Dr Henry Overman, Director of the Spatial Economics Research Centre (SERC) at the London School of Economics, discussed whether place matters, why certain places thrive while others struggle, the role of government in trying to shape place; and the challenges and opportunities facing policy makers.
Dr Overman is reader in Economic Geography in the department of Geography and Environment at the London School of Economics and since April 2008, the Director of the Spatial Economics Research Centre. His current research interests include the clustering of economic activity, the evolution of cities and the causes and consequences of urban sprawl. Dr Overman's research has been widely published in leading economics journals and in August 2007 he took over the joint-editorship of the inter-disciplinary Journal of Economic Geography. He has provided policy advice to, amongst others, the European Commission, Department for International Development, Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Transport. He is also affiliated with the Centre for Economic Policy Research' s International Trade Programme