The Cities Programme is an international centre dedicated to the understanding of contemporary urban society. Its central objective is to relate physical structure to the social structure of cities.
The programme is the graduate education branch of LSE Cities, which is hosted by the Department of Sociology, and offers degree courses at MSc and PhD level.
Book launch event: Market Place: Food quarters, design and urban renewal in London
Tuesday 11 June 2013, 6-8pm
Thai Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE
Dr Susan Parham will be discussing her new book Market Place: Food quarters, design and urban renewal in London (cover image right) with Tim Butler, Professor of Geography at King's College London, at an event chaired by Dr Fran Tonkiss, Director of the Cities Programme. Are food quarters developing in London? If that’s the case, are these no more than artful settings for people to play out a middle class ‘habitus’ based on distinction about food? Is food just another ‘field’ in London’s relentless gentrification? Or are these places something more? Do new interconnections between physical design and socio-spatial practices in relation to food promise to offer cities greater conviviality and sustainability? Might they provide interesting models for food-informed design and planning elsewhere?
Susan Parham is Head of Urbanism at the University of Hertfordshire, and completed her PhD on London's food quarters in the Cities Programme in 2009. For more information on the book see publisher's webpage.
Some seats will be reserved for guests, otherwise this discussion is free and open to all on a first come first served basis.
Public lecture: Urban Stories, Learning from Mistakes
Friday 14 June 2013, 5.00-6.30pm
Thai Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE
Speaker: Professor Alfredo Brillembourg
Chair: Amy Parker, MSc City Design student
In the past ten years we have witnessed the growing integration of countries and regions into a global market whose principal characteristic is the flux of goods, services, investments, people and knowledge, which are interchanged regardless of the geographic, political and linguistic constraints that have hindered such exchanges in the past. The field of architecture now finds itself enjoying overwhelming media attention, yet architects remain relatively irrelevant in world policy formulation. Urban-Think Tank (U-TT) has made a point of looking around the world, particularly at the Global South, for answers to how we can build a more equitable city. This talk will feature work from the two latest SLUM Lab (Sustainable Living Urban Model Laboratory) magazines, along with a U-TT film on Calcutta fish farms, and observations on Dharavi and other informal settlements around the world.
Alfredo Brillembourg is founding partner of Urban-Think Tank along with Hubert Klumpner. He is a guest professor at the Graduate School of Architecture and Planning, Columbia University, where he co-founded the Sustainable Living Urban Model Laboratory (S.L.U.M. Lab) with Hubert Klumpner. Along with Hubert Klumpner, Brillembourg holds the chair for Architecture and Urban Design at the Swiss Institute of Technology (Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule, ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland.
This event is a student-led initiative with the support of the Cities Programme and funded by LSE Cities research centre. It is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.
MSc field trip to Bucharest
This year our MSc students visited Bucharest from 23-28 March 2013. The image top right is by one of our students, Carina Arvizu Machado. For more images see Bucharest 2013. The annual field trip is made possible by a generous donation from the Ove Arup Foundation, and information about all our field trips can be found by following the link from our MSc City Design and Social Science page.
Apply for a place on the MSc City Design
There are still a few places available on the MSc City Design and Social Science starting in October 2013. If you wish to apply we suggest you do so as soon as possible - we do not have an advance closing date for applications, but they will close when we have made a certain number of offers. For more information about studying for the MSc follow the link under Contents. For important information about the application procedure (all applications are made centrally to the LSE Graduate Admissions Office) please see LSE Graduate.
If you have any questions about the programme you are welcome to email email@example.com.
Play to Plan
Play to Plan is a set of 3 short mobile-based games devised by Adriana Valdez Young that challenge urban designers and planners to experience and value the complex cultural economies of Rye Lane - a diverse, dense high street in South London. Players take on the role of a recent immigrant, a business owner and a planner, visiting various locations along the street and relating insights from their imaginary role back to the reality of existing design, planning and policy schemes. Adriana, who graduated from the MSc City Design and Social Science with a Distinction in 2012, is a New York-based urban design researcher, who worked on Rye Lane in 2012 as part of the LSE Cities research group, 'Ordinary Streets.' In this recent article for Ethnography Matters, she reflects on her design research process building and testing Play to Plan. Image above of shop interior by Adriana.
