Governing urban futures

The Urban Age returns to India after a series of international conferences that have allowed us to test the temperature of cities in hotspots of urban growth and change across the world. Since the Urban Age conference in Mumbai in 2007, we have investigated questions of cities and health in Hong Kong, the jobs and economy in Chicago, the smartness of smart cities in London and the impacts of grand scale transformations in Rio de Janeiro. We have done further in-depth studies of the dynamics of São Paulo and Istanbul, and carried out extensive work at LSE Cities on the green economy, social cohesion and the impacts of climate change on cities.

As Philipp Rode and Priya Shankar note in their introductory essay, it is the future of urban governance that now requires urgent attention, as cities and city regions across the globe struggle to cope with exposure to environmental, social and political risk. For this reason, the Urban Age has carried out new research on governance systems, published for the first time in the Data section of this newspaper, alongside essays by experts and commentators on the major theoretical, political and environmental issues faced by cities in India and internationally.

As India enters a critical juncture in its development path, its cities will be key sites of evolution. With the help of over 60 experts and policymakers from 22 cities, in ten countries from five continents, we hope that this year’s conference in Delhi will help us understand the links between urban governance and the future development of cities.

Ricky Burdett, Director, LSE Cities, London School of Economics

Thomas Matussek, Managing Director, Alfred Herrhausen Society, the international forum of Deutsche Bank