Planning Studies newsletter issue 18

Hello again,

I am writing this on 02/02/02 (how often does that happen?) and there are gales sweeping Britain and ships wrecked off the Cornish coast. Meanwhile in London global warming seems to bring wetter but milder winters.


The LSE continues to be in a state of continual scaffolding. This time it is the turn of the ground floor of the Old Building. This is being completely reorganized using the redundant space of the light well to make a comprehensive student services facility with all the reception, finance, support departments together and easily accessible. Meanwhile the biggest change on campus this year has been the re-opening of the Library. The outer walls of the building have been kept (a listed building) but the inside has been completely gutted and rebuilt in a very open and airy design with a central spiral staircase (architect Norman Foster). This has created a huge improvement in the space available and a vast number of computer terminals. Consumer reaction seems to be very favourable and the result is certainly visually very stunning. However some people complain they have lost their favourite corners where they could hide away!

Students from last year's cohort (2000/1) after their excellent results are now mainly employed around the world. However a larger number than usual are going on to further study, to Law

School in the US or starting PhD programmes. As you will see from the photos later, they chose to go to Prague for their study trip. This was a highly successful mix of planning talks and long sessions in turn of the century coffee and cake emporiums. They have been followed by another excellent and sociable group of just over 20 students with a larger than usual US/Canadian contingent. However the most noticeable feature of the group is its high proportion of women (over 75%) - as yet I have no explanation for this. They seem to be setting their sights on Berlin for their trip.


The staircase in the new library

As usual many alumni have popped in to see me during the year as they pass through London. Many also get involved in giving talks. As well as Derek Diamond's annual walk, this year he gave a lecture on Metropolitan planning and we also had what is now becoming a regular slot from David Edwards (MSc 1981/2) who is currently a Director at Ove Arup Consultancy and head of their Planning and Economics division. Steve Diamond (MSc 1994/5) also gave us a talk on his work as European Officer at the new Greater London Authority. I had a few months sabbatical leave in the summer and spent part of this time in Tokyo and so was able to have many reunion meals with Japanese alumni (see later section). It is interesting to note the continued Japanese interest in the course, notwithstanding the economic problems there.


One of the highlights of the course last year was a visit to Manchester, a city that has been undertaking many very interesting regeneration projects, e.g. city center rebuilding after the IRA bomb, canal-side rejuvination and the Gay Quarter, - the trip gave a useful comparison to London. We were very grateful to Mike Hebbert (now Professor at Manchester University) for leading a walking tour and giving one of his erudite explanations of the changes taking place.


As I mentioned last year the proceedings of the Conference 'Planning Research 2000' that Yvonne and I organized at the LSE have now been published in two books by Ashgate - details opposite - rather expensive I know but you might find a friendly librarian... Several of the current PhD students have contributed to these. They have also worked on material for Saskia Sassen's second edition of Global Cities.

It is also a great pleasure to congratulate Yonn Dierwechter for the award of his PhD in December 2001 (you can find an outline of his work at the end of the Newsletter). He had to fly over for his viva from his new job as a lecturer in Urban Planning at the University of Washington State at Tacoma. During his last year Yonn also worked as a Teaching Fellow and I am very grateful for the work he did on the planning degree - especially for his administrative role in the Summer term which allowed me to escape for a while to Asia (see later).

London continues to provide a rich source of material for research with its innovations in institutional structures and policy. The ESRC project on the Greater London Authority that I reported in the last newsletter, in which I was involved with Yvonne, Karen West and Kath Scanlon (MSc 91/2), obtained a bit more funding from the LSE and STICERD and we are now writing up three papers. Subsequently I worked with Karen and Kath on another short project, led by Christine Whitehead, for the London Development Agency. This involved assessing the application to London of Urban Regeneration Companies, one of national government's recent ideas.

So again can I encourage you to keep in touch. As you see we are slowly moving with the times using scanner and digital photos. So please send us those photos and files to liven up next year's edition - I am sure your fellow students would like to know what you look like now after all the years of stress and responsibility! News items that we have received during the year are included later in the newsletter (apologies if we have missed out anyone - let us know for next time). As I said last year it would be wonderful to have your contributions for the Newsletter in the form of short pieces about your work, your town, your PhD theses...whatever. As I have not received any this year I am afraid you are subjected to two pieces by me! One looks at the background to the new mayor for London and the other is a piece that compares strategic approaches in London, Singapore and Sydney.

Finally I would like to welcome our new Course Administrator - one of her first jobs has been pulling this Newsletter together! - her name is Ida Tammaro. Abby Lee has left after three year of sterling service to the Course. During that time she took the Master's course part time and successfully passed last September. However that did not lead to a job in planning but to travelling the world. She was last heard of in Australia having called in on fellow students in Thailand, so you might find her passing your way sometime!

Please send your news to me on| or to Ida on|.


The Spanish Connection

By Andy Thornley

The Autumn of 2001 brought a strong Spanish link to the activities of the staff connected to the Planning Studies Programme. There was much coming and going between the LSE and Spain.

First stop was Bilbao. The LSE organized a series of monthly seminars in that city under the overall title of Cities, Architecture and Society in the 21st Century. The series was sponsored by the local government and a regional bank and was launched by Anthony Giddens with a lecture in the Guggenheim Museum. Among those contributing were myself, Christine Whitehead, Mark Kleinman, Andres Rodrigues-Pose and Derek Diamond.


The visit gave us a change to experience at first hand the famous city marketing approach centred on the Guggenheim. Museum. The building is certainly impressive, whether viewed from the riverside or down one of the city streets. Further along the river a huge new Opera house has been built and the regeneration area between this building and the Museum will be occupied by a new office complex. As we all know the Museum has 'put Bilbao on the map' and the story is that the


price paid by the city to entice the Museum has been recouped through added tourism and related activities. However one cannot but wonder about the value of the developments to the local citizens - Exhibitions of International Art and Italian Opera are only of interest to a certain sector of the population. Presumably the pride in having such international activity, and one of the world's top architects, gives a boost to local morale. There is however very little to reflect local and regional culture that is such a strong feature of the area. Nevertheless it does reflect one aspect of Basque history - namely that it has always been global in its reach. I learnt this from reading a very interesting and entertainingly written book called The Basque History of the World by Mark Kurlansky.

The second Spanish event of the Autumn took place in Valencia. One of the Planning Studies PhD students, Fran Mata-Andrades, was asked to organize a week long event on the theme of City Marketing (I was asked to be Director - a fairly nominal position I have to add!). This was sponsored by the city government and held at the International University of Menendez Pelayo. It attracted practitioners from around Spain, and students and academics from a wide range of disciplines. Fran managed to get well know speakers on the subject, including many from the LSE, and there were also talks from Spanish practitioners involved in city marketing. A book is on its way.

Valencia also has its flagship architecture and is using it to project its image as a modern city. This time the architect is the well known Spaniard, Santiago Calatrava. Although the


buildings are not as well know as the Guggenheim they are as equally impressive. In fact in some ways more so. Here the regeneration area comprises a sequence of buildings that have all been designed by the same architect and the result is that the whole area has a very dramatic impact. There is also the feeling that it was a very popular facility for citizens with Science Museum, IMAX, Planitarium, Aquatic Park, gardens and, once again, Opera House. It would be interesting to know the impact of all this building on the city's budget.


Valencia embraces the future

Another question that arises is the impact of this new development area, which is on the edge of town, on the old city center. The new quarter has attracted a lot of new residential apartments buildings and these have been very popular. This has added to the flight from the old residential areas in the city center, resulting in many empty and derelict plots - a major planning problem of the moment.


Valencia neglects the past

Background paper prepared for the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) and included in:

Cities in a Globalizing World: Global Report on Human Settlements 2001

Prepared by the United Nations and published by Earthscan, London.


By Andy Thornley (LSE)

This article explores the relationship between economic globalization and urban planning in cities of the developed world, using London, Sydney and Singapore as examples. There are two strands to the argument. First that the decision-makers in such cities take a particular view of globalization, in which they see cities as competing for globally footloose investment and hence requiring particular priorities in urban policy. Secondly that their response results in a concentration of power in a city elite and a lack of local democracy. It is suggested that a less deterministic approach to globalization could provide opportunities for greater local political choice and participation, leading to a wider discussion of priorities in urban planning.

Globalization is a contested concept. The view that has provided the dominant paradigm over the last decade, and the context for much thinking about urban policy, is sometimes referred to as the 'hyperglobalist' perspective (Held et al, 1999). This view, largely informed by management and business Schools, believes that the increasing globalization of the economy is inevitable. It also considers that the globalization process is a beneficial one and that it will eventually have advantages for all parts of the world. This is the 'trickle down' concept on a global scale. In this scenario the nation state is seen as loosing its role in a world that involves an interaction between trans-national business and city or regional governance. Economic globalization is viewed as a natural process and city government should ensure that its citizens derive the maximum benefit from it. They should adapt their policies to conform to the imperatives that the process demands. However there are other views on globalization. Some writers see the concept as an ideological construct to give neo-liberalism greater spatial dominance, and consider that there is nothing fundamentally new in the way that the world economy operates. This perspective provides a useful corrective in stressing the ideological potential of the 'hyperglobalist' stance. However it underplays the changes, in both intensity and spatial penetration, that have taken place in the world economy. There is a third view that accepts such changes but does not agree that they have a natural, inevitable, dynamic of their own (eg. Giddens 1990; 2000). In this third view it is claimed that there are choices to be made about whether to enhance, block or mediate these global economic forces. The nation state is considered to still have some role in determining policy over such matters. However the national state itself is seen as undergoing restructuring as part of the globalization process. Some of its functions are moving upwards to supra-national regional levels such as the European Union, while others are decentralising to sub-national regions or cities. The result can be described as a multi-layered system of governance which interacts in different ways with the processes of economic globalisation, which is itself multi-faceted. This more complex interpretation allows variation in the response of the different political actors.

