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Urban leaders from around the world gather for the Urban Age India conference in Mumbai

India's growing urban economy, coupled with the sheer magnitude of its people and social potential, provides ultimate platform for analysis of the future shape of urban society

Mumbai, India -The forces of urban growth and impact of globalisation in four cities in India will shape the discussions of the Urban Age India conference| organised by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and Deutsche Bank's Alfred Herrhausen Society in Mumbai from 1 to 3 November 2007.

'With 50 per cent of the world's population now living in cities, the Urban Age project turns to the challenges and opportunities confronting India and its cities', says Wolfgang Nowak of the Alfred Herrhausen Society. India's 300 million urban dwellers form one tenth of the world's urban population and an increasing number of its 1.1 billion residents are fuelling urban centres across the subcontinent. Through a year-long focus conducting research and interviews with India's top urban leaders, Urban Age has investigated what Urban Age Director Ricky Burdett explains are 'the spatial dimensions of this trend' in Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore, with a special focus on Mumbai.

Urban Age is an international and interdisciplinary programme of conferences and research on global cities that focuses on the interactions between urban society and urban space. The Urban Age India conference will offer first-hand insight about the impact of large scale demographic change in four Indian cities as well as New York, Shanghai, London, Mexico City, Johannesburg and Berlin. Case studies and international perspectives from world renowned experts will detail various physical responses in cities undergoing rapidly changing economic, environmental, social and cultural conditions.

German chancellor Angela Merkel is scheduled to attend the opening ceremony of Urban Age India as part of her state visit to India. Featured political leaders at the conference include: Kumari Selja, minister for housing and urban poverty alleviation, Government of India; Sheila Dikshit, chief minister of Delhi; Jayant Patil, minister of finance for the state of Maharashtra; Bikash Bhattacharya, mayor of Kolkata; minister for the Olympics and London in the United Kingdom, Tessa Jowell; and José Serra, governor of São Paulo, as well as the mayors of Washington DC and Bogotá.

Internationally recognised experts include Lord Nicholas Stern, IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government at LSE and author of the highly influential Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change; Saskia Sassen, Lynd Professor of Sociology and Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University, New York and the world expert on the impacts of globalisation on the economy of cities; urban sociologist Richard Sennett, author Suketu Mehta, and architects Charles Correa and Enrique Norten.

Urban Age is an unprecedented worldwide dialogue on the future of cities. Since early 2005, Urban Age has visited New York, London, Shanghai, Mexico City, Johannesburg and Berlin with activities involving heads of state, city mayors and internationally renowned specialists investigating how cities respond to major changes in they way people work, how they travel, where they live, how they organise forms of governance and respond to the effects of climate change.

The Urban Age India conference will take place at the Hilton Towers Hotel in Nariman Point, Mumbai over two days, from Friday, 2 November to Saturday, 3 November with an opening reception on Thursday, 1 November where the winner of the first Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award will be announced. This independently juried award was specially created to honour a project that improves the living conditions for residents of Mumbai.

In India, Urban Age has partnered with the National Institute of Urban Affairs, Tata Institute of Social Sciences and University of Mumbai to help draw the links between events and developments in India's urbanised areas with trends worldwide.

More information about Urban Age and its year long focus on India can be found at www.urban-age.net|


Attendance by invitation only.

Press can register through the following contacts:

  • Ute Elisabeth Weiland, deputy director, Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft, mobile: +49-172 1674568, email: ute.weiland@db.com
  • Pamela Puchalski, Urban Age projects coordinator, LSE, mobile: +91 99 3339 3033, email:  p.puchalski@lse.ac.uk
  • Valini D'souza, Genesis B-M, mobile: +91-983346478, email: valini.dsouza@bm.com

31 October 2007