Federation for
Housing and

AESOP-IFHP Lecture by Sir Peter Hall

Thursday 17.01.2013
The Crystal, Royal Victoria Docks, 1 Siemens Brothers Way, London

Squaring the circle: How to reconcile apparently impossible contradictions in contemporary urban policy

17 January 2013
IFHP and the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) organised a lecture in London by Sir Peter Hall.

The lecture by Sir Peter Hall, the kick-off event to IFHP's Centenary in 2013, was entitled “Squaring the circle: How to reconcile apparently impossible contradictions in contemporary urban policy” and was followed by a roundtable panel discussion on Technologies for Tomorrow’s Smart Cities’. Sir Peter's lecture focussed especially on the central contradiction in urban transport and development policy.

Both the lecture and the roundtable / panel discussion were held in the auditorium of ‘The Crystal’, the recently opened Siemens Centre on Sustainable Cities in East London and were followed by a reception to mark the official start of IFHP’s Centenary year.

The lecture by Sir Peter Hall was the fourth in a series by well-known planners, policy-makers and other ‘urban thinkers’ organised by AESOP and IFHP in the framework of respectively their Silver Jubilee (2012) and Centenary (2013). All the lecturers in the series have been asked to present their ideas on ‘new thinking’ and a ‘new vision’ for planning and territorial development under the general title ‘From Cities of To-morrow to a Tomorrow for Cities’. The aim is to provide inspiration in the search for answers to present-day and emerging challenges that are being faced by all professionals involved in the planning of our complex and dynamic urban settlements.

The roundtable / panel discussion was an interactive dialogue between 4 panellists - representatives of government, civil society, academia and private companies - and a participatory public of some 120 people in a compact auditorium.  The panellists were: Martin Powell, Head of Urban Development of SIEMENS UK, Dr Rick Robinson, Smarter Cities Executive from IBM; Jo Negrini, Director for Strategic Regeneration, Planning & Olympic Legacy and Strategic Commissioning & Community from the the London Borough of Newham and Dr Kiril Stanilov, Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London. The dialogue focussed on the application of new technologies to sustainable / smart city planning, how smart city solutions can be absorbed effectively into city planning, what we can learn from current approaches (successes and failures) and how to influence the behaviour of citizens in this direction in the pursuit of better lives. Moderator for the dialogue is Lee Shostak, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Town & Country Planning Association (TCPA).

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IFHP and AESOP are grateful to Siemens Cities and Infrastructure for hosting this event at its Centre for Sustainable Urban Development in London 'The Crystal'.