City governments in recent years have been adapting to their new global environment. For example, in the three cities examined here, it has been assumed that to gain comparative advantage they need to beat their competitors in the game of attracting inward investment from the leading sectors of the new globalized economy. As Harvey noted almost ten years ago, there has been a shift in the attitudes of urban government from a managerial approach to entrepreneurialism (Harvey, 1989). This entrepreneurial stance views the city as a product that needs to be marketed. For economically advanced cities, such as Sydney, Singapore and London, this marketing effort is aimed at attracting the headquarters or regional branches of international companies, particularly in the financial sector. This city marketing approach adopts the 'hyperglobalist' view of the globalization process, accepting its imperatives and adapting city policy in order to compete and survive. This results in several consequences; a particular form of city decision-making, specific urban planning priorities and projects, and social polarization.

The argument pursued here is that this marketing approach, and the emphasis on restructuring the city so that it appeals to global business, has led to the dominance of certain interests in the decision-making process of urban planning. A coalition develops between those economic interests that are externally oriented and elements of city government that would benefit from the attraction of world city functions. The economic interests will include international companies, financial organisations, and sectors with a global reach such as computing or tourism, while the government elements are likely to comprise those that represent the strategic locations such as the CBD, new areas with potential for 'world city' functions, or airports. These interests can be viewed as forming a new kind of elite dominating the agenda of city governance. Many years ago Molotch developed the concept of the 'growth machine' in which a particular coalition of interests dominated city governance in the US (Molotch, 1976). The coalition centred around the real estate owners but included city politicians, media, utility companies and academia. Over the years this concept has been developed, particularly through comparative work in other countries, and made more sophisticated for example in 'regime theory' (for a good account of this see Judge et. al. 1995). Nevertheless, if we broaden the economic interests in the coalition and focus on those with a global concern, many of the other aspects of Molotch's formulation still have relevance. The over-riding desire for growth again provides the stimulus for the coalition, the highly focussed goal leads to the formulation of a sympathetic elite and the other agencies are drawn in because of the need for infrastructure and legitimacy. However, as suggested by recent 'regime theory' literature, the three case studies will show that city governance is not confined to the local level. Higher level political actors also play a significant role in this new 'global growth coalition'. This role becomes particularly relevant when, as in the Sydney example described below, the political boundaries cause problems in generating consensus behind the coalition. The importance of supra-city politics supports the third view of globalisation which suggests that, in our global world, governance is undergoing a process of restructuring in which the distinction between the previous political levels is becoming more complex. It runs counter to the 'hyperglobist' view which suggest that the nation state is becoming redundant.

The 'global growth coalition' will seek to push the policies of the city in a particular direction. This will be given legitimacy by arguing that the forces of globalization are inevitable and that if the city is to survive in an environment of competition with other cities it has to create a strategy to maximise the cities ability to benefit from global economic forces. This approach usually involves the formulation and propagation of some kind of 'vision' for the future of the city, oriented to reassuring potential investors that their needs will be met. The aim is to ensure that this vision informs other policies of the city, including the strategic land use plan, and expenditure priorities. Particular development projects will result. The global orientation places much emphasis on communications, including airport expansion and links to strategic office locations. The desire to attract global companies will lead to the provision of attractive, well serviced and located sites for 'state of the art' office development. In the top world cities this has produced Battery Park, Canary Wharf and the Tokyo Waterfront and smaller versions can be seen in most cities. Luxury housing, eating and entertainment provision are also required to attract the personnel for these global activities. Tourism, whether for business or pleasure, and leisure have also become major economic growth sectors in the global economy. As a result, many of the recent urban projects have included Trade Centres, conference centres, hotels, casinos, urban theme parks and sports complexes. The orientation to tourism encourages the use of cities as centres of entertainment and the real estate industry has been enthusing over 'Urban Entertainment Destinations'. Development projects oriented to these global activities not only provide physical needs, they also contribute to the 'image' of the city. This is important in marketing any product and can help in advertising and making the product visible. In the case of a city an exciting and dynamic impression can be given through the use of spectacular architecture. The Sydney Opera House provided an early example but in recent years there has been a proliferation of eye-catching buildings from the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to London's Millennium Dome.

Evidence suggests that cities of the developed world have become increasingly polarised in recent years, and the 'Dual City' label has been used to bring home the disparity between rich and poor. It is generally accepted that contemporary social dynamics are more complex than such a bi-polar division and that the variations in the social programmes of local and national states also generate diversity. Nevertheless much of the literature links the processes of economic globalization to social polarization (eg Sassen, 1991). The influx of global organisations into a city can create a highly paid workforce whose standard of living and salary levels are determined by global comparisons. On the other hand the workers who service them through such activities as cleaning, providing food or routine office work, are traditionally poorly paid. These economic and social differences have a geographical dimension and concentrations of rich and poor become increasingly evident. The process of gentrification is much in evidence, as the wealthy look for new locations. Such disparities can produce resentment and social instability. The kind of projects described above can also generate alienation as many local people find little for them in luxury shopping centres, casinos and conference centres. Indeed many of the new projects may worsen their quality of life through increased noise or congestion, or the loss of the opportunity to use the limited supply of key urban sites for other uses. In many cases the projects create islands of activity, oriented to those with good incomes, surrounded by areas of greater poverty. This phenomena has been called the 'bubble effect' (Judd, 1999). Many of the people who visit these sites are tourists or visitors from wealthier residential areas, often in the suburbs. There is considerable debate over the causal factors involved in these social processes. Cities have always contained rich and poor areas but the case can be made, as with globalization more generally, that the speed of change, its pervasiveness, and greater public awareness, creates a significantly different situation. For the purposes of the discussion here the important point is that globalization and the response of city governance, can have variable impacts on different groups of citizens. Urban decisions are highly political. However if another consequence of the particular response to globalisation is to restrict the decisions over priorities to a small elite, then there is little opportunity for the political issues to be aired through local democracy. In the longer term this can be a threat to the social sustainability of the city.

These themes will now be given more substance through a brief review of the three cities.


Giddens, A. (1990), The Consequences of Modernity, Cambridge: Polity Press.
Giddens, A. (2000), The Third Way and its Critics, Cambridge: Polity Press.
Harvey, D. (1989), 'From managerialism to entrepreneurialism: the transformation of governance in late capitalism', Geografiska Annaler, 71B, 3-17.
Held, D., McGrew, A., Goldblatt, D. and Perraton, J. (1999), Global Transformations, Cambridge: Polity Press.
Judd, D. (1999), 'Constructing the Tourist Bubble', in D. Judd and S. Fainstein (eds), The Tourist City, New Haven: Yale University Press.
Judge, D., Stoker,G. and Wolman, H. (eds) (1995), Theories of Urban Politics, London: Sage.
Molotch, H. (1976), 'The city as growth machine', American Journal of Sociology, 82 (2), 309-355.
Sassen, S. (1991), The Global City, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Sydney - regional capital

The major cities of Australia have a long history of competing with each other, and this tradition has provided a useful foundation for the wider geographical competition of recent years. Sydney has now established itself as the leading Australian city. It is the major international air hub, is the most important financial centre and, during the growth in Asian economies, extended its role to become a location for many trans-national corporations wanting to service south east Asia. The strategic planning of the Sydney metropolitan region is undertaken by the State of New South Wales. In 1988 a Liberal-National coalition won the state election and formed a government with an ideology of limited government, cuts in state finances, and privatisation. The state government was keen to attract global activities to Sydney but found it difficult to provide infrastructure and tax concessions, as the main revenue raising powers were held by the Federal Government. As a result the major tools available to the state government to attract global investment were its land holdings and urban planning and development powers. In 1995 the state government produced a new metropolitan strategy called Cities for the21st Century. It was heralded as a new approach to strategic planning that was more broadly based and more flexible; 'as we move into an age of more rapid change and diverse global influences, a metropolitan planning strategy needs to be dynamic rather than rigid' (Department of Planning, 1995, p.12). One of the policies in the strategy was 'the promotion, nationally and internationally, of Central Sydney as a corporate headquarters and financial centre and also as a tourism centre, and the development of planning and management in support of these roles' (p.92).

Thus by the mid 1990s Sydney was orienting its land use strategy towards a global market, orchestrated by the state government. Part of this strategy involved the identification of key sites for world city functions. However the state met reaction from the local authority level who were not always happy to accept such decisions. The City of Sydney was subject to local community pressures and opposed many of the ideas for the development of the CBD particularly when this involved the demolition of buildings with heritage value. It is therefore interesting to see how the state government sought to implement its globally oriented policy in the face of adverse local views. The first important tool it had at its disposal was the planning power to intervene in any development decision that had strategic significance. The state used this power on numerous occasions during the 1980s and 1990s and in some cases contravened the controls agreed in the local plans of the City of Sydney. In order to try and circumvent these democratically formulated local plans, a special Central Sydney Planning Committee was established in 1988 dominated by State appointees. This committee had responsibility for the preparation of local plans for the City and for decisions on all developments with a value of over $50m. Another ploy adopted by the state was to change the boundary of the City of Sydney to try and ensure a local council sympathetic to global city development. A further example of the bypassing of local opposition took place around the state's decision in the early 1980s to develop Darling Harbour as a major recreation and convention centre with a linked mono-rail. This had to be built in time for the 1988 Bicentennial year, but the requirement to conduct an environmental impact assessment created an obstacle in this tight timetable. So the state passed a special act of parliament to give planning powers to a new Darling Harbour Authority that would not be subject to local council controls or planning laws. When professional and community opposition developed over the proposed mono-rail these special powers were extended to also cover this aspect of the project.

In 1995 the Labor Party returned to control the state. It was felt that the Cities for the 21st Century strategy did not explore sufficiently the international context and so they commissioned a new study. In the forward to the study report, entitled Sydney as a Global City, the Minister for State and Regional Development says ' we must ensure that planning for Sydney supports a competitive and efficient economy.....planning for new and efficient road and rail networks, supporting existing employment locations and providing a continuing supply of sensibly located land are key elements in this focus' (Searle, 1996, p.v). The report presents a very thorough analysis of the factors that influence Sydney's potential as a world city and the implications for planning. In 1997 the State produced a new review of strategic planning called A Framework for Growth and Change (Department of Urban Affairs and Planning,1997a). This adopted many of the approaches of the previous plan and had an expanded section on fostering a competitive and adaptable economy, drawing on the work in Sydney as a Global City. New roads and airport expansion were proposed. A Framework for Growth and Change pointed out that the State would continue to use its powers to make decisions over major projects as this helped to attract major inward investment and 'encourage major companies to locate regional headquarters and facilities in the Region' (p.59).

