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Urban Age investigation extends to Mumbai and urbanisation in India

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LSE's Global Cities expert will offer insight into the world's unprecedented urban shift at a public lecture at the University of Mumbai on 18 July

Renowned urbanist and architectural advisor Ricky Burdett of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) will link the democratic potential of architecture to the future of global cities at a public lecture on 18 July in Mumbai, India, at 14.30 in the auditorium of the Sir JJ College of Architecture.

The lecture, Global Cities in an Urban Age, is being hosted by the University of Mumbai and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in preparation for the Urban Age India Conference on 2 and 3 November 2007.

Urban Age is a five year investigation into the future of cities organised by LSE with Deutsche Bank's Alfred Herrhausen Society. It extends across the continents with an international and interdisciplinary network of national and local policy makers, academic experts and urban practitioners. In 2007, Urban Age will focus on Mumbai and urbanisation across India.

Urban Age aims to heighten awareness of the links between physical form and the social characteristics of cities by activating and sustaining an ongoing worldwide dialogue between heads of state, city mayors and internationally renowned specialists with practical and theoretical expertise in fields ranging from governance and urban crime to housing, city design and transport. Events and research focus on urbanisation in cities as diverse as New York City, Shanghai, London, Mexico City, Johannesburg, Berlin, Mumbai and Sao Paulo, bringing the particular conditions of those cities into sharp focus with urban trends worldwide.

In India, Urban Age is focused on how the largest democracy on earth negotiates considerable urbanisation and economic development. With India's urban society experiencing the effects of increasing affluence coupled with persistent social inequalities and a scarcity of resources, climate change and other escalating pressures further compound urban development, making its urban agenda a global issue. Evaluating policy and project specific effects and the role of private corporations in partnering with, and increasingly substituting for, the public sector, Urban Age will draw the links between events and developments in India's urbanised areas - Kolkata, Bangalore and Delhi as well as Mumbai - with other global cities, widening the lens from the local to the global.

Ricky Burdett said: 'Ten per cent of the world's three billion urban residents reside in India. With half the world's population now living in cities, city leaders and urbanists are adopting creative measures to keep up with a massive increase in urbanisation. This is evident in both projects and policies ranging in scale from a community cultural arts centre on the eastern edge of Mexico City's sprawling megalopolis to the more publicly debated congestion charge in London.

'Examining how Mexico City initiated the Metrobus scheme based on the success of Bogota's Transmilenio, and New York City is adopting measures to keep pace with London's green urban agenda, Urban Age demonstrates how urban leaders, and cities in general, can - and do - learn from one another in creating and sustaining liveable communities for their citizens.'

His lecture, Global Cities in an Urban Age, will also coincide with the announcement of the first annual Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award, for which Burdett serves as jury chair along with Anthony Williams, former Mayor of Washington, DC, actress and activist Shabana Azmi, Mexican architect Enrique Norten, author Suketu Mehta and Indian architect Rahul Mehrotra. The $100,000 USD award seeks to recognise a project in Mumbai that demonstrates innovation at the urban scale and improves the physical as well as the social well being of residents and urban communities.

Advance reservations are not required to attend the public lecture on 18 July at the University of Mumbai.


Contact: Urban Age, Pamela Puchalski, Urban Age Project, tel: +44 (0)20 7955 6092, email: p.puchalski@lse.ac.uk| 

Alfred Herrhausen Society: Ute Weiland, Alfred Herrhausen Society, Unter den Linden 13-15, Berlin, Germany 10117, tel: +49 (30) 3407 4201, email: ute.weiland@db.com| 


The Urban Age India Conference on 2 and 3 November will be presented in partnership with the National Institute of Urban Affairs, TISS and the University of Mumbai. Over 150 invited guests will explore the interdependence of governments from the supra-national to the neighbourhood level through debates facilitated by international experts and elected officials of similar rank from around the world. These interdisciplinary groups will offer progressive thinking and policies that reflect a deep understanding of best practices in urban governance and sustainable urban development. The Conference will feature keynotes by

  • Sir Nicholas Stern, author of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change and head of the India Observatory at LSE's Asia Research Centre;
  • Saskia Sassen, the world expert on the impacts of globalisation on the economy of cities;
  • Tony Travers, advisor to London's transport policy and the city's congestion charge;
  • Richard Sennett, who will provide insights into spatial and social developments in cities confronting economic and demographic growth.

