Vienna’s Step 2025 Urban Development Plan defines the city as “cosmopolitan”, viewing “the diversity of its population as a key development factor that will continue to render the city attractive for talented people from all over the world, international investment, pioneering research institutions and international organisations.” The city’s Deputy-Mayor, Maria Vassilakou, is a leading advocate of this vision. In an LSE Cities public lecture followed by a discussion chaired by Savvas Verdis, Vassilakou will explore the challenges of governing a cosmopolitan city in a divisive political climate, while also outlining Vienna’s wider environmental and social agenda.
Maria Vassilakou has been Deputy Mayor of Vienna and Executive City Councillor for Urban Planning, Traffic & Transport, Climate Protection, Energy and Public Participation since November 2010. She is the first Executive City Councillor with a migration background. She was born in Greece and sees Vienna as an open, modern and diverse city.
Suzanne Hall is an urban ethnographer, and has practised as an architect in South Africa. She is Director of the Cities Programme; Senior Research Associate at LSE Cities and Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the LSE. Her research and teaching interests include social and economic forms of inclusion and exclusion in the context of global urbanisation, where she currently focuses on the micro economies and spaces of urban migration
Savvas Verdis is a senior research fellow at LSE Cities, the Deputy Director of the Executive MSc in Cities and the founder of challengecircles.com. At the LSE, he manages the Executive Education programmes, which include: tailored learning experiences for organisations; the Executive Summer School programme on London and Global Cities; and the Executive MSc in Cities.
LSE Cities (@LSECities) is an international centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science that carries out research, education and outreach activities in London and abroad. Its mission is to study how people and cities interact in a rapidly urbanising world, focusing on how the physical form and design of cities impacts on society, culture and the environment.