Urban Age

Urban Age is a research programme started in 2005.[1] It is led by LSE Cities with support from Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society into the relationship between the shape and society of cities.[2] Research includes comparing urbanisation in already urbanised and currently urbanising regions of the world.[3] Urban Age emerged as a product of the research and ideas of LSE Cities' Ricky Burdett, Philipp Rode and Richard Sennett and has since centred around conferences in a range of cities worldwide, as well as accompanying newspapers containing both global data sets and in-depth case studies.[4][5]


The first Urban Age conference was held in New York in February 2005 and subsequent conferences have taken place in Shanghai, London, Berlin, Johannesburg, Mumbai, São Paulo, Istanbul, Chicago, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro and Delhi. The Urban Age conferences have aimed to bring together planners, mayors, architects, academics and other stakeholders to discuss themes such as urban health and well-being,[6][7] urban governance[8] and how cities respond to the impact of major events like the hosting of the Olympic Games.[9] Participants have included a number of current and former city leaders, including Bogotá's Enrique Peñalosa,[10] London's Boris Johnson,[11] Delhi's Sheila Dikshit,[12] Kampala's Jennifer Musisi,[13] and Barcelona's Ada Colau,[14] and national leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel[15] and UK Prime Minister David Cameron.[16] The ten year celebration of Urban Age, taking place in November and December 2015, consisted of five Global Debates on cities and climate change,[17] designing urban infrastructure,[18] the politics of equity,[19] social inclusion[20] and steering urban growth.[21] These debates were accompanied by a series of articles published by Guardian Cities.[22][23][24][25] In 2016 Urban Age was invited to curate a Special Project[26] at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. Conflicts of an Urban Age highlights the changes to seven cities that have experienced significant population increases in the past 25 years[27] and has since exhibited in Berlin,[28] the inaugural 2017 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism[29][30] and at Arup Group's phase2 gallery in London[31][32] and Sydney.[33] The Urban Age Shaping Cities conference was held alongside the exhibition.[34] Between 2017-2018 the programme focused on African cities including Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Kampala, Lagos, Accra and Cape Town[35] culminating with the Developing Urban Futures conference and publication[36] in Addis Ababa on 29–30 November 2018.[37]

Publications and dataEdit

Each Urban Age conference has also produced a newspaper with feature articles, global, regional and city-specific data and graphics, as well as reflections from conference participants. This content has been organised and disseminated through the Urban Age digital platform, launched in December 2015.[38] Ricky Burdett and Deyan Sudjic have also edited two books: The Endless City (2008) and Living in the Endless City (2011), which chronicle the main findings, discussions and research of the early Urban Age conferences. The Urban Age programme and concept has generated significant debate among urbanists, with critiques and appraisals produced in several academic journals.[39] Urban Age data visualisations have also been featured in a variety of online and print media, including urban footprint graphics, transport infrastructure maps and residential density graphics.[40][41][42] A third book in the series, Shaping Cities in an Urban Age, became available in 2018.[43] Edited by Burdett and Philipp Rode, the book was launched at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition in September 2018.[44][45]

Urban Age ScholarshipsEdit

Urban Age Scholarships provide financial support to applicants of LSE Cities' Executive MSc in Cities programme in an effort to broaden access to knowledge and debate around how cities are designed and governed.[46][47][48]


