Planning Studies newsletter issue 16

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the Millennium edition!

In London the big wheel, built for the Millennium opposite the Houses of Parliament, started to turn last week and received good press reaction. However the other big Millennium project, the Dome continues to provide material for cartoonists. It is not attracting anywhere near the visitors it needs to cover its costs. A 'Third Way' compromise between a Theme Park and a 'serious educational experience' is not working - no-one knows quite what it is all about. It was hyped as a demonstration of how great Britain was, but last week as a result of the management crisis a Frenchman from the Disney Corporation was brought in to save it. Is this a demonstration of how uninspired Britain has become or just another indication of globalisation?

If you know anyone who has moved and is not getting the Newsletter you can direct them to the web (and tell them to let us have their new address!). Most of our news from people now comes via e-mail. Perhaps we should also be circulating the Newsletter as an e-mail file? If you would prefer that to receiving it by post perhaps you could e-mail Abby (see her e-mail address below). We would also like to utilise the new technology and the ease of communication by developing the Newsletter. We would like to increase the number of pictures - perhaps you would like to send us photos (e-mail or hard copy) of what you look like nowadays - I am sure your class-mates would be interested! It would also be good to include items about work that you have been producing that may be of interest to others or extracts about what is happening in your home city or region. To get the ball rolling I have included a short extract from an article I have written on London's Millennium Dome (Dome alone|. . .). You will see that we have also included some information about the projects that current PhD students are working on. This may be of general interest to see what the 'fashionable' research issues are at the moment but it may be that you are particularly interested in one of the subjects. You may wish to contact the student and enter a dialogue. You can contact them in the first instance through Abby.

The 1998/9 cohort on the Masters programme was again a very lively one. There were 30 students with the usual mix from North America, Europe and Asia. Students were able to take advantage of the lectures and seminars from David Harvey and Ed Soja. They are back again for the current session with the addition of Saskia Sassen whose lectures are proving very popular. There was the added bonus in 1998/9 of Harvey Molotch who was resident at the LSE for the year. He attracted a number of students from the planning course who became his 'academic groupies' and went to everything he did! The Study Trip was again a highlight of the year - this time, thanks to the organisation of the PhD student Murat Yalcintan, we went to Istanbul. This was a huge success. Murat is also a lecturer at the Mimar Sinan University and we linked up with staff and students there. The students formed joint groups to study aspects of Istanbul's Olympic bid projects and learnt about the different way architecturally oriented students think! However this did not prevent rapid integration of the students and much time was spent together in cafés and bars. Unfortunately shortly after the trip Istanbul suffered the two terrible earthquakes and the citizens are still living in a situation of constant fear and stress as another earthquake is predicted soon in the city itself. Many of the buildings that were badly effected were built without proper planning and building control and hopeful one good result will be that these issues will be taken more seriously in future.

So, keep the news rolling in and have a happy start to the new millennium.

Best wishes,

Andy Thornley

Course Director

Andy Thornley:|

Abby Lee:|

Istanbul - March 1999





Old Istanbul

Dome alone.....


To view an extract from an article to be published in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, please click here|. The article is a critique of the approach to the Millennium Dome project which ignores its strategic planning context. This is pursued through analysing the transport problems and the project's relationship to the surrounding community.

Staff news

Hazel Johnstone

Hazel continues to work as administrator at the LSE Gender Institute, and can't think of anything to report since last year! However, the Institute continues apace, now has its first full-time professorial appointment and it remains an exciting place in which to work. She still enjoys keeping in contact with both Geography and Planning colleagues, ex-LSE, home and abroad.

Derek Diamond

My main activities during 1999 have again been editing Progress in Planning which continues to publish material from Ph.D theses completed at LSE in the Planning Studies programme, and travel outside the UK - this year including Guatemala and Belize.

Yvonne Rydin

Yvonne has been working on a EU project called "PASTILLE" - Promoting Action for Sustainability through Indicators at the Local Level in Europe. The project addresses the key question: How can sustainability indicators be used to 'make a difference' to decision-making?


Professor Peter Self

Reader (LSE 1948-1963) died on 29 March 1999 aged 79

We were all saddened to hear about Peter's death. He was the founding member of the Planning Studies course from the Government department. He will be fondly remembered by all those alumni who were at the LSE during his long involvement with the Masters programme.

Peter Self came to the LSE in 1948 first as a lecturer in Public Administration then as Reader in Political Science while still continuing his career as journalist and member of the editorial team at The Economist. His first book, Cities in Flood, established his reputation as the country's leading academic expert on planning questions. In 1961, he became chairman of the Town and Country Planning Association. He took up a professorship at the University of London in 1963 where he remained until his early retirement in 1982.

