UN Habitat Lecture Series: Ronald Wall, Erasmus University

Urban Lectures

The UN Habitat urban lectures are a free resource of video lectures, including synopsis, biographies and additional reading materials, open to use for academic, professional or personal purposes.

Ronald Wall (Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam/University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa) in this lecture calls a new paradigm on how to empirically address globalization and urbanization using big data on investment flows between cities worldwide. 

Ronald Wall talks about the importance of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to understand globalization and urbanization. He highlights that since foreign investment leads to economic growth, research should look at Africa and its low volume of investment despite their rapid growth rate. Along with foreign investment, researchers should look at other forces that bring new technologies and innovation. Wall proposes the factors that attract foreign investment as infrastructure, educated workforce, education institutions, ports and airports. Lastly, he encourages foreign investors to not only look at new development, but also social inclusiveness and environmental sensitivity.

Ronald Wall is Head of the Urban Competitiveness and Resilience (UCR) department at the Institute for Housing and Urban Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and holds the Johannesburg City Chair in Economics at the Faculty of Law Commerce and Management, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He is an appointed Senior Research Fellow at the Turku School of Economics, Turku University, Finland. In 2009 he received his PhD as an Economic Geographer at the Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, specializing in global city network analysis. He also holds a Masters degree in Urban Planning, from the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and Urban Planning. Ronald has published on the topic in various leading journals e.g. Economic Geography, Journal of Economic Geography, and Environment and Planning A. He has carried out economic urban research for the European Rhine Zone, the Dutch government, Chinese and South Korean cities, and for cities in the Middle East. Recently he (under IHS), together with Oxford Economics, has been commissioned by UN-Habitat Nairobi, to develop the 2017 State of African Cities Report (with Jos Maseland of UN-Habitat), which will explore the role of African cities within changing global investment networks, the attractivity and impacts on these cities, and ways forward to more sustainable investment in Africa.


See all Global Urban Lectures full packages (video, synopsis, biographies, additional reading material) here.