within homes, communities and cities.

5 June 2013: Multilingual Streets - London's litmus strips of change

On 5 June 2013, LSE Cities and the London Festival of Architecture hosted a lecture by Suzanne Hall on 'Multilingual Streets: London's litmus strips of change', followed by discussion and drinks.

The event discussed how accelerated change is expressed in the cultural and economic life of London’s streets. Focusing on Rye Lane in Peckham and the Walworth Road, the talk explored urban dimensions of spatial and social exchange.

Urban Age Electric City Conference

The eleventh Urban Age conference took place in central London on 6-7 December 2012. This year the conference focused on the ‘Electric City’ - a detailed investigation of how the combined forces of technological innovation and the global environmental crisis are affecting urban society.

Organised by LSE Cities at the London School of Economics and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society, and supported by the Mayor of London, the two-day event explored a number of themes that connect technology, the environment and cities.

Speakers including David Cameron, Saskia Sassen, Anthony Giddens, Craig Calhoun, Tessa Jowell and Richard Sennett tackled the social dimension of technological change, addressing questions of adaptation and change in individual and collective behaviour. The objective of the Urban Age Electric City conference – and the research leading up to it – is to provide a fresh perspective on how to accelerate the current sociotechnical transition of cities in order to more effectively respond to the urgent environmental and economic challenges.

For an extended overview of the conference, including downloadable videos and presentations, please visit the conference microsite.

The Mellon Fellowship Programme at LSE in Cities and the Humanities 2013

Shortlisting is currently in progress for the first Mellon Fellowship Programme at LSE in Cities and the Humanities.

This major new initiative within LSE Cities exploring the intersection of architecture, urbanism and the humanities is supported by a grant of US$900,000 by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The programme will run for approximately four years, with the first Fellow due to take up post in Autumn 2013. The initiative will also see the inception of the Urban Research Network, a new project to launch a network of urban scholars.

For more information about the Mellon Fellowship programme, click here. 


LSE Cities partner in RAMSES: Science for cities in transition

LSE Cities is a partner in RAMSES, a major project on climate change adaptation in cities, funded by the European Commission.

RAMSES (Reconciling Adaptation, Mitigation and Sustainable Development for Cities) is a European research project which aims to deliver much needed quantified evidence of the impacts of climate change and the costs and benefits of a wide range of adaptation measures, focusing on cities. LSE is a project partner within a consortium of thirteen public and private research institutions across eight European countries. The project started in October 2012 and will run until 2017.

You can read more about RAMSES, including details of the partners, at both the project website and the LSE Cities website.

New programme of research: Urban Uncertainty - Governing Cities in Turbulent Times

The Urban Uncertainty project is a collaborative investigation into emerging ways of envisioning and governing the future of cities. Combining empirical research with theoretical exploration, it seeks to develop a set of conceptual tools for analysing and comparing the diversity of ways in which urban governments and populations orient themselves towards the uncertain and the unknown.

In the context of heightened anxiety about climate change, financial crisis, armed conflict, political instability, natural disaster, and disease outbreak, the driving question behind this effort is: How are contemporary cities governed, built, planned, and lived in anticipation of uncertain futures?

The project is divided into two interrelated initiatives: 1) case studies from a select group of cities (Karachi, Bogotá, Accra, Johannesburg); and 2) a workshop series that focuses on different dimensions of urban uncertainty, from health and housing to crime and climate.

For more information about Urban Uncertainty, visit the project website.

Negotiating spaces: Theatrum Mundi launches new salon series

Negotiating Spaces is a new nine-month investigation on themes emerging from over a year of collaborative workshops in London, New York, Frankfurt and Copenhagen. The project will convene a working group of 30 practitioners from backgrounds as diverse as architecture, urban planning, choreography, music, software design, performance, acoustic engineering, sociology, literature, activism, geography and contemporary art to consider the divergent tools these practices hold to create and negotiate spaces in the contemporary city.

At the core of the investigation is the question of 'Negotiation' as a central tenet of the contemporary city in two senses: First to negotiate as in the practice of deliberation, dialogue, contestation and compromise. Second to negotiate is also to overcome, to find a way over or through. 'Negotiating Spaces' reflects these two tactics for navigating the urban. This collaborative investigation is a first step to uncover the tools and experiences from a wide range of disciplines in the spatial practices, visual and performance arts, in an effort to ask questions about how we negotiate spaces today.

