Survival of the City: living and thriving in an age of isolation

Hosted by LSE Cities

Online public event


Professor David Cutler

Professor David Cutler

Professor Edward Glaeser

Professor Edward Glaeser


Professor Jo Beall

Professor Jo Beall

From New York to New Delhi, COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on our urban world, turning the physical proximity which is central to the creative energy of the city into a potentially deadly threat to our health and wellbeing. Most of us live or work in cities. They are a vital part of both local and global economies and shape the lives we lead and our interactions with others. How can we adjust to this new reality and what lessons can we learn from the past?

In this event, Harvard Economics professors Edward Glaeser and David Cutler examine the history and future of the global city. They argue the biggest threats are those we have created ourselves - inequalities in housing, health, work and education - and that we need to address these as a matter of urgency if our cities are to continue to thrive and drive economic growth and prosperity.

Meet our speakers and chair

David Cutler is the Otto Ekstein Professor of Applied Economics at Harvard University. He holds joint appointments in the economics department, the School of Public Health and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He served in Bill Clinton’s administration and was a senior health care advisor to Barack Obama. As well as numerous academic books and articles he published Your Money or Your Life: Strong Medicine for America's Health Care System.

Edward Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1992. He is also Director for the Cities Research Programme at the International Growth Centre, LSE and Oxford. He has published numerous academic books and articles on urban economics, economic growth, law, health and inequality and is the bestselling author of The Triumph of the City (Penguin Press 2004).

Jo Beall is an Emeritus Professor and Distinguished Research Fellow at LSE Cities and has conducted research in Africa and Asia on urban development and governance as well as cities in situations of conflict and state fragility. Jo was formerly Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Cape Town with responsibility for international strategy and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. She has written numerous books and articles on a wide range of topics.

More about this event

LSE Cities (@LSECities) studies how people and cities interact in a rapidly urbanising world, focusing on how the design of cities impacts on society, culture and the environment. Through research, conferences, teaching and projects, the centre aims to shape new thinking and practice on how to make cities fairer and more sustainable for the next generation of urban dwellers, who will make up some 70 per cent of the global population by 2050.

This event forms part of LSE’s Shaping the Post-COVID World initiative, a series imagining what the world could look like after the crisis, and how we get there.

You can order the book, Survival of the City : Living and Thriving in an Age of Isolation (UK delivery only), from our official LSE Events independent book shop, Pages of Hackney.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEPostCOVID

Podcast & Video

A podcast of this event is available to download from Survival of the City: living and thriving in an age of isolation.

A video of this event is available to watch at Survival of the City: living and thriving in an age of isolation.

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