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What do people want from cities?

Cities are on the up and up. The resurgence of cities as the preferred way people choose to live, work and socialise with each other is now accepted. But what new problems does this popularity of cities raise?

The Resurgent City is a Leverhulme-funded international symposium taking place at LSE from Monday 19 to Wednesday 21 April. 

Key speakers include Trevor Phillips, chair of the Community Relations Commission; Andrew Davies of the OECD; Geoff Mulgan, head of policy, Prime Minister's Office, and Professor Richard Sennett, LSE. Academic experts from, among other countries, Canada, France, Sweden and the US will also be attending and speaking.

The symposium has as its starting point that globalisation, more intense quality-based competition and the rise of the knowledge economy are restoring the economic role of face-to-face contact - with cities offering the richest possibilities for such interaction.

People will be discussing nine main visions of the future city - the serviced city, the interactive city, the socially integrated city, the safe and secure city, the distinctive city, the communal city, the sustainable city, the beautifully designed city, the habitable city - and ways in which these can be reconciled.

LSE's Professor Ian Gordon said: 'Cities have come back into fashion, accepted as the key to competitiveness and creativity - rather than obsolete and problem-ridden. But the qualities that some of their advocates see as crucial - tolerance, flexibility and diversity - are seen as a recipe for stress and insecurity to others. We have to see how cities can be made both dynamic and comfortable, diverse and communal.'

The symposium begins at 9.30am in the Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, Aldwych, with a welcome from LSE director Howard Davies.

On Tuesday 20 April at 6.30pm there will be a public lecture and discussion of What People Want from Cities: now and in the future by Professor Bob Worcester, chair of MORI.

To attend the event, or find out more about the programme and speakers, see the Resurgent City| web page.

Ends

Contact: Mary Hardie on tel: 020 7955 6053 or email M.I.Hardie@lse.ac.uk| 

Notes:

This symposium is being organised by LSE's Centre for Urban and Metropolitan Research. 

The event is funded through the Leverhulme Trust, see http://www.leverhulme.org.uk/| 

15 April 2004

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