However, he then embarked on a career as Senior Research Fellow and then Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra. It was here he wrote his last book, Rolling Back the Market: economic dogma and political choice, which was finished five weeks before his death and is due to be published soon.

Student news


Daniel Burns was appointed Deputy Minister of the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism in June 1998. He still sees his Canadian classmates, Simon Chamberlain and Phil Levine, from time to time.

Simon Chamberlain continues his long career at the City of Toronto.

Phil Levine was still the Western Canada partner of IBI, Canada's largest planning, transportation and architecture practice.


Martin Stott was appointed Head of the Economy and Environment Unit at the Chief Executive's Office, Oxfordshire County Council in October 1999.


Tsung (Paul) Cheng has started his own business in Singapore called International Marketing Associates, which is involved in travel product and service marketing and representation.

Roberto Spindel specialised in local economic development and SME promotion after leaving LSE. After working for the Israeli Housing Ministry and an American-based NGO, he has set up his own international consulting firm working mainly in Latin America on World Bank related projects. He is very keen to get in touch with his fellow classmates.


Bianca Bielski has worked with the City of Halifax, New York City and Toronto Planning Departments. She is now Manager of Development Planning with the City of Vaughan, Canada. She is very keen to get in touch with classmates, particularly those from South America.

David Cooper is running his own consulting firm DR Cooper & Associates and lives in Washington DC.

Leslie Smith left the Planning profession 4 years ago, and now works as a Management Analyst for the Federal Communications Commission in Arlington, Virginia.

Karen Bonander Canfield married fellow classmate James Canfield and has 3 children. They are living in Scituate Mass.

Lama Khouri works for the UN and lives in New York City. She is married and has a baby daughter.

Kenneth John Li left the Housing Department of the Hong Kong SAR Government in February 1998. Since then, he has joined the Land Development Corporation as Senior Planning Manager. The Corporation is involved in urban renewal projects in Hong Kong.


Mohammed Iqbal Karim is employed by the World Bank. His portfolio includes projects e.g. Dhaka Urban Transport, Eastern Bypass, Road Safety and South Asia Regional Transport and Trade Facilitation (including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal). He is married and has two children. He is interested to share experiences and will be happy to establish contacts with 1986/87 URP fellows of the LSE.

Diana Baird moved in November 1999 to Washington D.C. with her husband. She is working with the International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank Group) as a Social Development Specialist in the Environment and Social Review Unit.


Sharon Miller trained as a Management Consultant and set up her own company in 1990. Since then she has worked all around the UK and Europe and was recently Interim Managing Director of a large firm of Environmental Consultants. She has recently taken a break from work to travel and have fun. Sharon is married to a Royal Navy Officer.


Cem Tigin Sertcan is involved in urban planning and planning consultancy for architectural firms. After graduating, he worked for Kent-Koop, a housing cooperative union and in 1995 co-founded Kentsel Project Consultancy Ltd. Co. He married in 1993 and has a daughter. He is very keen to get in touch with classmates, especially Peter Matthews.

Mieko Yagi is working for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in their Sydney office, as a liaison officer, working on the sisterstate relationship between NSW and Tokyo. He recently saw Yutaka Matsubara who visited Australia on his research for the Japanese Ministry of Transport.


Andre Sorensen will be moving to Kyoto in April 2000 where his wife will be working at Kansei University. He has been appointed to a two-year contract as Assistant Professor at the University of Tokyo City Planning department, teaching about the Japanese Planning system and international comparative planning to foreign graduate students.


Frederic Duvinage is studying for a bi-national PhD at the Universities of Neuchatel (Switzerland) and Nancy (France). He started a small consulting company, ECOREGIO and also works for PROGNOS, Basel. Eric Langeuin and David Flahault are both working in Paris and are fine.

Francesca Medda has recently started working at the LSE as a researcher for the Travel and Tourism project and is also teaching in the Economics Department. Before that she studied for a PhD at the Free University. She recently published an article on the recognition of urban shapes in geographical analysis.


Marc Hochstein is working as a Staff Writer for American Banker, a Thomson Financial Services Company in New York.

Peter Hall is studying for a PhD in City and Regional Planning at Berkeley.

Mauricio Garcia Arguellos is working as Coordinator General of Special Affairs at the Comptrollership and Administrative Department Secretariat in Mexico, co-ordinating a range of activities from Y2K to deregulation and anti-corruption policy formulation. He co-authored a book on corruption and policy.


