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LSE Campus
23 - 26 Feb 2021
18:30 - 20:00

Day 2: Urban Development

Cities of Tomorrow: Urban Development in the 21st Century

Urbanisation is fast becoming a key defining trend of the 21st century and an important topic in global development. By 2050, 66% of the world population will live in cities and the effects of urban growth and poor urban planning can already be felt around the world: inadequate infrastructures, health and environmental issues, and a rise in poverty. The cities of tomorrow face critical challenges such as providing adequate housing for all, adapting to climate change, and reducing social disparities. On top of that, the COVID-19 crisis has strained areas that are already suffering from the repercussions of rapid urban expansion. Join this panel to discuss how governments and other actors can overcome these obstacles to enable sustainable urban development. 


  • Date: 24th February 2021
  • Time: 18:30 – 20:00 (GMT+0)


  • Stefano Marta, Coordinator of the Territorial Approach to SDGs at OECD
    Stefano Marta works for the Cities, Urban Policies and Sustainable Development Division in the Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities at the OECD. Stefano is currently coordinating the Programme A Territorial Approach to the Sustainable Development Goals, which support cities and regions in implementing the SDGs in various OECD and partner countries. He previously led the initiative Adopting a Territorial Approach to Food Security and Nutrition Policy, jointly developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), OECD and UNCDF. He also worked on various other projects, including on urban-rural linkages in Morocco and on territorial indicators in Tunisia. Prior to joining the OECD, Stefano worked at FAO on the territorial approach to food security and nutrition policy. In addition, he was part of the FAO Task Force for the formulation of the Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development Strategy 2040 of Oman and he also participated in the FAO Al-Ghab Development Programme in Syria.
  • Gundula Löffler, Research Fellow at ODI
    Gundula Löffler is a research fellow at ODI specialising in institutional and governance reforms in the areas of decentralization, local and urban finance and taxation in developing countries. She is particularly interested in the political economy dynamics underlying these reforms. Prior to joining ODI, Gundula worked as a researcher on fiscal decentralisation and local taxation in Rwanda and other African countries. She also worked as a development adviser for the Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) in Egypt, Syria and Germany on participatory development, decentralisation, urban management and slum upgrading. Gundula holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration and Development from NYU Wagner.
  • Oluwafemi Olajide, Lecturer at University of Lagos
    Oluwafemi Olajide experiences cut across three sectors – the private, the public and the academia. He is a lecturer in the department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Lagos and an urban planning and development consultant. He holds a PhD in Urban Planning from the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University, United Kingdom. As an urban planner and researcher, he is concerned about urban affairs, with a particular focus on urban development planning, urban sustainability and urban governance. He draws examples from urban dynamics and development paradoxes in the Global South. He is passionate about seeking ways to improving the living conditions of the urban poor, who are mostly accommodated in informal settlements. To this end, he has adapted the Sustainable Livelihood Approach (SLA) to climate change, security of tenure and poverty-related studies in informal settlements. As a critical realist, he combines both inductive and deductive approaches in his research. He tracks how urban realities are mediated by the underlying structures and mechanisms of the society. Currently he is tracking land and development questions in Africa. In this space, he is focusing on how urban neoliberal development ideology and the quest for urban modernity shape governance and development outcomes, and the implications on land governance functions, urban development planning and the livelihoods of the poor. Connected to this, through the lens of critical urban theory, he is interested in social movements and right to the city discourse as counter-hegemony to enduring urban structural injustices and the paradox of urban neoliberal development. He has been involved in a number of funded research projects and the preparation of various urban strategic development plans. He has successfully supervised and examined students on the multidisciplinary areas urban planning and management
  • Mandisa Dyantyi, Director of Social Justice Coalition 

Academic Chair: Dr. Philipp Rode, Executive Director of LSE Cities