Major European Cities unite to discuss economic leadership plans at MIPIM 2015

Civic leaders from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Hamburg, Manchester and Stockholm, will come together next week for a timely discussion on the growing importance of the city and how to assert effective economic models through their investment and leadership strategies.

The five cities, under the umbrella of the MIPIM City Investment Forum, will be the focal point of a flagship event at the world’s leading property conference MIPIM 2015, which will take place at the Grand Auditorium in the Palais des Festivals.

Global cities advisor and economics expert Professor Greg Clark will lead the event with a keynote speech on the future of city-led investment strategies. His speech will be followed by an open debate led by Mike Emmerich, chief executive of New Economy (Manchester).

This comes at a time when each of these cities is making great strides in developing tailored autonomous leadership structures:

  • The Amsterdam Economic Development Board has driven forward a strategy for Amsterdam’s renewed trading success in growing global markets.
  • Barcelona has introduced a new growth strategy supported by a major enterprise growth initiative and a new politics and finance accord.
  • Hamburg has made continued strides with the world class redevelopment of Hafen City and the development of pro-business investment environment.
  • Manchester recently achieved a significant degree of increased devolved powers from the UK’s central government.
  • Stockholm has created the Stockholm Business Region and the successful ‘Capital of Scandinavia’ Brand Platform.

Underpinned by the preparation of a report by the OECD LEED Programme, the event builds on previous discussions of investment and city growth, and responds to the OECD LEED Directing Committee’s growing interest in this area. It will mark five years since these cities first joined together to share their views and experiences at MIPIM 2010.

Titled “Leading Powerhouses of the Future”, this year’s discussion is backed by the organisers of MIPIM (Reed MIDEM) and has moved into the main conference programme, gaining a new venue which suitably doubles the capacity of the event as it has been steadily growing in popularity each year.

Representatives from each city are as follows:

  • Amsterdam: Eric van der Burg, Vice Mayor responsible for Land, Spacial Planning and City Development.
  • Barcelona: Mr Mario Rubert, City Promotion Manager, Barcelona City Council
  • Hamburg: Prof. Jurgen Bruns-Berentelg, Chief Executive Officer, Hafencity Hamburg GmbH
  • Manchester: Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive, Manchester City Council
  • Stockholm: Mr Olle Zetterberg, Chief Executive Officer, Stockholm Business Region

To augment the discussion, the panel will also be joined by a selection of industry experts:

  • Rosemary Feenan, Director of Global Research Programmes, Jones Lang LaSalle
  • Debra Mountford , Senior Policy Analyst, OECD
  • Lisette Van Doorn , Chief Executive Officer, Urban Land Institute Europe
  • Anne Kavanagh,Global Head of Asset Management & Transactions, AXA Real Estate
  • Chris Darroch, Fund Director, Hermes

Prof Greg Clark commented:

“It is easy to forget that city leadership plays a critical role in raising the long term investment in cities. City leaders foster the strategies and alliances that make a city open for investment, they promote the financial tools that can leverage co-investment, and they build long term relationships of trust with investors. Cities are investment ready, if their leaders are investor savvy. In these five winning cities we can observe different models of successful leadership that are raising the investment rate in Europe.”