What does it mean to be 'local' in a global city? This year's City Design Research Studio focuses on the Pembury Estate in Hackney - see our MSc City Design and Social Science page for more.
Dr Fran Tonkiss among top ten female spatial theorists
Die Architektin (Women + Architecture/Women in Architecture) blog has voted Fran Tonkiss, Director of the Cities Programme (pictured left), one of the most influential living female theoreticians whose works and theories are relevant to architecture, urban planning and spatial theory. Their number one is Professor Saskia Sassen, who has close links with LSE Cities and the Cities Programme. For more see: Die Architektin.
'Adult fun' in the city
MSc City Design student Francis Moss (2011-12) won first prize in the London Festival of Architecture‘s official photo competition project, organised by Space Syntax and Hype: PLOY – Public Life in the Olympic Year, for the image middle right of fellow student Guy Trangos and playmates in the Barbican (focus of last year's Studio), full title ‘Stand in a circle, trace your feet with chalk and jump, hop and skip to the next foot prints. Adult fun’.
Cities Programme alumni
To find out about Cities alumni and their current occupations follow the Cities alumni and careers link under Contents. If you are a former student on the MSc or PhD programme and would like to be added to the list or update your details please contact us.
The 2012 MSc Studio publication Public City, centred on the Barbican arts centre and housing development, can be read in PDF format from the Cities Studio publications page (image of cover, above right).
The second volume of the Cities PhD researchers' publication citiesLAB is available to read from our PhD page, or go straight to citiesLAB 2: The politics of design
City, Street and Citizen
On 12 June 2012 Dr Suzanne Hall discussed her new book City Street and Citizen: The Measure of the Ordinary (Routledge) with Caroline Knowles, Professor of Sociology and Head of the Centre for Urban and Community Research, Goldsmiths. This event was co-hosted by LSE Cities and the Sociology Forum. Listen to City Street and Citizen podcast.
The book was reviewed in the March 2013 issue of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research by Glasgow University’s Emma Jackson. Read the review.
The annual conference is organised by graduate researchers at the Cities Programme, the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT, MIT Media LAB, Harvard Graduate School of Design and Harvard Law School. The first and second volumes of Writing Cities, the working papers from the conferences held at LSE in 2009 and 2011, are available to read as PDFs from our PhD programme page.
In the media
ArchDaily interviews Ricky Burdett
In an interview with ArchDaily on 27 March 2013, Professor Ricky Burdett discussed the challenges facing architects today, and how can we make sure that cities grow sustainably and equitably in an increasingly urbanized world. Ricky Burdett is Professor of Urban Studies at LSE and director of LSE Cities research centre, was Chief Adviser on Architecture and Urbanism for the London 2012 Olympics and architectural adviser to the Mayor of London from 2001 to 2006. In November 2012 he was invited to serve as a member of the Independent Airports Commission for the UK Government. Watch the video.
The Olympics: when global meets local
In this podcast from the LSE Review of Books Ricky Burdett talks about the design and legacy of the Olympic Games in the context of the regeneration of East London. Later Suzanne Hall, lecturer in the Sociology Department and Cities Programme, leafs through the beautiful architecture books that inspired her interest in the design of cities and urban multiculture. Listen to the podcast.
A Walk down Walworth Road
Listen to Suzi talk about London's Walworth Road, site of her research (pictured left), on the BBC World Service programme One Planet, 25 February 2012. Is it possible to plan a city from the top down? Is there a balance between grand planning designs and community evolution?
One Planet: The New Town Nobody Wanted
'Making Cities More Resilient'
Read an interview with Cities Programme director Dr Fran Tonkiss on 'Making Cities More Resilient: Educating the next urbanists' in online magazine The Atlantic.
Urban@LSE is an internal coordinating body for all urban teaching and research at LSE and an informal network of staff and postgraduate students. The website is a portal where information about the departments, research centres and projects, and teaching programmes involved can be found in one place, with links to all of them.