The politics of an urban age

The politics of an urban age: who governs the future of cities?

Thursday 25 May, 2017

Since 2015, the international community has been drawing the contours of the new global Sustainable Development Agenda. With most of the world’s population now living in urban areas, cities more than ever have been called into action to help solve some of the most pressing challenges of our time, such as climate change, growing inequalities, economic instability, and pandemics. The third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development discussed the ways in which municipalities across the world can actually help tackle these challenges. Yet, recognising the increasing roles of city-governments in finding urban solutions to global problems raises various questions in relation to the changing politics of the ‘urban age’, and the governance challenges posed by the apprehension of global and trans sectorial issues through an urban lens.

This panel event explored the political and governance implications of the urban age at various scales and from different geographical perspectives.

Chair: Professor Michele Acuto (Professor in Diplomacy and Urban Theory, University College London)





  • Dr Anna Gasco (Senior Researcher and Project Coordinator at the Future Cities Laboratory Singapore-ETH Centre)
  • Dr Igor Calzada (Senior Research Fellow & Lecturer in Urban Transformations, University of Oxford)
  • Prof Andy Pratt (Professor of Cultural Economy, City University of London)
  • Prof Jennifer Robinson (Co-Director of the UCL Urban Laboratory, University College London)
  • Prof Michael Keith (Co-Director of the Future of Cities programme, University of Oxford)


Watch all the presentations from the event by clicking on the links below.