Chatham House: Independent thinking on international affairs

The Future of Cities 2012: Investment for Urban Growth

6-7 February 2012

Cities are the engines of economic growth, but what do they need to do to secure and maintain this growth over the long term?

Cities are under pressure to meet the multiple demands of growing populations, economic change and climate shocks. In a fast-changing world economy, and facing increased international competition, many cities are reviewing their economic strategies and how they can leverage investment.  At the same time, investors are seeking new assets offering higher returns than the ‘safe havens’ affected by sovereign debt or economic stagnation.

This conference will ask how cities can attract investment for their development and what innovative financing solutions are emerging in response to the multi-layered challenges that they face.  City leaders, business heads, and expert commentators will discuss practical solutions to funding problems and identify key elements for success.

  • Can the established major world cities compete with the rapidly emerging cities in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East?
  • Can investments in major urban areas offer secure and attractive returns that other assets do not? What new instruments and funding models are emerging?
  • What respective approaches to investment are succeeding for major urban hubs in developing, developed and emerging economies?
  • What are the key roles of the city leader in attracting urban investment?