The Slow Lane: why quick fixes fail and how to achieve real change

Hosted by the LSE Cities

MAR.1.04, Marshall Building


Sascha Haselmayer

Sascha Haselmayer

Architect, Author and Social Entrepreneur

Tessy Britton

Tessy Britton

Founder, Participatory City

Julia King

Julia King

Policy Fellow, LSE Cities


Ricky Burdett

Ricky Burdett

Director, LSE Cities

We live in a world of quick fixes. In business, government, and society, we celebrate the entrepreneurs, hackers, and disruptors who try to deal with change by finding shortcuts. They give us a sense that any big problem can be resolved by a daring, often technological solution. But, as the past decades have repeatedly shown, these quick fixes are nothing more than an illusion. It turns out that there is no technical fix to climate change, injustice, discrimination, pollution, or rising inequality. 

In his new book The Slow Lane: Why Quick Fixes Fail and How to Achieve Real Change Sascha Haselmayer offers his insights into the principles and mindsets by which real change in cities and communities comes about. In this event he will share some of the stories that shape The Slow Lane - How a Caracas slum became a beacon of democracy in Venezuela for over thirty years. How waste pickers in Peruvian cities made municipal waste management fit for a zero-waste future. And how a movement that is ending homelessness in U.S. cities is quietly restoring racial equity in municipal services in Brownsville, New York. He will be joined to discuss his ideas by Tessy Britton a social designer and founder of Participatory City and Julia King a design practitioner and policy fellow at LSE Cities. 


Sascha Haselmayer (@LLGACities) is an architect, author and social entrepreneur who has spent the past 30 years helping cities around the world solve problems. He has worked as an adviser to philanthropies and think tanks, like the Rockefeller Foundation and The Aspen Institute; and to governments and public institutions like The Government of South Africa, The World Bank Group, and the Nordic Council of Ministers. In 2011, I was awarded the prestigious Ashoka Fellowship.  


Tessy Britton (@TessyBritton) is a social designer based in Edinburgh. She is the Founder of Participatory City where she was Chief Executive until 2021 and is dedicated to designing social infrastructure for social cohesion, by creating new ways of making our everyday lives more inclusive, creative and circular. She is an Ashoka Fellow and has worked on a number of international projects, including supporting Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayor’s Challenge.

Julia King (@atjuliaking) is a Policy Fellow at LSE Cities and a design practitioner. Trained as an architect her research, design practice, and teaching focus on urban marginalization, infrastructure, and micro-economies. She is the director of the ‘Apprenticeship Programme in City Design’ and ‘Researcher in Residence’ scheme at LSE Cities. She has won numerous awards for her work including Emerging Woman Architect of the Year (2014), NLA Award, Civic Trust Regional Award and short-listed for a Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award. 


Ricky Burdett (@burdettr) is Professor of Urban Studies and Director of LSE Cities at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

More about the event

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