In 1997 a new body was established called The Committee for Sydney - officially launched by the Premier of NSW. It comprised business and community leaders and was chaired by the director of the successful Olympic bid. Its major aim was to give Sydney a higher international profile and it believed that 'we have to think smarter, work harder and plan better if we are to build a viable future for our city in an intensely and increasingly competitive regional and world economy' (Committee for Sydney, 1997, pp.1-2). It placed considerable emphasis on the need for a plan or vision and said that 'many of the world's major cities - such as Barcelona, Berlin, London, Paris, Rome and Venice are showing us the way. They have developed clear visions of their future and are applying long-term strategic plans to realise them' (1997, p.5). It was clearly implying that Sydney was falling behind in the competitive urban development game and that existing strategic plans were not sufficient. So it was no surprise that in 1998 they commissioned a study entitled Sydney 2020 to 'determine what is needed to develop and enhance Sydney's future as a world city' (Committee for Sydney, 1998).

The Sydney example shows how important the global environment has become in the strategic planning of the city. Competition, not only with other Australian cities but with cities across the world, has become the motivating force. The main instigator of this strategy has been the State of New South Wales and changes in political party have had no effect on the direction of the strategy. The collaboration between the state and the Committee for Sydney with its strong business representation has strengthened the global orientation. Meanwhile the resultant projects, in the shape of new office developments in central Sydney and the conference and casino oriented Darling Harbour development, met with local opposition. To deal with this the state used a number of instruments to by-pass the local democratic process. It is also interesting to note that an expanded airport, and new link roads, have been built as part of the Olympic Games package. These developments might have been expected to generate local opposition but this has been blunted by the atmosphere of consensus and pride generated by winning the Olympic bid.


Committee for Sydney (1997), A Better Future: It is up to us, Sydney: Committee for Sydney.
Committee for Sydney (1998), Committee for Sydney launches "Sydney 2020" world benchmark study, Media Release, Feb 10th.
Department of Planning, (1995), Cities for the 21st Century, Sydney: State of New South Wales.
Department of Urban Affairs and Planning, (1997), A Framework for Growth and Change, Sydney: State of new South Wales.
Searle, G. (1996), Sydney as a Global City, Sydney: Sate of new South Wales.


Singapore - city state.

Singapore was founded as a trading post by the British early in the nineteenth century and until independence in 1965 these trading interests dominated the government of the city. In 1965 the new state was cut off from its hinterland and set about pursuing a survival strategy. The good world communication based upon trade provided a useful foundation, however it was decided that the state's industry needed to be developed if it was to secure its economic future. The state took the lead in organising this economic strategy. New institutions such as the Development Bank of Singapore were needed to facilitate, develop and control the foreign direct investment. The Jurong Town Corporation developed the new industrial estates. One of the most important bodies was the Economic Development Board (EDB), an arm of government that developed strategies to attract potential investors. So from this early period the Singapore government was actively involved in deciding the cities economic role and promoting it.

By the 1980s, the limits on the size of the work force, and the restricted land area, made the government realise that it was becoming increasingly uncompetitive in labour intensive industry. An Economic Committee was established to advise the government on a new direction. This concluded that Singapore should focus on developing as a service centre and seek to attract company headquarters to serve South East Asia, develop tourism, banking, and offshore-based activities. The government set up a specific initiative, the Operational headquarters programme, to attract regional offices of multinational corporations. In 1990 the Deputy Prime Minister stated that 'Singapore seeks to be a hub city for the region and the world in a growing interdependent global economy'. The land provision for this new orientation had already started in the early 1970s when the government realised that it lacked the banking infrastructure for a modern economy. A new banking and corporate district known as the 'Golden Shoe' was planned incorporating the historic commercial area (Chua, 1989). This became the location for the major international companies and various government financial agencies. Major expansion has also taken place at the airport to make it one of the hubs of world air traffic. Recently the government has seen its neighbouring cities, such as Jakarta and Kuala Lumpa, develop as financial and office centres. It believes it needs to keep one step ahead of trends and is now promoting Singapore as the 'intelligent island' with a focus on computer and telecommunication technology. Thus since independence the economic role of Singapore has been very consciously planned.

The centrally planned state economic strategy is closely linked to land use and development planning. The EDB has a key influence on the strategic land use plans that are prepared by another arm of government, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA). The private sector is also involved in the planning process. They are invited to give their opinions in the committees that are set up to advise these government Boards. Thus in preparing its plans the URA responds to the views of the various advisory committees and the Boards and Ministries of government, in which the EDB plays an important agenda setting role. The URA translates these discussions into land use and development terms through it preparation of a strategic plan for the whole island, called the Concept Plan. The latest Concept Plan was completed in 1991 and is clearly and openly oriented towards the attraction of business; 'economic growth has always been our most pressing concern. It still is, even though Singapore is already a major centre in terms of commerce, industry and finance. But progress does not wait. Singapore can not afford to take a complacent view now that we have achieved a reasonable level of business success. If we are to help lift Singapore to higher living standards, the muscle will be provided by our economy' (URA, 1991, p.18). The plan seeks to ensure this continued economic growth through 'restructuring the city' to ensure that the facilities needed by future business are planned, this includes transport and telecommunication infrastructure, land, and environmental quality. After conducting studies of other world cities a major extension of the existing financial district is planned, through a land reclamation scheme . This attempts to replicate the vitality of other cities with waterside central areas such as Sydney and San Francisco. Part of this area has already been developed as a conference and exhibition zone and the rest will be used for CBD expansion, housing and entertainment. One of the new features of the latest plan is a broader conception of what contributes to economic success. This conception includes high quality residential provision, a good environment, leisure facilities and exciting city life (URA, 1998). Thus there is more provision for low density housing, often in waterfront communities linked to beaches and recreational facilities. Another major land reclamation scheme is planned for these functions, stretching from the CBD to the airport. The environmental policy is oriented to the 'beautification' of Singapore, for example creating green zones between settlements and along transport corridors. It is linked to the prime objective of attracting business, for example through the provision of golf courses, beaches and pleasant setting for luxury housing.

As a one-party city-state, Singapore has a particular ability to take a positive and co-ordinated approach to the role of the city. This it has clearly done. A major role of government has been to determine the economic strategy for the city, which has moved from industry through regional office headquarters and financial services to computing and technology. Throughout, these strategies have been formulated within a conscious understanding of the cities relationship with the rest of the world and global communications and networking have been a central feature. This dominant role played by the state government has been supported by strong interaction with the business community through various advisory mechanisms. Once the economic vision has been established the land usae and development strategy is then expected to translates this into physical reality. The necessary sites and infrastructure are created. Local democracy has not played a major part in this decision-making approach. Rather the support of citizens is achieved through high quality, subsidized, social provision such as in housing, public transport and health. The majority of people live in housing built by the state but privately owned. This combination allows the state to determine the nature of the housing and its allocation while generating the stake-holding characteristic of ownership. The state's control of allocation has been used to ensure ethnic and social mix in each housing area. Thus the processes of social polarization and gentrification have been avoided. Social integration has been achieved, not through local democracy, but through the provision by a benevolent state of high material social conditions. An interesting question for the future will be whether this approach can be maintained with the stress on quality of life, variety, a restricted element of low density housing and an economy built on education and the 'information age'.


Chua, B.H. (1989), The Golden Shoe: Building Singapore's Financial District, Singapore: Urban Redevelopment Authority.
Urban Redevelopment Authority (1991), Living the Next Lap, Singapore: Urban Redevelopment Authority.
Urban Redevelopment Authority (1998), Towards a Tropical City of Excellence, Singapore: Urban Redevelopment Authority.


London - a world city

London was a relative latecomer to the business of city promotion, handicapped by its lack of any city-wide government after the abolition of the Greater London Council (GLC) in 1986. The only strategic policy for London after the GLC was produced by national government. In tune with the non-interventionist ideology of the Thatcher period, the central government strategic guidance for London in 1989 was only a few pages long and merely set out the main parameters, such as supporting the private sector, within which the local authorities should operate. As a result of the ideology of neo-liberalism and institutional fragmentation, very little London-wide thinking took place. The 33 local authorities within London had their joint committee, the London Planning Advisory Committee (LPAC), and this produced strategic policies but these had a very limited impact on central government. Earlier, in 1980, central government had established the London Dockland Development Corporation to undertake the regeneration of this large area of land left unused by the move downstream of the London Docks. The Corporation was a body appointed by central government and it took over the responsibility for the area from the local authorities. The communities living in that area therefore lost their local democratic procedures and there was considerable local resentment. The appointed body was given the brief to promote the area and attract inward investment from the private sector. They took over land that previously belonged to the local authorities and were give the finances to provide infrastructure. Tax breaks were offered and planning constraints removed. One of the results of this approach was the development of the Canary Wharf office project.

However from the early 1990s there was increasing pressure for a more concerted approach. The City of London, a small local authority covering the financial district and having unique institutional arrangements based upon a medieval charter that privileged the business community, had been active in commissioning reports. One of the conclusions of such work was that London needed a single voice in order to promote itself. A similar conclusion was expressed in the consultant's report London: World City Moving into the 21st Century (Coopers & Lybrand Deloitte, 1991). This was a study that surveyed leading international business opinion in order to see how London could retain its competitive position. It was commissioned by LPAC and supported by the local authorities covering the central area, i.e. the City of London City and City of Westminster, and the London Dockland Development Corporation.

