On 13 March 2014, CIMA and Tomorrow's Company held an event at the Mansion House entitled 'A City of Cities, a City for Cities', exploring the need to create value in the cities in which we live and work.
The event explored the challenge and opportunity for London as a 'city of cities'. It asked how, as the world's population increases and more people live in cities: what does this mean for infrastructure and energy, for the cities we build, and how we meet future consumer needs for water, food, and waste; how we will work, live, and create the conditions for long-term and shared prosperity?
In her welcome, Lord Mayor Alderman Fiona Woolf CBE stated that 'One of the visions of my mayoralty is what Tomorrow's London will look like'. She emphasised that a city's wealth is founded on its human capital, and that we have imperative to look to the long term, because ‘not doing so exposes us to long term risks.’
Jason Robinson, Head of Urban Development at Bechtel, spoke of how ‘infrastructure is the enabler of development,’ citing the redevelopment of King’s Cross and Stratford as being possible by HS1, and the fact that the Olympic Park, for £11bn investment, is set to provide £41bn in benefits.
Daniel Wong, Head of Infrastructure and Real Estate Macquarie, made clear the growing opportunities to invest in financing such infrastructure, pointing out that such investment is ‘long term, stable, and with cash flows linked to inflation.’
Dr Rick Robinson, Executive Architect, Smarter Cities at IBM, emphasised the need for ‘smart cities’, noting that analysts from IBM are looking at data from cities globally to help them find ways to be more efficient.