Annelene Hoff Holden has recently bought a flat in Oslo, and anyone who wants to visit is very welcome!

Monica Lacerda is now living and working in London and is looking to buy a house.

Marie Chevrant-Breton is living in London and has moved once again, but is now moving back to France.

Christian Feghali writes from Switzerland, where he is looking for a new job. He is finding it interesting to see how the planning system in Switzerland impedes an opening of the economy.


Peter Hall is working as a research assistant to Rob Imrie in the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway College, London, on a project involving property development and disabled access in the UK and Sweden, looking at architects and disabling design in the built environment.

Yuki (nee Yamaguchi) Tanaka is living in Tokyo and working for the Tourism Bureau of the Ministry of Transport. Yuki and Toshi have bought a new flat and are expecting a baby in February 2000.

João Seixas has recently begun studying for a PhD in Barcelona, looking at areas of urban governance and political sociology. He is also participating with the City Council on regeneration projects, as well as being involved in projects at a University in Lisbon.

Ichie Pangaribuan married in February 1999 in her home town of Medan.

Matt Lasner continues to work for the City of New York Parks & Recreation on programmes to bolster grassroots community involvement in parks and playgrounds, and also works part-time as a researcher at The Skyscraper Museum.

Lewis Dijkstra is living in Amsterdam after spending two years studying for a PhD at Rutgers in New York, and is looking for teaching or research position in the Netherlands or elsewhere. He is engaged to be married in September 2000.

Raymund Magdaluyo is working in Manila and has recently been promoted to project head of a programme on City Competitiveness.

Crispian Fuller is in his final year of a PhD in corporate re-investment and local institutions at Cardiff University. He is hoping to go into private consultancy.

Carlos Alberto Vargas sends his wishes to all classmates. He is working as an Adviser in the Colombian National Planning Department in Santafé de Bogotá (Regional Investment and Development Office), involved in developing Colombia's regional competitiveness policy. He is considering studying for a PhD in Planning or Land Economy at LSE or Cambridge.

Anna Prat writes from Rome where she is working for Ecosfera Spa, mainly on feasibility studies for infrastructural projects, but also urban planning programmes and European programmes.

Margarida Macian-Fillat has recently left London for Spain, as she was offered a job at Barcelona Regional, a metropolitan agency for the development of urban infrastructure in the Greater Barcelona Region. Anybody who wants to visit is very welcome!


Kevin Morrison is working in Kingston, Jamaica as an Economic Analyst at the Urban Development Corporation, on projects with a high economic content e.g. econometric modelling and analyses.

Ricardo Hernandez Sotelo is working for the Mexican Government as Director of Urban Planning Strategies. He is in charge of 3 main projects: metropolitan areas, social participation and natural disasters.

Jason Calla has resigned from British Columbia Railway, and is working for an economic consulting firm called Fiscal Realities, which he enjoys as it is in his area of interest. Last year he joined a small URPS reunion in New York City with Margaret Smith, Wolfram Krendlesberger and Ben Gulliver.

Wolfram Krendlesberger has recently moved, but still lives in Vienna.

Chryssoula Mavrokosta is working in Greece for a Development and Research Company which offers consultative support to local and regional organisations, and implements EU programmes.

Daniel Shotton is working in the research department of Healey & Baker Property Consultants in London, developing occupancy strategies for corporations across Europe.

Frank Shih finished his MBA at Imperial College and returned to Taiwan. He is now working in the Industrial Development Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Taiwan.

Kate Annison worked as a consultant at EDAW for 7 months, then onto a secondment in a third round SRB programme in Hounslow. She is now working there full-time and is the Feltham Contracts Manager, managing economic and employment projects and designing new initiatives. Kate will be moving to Richmond or Kingston in 2000.

Gideon Lemman is currently living and working in Tel-Aviv, at the Transport Research Institute in Tel-Aviv, Israel on a project called "Rationalization of Bus Transport in the Tel-Aviv Metropolitan Area".


Tehsin Takim is working temporarily in Tanzania with his father, whilst looking for a permanent position either in the UN locally or in Kenya.

Aron Gooblar has finished his internship in New York, doing research for a project between the City Planning Department, the Municipal Art Society and Professor Jarold Kayden from Harvard. He has recently been offered a position as a planner in Queens.

Morten Andreassen has recently changed his name to Morten Wasstol. He has started working in UNEP/GRID-Arendal as Programme Officer on the CEROI project (to establish a global network of cities publishing their "State of the Environment" reports on the Internet). He will also be a proud father in June 2000!