By the early 1990s central government had also accepted the view that more needed to be done to enhance London's competitive position and in 1992 it set up the London Forum to promote the capital. However the following year this was merged into London First, a similar body set up by the private sector. This set the pattern of private sector leadership with central government backing that was to dominate strategic thinking in London over the next five years. An inward investment agency London First Centre was established in 1992 with finance from central government and the private sector. The following year another central government initiative was announced called London Pride. This involved London First orchestrating a vision for London that would help the city to be more successful in the competition with other cities in the world. The brief was to prepare a prospectus of future priorities and action which co-ordinated the public, private and voluntary sectors, and this was published in 1995 (LPP, 1995). Its opening statement set out its aim as the consolidation of London's position as the only world city in Europe. It sought to achieve this through three interrelated missions of a robust and sustainable economy drawing on a world class workforce, greater social cohesion, and a high quality provision of infrastructure, services and good environment. The main emphasis was on measures to support business and attract inward investment, such as adequate provision of good sites, telecommunication facilities, suitably trained labour market, promotional activity, improved access to the airports and better public transport.

Meanwhile central government had become more directly involved in strategic planning for the city, as the problems of fragmentation continued. It established a Minister for London, a Cabinet Sub-Committee for the capital, the Government Office for London which co-ordinated the different Ministries with interests in London, and produced a new enhanced Strategic Guidance for London Authorities that extended to seventy-five pages (GOL, 1996). In 1995 they also established the Joint London Advisory Panel to advise the Cabinet Sub-committee. This new body consisted of the same membership as the London Pride Partnership, and was again led by London First. This arrangement illustrates once more the close working relationship between central government and the private sector. The priorities of the Partnership had a significant influence on central government thinking through the Joint London Advisory Panel and its input into the revised strategic guidance for London. This new Guidance states that 'the promotion of London as a capital of world city status is fundamental to government policy. To remain competitive, London needs a clear sense of direction'. It continues by warning that London is under considerable pressure from rival cities such as Paris, Frankfurt, Barcelona and Berlin who are 'fighting harder than ever to attract investment and business opportunities' (p.3).

The London case shows that the fragmentation of decision-making that was a feature of the neo-liberal policies of the 1980s meant that London was poorly placed to promote itself in the globalized economy. This led to pressure, particularly from the business world and local authorities representing strategic development locations, to create some kind of leadership to promote the city. Many suggestions were made at the time but in the end the lead was taken by central government in partnership with the business-led London First organisation. The London Pride Partnership created a vision document and the local authorities and training agencies were drawn into this, as they would be the implementing agency for many of the ideas. This vision then influenced central government's strategic guidance for London which was a more comprehensive policy and local authorities were statutorily obliged to follow it.

However in 1997 a major change took place in British politics when the Labour Party under Tony Blair won the national election after eighteen years of Conservative rule. This had a significant impact on the institutional context for strategic planning in London. A completely new political arrangement, the Greater London Authority, was devised. For the first time in history this included an elected Mayor for the whole of London. The elections for the mayor and a Greater London Assembly were set for May 2000. A major theme for the new authority will be the co-ordination and integration of policy. It will be responsible for drawing up a new plan for the co-ordination of land use and development across the whole city, to be called the Spatial Development Strategy. It will also be required to produce an integrated transport strategy, an air quality management strategic plan, waste management strategy, regular state of the environment reports, a strategy for culture, media and leisure, and an economic development strategy. This economic development strategy, the focus for promoting competitiveness and attracting inward investment will be produced by the new London Development Agency - an arm of the new Greater London Authority. A second theme of the new authority will be to foster transparency of decision-making. This will be achieved through the elected Mayor, the debates in the Assembly and an annual public hearing. It will be interesting to see how this new arrangement, with its greater local democracy, effects the priorities for the urban planning of the city. Previously these were dominated by a coalition between central government and the private sector in an institutional environment that was highly complex and difficult to penetrate. In theory the new situation should generate debate and discussion as the various strategies are formulated. The priority to pursue competitiveness and inward investment will be advocated by the London Development Agency but this will be one voice amongst many within the purview of the mayor. A more open debate could occur with opportunities for citizens to express their opinions. Perhaps the result will be a less deterministic reaction to the imperatives of globalization.


Coopers & Lybrand Deloitte (1991), London, World City Moving into the 21st Century, London: HMSO.
Government Office for London (1996), Strategic Guidance for London Authorities, London: GOL.
London Pride Partnership (1995), London Pride Prospectus, London: London Pride Partnership.


Paper presented to the International Conference on Metropolitan Planning and Management, Seoul, Korea, September 2000.

Strategic planning in London: Has the new mayor filled the vacuum?

by Andy Thornley, Director of Planning Studies, LSE.

In July 2000, after an incident-packed election process, Ken Livingstone took over as the new elected mayor of London. This was the first time that London has ever had an elected mayor. The old Mayor of London was simply a ceremonial post and only applied to that very small part of London, the City of London, covering the central financial district. In addition to the mayor a new elected Assembly of 25 representatives was also established and the combined organisation has been labelled the Greater London Authority (GLA). The impact of this innovative arrangement is a major subject of interest to Londoners, although so far the work of new authority has been dominated by the establishment of its new procedural arrangements.

Strategic planning is one of the designated responsibilities of this new authority and I will summarise the arrangements that have been set out in the new regulations. It is too early to say how these will work out in practice. However some early indications of the key issues that are likely to arise over the coming year will be outlined, based upon the work of a research project| we are conducting at the LSE . Before describing the new situation it is necessary to summarise the position during the 1990s, as the new arrangements were to a large degree a reaction to the problems of this period.

The strategic planning vacuum of the 1990s

After the abolition of the Greater London Council (GLC) in 1986 there was no local government for the whole of the metropolitan London area. The powers of the old GLC were re-allocated to central government, the lower tier of the London Boroughs or to some kind of joint body. The abolition of the GLC is generally regarded as a political act by a Thatcher government that was concerned about the power held by the metropolitan local authorities. The removal of this tier of government fitted into the political ideology of the period that stressed minimal intervention and market freedom. Some saw this as a welcome move that led to the strengthening of the Boroughs or an opportunity for spontaneous innovation through the creation of more action oriented, and financially efficient, ad hoc bodies. However the new arrangement lacked a co-ordinated strategic perspective with any power to implement policy. Eventually increasing concern was expressed from many quarters about the lack of an overall vision and leadership.

After the abolition of the Greater London Council the London Planning Advisory Committee (LPAC) was set up to discuss strategic city-wide planning issues. This committee, made up of representatives from the Boroughs, prepared strategic planning reports but it was only an advisory body. It presented its ideas to central government who now prepared the statutory Strategic Planning Guidance for the city. In tune with the non-interventionist ideology of the period the guidance in 1989 was only a few pages long and simply set out the main parameters within which the local authorities should operate. So, as a result of the ideology of non-intervention and institutional fragmentation, very little strategic planning took place after the abolition of the GLC. LPAC produced it strategic policies but these had limited impact.

However from the late 1980s onwards there was increasing pressure for more concerted action. The City Corporation, a small local authority covering the financial district of the City of London with unique institutional arrangements based upon its medieval charter that privileges the business community, was active in commissioning reports and funding promotional bodies. LPAC also commissioned its own research on the needs of London as a centre of world business. These studies concluded that London was at a disadvantage in not having a single voice to promote the city. By the early 1990s central government had also accepted the view that more needed to be done to enhance London's competitive position and counteract its fragmented institutional structure. In 1992 central government set up the London Forum to promote the capital but the following year this was merged into London First, a similar body set up by the private sector. This set the pattern of private sector leadership with central government backing that was to dominate strategic thinking in London over the next five years.

In the same year another initiative was announced called City Pride. The idea was that central government would give some financial backing to its three major cities if they produced visions or strategies to show how they could make themselves more successful in the competition with other cities in the world. They were asked to prepare a prospectus of future priorities and action which co-ordinated the public, private and voluntary sectors. In London the job of orchestrating this exercise was given to the private sector body London First. The task was undertaken by the London Pride Partnership with representation from business, local authorities and the voluntary sector. Meanwhile central government itself was becoming more and more involved in strategic planning for the city as the problems of fragmentation continued. It established a Minister for London, a Cabinet Sub-Committee for the capital, the Government Office for London with representation from the difference Ministries with interests in London policy, and produced a new enhanced Strategic Guidance for London. This time, illustrative of its greater importance, the guidance extended to seventy-five pages. In 1995 they also established the Joint London Advisory Panel to advise the Cabinet sub-committee. This new body consisted of the same membership as that the London Pride Partnership led by London First. This arrangement illustrates again the close working relationship between central government and the private sector.

In 1995 the London Pride Prospectus was published and set the frame for strategic priorities. In its opening statement it states its aim as ensuring London's position as the only world city in Europe. It seeks to achieve this through three interrelated missions of a robust and sustainable economy drawing on a world class workforce, greater social cohesion, and a high quality provision of infrastructure, services and good environment. Although it contains short sections on targets for affordable housing and policies to improve air quality, energy conservation and waste management, most of the prospectus is devoted to business growth, the development of skills and transport provision. Measures are set out to support business and attract inward investment such as adequate provision of good sites, telecommunication facilities, suitably trained labour market, promotional activity, improved access to the airports and better public transport. The priorities of the Partnership then had a strong influence on central government thinking through the London Advisory Panel and through its input into the revised and expanded Strategic Guidance for London. One of the features of this period was the proliferation of more and more organisations with complex inter-relationships. They lacked any clear channels of accountability and created a confused network that made it difficult to identify who was responsible for decisions.

During the 1990s strategic planning for London was very weak. The most comprehensive work was being done by LPAC. However the influence of this work was handicapped by the advisory nature of the Committee. Central government, imbued with its New Right ideology, was not sympathetic to the idea of strategic planning. However the limitations of the fragmented governance of the city were becoming clear to the business sector. The fear of London losing its position in an era of global competition spurred the government into action. They became more interested in city-wide policies and visions and the outcome was the expanded strategic guidance and London Pride Prospectus. So the strategic policy vacuum was starting to be filled, not by a government for London, but by central government heavily influenced by representatives of the business sector.

In 1997 a major change took place in British politics when the Labour Party under Tony Blair won the election after eighteen years of Conservative rule. This was to have a significant effect on the institutional context for strategic planning in London. The Labour Party pledged itself to greater transparency in government, to tackle the issues of the proliferation of unaccountable ad hoc bodies and to devolve governmental power. They also indicated that they would give greater emphasis to issues such as social exclusion and environmental sustainability. Policy co-ordination or 'joined-up policy thinking' was one of their new slogans. These procedural and policy priorities heralded a major change to the governance of London and the approach to strategic planning.

