LSE awarded Queen’s Anniversary Prize for work on cities

I’m proud that London is home to pioneering universities like LSE which contribute so much to the development of our great city
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High-rise apartments, Shanghai Christian Petersen-Clausen / Getty Images

LSE has been awarded one of the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education for LSE Cities’ broad range of research, education and outreach activities. The Prize, which is part of the UK honours system, is given biennially to institutions across the UK, recognising excellence in a number of key academic areas which have had impact on society and the wider community.

The award ceremony will take place at St James’s Palace on 22 February 2018.

The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for 2016-2018 is awarded in recognition of LSE Cities’ work on ‘training, research and policy formulation for cities of the future and a new generation of urban leaders around the world.’

LSE Cities is an international research centre that has pioneered interdisciplinary work on how cities across the world are designed, planned and managed to be more sustainable and equitable. Its research, teaching and outreach greatly contribute to LSE’s reputation as a global leader in the social sciences. Through the Urban Age project, jointly organised with Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft, the Centre investigates the social and spatial dynamics of rapidly urbanising regions in Africa and Asia, as well as in mature urban regions in the Americas and Europe. It has convened international conferences in over 15 global cities, carried out research, and established graduate and executive education programmes for future and existing urban leaders.

Commenting on the announcement, Professor Ricky Burdett, Director of LSE Cities and Professor of Urban Studies at LSE, said: “More than 75% of the world’s population will soon be urban. The need for evidence-based research that informs and influences decision-makers in cities has never been so important. Working with colleagues at LSE and internationally, LSE Cities addresses the key risks and opportunities that face cities today: inequality, climate change and citizenship. We are delighted that our work on cities has been recognised by this award.”

Welcoming the award,  Director of LSE Dame Minouche Shafik said: “This is an enormous honour for the School and a credit to the dedication of the LSE Cities team.  Their pioneering focus on the impact, development and sustainability of cities is a prime example of university research, teaching and engagement facing up to the world’s most urgent challenges.”

This is the third time LSE has received a Queen’s Anniversary Prize. The School previously secured the award in 2010 for the work of LSE Health and Social Care, and its application of research to the advancement of global health and social care policy. In 2002 the Centre for Economic Performance at LSE was recognised for its research, teaching and policy development around unemployment and inequality. 

Colleagues and partners from across the political sphere, academia, architecture and urban studies have been fulsome in their praise for the Centre and its important work.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan: “Congratulations to LSE for winning the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize for its innovative work on cities of the future. I’m proud that London is home to pioneering universities like LSE, which contribute so much to the development of our great city and cities around the world, showcasing London at its open and outward looking best.”

Lord Andrew Adonis, chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission: “LSE leads the way in the study of modern cities. It is unrivalled in the breadth and depth of its expertise, and its students and researchers play a leading part in the management of cities worldwide. This is a worthy testament to its work.”

Janette Sadik-Khan, Transportation Principal of Bloomberg Associates and former New York City Transportation Commissioner: “The city may be our greatest invention, but even the greatest inventions need the constant innovation, sustained scholarship and strong leadership that LSE offers cities in our increasingly urban age. LSE’s strategies and commitments to addressing climate change, sustainable mobility and resilient urban design show that, by understanding the global challenges we face, we stand the best chance of overcoming them.”

Edward Glaeser, Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics Harvard University and author of The Triumph of the City: “I am delighted that LSE and LSE Cities has been awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its contributions to teaching, research and better urban policy. LSE Cities continues to push the boundaries of urban research and has been a beacon of multidisciplinary work on the world's toughest urban problems.”

Richard Rogers, world-renowned architect, urbanist and founder of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners:  “LSE Cities is a unique and ground-breaking research centre, working with mayors and city leaders around the world to create fairer, greener, liveable and more beautiful cities. I have huge admiration for the influential work that Ricky Burdett and his colleagues have undertaken. This prize is richly merited."

Isabel Dedring, Global Transport Leader, Arup and former Deputy Mayor for Transport in London: “I have had the pleasure of working with LSE Cities over many years, both when I was working at City Hall and now at Arup. Their convening power, truly interdisciplinary thinking, and pragmatic approach is genuinely unparalleled in the urban transport space.”

Norman Foster, Lord Foster of Quarrybank and founder of architectural practice Foster + Partners: "Cities and infrastructure are critical to our social and environmental well-being. LSE Cities has broken new ground in interdisciplinary work which has influenced new generations of architects, planners and urban decision-makers across the world. The work has made a significant difference to all of us committed to cities." 

Professor Ash Amin, Head of Geography at the University of Cambridge and Foreign Secretary of the British Academy: "A fitting recognition for a programme that combines research excellence with leadership training. LSE Cities is perfectly placed to address the challenges posed by rapid world urbanisation.” 

Jagan Shah, Director, National Institute of Urban Affairs in India: “LSE has been instrumental in shaping the interdisciplinary approach required by the current generation of urban leaders tasked with taking forward urban transformation in India."

Behind the article

Read LSE Cities' Queen's Anniversary Prize submission in full:  Shaping Urban Leaders and Cities of the Future  

About The Royal Anniversary Trust
The Royal Anniversary Trust is an independent charity concerned with the advancement of education for public benefit. It was set up in 1990, with official endorsement and funded and supported from private sources, to mark the 40th anniversary of The Queen’s accession and her years of service as Head of State. The Trust currently works to promote world class excellence in UK universities and colleges through oversight and management of The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education, part of the UK honours system. The Prizes were first awarded in 1994 and this is the twelfth round of prizes to have been held to date. Visit The Royal Annivesary Trust to find out more.

About LSE Cities
LSE Cities is an international centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science that carries out research, conferences, graduate and executive 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. Its activities are supported by Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society. The centre carries out research on Cities, Space and Society; Cities and the Environment and Urban Governance. It offers MSc and PhD degrees for graduates and an Executive MSc in Cities and short courses for urban professionals. Read more about their work at  

Since 2005, the centre has organised the Urban Age, an international investigation of the spatial and social dynamics of cities with conferences held in over 15 global cities including Delhi, Rio de Janeiro, London, Hong Kong and Mexico City. Its current focus is on Urban Africa with a conference planned in Addis Ababa in Autumn 2018.