The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), in collaboration with the Cities Programme of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), has announced the winner of the fourth international competition to give the James Stirling Memorial Lectures on the City. The jury selected Harvard Law School Professor Gerald Frug as the 2010-2011 Stirling Lecturer, for his project entitled “The Architecture of Governance.”

The jury recognized Frug for the “excellence of his research and writings on urban governance and the relevance of his proposed lecture to the current debate on the future of the city in the 21st century.”

Sponsored by the Canadian Centre for Architecture, in collaboration with the Cities Programme of the London School of Economics and Political Science, the bi-annual James Stirling Memorial Lectures on the City competition was launched in 2003 to inaugurate a unique forum for the advancement of new critical perspectives on the role of urban design and urban architecture in the development of cities worldwide.

Frug’s winning proposal, “The Architecture of Governance,” addresses and analyzes the problems facing the organization of cities around the world. His

Stirling Lectures will attempt to describe the design of the governance system in a way that makes it recognizable to architects and other designers.

“I’m very happy that–even though I’m not an architect–I am the recipient of this prize,” said Frug. “Awarding me the prize says something important both about the current state of thinking about architecture and urban studies more generally. I am so pleased to be able to give two talks about governance to an audience who thinks about architecture, as I have spent my career focusing on the way the law – very often in hidden ways – affects urban life.”

He will present the Stirling Lectures on Thursday 21 October at the CCA in Montréal, and at the London School of Economics in the Fall of 2011.

The James Stirling Memorial Lectures on the City were conceived in homage to architect James Stirling, who believed that urban design is integral to the practice of architecture and a vital topic for public debate.

Frug’s lecture in Montréal will address the various ways in which the current design of governmental power allocates control to mechanisms other than elected government. His lecture will present ‘four fragmentations’ which are public authorities–called “quangos” in the UK: public-private partnerships, community benefit agreements, and popular voting through the initiative and referendum. His lecture at the London School of Economics will focus on the fragmentation of democratic government and the allocation of power from neighborhood to national governments.

Frug is the Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where he teaches on urban governance. A leading expert on the legal structure of urban governance in the United States, he has authored dozens of articles and two important books on the topic: City Making (Princeton University Press, 1999) and City Bound (with David Barron, Cornell University Press, 2009). Prior to his teaching career, Frug served as deputy administrator and administrator of the Health Services Administration of the City of New York.

—Greg DiBella