Resource Urbanisms between abundance and constraints

Research Seminar

Guests: David Banister, Neil Brenner, Felix Creutzig, Steffen Hertog
Hosts: Alexandra Gomes, Andreas Koch, Philipp Rode, Fizzah Sajjad

This seminar will discuss different perspectives linked to 'Resource Urbanisms' - an exploration of how natural resource conditions affect urban development and in turn determine the resource efficiency of cities. For a more fundamental exchange on resource urbanisms, the seminar brings together scholars from diverse disciplines including critical geography, economics, urban and transport planning, political and environmental science.

Over the last decades, a vast amount of academic and policy-oriented research has analysed the resource and energy implications of different urban forms. Such work has been particularly prominent within the urban transport and building sectors focussing on Europe and North America. However, while it is broadly understood that resource conditions shape urban development, more specific empirical analysis of different resource factors and their impact on components of urban form is far less prominent as part of recent research efforts. Similarly, conceptual underpinnings of the natural resource logic and its implications for urbanism have not received significant attention.

The point of departure for this exchange is a recent article by researchers at LSE Cities and the European Institute for Energy Research, which advances a qualitative and quantitative exploration of “Cities between Resource Abundance and Constraints: The Natural Resource Equation of Asia’s Diverging, Higher-Income City Models”. This article investigates how natural resource conditions impact the physical development of cities and how, once built, the urban spatial structure leads to different patterns of resource use. Considering extreme and divergent, higher-income urban models of Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong and Singapore, the paper focusses on two resources, land and energy, and the case of building cooling and transport energy demand.

The hour-long research webinar will include two rounds of discussion, one focusing on the empirical understanding of resource urbanisms and the second one on concepts and theoretical underpinnings. Each round will begin with short opening statements and as part of the discussion will include the opportunity for attendees to actively participate or share questions and observations via Q&A.

David Banister,Emeritus Professor of Transport Studies, University of Oxford
Neil Brenner, Lucy Flower Professor of Urban Sociology, University of Chicago
Felix Creutzig,head of the working group Land Use, Infrastructures and Transport and Chair of Sustainability Economics, Technical University Berlin
Steffen HertogAssociate Professor in Comparative Politics, LSE Department of Government 

Alexandra Gomes, Research Officer, LSE Cities
Andreas Koch, Berlin
Philipp Rode, Executive Director, LSE Cities
Fizzah Sajjad, PhD candidate, LSE Department of Geography and Environment 


Thursday 18 March 2021