  1. ^ "Urban Age at 10". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft". Urbanisation. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Urban Age". LSE Cities.
  4. ^ "The Urban Age, ten years on". LSE History.
  5. ^ Burdett, Ricky; Cities, L. S. E. (2015-11-23). "Cities in numbers: how patterns of urban growth change the world". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
  6. ^ "2011: Cities, Health and Well-being". LSE Cities.
  7. ^ Smedley, Tim (2012-12-07). "The world's top five healthiest cities?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
  8. ^ "2014: Governing Urban Futures". LSE Cities.
  9. ^ "2013: City Transformations". LSE Cities.
  10. ^ UrbanAge (2016-07-22), Urban Age Shaping Cities: Enrique Peñalosa - Challenges of expansion, retrieved 2018-03-22
  11. ^ UrbanAge (2013-01-17), Urban Age Electric City: Boris Johnson - Tech City announcement of £50m investment
  12. ^ UrbanAge (2014-11-20), Urban leaders' round table - Urban Age Governing Urban Futures conference
  13. ^ UrbanAge (2016-07-22), Urban Age Shaping Cities: Jennifer Musisi - Shaping Kampala, retrieved 2018-03-22
  14. ^ UrbanAge (2016-07-21), Urban Age Shaping Cities: Ada Colau - Democratic regeneration and citizen empowerment, retrieved 2018-03-22
  15. ^ "German Chancellor Merkel arrives in Mumbai | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". dna. 2007-10-31. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  16. ^ "Massive Makeover For 'Tech City' Hub". HuffPost UK. 2012-12-06. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  17. ^ UrbanAge (2015-12-08), Confronting Climate Change: Can cities be the solution?
  18. ^ UrbanAge (2015-12-08), Designing Urban Infrastructure: Investing for now or tomorrow?
  19. ^ UrbanAge (2015-12-08), The Politics of Equity: Who owns the city?
  20. ^ UrbanAge (2015-12-08), Narratives of Inclusion: Can cities help us live together?
  21. ^ UrbanAge (2015-12-08), Steering Urban Growth: Can planning and architecture manage?
  22. ^ Rode, Philipp; Cities, L. S. E. (2015-11-26). "How connected is your city? Urban transport trends around the world". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
  23. ^ Mehta, Suketu (2015-11-30). "Beyond the maximum: cities may be booming, but who's invited to the party?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
  24. ^ "The world wants more 'porous' cities – so why don't we build them?". The Guardian. 2015-11-27. ISSN 0261-3077.
  25. ^ "Who owns our cities – and why this urban takeover should concern us all". The Guardian. 2015-11-24. ISSN 0261-3077.
  26. ^ "Biennale Architettura 2016". La Biennale di Venezia. 2017-04-28. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
  27. ^ "Lessons for Habitat III from the Venice Architecture Biennale | Citiscope". citiscope.org. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
  28. ^ "Ein Kunstprojekt soll Politiker, Investoren und Anwohner zusammenbringen". Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  29. ^ "Dynamics of the Urban Age - 2017 서울도시건축비엔날레 | Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2017". Dynamics of the Urban Age - 2017 서울도시건축비엔날레 | Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2017 (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  30. ^ "Global Cities: London & Seoul". urbannext.net. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  31. ^ "Conflicts of an Urban Age". Arup phase2.
  32. ^ "Conflicts of an Urban Age, London". Urban Age.
  33. ^ "Conflicts of an Urban Age Sydney - Arup". www.arup.com. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
  34. ^ "Urban Age Shaping Cities conference". Urban Age. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  35. ^ "Call for papers" (PDF). LSE Cities. 3 November 2017.
  36. ^ Burdett, Ricky; Rode, Philipp; Griffiths, Peter; Havener, Rosie; Gomes, Alexandra (2018-11-29). "Developing urban futures": 1–33. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  37. ^ "Urban Age Developing Urban Futures Conference". Urban Age. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  38. ^ "Urban Age".
  39. ^ Brenner, Neil; Schmid, Christian (2014-05-01). "The 'Urban Age' in Question". International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 38 (3): 731–755. doi:10.1111/1468-2427.12115. ISSN 1468-2427.
  40. ^ Burn-Murdoch, John (2012-12-06). "Electric City 2012: graphic highlights from LSE's conference on the urban age". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
  41. ^ "8 more ways of visualising London's growth: a question of density". CityMetric.
  42. ^ "Cities in Numbers: How Patterns of Urban Growth Change the World". www.100resilientcities.org. 2015-12-03.
  43. ^ Cities, L. S. E. (2017-07-27). "#Job: Are you a #Data #Researcher or #Information #Designer and keen to help us with our third #UrbanAge #book? http://LSECiti.es/JoinUs .pic.twitter.com/iwvsGbrIdq". @LSECities. Retrieved 2017-08-07. External link in |title= (help)
  44. ^ "Meetings on Architecture". La Biennale di Venezia. 2018-03-01. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
  45. ^ Burdett, Ricky; Rode, Philipp (2018). Shaping cities in an urban age. eprints.lse.ac.uk. Burdett, Ricky, Philipp, Rode. ISBN 9780714877280. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
  46. ^ "Urban Changemakers, LSE Is Calling You". Pop-Up City. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  47. ^ "Scholarships  » Executive MSc in Cities » A transformational programme for working professionals at the London School of Economics". emc.lsecities.net. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  48. ^ "Urban Age on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-03-22.

External linksEdit