Shaping Cities in an Urban Age

2.5 billion more people will be living in cities by 2050. Nearly 90 per cent of this growth will take place in Asia and Africa. China alone will be home to nearly one billion urban residents by 2030. India is not far behind: but nearly 80 per cent of the urban infrastructure that will exist in 2050 has yet to be built. The decisions we take in the next decades will affect humankind for generations to come.

The Urban Age project has investigated these changes for over a decade. This richly illustrated volume brings together authoritative research and fresh insights that explain the complexities of urbanisation. With 37 essays by leading policy-makers, practitioners and scholars, the publication offers new perspectives on the dynamics of urban change. It tracks how cities like Addis Ababa, London and Delhi have transformed since 1990 and compares patterns of growth, inequality and energy consumption of other global cities including New York, Hong Kong and Rio de Janeiro.

Shaping Cities in an Urban Age does more than put cities on the map. It identifies current trends that are making cities more fragmented, less equitable and environmentally more damaging, and argues powerfully for a more integrated social, environmental and spatial approach that can inform and inspire city-makers that are shaping an increasingly urban world.

Shaping Cities in an Urban Age is the third in the series. Previous titles include Living in the Endless City (2011) and The Endless City (2007).

Book launches:
15 September | Shaping Cities in an Urban Age | Venice Biennale Meetings on Architecture
26 September | Shaping Cities in an Urban Age | London


“From this humane, analytical research, truths are revealed which cannot be ignored. The breadth of issues highlighted in Shaping Cities is a rich resource which will affect the way we think and will inform and inspire our future work.”

Shelley McNamara, Co-Founder, Grafton Architects

“Shaping cities in the XXIth century is an unprecedented challenge in terms of ecological, social and economic policies. This book is a major contribution to the urban debate and brings together the most accurate expertise around the world. As the Mayor of Paris, I know how much sharing our experience with other local leaders is crucial for our common development.”

Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and Chair of the C40.

“Ricky Burdett is one of the world’s leading urbanists. In Shaping Cities in an Urban Age, Burdett and Phillipp Rode of LSE’s leading edge Cities program identify the key factors driving our global urban revolution and the challenges of equity, inclusion, environmental  sustainability, and new and better forms of governance. As the world becomes ever more urban and billons of people move to cities, this intelligent and beautifully laid-out book helps city-builders and urban leaders chart a better path forward.” –Richard Florida, author of ‘The Rise of the Creative Class’.

Publication data
September 2018
Cataloge data
Phaidon Press; Hardback, 245 x 210 mm, 446 pages.
Ricky Burdett, Philipp Rode
Assitant Editor
Megan Groth
Publication Coordination
Rosie Havener, Peter Griffiths
Mapping and GIS Analysis
Alexandra Gomes Possapon, Mike Charoenporn,
David Garcia
Information Design
Emily Blandford
Additional Research
Fizzah Sajjad
Muhammad Adeel
Ricky Burdett, Philipp Rode, Megan Groth, Joan Clos, Suketu Mehta, Edward Glaeser, David Satterthwaite, Joshua Bolchover and John Lin, Jo Noero, Suzanne Hall, Richard Sennett, Saskia Sassen, Edgar Pieterse, Bruce Katz, Jeremy Nowak, Gerald Frug, Tony Travers, Michael McQuarrie, Nuno Ferreira da Cruz, Tim Moonen, Emily Moir, Greg Clark, Deyan Sudjic, Rahul Mehrotra, Felipe Vera, Jose Castillo, Adam Greenfield, Carlo Ratti, Daniele Belleri, AbdouMaliq Simone, Nicholas Stern, Dimitri Zenghelis, Maarten Hajer, Mark Swilling, Susan Parnell, Mee Kam Ng, Eduarda La Rocque, Petras Shelton-Zumpano, Billie Giles-Corti, Hannah Badland, Sarah Foster, Alejandro Aravena, Jean-Louis Missika, Marion Waller, Henk Ovink, Jagan Shah, Janette Sadik-Khan, Anthony Townsend, Kees Christiaanse, Anna Gasco, Naomi Hanakata.