Matt Smith finished his internship in London with Political Planning Services Ltd. He has started another internship with the Economic Development department in Austin, Texas in addition to working on the Gore campaign.

Alison Post has been working for LSE London on consulting projects related to economic innovation and business decentralisation patterns in London. She is also preparing for her PhD.

Consuelo Onofre writes from Bogota, Colombia where she is working as a consultant on two projects. The first is a proposal to restructure a programme working in deprived areas of Medellin; the second is about the economic and sustainable use of public space.

Tadashi Yokoyama was recently transferred to the Regional Cooperation Office of the Economic Planning Agency in Japan. His work involves supporting the Chairman of the Economic Committee of APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation).

Graduation Ceremony - December 1999



PhD Planning Research Projects...

Ljiljana Grubovic (1999)

"Socio-Economic Transformation and Diversification of Capital Regions in Central and Eastern Europe"

My research focuses on the urban change in four ex-communist cities during the transition period. As cities have traditionally been the centres and co-ordinators, as well as the subjects of economic and social changes in this research one will investigate in which direction changes in post socialist cities are going: to capitalist cities (Enyedi), to the Third Word cities (Szeleny) or towards a new model in which socialist elements are mixed with capitalist elements. What is the future of postsocialist cities? Budapest, Prague, Warsaw and Belgrade will be used as the case studies because they have different socialist history of development and different postsocialist development path.

Abel Perez-Zamorano (1999)

"Institutional Change And Its Impact On Organisation Of Production And Productivity: The Case Of Ejido In Mexico"

This research focuses on the changes in organisation of production in the ejido agriculture and their impact on productivity. The issue will be studied in the context of institutional change in Mexico since the mid-1980s. I will consider three important transformations: trade liberalisation, the reform to the Constitutional Article 27 in 1992 regulating land tenure and the dramatic reduction of the state participation in the agricultural sector. Over decades, the ejido, which controls more than half of the country's total land, has been an important scheme of organisation of production, constrained by strict regulation and state intervention. The key question I will try to answer is how economic liberalisation has influenced this scheme and what is the prospect for ejidos in the new economic scenario? The research will be carried out through a case study in the region of Atlixco in the state of Puebla. Commercial and self-subsistence ejidos, as well as a set of free minifundio plots will be studied in order to contrast the changes occurred in their organisation and economic performance.

Laurentios Vasiliadis (1999)

"The creation of a favoured environment for the attraction of foreign direct investments in Greece. A critical comparison between Ireland, Portugal and Greece"

Miguel Jimenez (1998)

"The globalisation effect in the economic structure of Mexico City"

The economic restructuring process and change in the structure and localisation of the economic activities in the metropolitan area of Mexico City over the period 1980-1998, suggests the possibility that liberalisation of the economy that took place during this period of time has driven this changes. Regarding this restructuring process, major changes have taken place since the intensification of international trade activity and the arrival of Transnational Corporations (TNC). Particularly important in these changes have been the free market reforms that let Mexico open its economy to international trade activity and to participate in the international financial market. The main objective of this research is to understand the different causes and concomitant forces driving this economic restructuring process in the city as a consequence of all these processes and to clarify to what extent these trends are related in any way to the globalisation of Mexican economy.

Eduardo Rodriguez Oreggia y Roman (1998)

"Acquisition of skills and innovation as explanation for differences in the Mexican regions"

Economies are becoming increasingly knowledge-based. The use of technology and skills are in the core of the economic growth process. The knowledge-based economy offers a framework to analyse policy towards sustained growth based on the understanding of this new knowledge era. The purpose of the research is to measure at what extent a developing country like Mexico can implement regional policies based on this theory as alternative to neo-classical or infrastructure based policies. In doing so, I am undertaking policy analysis and impact on regional growth of science and technology, education, labour markets, and their complementarity with infrastructure.

Kuniko Shibata (1998)

"The state, planning and the public interest: historical development of regional and urban planning policy in Japan"

This thesis is to examine why the Japanese urban planning policy fails to achieve public gains in contrast to its successful industrial policy, by searching the public interest of planning in the context of state development. Current issues in Japanese planning will be examined to highlight the contradictions between economic success and quality of life in Japan. Japanese planning policy will be explored along with the state development model. This leads to the conclusion of this chapter and further development of the following chapters.

