Philipp Rode on sustainable cities at EUROCITIES 2015

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Philipp Rode, executive director of LSE Cities, delivered the keynote speech at EUROCITIES 2015 Copenhagen/Malmo on 5 November.

Philipp Rode opened his speech by praising the enormous dynamism of all the cities involved in the EUROCITIES awards, which were presented last night at a ceremony in Malmo (more here). He was speaking about sustainable growth and quality of life during EUROCITIES 2015 Copenhagen/Malmo on 4-6 November.

Philipp Rode addressed the challenges cities face in balancing prosperity and equity with environmental concerns. European cities continually rank highly and disproportionately in quality of life indexes, and Philipp Rode cited the European model of compact cities as “viable solutions in terms of quality of life, proximity and accessibility”. He explained how urban growth that develops around mass public transport can create cities that are economically dynamic, healthier and have lower emissions. He was comparing the European model with examples of urban sprawl elsewhere, where public transport, walking and cycling are not as efficient. Urban form has a big impact on sustainability and quality of life, on aspects such as public transport and more sustainable economies, like the sharing economy.

Philipp Rode described the phenomenon of ‘re-urbanisation’, with evidence showing a return to the city and greater growth in the core of cities. He demonstrated the correlation between urbanisation and national economic prosperity, highlighting the important role cities play in generating growth  at all levels. Even though cities occupy just 0.5% of the world’s surface, they are home to over 50% of the world’s population and generate 80% of global GDP.

‘Sustainable growth and quality of life’ is the theme of our annual conference this year. The keynote speech was followed by a series of roundtable discussions on some of our key areas of work: air quality, employment, securing investment and local economic development, and urban mobility.

For more information on the keynote speech and the discussions at EUROCITIES 2015 Copenhagen/Malmo, visit or follow on Twitter via #eurocities2015. 

EUROCITIES staff contact

Sinead Mullins