This event is one of the series of five public Global Debates celebrating ten years of the Urban Age programme. The debates discussed five core themes that have been the focus of research and debate at the Urban Age since 2005. The event series is organised by LSE Cities and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society, in association with Guardian Cities.
More urban areas will be constructed during first three decades of this century than all of history, placing enormous pressure on politicians, planners and architects. If properly steered, urban growth can drive wealth creation through improved productivity, better planning and greater equity. The reality of the urban condition, instead, reveals that in many parts of the world urbanisation has become more spatially fragmented, less environmentally responsive and more socially divisive. Cities have become more sprawled and less dense. Do planners have the political mandate to steer urbanisation in a sustainable direction? The head of UN Habitat Joan Clos, who is coordinating the world’s most influential urban policy convention Habitat III in 2016, exchanged global experiences with practicing architects and researchers to identify whether the design and planning professions are up to the task of designing a new generation of cities that contribute to wealth creation and social equity.