LSE Urban Age Addis Ababa – Developing Urban Futures

In November 2018, the LSE Urban Age Conference ‘Developing Urban Futures’ took place in Addis Ababa (ET). The Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft made the attendance possible through six travel grant for german-speaking students.

Download my conference summary.

From the 29 to 20 November, researchers, policymakers, politicians, and entrepreneur came together in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with the common goal to explore ways of developing the urban futures. Despite side events, social gatherings, and informal get-togethers, two days were packed with a variety of presentations, discussions and comments, leading to one of the most diverse but simultaneously most focused discussions about the current and upcoming trends of urban planning and development in Africa, and the World. The Urban Age Conference was organised by The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and the Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa; the Ministry of Urban Development of Addis Ababa; EiABC, University of Addis Ababa; Forum for Social Studies, Addis Ababa; and the Ethiopian Civil Service University.

As Ricky Burdett, Professor of Urban Studies, LSE, and Director, LSE Cities and Urban Age, highlighted in the introduction, the conference focused partially on the African but also included various inputs from other places around the world. The objective was not to say that something is either bad or good but to show that urban challenges are different but at the same time quite similar, and many things can be learned from each other – despite geographical, political, or temporal differences.