Urban

Urban and Regional Development


The design and growth of cities has and enduring impact on society, culture and the environment. Existing practices for urban and regional development must balance between environmentally sustainable solutions, effective approaches in the short-term and a wider perspective on future generations.

We tackle key issues affecting our environment, culture and society caused by increasing urbanisation

We combine theory with extensive fieldwork in order to shed light upon challenges in urbanisation, planning, and development across the world. We are interested in global transformations and their impact in society, as well as in the economic, social and political dimensions underlying land use, infrastructure and city expansion and how they all intersect with wider questions of power, class, migration, gender, security and inequality.

We explore the changing dynamics of cities like London, focusing on population density, social integration, affordable housing and migration. We have, for example, studied the stratification of migrants working and living in London, and their connections and interactions, particularly in relation to implications of future growth of the city. We have also conducted analyses of existing or potential strategies for the creation of more sustainable public spaces.

Globally, we are interested in the interplay between rapid urbanisation, economic and population dynamics. How do large-scale urban construction projects, like residential, commercial, industrial and institutional buildings, generate specific labour demand? And how does that shape new migrant routes? Or how can existing policies and practices enhance urban and regional development?


Who we work with..

Our experts come from a variety of departments and specialised research centres at LSE, such as the Department of Geography and Environment, LSE Cities, and LSE London.


Areas of expertise

Cohesion policy and EU regional development

What we do:

Providing research insights and expert support for international European organisations on topics such as: constitutional affairs and multilevel governance, sub-regional cooperation, sectorial development, and migration. We focus on the different economic development trajectories across national and subnational levels, and analyse factors that policy-makers must consider to tackle regional inequalities within the EU.

Examples of our work:

Falling into the Middle-income trap? A study on the risks for EU regions to be caught in a middle-income trap and the factors that are holding back the development of middle-income economies in the EU
European Commission – DG for Regional and Urban Policy, 2019

Multiple framework contract for studies on constitutional affairs, devolution, multi-level governance
European Committee of the Regions (Cor), 2018

Multiple framework contract for studies in the field of the EU Budget
European Committee of the Regions (Cor), 2018

A Cross-border cooperation in the Mediterranean region
European Committee of the Regions (CoR), 2019

A New Approach to the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)
European Committee of the Regions (CoR), 2016


Core experts:

>   Professor Andrés Rodríguez-Pose
>   Dr Elitsa Garnizova
>   Professor Michael Storper
>   Dr Niccolo Durazzi
>   Professor Riccardo Crescenzi
>   Professor Simona Iammarino

Local development and urbanisation

What we do:

Providing support on innovative or non-traditional research design as well as measurement instruments to better understand the dynamics of the local public space and deliver policy-relevant evidence. We also focus on policy review and evaluation regarding urban planning, the roles of community agents and stakeholders concerning urban space, and their underlying links with economic growth, demographic change, sustainability and other social issues.


Examples of our work:

Social Cities
International Federation for Housing and Planning, 2018

Metropolitan Indicators System
Secretariat General - World Association of the Major Metropolises, 2018

Valuing the Environmental Benefits of Canals Using House Prices
Canals Rivers Trust, 2018

Expert advice for the Economic Impact Assessment (EIA) Framework/Economics Strand
Future Cities Catapult, 2017

Demographic Research for Local Authorities in the East of England
East of England Local Government Association (EELGA), 2017

Policy lessons for the emergence and success of community-led local development
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), 2019

City of London Future City Programme: Smart City scoping
City of London, 2016

Achieving Publicness and Well Being in Elephant Park
Lendlease, 2016

Development of protocol for operations research on community monitoring and feedback
The Global Fund, 2016


Core experts:

>   Dr Don Slater
>   Eddie Gibson
>   Dr Flora Cornish
>   Dr Neil Lee
>   Nuno Ferreira da Cruz
>   Dr Philipp Rode
>   Professor Henry Overman
>   Dr Savvas Verdis
>   Professor Steve Gibbons

Regional economic development

What we do:

We engage with policymakers, international development organisations, and the civil society to create evidence that responds to policy concerns in terms of defining key reforms in urban planning and regional development, strategic linkages between demographic changes and economic growth, and new economic, political, spatial and social relationships.


Examples of our work:

NCE Coalition for Urban Transitions: National Policy Workstream
World Resources Institute, 2017-20

Geography of Innovation: Local Hotspots, Global networks
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), 2019

Demographic Research for Local Authorities in the East of England
East of England Local Government Association (EELGA), 2017

Multinazionali, Imprese Locali e Sviluppo Economico nella Regione Lazio
Lazio Innova, 2016

The Urbanisation Construction Migration Nexus in 5 Cities in South Asia
DFID’s South Asia Research Hub, New Delhi, India, 2016

India’s Smart Cities Mission
Bloomberg Philanthropies, 2016

London Plan Density – Research Project 5: Why Else is Density Important?Greater London Authority, 2016

London Plan Density – Research Project 1: Definitions and Measurement of Density
Greater London Authority, 2016


Core experts:

>   Dr Alan Mace
>   Professor Andrés Rodríguez-Pose
>   Professor Ian Gordon
>   Julia King
>   Professor Michael Storper
>   Nuno Ferreira da Cruz
>   Dr Philipp Rode
>   Professor Christine Whitehead
>   Professor Riccardo Crescenzi
>   Professor Ricky Burdett
>   Professor Simona Iammarino
>   Dr Sunil Kumar

»  Get in touch to find out how we can collaborate