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EMI at Future of Cities 2012: Investment for Urban Growth

EMI attended the Chatham House Conference on 6 and 7 February 2012 in London. The central question of the conference was: how can cities attract investments for urban growth? With an impressive list of key note speakers (amongst others Harvard Professor Edward Glaeser) and interesting examples of investment strategies all around the world, the Chatham House conference provided valuable insights and thoughts which will be used as further input for EMI´s Knowledge & Research Agenda on Economic Vitality of European Metropolitan Areas.

Key for future urban growth lies in public and private investments in the city

The conference started with a discussion on the importance of cities, and the need for a better understanding of the actual dynamics and functionality of the city in order to define smarter urban policies with regard to urban investments. During the conference several representatives of cities, from Basel, Switzerland to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, presented their incentives and strategies to attract business and investors to their cities. According the speakers and participants, the key for future urban growth lies in public and private investments in the city. But what are the roles of the public and private sectors in these public-private partnerships and how to agree on issues as project funding, contracts and risk-allocation?

Interesting instruments for cities

Illustrated with examples of innovative funding models, the conference paid a great deal of attention to different funding models from all over the world. For a global city such as London, the challenge of attracting investors strongly differs from Mumbai, a fast growing city in the emerging economy of India. Despite these differences, cities can learn from each other´s successes and failures with regard to attracting investments in urban areas. Interesting instruments are, for example, urban land-use policies or cost recovery methods.

EMI stresses the importance of a dialogue between the public and private sector

Taking into account the increasing interdependency between both the public and private sector, this conference raised several important questions and challenges cities are currently facing. EMI wishes to highlight the importance of establishing a dialogue between the public and private sector including a role for the community. This dialogue will contribute to further developing and financing cities in a fruitful and sustainable way. This is similar to the principle of EMI´s Knowledge & Research Agenda on Economic Vitality of European Metropolitan Areas addressing the research questions linked to creating economic vitality across European cities. For more information about the Chatham House Conference ´The Future of Cities 2012´ or EMI´s Knowledge & Research Agenda on Economic Vitality, please contact Marloes Hoogerbrugge



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