Sharing spaces, smart transport and sustainable innovation top of the agenda at Urban Infrastructure 2014

Written by Jeremy Bourdon on 1 December 2014

London, UK; November 14th 2014:

The future of the city is smart and shareable! That was the overwhelming consensus from the Urban Infrastructure 2014 conference, organised by The Economist Events. The one-day symposium brought together some of the world’s most forward-thinking elected officials, city planners and industry-leaders to discuss how cities of the future can innovate to provide world class, intelligent infrastructure.

A common theme was that in ever-growing cities scale alone is not enough to relieve pressure – intelligent and efficient solutions are required to make the most of already existing infrastructure, and that means municipal and national government working together.

We heard from the Mayors of Rome, Hamburg and Porto on the challenges that cities across Europe are facing where there was a strong consensus that ‘densifying’ the urban centre of cities must lie at the heart of any resolution to the housing pressures we face. It was agreed that people want to live in cities – they continue to lay the foundation for human development economically, scientifically and culturally – but that it is the duty of both the public and private sector to make these cities resilient and sustainable in a way that does not damage their environment.  

Rui Moreira, Mayor, Porto said:

“One Euro spent on infrastructure brings between €12 and €17 of private investment.”

Reduce spending by 40%

Dr Jan Mischke of McKinsey Global Institute said:

We estimate that countries could reduce required spending by as much as 40 percent by seeking out innovative approaches that build on global best practices such as selecting projects more thoughtfully, streamlining their delivery, and using existing infrastructure more productively.” Read more here

Helsinki High Rise

World Cities Network is supporting the City of Helsinki as they begin designing a new urban core in the most connected part of the city – Pasila. The city has embraced the ideas of shared services and innovative approaches to infrastructure development. On Wednesday, December 1st in Helsinki, we will be supporting the launch event of an international design competition that will see leading architectures, designers, and developers engage in a dialogue with the city about this historic development plan for one of Europe’s most innovative cities.

Read more on the Helsinki High Rise here.

Categories: Design, Transport, Economy, Mobility, Governance, Finance systems, Funding