Four salons centred on the themes of Time, Knowledge, Place and Material build up to a public symposium in the Spring of 2014. The first salon 'Negotiating Time: Can the temporary leave a trace?' launched on 25 June 2013 at The Shed, National Theatre.

For more information about this collaboration and other Theatrum Mundi projects, visit the project website.

European Metromonitor: Previously unseen data shows impact of financial crisis

LSE Cities has launched a new free online resource, supported by the Higher Education Innovation Fund, which shows the impact of economic recession and recovery in over 150 of Europe’s largest metropolitan areas.

Drawing on forecasting data previously unavailable to the public, the European Metromonitor features an interactive map, offering users the chance to browse data visualisations showing how the financial crisis has affected European cities.

To browse the European Metromonitor and the interactive map, click here.

Stockholm: Green Economy Leader Report launched on 4 June

On 4 June in Stockholm, Graham Floater, Philipp Rode and Dimitri Zenghelis, directors of the LSE’s Economics of Green Cities Programme – launched a pivotal new piece of research, Stockholm: Green Economy Leader Report.

Stockholm is a leading city for green economic growth. Despite the global downturn, the city’s low carbon economy remains highly competitive and well positioned for driving sustained growth in the medium to long term. The report shows that Stockholm’s impressive growth has been delivered while increasing environmental performance and transitioning to a low carbon economy. It looks in detail at what Stockholm must do to maintain this position as a green leader, and how it might meet the ambitious targets it has set for itself.

For more information, and to download the report, click here.

Going Green: How cities are leading the next economy

In June 2013, LSE Cities launches the final edition of the report of our City Survey on Green Policy, Going Green: How cities are leading the next economy. 

The City Survey on Green Policy involved a global survey of one hundred cities and in-depth research on efforts to build the green economy in eight selected cities. Preliminary results were published for the United Nations Rio+20 Summit and the Global Green Growth Forum in Copenhagen during 2012.

The final ‘Going Green’ document provides an up-to-date overview of cities’ experiences in the transition to the green economy. It provides a global comparative perspective on the environmental challenges that cities face along with the opportunities, progress and barriers to going green and fostering economic growth.

The report provides an up-to-date overview on the experiences of how cities around the world are making the transition to the green economy.

For more information on Going Green, visit the project's website.


MSc City Design students launch the 2012 - 2013 studio publication 'Local City'

The 2012 - 2013 MSc City Design students' studio publication Local City addresses the question: what does it mean to be 'local' in a global city?  It focuses on the dense inner city neighbourhood of Hackney Central in east London. You can read the publication here.

MSc City Design students launch new blog Urban Controversies

Students from our MSc City Design programme launch new blog Urban Controversies. The blog seeks to explore the definition and implications of urban controversies; current posts include 'Who's the City For?' a contribution from Bogotá, 'Eyes on the Storm', exploring natural disasters in New York and 'Taksim: uncovering the pressure cooker' examining recent conflict in Istanbul.

If you would like to contribute please email the editors at email@urbancontroversies.com

Fran Tonkiss and Saskia Sassen named in top ten female spatial theorists

Dr Fran Tonkiss, Director of the Cities Programme and Reader in Sociology at LSE, and long time Urban Age colleague Saskia Sassen have been voted in the top ten women spatial theorists working in English by Die Architektin (Women + Architecture/Women in Architecture) website.

To visit Die Architektin, click here.

MSc City Design and Social Science: From Hackney to Bucharest

MSc City Design and Social Science students have been focussing on the Pembury Estate in central Hackney, East London for this year’s City Design Research Studio, exploring the question ‘What does it mean to be ‘local’ in a global city?

They will also be visiting Bucharest for the annual field trip from 23-28 March and their findings will form the basis for a design brief /strategic framework for the future development of specific sites in the city, which each student will submit as their assessment for City-making: the politics of urban form, taught by Philipp Rode and Savvas Verdis.

For more information about the LSE Cities programme, visit the website.

50 India scholarships available for graduate study in 2013

We are still accepting applications for the MSc City Design and Social Science starting in October 2013. We welcome high calibre students from around the world, from a range of academic and professional backgrounds.

Prospective students from India please note that the LSE has scholarships specifically for Indian master’s students starting in 2013.

Please see our website for more information about the programme.


Image credits

Outreach © 2013 Catarina Heeckt | Education © 2013 Carina Arvizu Machado | Research  © 2013 Dominic Bagnato | News  © 2013 Jose Campos Architectural Photography