The new political structures

In their election Manifesto the Labour Party included a commitment to an elected mayor for London. If this proved successful they hoped the model would also be taken up by other British cities. The idea drew upon the experience of mayors in other parts of the world, particularly the US, Barcelona and Rome. The mayor was conceived as having strong executive powers. Alongside the mayor an elected Assembly would have a scrutiny and checking role. This arrangement fitted in with the Party's commitment to devolution which was also expressed in regional parliaments for Scotland and Wales. It was hoped that the strong mayor would overcome the problem of lack of political leadership in the capital and that the electoral processes would introduce greater transparency and accountability into strategic decision-making. One of the major features of the new model was that it would be a streamlined authority. There was no intention of returning to the huge bureaucracy that was a feature of the old Greater London Council.

Having won the election in 1997 the Labour Party began the process of implementing the new political system. It was to take three years to set up. First it was decided to have a referendum to ask Londoners whether or not they agreed with the proposals. This took place on May 7th 1998 and, on a rather low turnout, 72% said they wanted the new system. Preparation for the new Act of Parliament, the Greater London Authority Act, was then set in motion. This was a complicated business because of the many constitutional innovations involved and the Act was eventually over 400 pages long. It was passed by parliament in November 1999. The Act sets out the powers to be controlled by the mayor. In principal these powers are for policies having a strategic impact on London as a whole. The lower tier of government, the 32 London Boroughs and the City Corporation, will continue to exist and the GLA must not duplicate their responsibilities. Many of the powers of the GLA therefore arise from taking over existing quangos and some devolution from central government. The GLA has responsibility for policing the city through a new organisation called the Metropolitan Police Authority - this role was previously undertaken by central government. The GLA also has responsibility for three 'statutory organisations' (often referred to as the 'functional bodies'): Transport for London, the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and the London Development Agency (LDA). The LDA is responsible for economic development, promoting London and regeneration. It is part of a new nation-wide policy of introducing such agencies for all regions. In additional to having the responsibility for overseeing the operation of these bodies, the GLA will also have other strategic and co-ordinating functions. These include strategic planning, developing cultural policy and ensuring sustainability.

Most of the executive powers of the GLA are vested in the mayor. The mayor formulates policy, proposes a budget, co-ordinates all the different partners and makes appointments to the statutory bodies. He or she can appoint a Cabinet to assist in his or her work. A major task of the mayor is to develop strategies for the topics he or she has responsibility for. These have to be consistent with national policy. The mayor also has to produce an annual progress report followed by a 'State of London' debate and a twice-yearly 'People's Question Time'. The Assembly has twenty-five members of whom 14 are elected on an area or constituency basis and 11 on a London-wide basis. The role of the Assembly is to scrutinise the mayor's activity and it also appoints some members to the statutory bodies. The mayor reports to the Assembly each month and answers questions. The mayor's proposals and budget are reported to the Assembly who endorse these through a majority vote. It they have a two-thirds majority they can make amendments. The Assembly has the power to set up committees of investigation into topics of their choice and draw upon outside experts to provide advice and information.

One of the important features to note about the new arrangement is that the mayor does not have much financial autonomy. The GLA will take over the central government grants that previously went to the various transport operators and these will be paid to Transport for London. However this money can only be used for transport purposes. It will also inherit the existing public spending in London on police, fire, economic development and regeneration. The important aspect of these funding arrangements is that central government still has a controlling influence and the mayor cannot switch funds between the different statutory bodies. Central government retains a reserve power to set a minimum level for the police budget. There will also be a small annual general purpose grant from central government to cover the operating costs of the GLA. London council tax payers will contribute a small amount. The GLA will also have access to a very limited amount of its own resources through new powers to impose congestion charging and workplace parking fees.

The election was set for May 2000 and the election campaign was extremely eventful. The original Conservative Party candidate, Jeffrey Archer, had to stand down because of serious accusations of perjury and was replaced by Steve Norris. However it was in the Labour Party's candidate selection process that the most significant events occurred. Ken Livingstone, a member of the Labour Party and the last leader of the old GLC, indicated he wished to stand. This presented a severe problem for the new Prime Minister. Livingstone, renowned for his independent spirit, was not fully signed up to the New Labour approach. He was thus a threat to Tony Blair's dominance and control over Labour Party thinking. New Labour placed considerable emphasis on orchestrating its image and policy presentation utilising market research and media influence. Blair did all he could to prevent the election of Livingstone saying that it would be a disaster for London. Several changes were made to the rules for electing the Labour candidate that would be to the detriment of Livingstone. Much effort was also spent on trying to influence opinions, for example through orchestrated newspaper articles attacking Livingstone and raising questions about his past actions to undermine his credibility. A desperate search took place for a suitable alternative candidate but unfortunately for Blair the best he could find was Frank Dobson, Minister for Health, who totally lacked any charisma. The result of the Labour Party ballot was that Frank Dobson won the internal Party election by a very narrow majority. However it was clear to everyone that this was only because of the way the election process had been manipulated. At this point Livingstone decided he would stand as an independent candidate and was expelled from the Labour Party.

Livingstone won the election by a convincing margin. In the first round of voting he obtained 39% of the vote, the conservative candidate Norris was second with 27% and the Labour Party candidate Frank Dobson third with only 13% (there were then eight other candidates with lower votes). It was clear that a major factor in the electorate's behaviour was disapproval of the attempt by Blair and the Labour Party to fix the process. Many relished the prospect of Livingstone standing up to the perceived 'control-freakery' of central government. This outcome, with a strong mayor figure acting with autonomy from the Labour Party and central government, was not envisaged when the new structures were designed. This is a particular feature of interest in exploring the implementation of the new structures and regulations. The unexpected outcome not only applies to the relationship between central government and the mayor but also between the mayor and the Assembly. It was thouhgt that the majority in the Assembly would probably be held by the Labour Party. However instead, out of the 25 seats, 9 were won by Labour and 9 by the main opposition, the Conservatives. Hence the balance of power lies in the hands of the minority parties with Liberal Democrats having 4 seats and the Green Party 3 seats. The good showing of the Green Party was unexpected and an unusual phenomena in British politics. The Green Party probably benefited from the endorsement it was given by Livingstone. So the Green Party with its environmental agenda looks as it could have a significant influence on policy with its role in the balanced Assembly and its close links with the mayor. This is another interesting dimension to explore in the new policy formulation process.

The new strategic planning framework

The mayor will be required to produce a number of strategies covering the whole of London. However it should be noted that the mayor's geographical area of responsibility only extends over the old GLC area, i.e. the area within the Green Belt. This is of course not what might be termed the 'functional city-region' . Many people travel into and out of this area for employment and leisure purposes and many London facilities such as Gatwick and Stansted Airports lie outside the mayor's area. Therefore there will need to be considerable co-operation between the strategies for London produced by the mayor and the work of surrounding local authorities and regional agencies. How this will occur has yet to be resolved.

A major feature of the new arrangements is the attempt to combine all the old bodies responsible for different aspects of transport into a single body, although rail line bringing in commuters from outside London will continue to be run by private companies. Reflecting the new co-ordinated objective, the mayor will produce an integrated transport strategy for London. The GLA will have the duty to promote a sustainable approach to economic, social and environmental issues and this is reflected in the requirement to produce a number of environmentally oriented strategies. These are an air quality strategy, a municipal waste management strategy, an ambient noise strategy, and a biodiversity action plan. The mayor will also produce a report on the state of London's environment every four years. The mayor also has the duty to promote culture in London and produce a cultural strategy. He/she may also produce a separate tourism strategy. A new body called the London Development Agency has been created to promote economic development and regeneration. This body, which will be controlled by the mayor, will promote, and improve, London's competitiveness, reclaim and prepare sites for economic development, and tackle the problems of deprived areas through taking over the regeneration budget for London, previously operated by central government. The LDA will also prepare an economic development and regeneration strategy for London which has to integrate with all the other strategies mentioned above.

As far as land-use planning is concerned the mayor will prepare a new kind of plan called the Spatial Development Strategy (SDS). This will give a strategic overview of planning in London and replace the current Regional Planning Guidance produced by central government in 1996 (RPG3). The London Borough's own plans (Unitary Development Plans) will then have to conform to the new SDS. The detailed content of the SDS will be left to the mayor however central government expects it to cover transport, economic development, regeneration, housing, retail development, leisure and culture, environment, built heritage, waste management, use of energy and London's world city role. It can immediately be seen that this coverage overlaps with the other strategies mentioned above. Co-ordination will therefore be a key requirement in the strategic policy work of the GLA. It has been suggested that the SDA could play a major role in this co-ordination by pulling together all the other strategies through their requirements and impact on land-use and development. Another key feature of the SDS that does not apply to the other strategies is that it is a statutory plan which means that it must follow the formulation procedures set out in central government regulations including the requirement to hold an Examination in Public to debate the proposed strategy.

Where applications for development have a strategic importance for London the mayor may intervene in the decisions taken by the London Boroughs and the City Corporation. The mayor can direct refusal if the development does not conform with his/her strategies. The definition of which developments have strategic important has been set out by central government in the new regulations. The definition is based on the floor-space and height of the proposed development, with variations between outer and central London and for areas adjacent to the river Thames. The City Corporation, which is the authority for the central financial district, lobbied government strongly during the preparation of the regulations and managed to get special treatment for the City. As a result larger and higher buildings can be developed there without the need for the mayor to be involved. Any development in London involving 500 or more houses is also considered strategic and will need to be referred to the mayor.

The early months in the life of the GLA

After the Labour Party won the election in 1997 with it manifesto commitment to a new kind of authority for the capital it became clear that an opportunity existed to re-consider solutions to London's problems. It also became clear that the legal and administrative processes for establishing the new authority were going to take a long time. In the interregnum a number of organisations set about developing their own ideas and policies. The aim was to try and influence the mayor's approach. It was thought that the mayor would be very busy when he or she took up office and would be tempted to adopt policies and ideas that were already on the table.

