Global urbanisation: town vs. gown?

Wednesday 24 May 2017 -
15:45 to 17:00

City-university relationships should be mutually beneficial. But what do city leaders want from universities? What do they see as the opportunities and challenges in the relationship?

Across the world, cities and universities have co-existed for hundreds of years. While it is widely accepted that there should be a mutually-beneficial relationship between them, achieving this is not without its challenges. Cities and universities engage as self-interested actors: sometimes their strategic goals align, sometimes they do not.  Relationships between town and gown, and the potential impact of deepening and diversifying these on either side, are neither simple, nor fully understood.

Our panel provides perspectives from city leaders. We invite them to share their experience and to consider both the opportunities and the challenges in the relationship between city and university. We ask whether there could be greater mutual benefit and how that might be achieved. In a question time format the audience is invited to participate in the discussion.


  • Christopher Rodrigues CBE, Chair, British Council (Chair)
  • Dr Jean-Paul Addie, Marie Curie Research Fellow - Department of Geography, University College London, UK 
  • Luca Bergamo, Vice-Mayor, Rome Municipality, Italy 
  • Marie-Christine Lemardeley, Deputy Mayor - Higher Education, Research and Student Life, Paris City Hall, France