Sophia Skyers (1998)

"Tackling social exclusion through area regeneration"

Jorge Vera Garcia (1998)

"Adjustment, competitiveness and importance of local space in a less developed country: local-regional interdependencies in different industrial agglomerations"

Yonn Dierwechter (1997)

"The spatiality of informal economic agency: survival, planning and geography in black metropolitan Cape Town"

Javier Sanchez-Reaza (1997)

"Growth, disparities and liberalisation: regional effects of trade policies in Mexico"

Two theories have been particularly influential on debating the benefits entailed by trade liberalisation. Although, neo-classical and new economic geography approaches coincide in the benefits, they hold opposite views on their distribution. Whereas the former implies an eventual equalisation, the latter suggests concentration and hence disparities. Accordingly, Mexico's trade policy has shifted from import substitution to multilateral trade (GATT), and to economic integration (NAFTA). Therefore, OLS is used to examine the impact of trade on regional growth disparities, as well as to test variables related to these theories. Despite some benefits can be identified at a national level, they have not been equally distributed amongst regions.

Bo Tang (1997)

"Urban planning and property development in China: Guangzhou and Hong Kong, 1978-1998"

This study is about the political economy of property development in the two Chinese cities against the context of global competition over the past two decades. It examines how conflicts and interdependence of urban planning and land development shape the urban built environment. Two Chinese cities - Guangzhou (a socialist city under transition) and Hong Kong (a capitalist city under colonial rule) - are selected for comparative study. This research addresses the supply-side institutional responses to globalization. The proposition is that property development market process, i.e. interaction between planners and developers, plays a central role in mediating the trajectory of urban economic and spatial transformation.

Peng Sheng Weng (1997)

"The interaction between innovation systems and urbanisation"

Murat Yalcintan (1997)

"Impacts of globalisation on the decision-making process of Istanbul Greater City municipality"

Ertan Zibel (1997)

"The globalizing nation state and cities"

The world at the beginning of the 21st century faces the influences of intensifying globalization. Because globalization leads economic activities to disperse widely in the world, the transnational capital needs for sub-centres for the management and control of such a global network of capitalist relations. There is a tremendous competition between cities in order to attract and retain transnational investments and sources, which are needed to develop. It seems that there is only one valid criterion for the world city contestants to be chosen, which is to make easy for the international capital and facilitate all the necessary legal and political tools for the success of its aims with the assistance of national government policies indeed.

This research project mainly examines how this kind of a "world city" vision and policies to realise that can affect the urban politics and citizens affected from these policies by giving an example, which is a city that is seen as one of the "world city" competitors in the developing world: Istanbul.

Ioannis Chorianopoulos (1994)

"Urban governance and territorial competition in Europe: An analysis of the north-south diversity in the EU urban policy networks"

Based on the North-South dimension of spatial disparities in Europe, the thesis highlights the comparatively constraint institutional and administrative capacity of the local level in Spain, Greece and Portugal to articulate and advance local interests in conditions of enhanced territorial competition. The European Union in the attempt to tackle disparities and promote economic competitiveness has developed initiatives for an urban level of policy making. Central to the effectiveness of such a response is the integration to the European framework of the North-South heterogeneity of urban Europe. Examples of two EU urban programmes the RECITE networks and the URBAN Initiative are explored, drawing out the problems and possibilities of the Community's current pattern of urban intervention.

Iris Hauswirth (1994)

"Efficient organisations? Government export promotion in Britain and Germany from a new institutional economics perspective."

Although all industrial nations offer more or less the same services to promote exports, the way they organise the delivery of these programmes varies significantly. The thesis is based on the hypothesis that the choice of actors and distribution of decision rights between them influence the efficiency of the service delivery. Based on theories within New Institutional Economics a framework of the key factors which influence efficiency is developed, then the framework is used to analyse and judge the delivery structures of British and German Export Promotion Programmes comparatively. It is argued that there are trade-offs between different aspects of efficiency and that the institutional context of the organisational structures influences their feasibility and effects.

Hulya Ozdil (1994)

"Area of local automobile supplier industry within network of auto production in Turkey"

Asaito Saito (1994)

"Strategic urban development in a global city - case study of Tokyo"

My research critically reviews current conventional Global City discourse as it is enable to take into account different national / local institutional context in the process of urbanisation. I will, instead, introduces state centred perspective to the study of global city, and analyses political dynamism of decision making by using the framework of Urban Regime Theory. Case study of strategic urban planning in Tokyo demonstrates the existence of complex and twisted institutional relations among national and local government, and business community in Tokyo. The research will highlight that the role of the state in urbanisation is seriously under theorised in the era of global economic change.

Did we miss your news? Please print out the form here|, and send it to Andy Thornley for inclusion in Planning Newsletter 19.