The Future of Cities

8 February 2010 - 12:00am to 10 February 2010 - 12:00am

Chatham House, London



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Projecting city growth worldwide, our 'The Future of Cities' conference will ask how rapid urban growth can be planned, managed and financed sustainably.

As cities are being forced to address some of the most dramatic challenges of the 21st Century, including energy and water supply, demographics and climate change, can they lead the way in finding sustainable solutions?

Can cities lead in meeting new challenges?

  • What policy tools do cities need to tackle these challenges?
  • Can cities leapfrog to low carbon development pathways?
  • Strategic planning for social inclusion
  • What are essential services and infrastructure? How can they be made sustainable?
  • What are the best models for financing development to support long-term growth and sustainability?

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Day One
Monday 8 February 2010

9.30 am
Session One
Cities of the Future: Where, why, and how?

  • What makes a successful city?
  • Where will most growth be? What will drive growth? Which will be the major centres of business and markets and major consumer markets? Where will population and economic growth coincide, and where diverge?
  • Of the rapidly growing cities, which will be efficient, sustainable, and stable? Which will attract investment and why?
  • Are megacities desirable? If not, what can policy-makers do?
  • The impact of 2Ëš, 3Ëš and 4Ëš climate change on the world map of cities; impact of climate migration on city size
  • Costs to cities of climate adaptation and mitigation

Chair Bridget Rosewell
Chair, Volterra Consulting and Chief Executive Adviser
Greater London Authority

Keynote Address
Anna Tibaijuka
Executive Director

10.10 Miguel Luiz Bucalem
Secretary for Urban Development, Sao Paolo

Rosemary Feenan
International Director, Global Research Programmes
Jones Lang LaSalle

Anthony Hobley
Partner, Head of Climate Change and Carbon Finance
Norton Rose LLP

11.25 Refreshments

Governance and Leadership Panel

  • What are, and should be, the governance relationships between national, regional, and city governments?
  • Dynamics between cities; regional planning
  • Will the global financial downturn cause governments to increase their influence over cities' resources, economies, and development?
  • Do city authorities have the capacity to manage urbanization at its predicted rates?
  • Are cities forced to address major challenges that national governments avoid (sustainability, inclusion, migration)? What policy tools do they need?
  • To what extent can cities be agents of change where governments lag, for example, on climate change, and to what extent are their roles reactive?
  • Where are the good models and best practice in city governance? What are the tensions between short-term electoral gain and long-term planning?
  • The role of leadership in city success

11.55 Chair Dr Robin Niblett
Director, Chatham House

12.00 Keynote Address
Njeru Robinson Githae
Minister for Nairobi Metroploitan Development, Kenya

12.30 Lunch

13.30 Speaker Panel Discussion
Saskia Sassen
Robert S Lynd Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology and Committee on Global Thought
Columbia University and Centennial Professor, London School of Economics

Session Two
Successful Cities:
Planning and Managing Efficient, Sustainable and Integrated Cities

  • There are many drivers to improving cities' sustainability, but the threat of climate change is creating urgency. Is the current economic downturn a threat to investment in low carbon technologies, or can it be leveraged into an opportunity to leapfrog cities to alternative development pathways?
  • What policy tools can incentivize carbon reduction in cities?
  • International focus has tended to be on mitigation. What adaptation measures can and should cities implement, and by when?
  • Can cities achieve low carbon resource self-sufficiency?
  • Can strategic planning address cities' multiple challenges: adaptation, mitigation, recession, social inclusion?

Chair Ricky Burdett
Centennial Professor in Architecture and Urbanism; Director, LSE Cites
London School of Economics

14.40 Keynote Speakers
Cheong Koon Hean (on the record)
Chief Executive Officer
Urban Redevelopment Authority, Singapore

Zhu Zejun
Mayor of Zengcheng City, China

15.40 Refreshments

16.10 Anne Skovbro
Head of Planning
City of Copenhagen

Fulong Wu
Professor of East Asian Planning and Development
School of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University

Francis Bailly
Vice-President, European Affairs
GE International

David Satterthwaite
Senior Fellow, Human Settlements Group
International Institute of Environment and Development

17.30 End of day and drinks reception

Day Two
Tuesday 9 February 2010

Session Three

  • How can cities secure the resources they need - energy, water, food?
  • What impact will recession have on investment in city infrastructure?
  • Where will the main infrastructure needs be? To what extent will infrastructure (energy, transport, communications, water, waste management) have to change in order to be affordable and sustainable? What innovations and partnerships are needed?
  • Planning and delivering essential services for informal settlements: sanitation, water, waste

Chair Philip Dilley
Arup Group

09.40 Keynote Address
Bob Gilligan (on the record)
Vice President, Transmission and Distribution
GE Energy

10.10 James T Gallagher
Senior Vice President for Energy Policy
New York City Economic Development Corporation

Thomas Maier
Managing Director, Infrastructure Section
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Cleo Paskal
Associate Fellow, Energy Enviroment and Resource Governance Programme
Chatham House

10.40 Refreshments

11.20 Questions and Discussion

12.10 Lunch

Session Four
Investment in Cities
Who pays?

  • What sources of finance exist for city development?
  • Can and should cities gain investment raising autonomy? What innovations are there? What is the role of International Financial Institutions?
  • What mechanisms could fund essential adaptation?
  • What are the conditions necessary to attract investment into city development? What is the real potential for greater private investment in cities?
  • What are the best existing models for financing development to support long-term growth and sustainability?
  • Changing the policy paradigm: the informal economy as a resource

Chair Greg Clark
Senior Fellow
Urban Land Institute Europe

Teruyuki Ohno
Director General for Climate Strategy, Bureau of the Environment
Tokyo Metropolitan Government

Eduardo Rojas
Principal Specialist, Urban Development
Inter American Development Bank

Lael Bethlehem
Chief Executive Officer
Johannesburg Development Agency

Enrique Fuentes
Market Analysis and Development Division Director
Ferrovial Group

14.10 Moderated panel discussion

15.10 End of conference

© The Royal Institute of International Affairs, 2009