Following the government announcement of its intention to set up the London Development Agency as one arm of the mayor's responsibility, a number of interests joined together in 1998 to set up an organisation called the London Development Partnership (LDP). This organisation was led by business interests and its purpose was to develop a strategy that would then influence the LDA once it was established. They contributed funds to the partnership to enable a small staff to be set up, working parties established and a report produced. Their priorities were to co-ordinate the work being done on economic development and prepare a strategy oriented to developing London's attractiveness to business. One of the interesting issues to explore in the early years of the GLA will be the extent to which the work of the LDP influences the mayor's agenda and the LDA's economic development strategy. This will be one indication of whether the new arrangements have led to a major change in strategic priorities. As noted above during the 1990s the business interests had privileged access to government's strategy for London. The organisation London First and the City Corporation were major players during this period and were also involved in the LDP. It will be interesting to see if the influence of these business-oriented organisations diminishes at all in the new framework of governance.

The LDP strategy built on the work of the London Study that reported in 1998. This was another exercise that looked at a future vision for London and oriented its 'action plan' at the future mayor. The study was based upon four commissioned research projects and was largely funded by the European Commission. The study was co-ordinated by the Association of London Government (an organisation representing the London Boroughs) and its management team included business-oriented bodies such as CBI London, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, The Corporation of London and the London Docklands Development Corporation. The agenda for action proposed by the London Study seeks to address the three main themes of social exclusion, environmental sustainability and economic competitiveness. It believes that the way forward is to accept that these themes are not necessarily in conflict and can be best pursued through an integrated approach based on an established consensus. They see one of the most important role's of the mayor to be ensuring that all the stakeholders in London adopt a shared agenda. It will be interesting to see how far Livingstone adopts this approach and how successful this consensus-building proves to be.

A third study that sought to provide the mayor with a strategic approach was the London Planning Advisory Group's 'Endowment' document that was produced early in 2000. LPAC represents the interests of the London Boroughs and the 'Endowment' is based upon the work that they have been doing over the years to formulate a strategic planning perspective after the abolition of the GLC. The 'Endowment' is not presented as a draft strategy as it is seen as the new mayor's role to identify exactly what form the new SDS should take. Instead the 'Endowment' puts together a number of 'policy building blocks' on key aspects. This work builds on the advice which LPAC formulated in 1994 for central government when it was preparing its Strategic Policy Guidance for London and which was also fed into the work of the London Study mentioned above. The 'building blocks' update the previous work of LPAC and in particular cover, housing, town centres, waste and minerals, the river Thames and the environment. The 'Endowment' suggests that the mayor should produce an early 'headline' statement of overarching visions and objectives. Draft proposals for the SDS should then be prepared by the end of the year alongside the LDA and transport strategies, allowing for integration across the three strategies. It also presents advice on how the SDS should relate to regional and EU policy. LPAC urges the mayor to continue the close co-operation with the London Boroughs which was the essence of their own approach. LPAC has now been disbanded and staff absorbed into the GLA. In this new situation it will be interesting to see how the interests of the Boroughs are represented in the strategic policies. A key issue will be how far the new mayor adopts the 'Endowment' and the 'policy building blocks'.

The most important document in exploring the approach of the new mayor is his election manifesto. This continues to provide the framework for determining his priorities. In the manifesto he stresses that the new London government will be more accessible and inclusive of different interests. There will be a heavy emphasis on public consultation in the preparation of policies. He states that the SDS must be more flexible and produced more quickly than the old Greater London Development Plan. He states in the manifesto that London's transport crisis will be the biggest single problem facing the new mayor. During the election campaign the policy issue that attracted most attention was how to fund the improvement to the underground. Livingstone opposed the central government approach, based on Public Private Partnership. This is likely to continue to provide tension between the mayor and central government as the latter has the financial decision-making power. A second transport policy to gain a lot of attention was that of congestion and parking charges. This is likely to dominate policy in the early period of the Livingstone administration as it is one area where the mayor has considerable autonomy. The manifesto also gives high priority to environmental issues and during the election campaign Livingstone gave significant acknowledgement to the ideas of the Green party. The manifesto covers issues such as support for green business, more open space and green pedestrian routes, wildlife, recycling, protection of the Thames and home energy efficiency. However the manifesto also makes strong statements about the need for economic growth and the promotion of London's competitiveness. The city must maintain its position as the financial capital of Europe but high priority will also be given to small and medium sized business. Another central theme in the manifesto is addressing the issues of race and diversity. This perspective should be central to all policies, for example in supporting ethnic minority business. The mayor promises to lobby government to protect London's share of regeneration funding and to allocate this in a way that links deprived communities to new economic opportunities.

The manifesto sets the agenda of priorities. However the early months of the GLA's life have been dominated by organisational issues. The new appointments and procedures have to be put in place, for example there have been places to fill on the mayor's list of advisors, his Cabinet and the Boards of the functional bodies. One of the significant messages that arises from this process has been the way Livingstone has taken an inclusive approach to his appointments. There have been many people appearing in key positions who were senior figures in Livingstone's old GLC days, However alongside these are appointments reflecting a wide cross section of interests. For example, Livingstone has found roles for most of his competitors in the mayoral election. Darren Johnson (Green Party and member of the Assembly) has been made his environmental advisor, and Steve Norris (Conservative) and Susan Kramer (Liberal Democrat) have been appointed to the Board of London Transport. Nicky Gavron, A Labour Party Member of the Assembly, has been made Deputy Mayor and advisor on strategic planning. Judith Mayhew from the City Corporation has been appointed as advisor on the city and business. The appointments also demonstrate an attempt to achieve gender balance and representation of ethnic minorities. A number of interesting issues arise from these appointments. First will the incorporation of these various interests lead to consensus-building or will their different priorities eventually emerge? Secondly how will the cross-party appointments interact with the 'old guard' of the GLC and who will have the greatest influence? A third issue arises from Livingstone's adoption of some Assembly members as his own advisors. How will this effect the supposedly differentiated role of the mayor as executive power and the Assembly as scrutinising power?

The early months of the new authority were dominated by staffing and procedural issues. The policy issue that the mayor has pursued with the greatest urgency has been that of congestion charging. As well exploring different options and carrying out consultation, Livingstone has indicated that the charging needs to be linked to a strategy for improving public transport. The need for this contextual framework has given urgency to the preparation of the transport strategy and so this is advancing at a faster rate than the other strategies. The different time scales for the preparation of the various strategies raises a difficult challenge for co-ordination. This co-ordinated approach was one of the key principles for the new authority and it will be interesting to see how it is tackled. The transport strategy clearly has implications for sustainability and also needs to be integrated into the land-use and development strategy. The political priority that leads the fast track approach to transport policy does not mesh with the statutory process for the development of the SDS which is set out in the central government regulations. There are fixed procedures laid out for consultation with the Boroughs and central government, and for an Examination in Public. The minimum time period for the preparation of the strategy is two years. It has been stated that the SDS will provide the vehicle for the integration and co-ordination of all the other strategies, however it is difficult to see how this can happen if it is followed along after the other more politically urgent strategies have been agreed. These do not have the same statutory obligations and can therefore be produced more quickly. Another indication of the unclear coexistence of political and statutory processes is the mayor's intention to issue a vision statement of his priorities in November 2000. Various consultation meetings and panel sessions of different interests are taking place to feed into this exercise. It will be interesting to see how this vision is integrated into the development of the Spatial Development Strategy with its own separate requirements for consultation.

So at this stage in the life of the new authority it can be said that certain policy areas such as public transport and the environment are getting increasing attention. The various strategies that the mayor needs to prepare will be issued over the next two years and many of these will be very innovative, such as the approach to environmental sustainability or ambient noise. However it is unclear how these various strategies, and the other priorities of the mayor, are going to be co-ordinated, especially as the preparation of the SDS is likely to take some time. There will be a considerable increase in public accessibility and debate, however the decision-making process remains complex. In this situation it is unclear as yet whether the interests, such as the business interests, that held considerable power in the period before 1997 will have to relinquish some of this power to the 'newer' interests, such as environmental and ethnic minority interests. These have been brought into the process of governance by the mayor as part of his consensus approach, but it is too early to assess whether they will have a significant impact.


1. This project, ESRC Ref R000223095, is entitled 'Institutional change, networks and agendas: planning under the GLA' and was carried out by Kath Scanlon, Karen West. Yvonne Rydin and Andy Thornley.

Asian Travels

Andy Thornley




Ryuji Kutsuzawa, Takeshi Muraoka, me, Taku Hon'iden, Toru Sekine and his friend, Yusuke Hasegawa

In May of last year, with the financial help of the Daiwa Foundation, I was able to spend three weeks in Tokyo. I spent this time talking to planners and academics about the current strategic planning ideas for Tokyo and how people viewed its World City status. This material forms part of the input into the book on Urban Planning in World Cities which I am current writing. This research would not have been possible without the help of Asato Saito, current PhD student, who helped set up the meetings and came with me to the interviews. The trip enabled me to fix up many reunion sessions with past Japanese students. Between 1994 and 2000 twenty five Japanese students took the Masters course, and many more before that of course. In many cases these students have been sent by their Ministries to regional cities within the country, but I was able to meet many who were based in Tokyo.

I was given a very pleasant planner's day tour of Tokyo by Keiji Kamiyama (MSc 1989/90) which included an evening meal with his wife at their house. Keiji spent many years in London at the Japanese Embassy but is now back in Tokyo and is Director of the Planning and Coordination Division of the Urban Development Planning Department of the Japan Regional Development Corporation

One of the lectures I gave during the trip was to the students of Andre Sorensen (PhD, 1999) at the University of Tokyo. One of the surprise members of the audience was Katsushi Kitajo (MSc 1999/2000) who had travelled all the way down from Sapporo where he is doing regional development work as deputy director of the Hokkaido Branch of the Development Bank of Japan. Andre himself commutes to his lecturing post at the University on the Bullet Train each week from his home near Kobe. I spent a very enjoyable day being guided around Kyoto by Andre - we only scratched the surface of the various Temples that were worthy of a visit. I also have very strong memories of the new station which must be one of the most impressive station complexes in the world. By now Andre and his family will be back in Canada where his wife has a prestigious new lecturing job.

