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Who governs the City? Privatised London in the 21st century

Bush House, Strand Campus, London

18 Oct London image

At this year's Urban Futures annual lecture, Professor Mike Raco (UCL) will discuss his recently published book (with Frances Brill) London: the privatised city (Agenda publishing).

Because London acts as a key command and control centre in the global and national UK economy and is successful in attracting investment and growth, he argues that it is a model for others to emulate. Yet he notes that the market-led development of London has meant that the state is increasingly supporting private-sector-led governance.

This widescale privatization of the city’s decision-making processes and policy implementation has reached unprecedented levels and will impact the future development of London and other megacities, posing important questions about urban sustainability.

In this lecture, Mike Raco explores the planning challenges faced in the city today, and asks how development can work for both private and public sectors.

Professor Mike Raco (UCL) will be introduced by Professor Phil Hubbard. Sue Brownill (UEL) and Anna Minton (UEL) will join as discussants.

About Mike Raco

Mike Raco was previously a Lecturer in Geography at KCL. His research focuses on the themes of the governance and planning of cities, the politics of urban diversity, and the changing nature of welfare states.  

He has published widely on the topics of urban governance and regeneration, urban sustainability, social diversity, and the politics of urban and regional economic development.

His books include:

  • The Future of Sustainable Cities: Critical Reflections (with John Flint, Policy Press, Bristol)
  • State-led Privatisation and the Demise of the Democratic State:  Welfare Reform and Localism in an Era of Regulatory Capitalism (Routledge, London)
  • Regenerating London: Governance, Sustainability and Community in a Global City (with Rob Imrie and Loretta Lees, Routledge, London)

Celebrating Geography at 100

This event is part of the 100th anniversary programme for the Department of Geography at King's. Join us as we celebrate everything we have achieved, our community and partners, and our research impact.

Find out more about Geography at 100

At this event

Philip Hubbard

Philip Hubbard

Professor of Urban Studies


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