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Governing Complex Emergencies for Cities and Regions

Governing Complex Emergencies for Cities and Regions

On January 18, 2020 at 10am PST, Meeting of the Minds will convene a free, live webinar featuring Ainara Fernández Tortosa of UCLG and Philipp Rode of LSE Cities.


Over the last few years, city and regional governments have begun to play an increasingly critical role in confronting complex emergencies, assisting with defining, deliberating, decision making and ultimately responding to them. Three complex emergencies are currently receiving considerable attention and have, to varying degrees, resulted in declarations of a state of emergency. First, the health emergency linked to COVID-19, second, the global climate emergency, and finally, social emergencies, of which housing emergencies are a prominent example. Join us as we hear from Philipp Rode of LSE Cities and Ainara Fernández Tortosa at UCLG on a new Policy Brief which is part of the Emergency Governance Initiative (EGI) led by United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the World Association of the Major Metropolises (Metropolis) and LSE Cities at the London School of Economics and Political Science. This Initiative investigates the institutional dimensions of rapid and radical action in response to complex global emergencies. The EGI aims to provide city and regional governments with actionable information and appropriate frameworks, knowledge and resources to navigate the new demands of leading responses to complex emergencies.

Complex emergencies are inherently political and require substantially different governance approaches compared to routine emergencies, extreme events, and disaster responses. However, as with other emergencies, they share the need for rapid and radical intervention, which can lead to considerable tensions with democratic legitimacy, participatory practices, and good governance principles. Governing complex emergencies has the additional challenge of fully embedding social justice and equity dimensions. In addressing these concerns, city and regional governments are well positioned and can make an essential contribution to better and more flexible responses to complex emergencies.



Download the slides used during this presentation.


Ainara Fernández Tortosa

Ainara Fernández Tortosa

Research Officer, United Cities and Local Governments

Ainara Fernández is a Research Officer working at United Cities and Local Governments’ Global Observatory. She is a focal point for issues of urban and territorial inequalities, in particular with regards to access to housing, socio- spatial segregation, the financialisation of urban assets and feminist-queer urbanism.

Philipp Rode

Philipp Rode

Executive Director, LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science

Philipp Rode is Executive Director of LSE Cities and Co-Director of the Executive MSc in Cities at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has been directing interdisciplinary projects comprising urban governance, transport, city planning and urban design at the LSE since 2003. Rode is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) and Steering Committee Member of the Coalition for Urban Transitions led by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and the World Resources Institute.


January 18, 2021
10:00 am - 11:00 am
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Meeting of the Minds
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