I also had three very enjoyable evening dinner sessions with groups from various years. The 1999/2000 group took me to a restaurant at the top of one of the huge office towers in the Shinjuku office sub-centre. The group (see opposite) included Toru Sekine and his girlfriend, Yusuke Hasegawa, and Taku Honiden. We were joined by two students from the 1997/8 cohort - Ryuji Kutsuzawa & Takeshi Muraoka. Toru is working for Namura, Yusuke in the Planning and Development Department of the Japan International Co-operation Center and Taku in the Minister's Secretariat of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

With Yuki, Masumi and Masahiro

This is the new Ministry that has been established in Japan after merging the Ministries of Construction and Transport. Ryuji and Takeshi are also working for this Ministry, Ryuji as Deputy director of Housing Finance and Takeshi as Deputy Director of Coastal Defence.

A few day later I was in a restaurant in the centre of the city - in one of those walled off cubicles that are popular in Japanese restaurants - sitting around a low table chatting to Yuki Tanaka (Now Deputy Director of Coastal Passenger Transport in the new Ministry) and Masahiro Morita from the 1995/6 cohort. Half way through our meal Masumi Jumei dashed in after working late for her marketing company.

On another evening, Atsuyuki Nakaseko and Shinichi Goto from the 1994/5 group took me to a restaurant specialising in food from Okinawa, near the red light district of Shinjuku. Naka is working in the Urban Planning Division of Japan Engineering Consultants Ltd and also doing some lecturing. Shin is Deputy Director of the International Affairs and Crisis Management, Division of Japan Coast Guard. His visiting card says he is a 'Commander' - sounds impressive.


Shin and Taka inspect the Okinawa dish

Finally I also managed to meet up with Tadashi Yokoyama (MSC 1998/9) who is a Deputy Director in the Cabinet Office looking at the moment at regional policy. We had a very interesting discussion about the changes in Japanese national politics.


Sunset in Osaka


From July 11-15th last year the First World Planning Schools Congress was held in Shanghai. This brought together planning teachers and researchers from all over the world. I was one of those who made the trip along with Asato Saito and Bo Tang, current PhD students who both presented papers to the Congress.

As well as meeting fellow conference members we also spent time getting to know the city. Not easy in such hot and humid conditions!


Street in the old town with the 88 storey tower that contains the Grand Hyatt hotel - supposed to be the third tallest building in the world.

The new development there is quite mind blowing. The speed and scale of the projects makes London Docklands seem like a village. Some of the architecture is pretty dramatic in itself - some is also awful! What is so amazing is the way that the government has gone ahead to create the physical infrastructure of a World City with such confidence. It is assumed the demand and softer skills, (such as language, management approaches, understanding of international finance etc ) will somehow follow. Certainly a great example of an attempt to use the state to create a 'World City'. However at the same time one has to wonder if it will all work out, many of the office building are still empty. However confidence remains high and a start is being made on a new tower in Pudong that will be the tallest in the world.


View of the well-know Pudong Development Area - the new financial centre for the city.

Staff news

Derek Diamond

Very many thanks to all of you alumni who kindly sent Christmas or New Year cards. They are much appreciated. 2001 was, in terms of my now somewhat limited professional activity, dominated by two countries - Again and the Republic of the Maldives. In last years Newsletter I explained how I became involved in regional development in the Maldives and all I can report at this stage is - so far so good! Although the human capital aspects (i.e. training) have proceeded more slowly than planning, the physical infrastructure improvements are in fact underway and within a month of writing this I have to go and see progress for myself. Invitations to lecture in Valencia and in Bilbao allowed me to experience two of the growing number of major cities promoting themselves through cultural activity. The Deputy Mayor in Bilbao told me about his measures of impact of the Guggenheim Museum and on any scale it is a massive success. Can it be replicated is the crucial unanswered question ?

Hazel Johnstone

Hazel Johnstone persists as the administrator at the Gender Institute LSE, in the summer moving to Columbia House and back to campus from its temporary home in Southampton Buildings Isolation Block. The GI continues to manage to keep her busy, with five masters programmes and a PhD cohort of around 30, as well as participating in myriad reviews of its teaching and research programmes (Gender Institute|) - and conferences, seminars and workshops, which always manage to be interesting and different - in some respects this year hasn't been a hugely eventful one but it's good being part of an academic unit as it becomes increasingly well-known and respected 'out there'. She was recently very pleased indeed to be visited by Sumo, an old friend from her Planning days, who'd just successfully defended his PhD viva at LSE; enjoyed Christmas lunch with Derek Diamond and Esme; and is still in contact with former Planning PhDs Dan Graham and Brian Linneker, amongst others.

Mark Kleinman

Mark Kleinman moved to the Chair in International Social Policy at the University of Bristol in January 2001. He is based in the Centre for Urban Studies in the School for Policy Studies at Bristol, where he continues to work both on comparative social policy and on urban governance, but keeps strong links with LSE London and the LSE Cities Programme. Current projects include research on policy lessons for British cities from the experience of urban governance in Europe (for ESRC) and a literature review of the links between financial and non-financial aspects of British local government (for the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions). He has worked with Ricky Burdett, Kathryn Firth and Tony Travers on an LSE Cities Programme research project on policy for tall buildings in London, and is contributing to the 2002 LSE London seminar series. In November 2001, his book A European Welfare State? EU Social Policy in Context was published by Palgrave. He is currently finishing two books about London to be published later in 2002. Working Capital: Life and Labour in Contemporary London (with Nick Buck, Ian Gordon, Michael Harloe and Sir Peter Hall) is based on a three-year ESRC-funded study of competitiveness, cohesion and governance in London. Governing London: Power and Politics in a Global City (co-written with Tony Travers) is a definitive account of the new governance arrangements in London. Mark participates in a European network of researchers examining metropolitan governance reform in Amsterdam, London, Paris, Lyon, Milan, Rome and Madrid, and has given papers on the new London governance in Bologna, Rome, Paris and Madrid. He recently completed a major EU-funded study of 'mega-corridor' development in north-west Europe, as part of a cross-national research team from the UK, France, Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. He will be attending the Urban Affairs Association annual meeting in Boston, USA in March 2002

Diane Perrons

During 2001 I gave a range of papers from on my research on social and spatial divisions in the new economy at conferences in Europe, including the closing plenary papers at the First Munich international feminist Geography Seminar on Regional Development and Gendered Labour Markets in Munich in July and at the International Conference of the Regional Studies Association University in Gdansk in September. I was also awarded the Lennart Andersson Symposium from Karlstadt University in December. However the highlight of my year was undoubtedly the invitation from the Institute for Women and Work at Cornell's School of Industrial and Labour Relations (ILR) to contribute to an international seminar of activists and scholars on Gross Domestic Product vs. Quality of Life: A transatlantic dialogue on balancing work and the family held at the beautiful Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio, Italy.


Bellagio conference participants meet Jan. 31 in a session titled "A Workable Balance: Women's Paid Work in the New Economy" in the main conference room in the center's villa. Pictured, from left, are: Konstanze Plett, professor at the University of Bremen, Germany; Maria Tomé, lecturer at the Portuguese Catholic University Law School; Francine Moccio, director of the Institute for Women and Work; Betty Friedan, author and Cornell distinguished visiting professor; Diane Perrons, senior lecturer at the London School of Economics; and William D. Salter, senior adviser at the International Labor Organization.

Yvonne Rydin

Yvonne Rydin is still working on a big EU-funded research project on local sustainability indicators involving partners in France, Austria and Switzerland. This comes to a conclusion in the summer with the publication of a final report, a practitioners' guide and a conference at LSE in September. Anyone interested in keeping in touch should contact|. Otherwise, her book on Conflicts, Consensus and Environmental Planning goes to press with Oxford University Press in the spring; watch out for publication in 2003. Then its down to work on the 3rd edition of Urban and Environmental Planning in the UK.

Christine Whitehead

In the year 2000/2001 Christine Whitehead was involved in a number of conferences looking at the future of social housing. She spoke in Hong Kong, Washington and Glasgow. She completed research on affordable housing in London for the Greater London Assembly as well as a number of local and regional market analyses looking at the need for housing in general and affordable housing in particular. She was classed as wanting to concrete over the South East by the Times! She was involved in a range of projects mainly for the London Development Agency on indicators, targets and the linkages between growth and housing provision. She spoke at a number of conferences in Scandinavia about comparative housing policies.

She was elected honorary fellow by the Society of Property Researchers - only the sixth ever and the first specialist in housing.

She continued to serve on a mass of LSE committees - including Court, Council, Finance and Gene, Nominations Committee - and is now chair of the Catering Advisory Committee.

Student news


Dr Ronald W Mc Quaid has been appointed to a university professorship at Napier University. He is also acting Director of the Employment Research Institute.


Lindsay North has spent the last 15 years in Real Estate finance. He is currently the Vice President with Lehman Brothers (US based investment banking firm) and works in the CMBS (commercial mortgage backed securities) division.


Sharon Miller is currently living in Russia at the British Embassy in Moscow where her husband is the Assistant Naval attaché to Russia. Since being there Sharon has founded a new Anglo-Russian charity to raise money and public awareness of the desperate situation facing the Russian Siberian (Amur) tigers and leopards. This new charity is working with other international organisations to help work on the hugely complex issues facing modern conservation in Russia. Land use planning is certainly necessary in the Russian Far East where these highly endangered big cats live! If you would like to contact Sharon or know more about the new charity AMUR, please visit the website at|

Roao Valdinelsa del Real works for UNED (Spanish Open University) as well as working on his PhD in Management at Birbeck.


Jonathan Mousley is currently a Senior Economist with the Fiscal Planning Branch, Ontario Ministry of Finance in Toronto. He can be reached at:|


Shinichi Goto is a Deputy Director for the International Affairs & Crisis Management division - Japan Coast Guard (JCG).


Annelene Holden Hoff writes from Oslo and continues to work for the Norwegian National Rail Administration. She has recently transferred to the Strategic Planning Department where she is involved in the planning processes of strategic decision making.

Janista Lewchalermvongse - There is now a rumour that as well as a career as a model and TV Show hostess, Janista has been elected as a Member of the Thai Parliament.