Expected policymakers at the Urban Age India conference include minister of urban development, S Jaipal Reddy, Germany's federal minister of transport, building and affairs, Wolfgang Tiefensee, the mayors of Washington DC, Chicago, São Paulo, Bogota and Mexico City. Other confirmed internationally recognised urbanists include Bruce Katz from the Brookings Institution in Washington DC, who examines urban demographics, market and policy trends in the USA; Gerald Frug, professor of law at Harvard University, expert on decision-making and legal structures in cities in the USA and across the world; and Amanda Burden, director of New York's Department of City Planning, the city agency responsible for projects of unprecedented scale citywide including the redevelopment of the city's waterfront.

The results of Urban Age India will help to establish the framework for a worldwide summit on global cities in 2010. At the Summit, Urban Age will define the interrelationships between density, urban design, good governance and inequality in global cities and establish an agenda for sustainable urban development in the 21st century.

The Endless City: The Urban Age Project by the London School of Economics and Deutsche Bank's Alfred Herrhausen Society, a forthcoming book by Phaidon, will also be presented during the Urban Age India Conference. The Endless City is edited by Ricky Burdett and Deyan Sudjic and explores how the shape of our cities affects the future of our planet and the lives of over three billion urban dwellers. The 512-page heavily illustrated book combines original research on city growth and change with specially commissioned photography on significant policy initiatives and architectural projects in six Urban Age cities - New York, Shanghai, London, Mexico City, Johannesburg and Berlin. Original essays and texts by some of the world's leading urban thinkers and practitioners provide different viewpoints of the modern urban condition, raising awareness and offering solutions on how to grapple with the problems and opportunities of our urban age. Aimed at a broad cross section of city leaders and residents of our rapidly urbanizing world, The Endless City is a comprehensive and accessible 21st century reader founded on authoritative research by Urban Age.

Ricky Burdett, director of Urban Age
Richard Burdett is Centennial Professor in Architecture of Urbanism at LSE as well as founding director of the LSE Cities Programme, a research and teaching centre which explores links between architecture, urban design and urban society. His latest appointment is as principal design adviser for the London 2012 Olympics.

Previously he was architectural adviser to the Mayor of London from 2001 - 2006, member of the Greater London Authority's Architecture and Urbanism Unit and sat on the City of Barcelona's Quality Committee. Burdett was founder of the 9H Gallery and the Architecture Foundation in London, and has been a key player in promoting design excellence amongst public and private sector organisations in the UK and Europe. He was director of the 2006 Architecture Biennale in Venice on the subject of 'Cities: architecture and society' and curator of the 'Global Cities' exhibition in the Tate Modern in 2007. He is chairman of the Jury for the 2007 Mies van der Rohe Prize. 

Urban Age
Urban Age engages the world's increasing urbanisation through events and research that shape the thinking of urban leaders and practice of sustainable urban development. Initiated by the Cities Programme at the London School of Economics and Political Science and the Alfred Herrhausen Society, the International Forum of Deutsche Bank, Urban Age is structured around international outreach supporting the creation of a new urban agenda for global cities. Its worldwide interdisciplinary network of urban experts lead an 'on the ground' investigation of policies, developments and projects with up-to-date insights collected and shared through conferences, workshops, seminars and publications.

Press cuttings

India PR Wire
Deutsche Bank Announces New Award for Cities (19 July)
Deutsche Bank will present the first Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award, worth Rs. 40 lakhs, to a project based in the Mumbai metropolitan area on November 1, 2007. The Award will coincide with the Urban Age India Conference on 2-3 November 2007, a joint initiative of Deutsche Bank's Alfred Herrhausen Society and the London School of Economics and Political Science that explores the links between urban society and urban form.

India e-news
Deutsche Bank Announces New Award for Cities (19 July)

17 July  2007