This is the first annual report of LSE Cities, and records the research, teaching and outreach activities carried out from 1 January to 31 December 2010. LSE Cities is one of the newest research centres at the London School of Economics and Political Science that contribute to its reputation as one of the leading universities in the world.
The centre builds on the activities carried out since 2005 by the Urban Age, a series of investigations into the spatial and social dynamics of global cities organised with Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society, and the Cities Programme, which offers masters and PhD degrees within the LSE’s Department of Sociology. During 2010, all these activities have become housed under one roof in Tower Two at the heart of the LSE campus, with activities taking place in London and abroad. LSE Cities is funded by a five year grant from Deutsche Bank.
In this first year of activity we focussed on understanding how cities have responded to the challenges of the global economic downturn, making the most of their assets as centres of exchange, growth and development. The research focussed on the ‘next urban Economy’, concluding with a major two-day conference – the Global Metro Summit – which took place in Chicago in December 2010. Jointly organised with the Brookings Institution, the conference attracted over 500 delegates and major US and international speakers. LSE Cities carried out research on Barcelona, Torino, Munich and Seoul and collaborated on a study of how 150 metropolitan regions have performed before, during and since the recent global recession.
LSE Cities collaborated with other international institutions during 2010, including the European Institute for Energy Research (EIFER) at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (on a project on urban form and energy), the Netherlands Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (on a comparative study of the Randstad and the South East of England), and Deutsche Bank Research (on the Global MetroMonitor study). Another major project was the coordination of two chapters on green cities and buildings for the recently launched report on the Green Economy by the United Nations Environment Programme. The centre’s outreach programme of lectures, seminars and conferences was a key feature of over twenty public events held at LSE and other venues, funded by the Ove Arup Foundation and the Alfred Herrhausen Society. Events included keynote lectures by leading urban specialists and mayors of world cities.