Masumi Jumei works in Japan for McCann Erickson Advertising agency. If you would like to make contact, email:|

Gunnhild Ulriksen continues to work in Trondheim as Project Manager for SIVA, The Industrial Development Corporation of Norway. She is currently in charge of running the Norwegian Business Incubator Programme which is initiated by the company to increase the level of innovation in Norway.

Takeshi Nakazaki has moved from Tokyo to Sendai, and is in charge of 'Planning of Ports'. Sendai is a castle town with a population of one million.

Christian Wilden is currently working as a researcher for DTZ Research (part of the DTZ Debenham Tie Leung Group) in London. She married Rob Blanchette in September 2001, and they recently bought a house in Kent.


Eric Galant was appointed Principal Planner of the Washington County Council Government where he directs efforts on comprehensive planning and economic development in Downeast Maine.

Bert Hancock and his wife Traci are the proud parents of a baby boy (Dillon). Bert works in the family company which manages and develops rental apartments. The company recently finished construction on a 96 unit complex, and are now trying to put together a new 156 unit development on an infill site.

Raymond Magdaluho is opening his third 'Red Crab Seafood and Steak' Restaurant in Malete, which is in the gentrified area of old Manila.

Anna Prat no longer works for Ecosfert, but is now working on the Torino URBAN programme.

Joao Seixas continues to work on his PhD in Barcelona. He is also involved in a project concerning new tendencies in urban policies in Southern European cities.


Amanda Brandellero has left ECOTEC and Birmingham to join the ranks of the Greater London Enterprise in Brussels.

Gideon Lerman is currently working as a Physical Planner. He manages a multi disciplinary team and is working on a project dealing with the location and feasibility of a second airport in Israel. He is involved in several projects including the development of a transportation strategic guidance for the Tel-Aviv region.

Daniel Shotton has joined the Real Estate Investment Banking Team at Deutsche Bank.

Magaret Smith writes from New York City and works at the mayor's office at City Hall. Magaret is considering studying in the field of Business.

Ricardo Conteras is back in Chile. If anyone is thinking about visiting "the end of the world" as he puts it, please contact Ida (Graduate Secretary) on +44 (0)207 955 6089 for details.

Daniel Otoole continues to work as a senior consultant with Ernst & Young's Real Estate Advisory Services Group. He is currently assigned to a team which provides construction oversight services to a client constructing a co-generation power plant outside of Boston. E&Y are always looking for new talent, so if you're interested email Daniel at:|

Arnaud De Verdiere has been working on a series of consulting projects for different public authorities. He is currently working on an invitation to tender from a French Local Authority regarding the domestic waste recycling process which involves, among other things, the preparation of a communication and sensitisation action plan.


Emanuele Ciriolo is moving to Brussels to commence a masters in Economics and Statistics.

Jenny Holmes works as a consultant for EKOS Economic consultants.

Masaya Kasatani lives in Fukuoka city, Japan, and has been seconded to the Fukuoka traffic enforcement division where he is responsible for the crackdown against traffic offenders. He also investigates traffic accidents and the restraint on motorcycle gangs.

Gerardo Polania married Carolina on 9 December 2000. They live in the North of Bogota. He is an advisor for the Vice Presidency of Columbia, and is working on projects that aim to improve living standards in the north region of Colombia.

Hiroyuki Saito now heads the river planning Division, Hokurika regional development bureau in Niigata which is 200 miles notheast from Tokyo.

Tadashi Yokoyama is working for the Government of Japan as Deputy Director for Regional Economics and Industries. Tadashi was part responsible for producing a "Report on Regional Economics", which was released by the cabinet office in November 2001.

Laurentios Vasiliadis is doing military service in Kastoria, a beautiful town in Northwestern Greece, near the boarder of Albania. His military obligation will finish in July 2002.


John Dailey is in Washington D.C working for the National League of Cities, tracking state initiatives nationwide that affect municipalities.

Laurent Fischler - As we are putting this newsletter together Laurent dropped by. He is still working at, and enjoys, Llewlyn Davies Consultancy. He is also dreaming of China and PhD's.

Peggy Hui has left Colliers Jardine in Hong Kong as a Planner in the Strategic Consultancy services Department, and has moved to London where she has a job with a planning consultancy firm not far from the LSE.

Anita Konrad works as a project Manager in the Elthorne Neighbourhood in Islington. She hopes to involve current MSc students in regeneration projects at Islington Council.

Malik Imashev works for an International oil consortium on technical projects and infrastructure development near the Caspian seashore. He is directly involved in cost control and project planning.

Robert Velasco - After he and his family stayed on Welwyn Garden City as long as they could, they eventually returned to Mexico where it is rumoured Robert has become a property developer!

Abby Lee - After graduating Abby left the LSE for a well-earned break in Thailand and Australia, to gain first hand experience of the planning systems in Bangkok and Sydney (plus a few weeks spent exploring some of the beaches on the way!). Abby has now returned to England (and reality) and is currently looking for a job in London.

Maria Kalantzopoulou - Maria has been in constant contact, blocking up our emails with her famous photos. She is in Athens and about to start a PhD at Athens University.

Phillip Lee completed an internship project with the World Bank, where he worked on a report dealing with urban rural migration theories. He was recently offered a position with a planning consultancy firm in Vancouver

Michael Lehman works for the Ontario Superbuild Corporation (an agency of the Provincial Ministry of Finance). His job is to help coordinate the province's role in the regeneration of Toronto's waterfront.

Giorgios Melissourgos is working for the family's construction company. He is still waiting for a reply from Harokopio University in relation to fulfilling his PhD dreams!

Abe Motohisa has moved to Cardiff where he is studying International Transport.

Maria Movsichoff - Maria is still in London and has a job with a firm of Economic Planning Consultants.

Sean Peirce is now settled back in Boston and is working as a policy analyst for the US Department of Transportation.

Sini Rinne is working for the Cambridge Policy Consultants.

RUPS Fieldtrip 2000/2001 PRAGUE


River Vltava



Backwater in the old town



...more on Prague 'Café Slavia'- main seminar room!



Summer daze! After the final exam - June 2001.

PhD News

The following continue to work on their theses:

Debora Cavalcanti (2001)

(provisional title) Territorialisation of Urban Poverty: migration, mobility and housing in the Northeast of Brazil

Christopher Lyons (2001)

"Planning, the state, and microeconomic policy: An investigation into the impact of progressive politics on the state as enabler through the planning process."

Keh-Her Shih (2001)

"The emergence of world city domination and the consequent implication in regional governance: Globalisation crises and institutional changes in East Asia."

Ljiljana Grubovic (1999)

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

Abel Perez-Zamorano (1999)

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

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"

Eduardo Rodriguez Oreggia y Roman (1998)

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

Kuniko Shibata (1998)

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

Jorge Vera Garcia (1998)

"Liberalisation and local productive systems in Mexico: Productive linkages in agglomerations with different market orientation"

Bo Tang (1997)

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

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 in Turkey"

Iris Hauswirth (1994)

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

Asato Saito (1994)

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

Sophia Skyers is working as a social policy analyst/researcher for CEMVO (council for Ethnic Minority Voluntary Organisation). She continues to work on her PhD.

Completed PhD students:

Yonn Dierwechter had his viva on December 18th and was awarded his PhD. The viva was with David Simon and Nigel Thrift. The following is an abstract from his PhD submission on "The Spatiality of informal economic agency: survival, planning and geography in black metropolitan Cape Town".


One of the most significant urban phenomena over the past thirty years has been the rapid, widespread and originally unanticipated growth of informal sector activities. While it is now recognised that such activities have substantially transformed cities across the world, their urban geographies remain under-studied, especially in the fast changing South and with special reference to planning practice. This thesis addresses this surprisingly large lacuna through a detailed account of the planning for, and survival within, Black Metropolitan Cape Town's informal food distribution system. The discussion shows that, to date, this planning experience has proven profoundly difficult and uneven, notwithstanding the relatively progressive nature of interventions themselves. Why, exactly? Why has this particular experience been so difficult? More, why has it been so uneven? Where has it succeeded, where has it failed, and in what sense? Finally, what can we learn more generally from these successes and failures?

Extant theorisations of informal sector development planning emphasise class, state or land use variables. Rather than argue "against" these variables, this thesis argues "across" them (and others), hypothesizing the importance of the configurations - the spatialities - that dialectically connect various scales of heterogeneous relations. It is not simply that "space matter"; it is that the constitution of how space is actually produced in real places matters. Ultimately, this thesis explores the implications of this spatial hypothesis for planning theory and practice and for informal sector development.

The discussion is advanced through a framework of theoretical inquiry derived principally from the work of Henri Lefebvre, Bruno Latour and Michel de Certeau. Specifically, the narrative architecture of the thesis is built around Lefebvre's central claim that urban space is "produced" through three, intimately related modalities or "moments" - representations of space, spatial practices and representational spaces. Investigating each of these moments in succession, but also binding them together, the discussion deploys Latour's "constructivist" ontology of actor-network as a central analytical and metaphorical device. More, de Certeau's attention to strategies, tactics and the local state's attempt to capture and direct "belief" is also used to explore the developmental geographies associated with planning and survival as major empirical processes shaping the post-apartheid city.

Yonn Dierwechter (PhD, 2001)

Yonn has recently taken up a tenure-track position at the University of Washington, Tacoma, where he is Assistant Professor of Urban Studies. Yonn reports that he enjoying his first year immensely. As the Urban Studies program is brand new, he is currently involved in much program development. Specifically, he has spent much of the 2001-02 school year developing new planning-related classes, including "Introduction to Urban Planning"; "The Metropolis: London"; and "The History of Planning Theory and Practice." He will also develop courses in "Land Use Planning" and "Community Economic Development." In addition, Yonn is contributing to the interdisciplinary arts and science program, offering a course on contemporary geopolitics. Yonn is preparing several articles bases his PhD but is also developing new research proposals on the Seattle-Tacoma area. You can contact Yonn at (what else?!) and check out his new Urban Studies program! at|

Just heard that Andre Sorensen (PhD-1999) has got a job as a career track Assistant professor in the Planning programme of the Department of Geography at University of Toronto.

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