World renowned speakers confirmed for Abu Dhabi edition of “Global City”

Published December 10th, 2008 - 04:04 GMT

World renowned speakers confirmed for Abu Dhabi edition of “Global City”

- Richard Florida, Larry Beasley and Pooran Desai among key speakers at international forum in Abu Dhabi focused on building sustainable cities -

Some of the world’s leading intellectuals including urban planning experts, architects, senior governmental advisors, municipality officials and CEOs of major corporations have been confirmed as speakers for the 2009 edition of Global City being held 7 – 8 April, 2009 at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. 

Global City, an international forum enabling urban development decision-makers to share and learn lessons and solutions in building sustainable cities, is being brought to the region for the first time by the show’s owners, Reed Exhibitions. Global City Abu Dhabi 2009 is sponsored and supported by the Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development (ADCED) and the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC). Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate PJSC are the platinum sponsors of the event. Several hundred delegates are expected to attend Global City in Abu Dhabi, including local elected representatives from around the world.

“The upcoming edition of Global City in Abu Dhabi is poised to be the biggest and best-ever since the event was first held in 2005. I am pleased that several of the leading speakers we have invited have confirmed their participation. As we build towards the event, I am convinced that we have a cutting-edge conference programme, that will deliver conclusive benefits to participants,“ said Nathalie De Petro from Reed Exhibitions
The opening keynote at Global City will be delivered by Richard Florida and will focus on economic competitiveness, demographic trends and cultural innovation. Florida, founder of the Creative Class Group, an advisory firm charting new trends in business and community, is the author of several best-selling books, and articles that have been carried in international publications including The New York Times. He is Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and Professor of Business and Creativity at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. 
Following the keynote, an expert panel comprising mayors from major cities around the world will participate in a discussion on “Success factors for a city in 10 years vs. in 100 years”.

“Global City has been structured to act as an excellent platform to exchange best practices and knowledge. Besides learning from the rest of the world, we also thought it opportune to provide Global City delegates the chance to know more about outstanding, far-sighted urban development projects from within the region. We have therefore chosen several speakers and topics which have a local and regional resonance”, added Frederic Theux, President of Reed Exhibitions Middle East.

Larry Beasley, Former Co-director of Planning at the City of Vancouver in Canada is a participant at a session on Smart Urban Planning. His fellow panelist is Christopher Choa, Principal, EDAW, whose current work includes creating a new community with affordable housing in the Palestinian territories and the large-scale, mixed-use sustainable development of Saadiyat Island being developed in Abu Dhabi.
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, will speak at a session moderated by Pooran Desai, One Planet Living Technical Director and Co-Founder of BioRegional, UK. The session will present a panorama of the latest experiences in ecological neighborhoods showcasing Masdar city in Abu Dhabi and Bedzed, in the UK.

Transportation is one of the major focus areas during Global City, with three separate sessions devoted to this topic, co-organized in partnership with MENA Chapter of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP).

Jiangyan Wang, Director of Planning, PB China and Wilben Short, Head of Transport, London 2012 will share their insights on how international events can act as a catalyst for a city’s sustainable development – a session especially relevant given Abu Dhabi’s plans to organize an F-1 race starting next year and the UAE’s leading position in the region as the host of several other mega events.

Carlos Cristobal Pinto, Head of Planning Department, CTM-Madrid, Spain will address a session on “Redesigning the public realm through public transport strategies” while mega-transport development projects in cities will be studied via case studies presented by leading transportation planners such as Mohinder Singh, Director, Land Transport Authority, Singapore.

In keeping with the focus on transportation, the Leaders’ Summit, a closed-door meeting exclusively for city leaders, will focus on new mobility patterns for the 21st century city. The Summit is co-organized in partnership with the Forum for Urban Management (FGV), France, and City on the Move Institute, France.

The Global City conference program also includes a session on “Culture as a driver for sustainability”, moderated by Ariella Masboungi, Chief Urban Architect for the French Government responsible for the Urban Projects Program. Speakers at this session include Kyle Rae, Councillor – Economic & Culture development, City of Toronto, Canada; Laurent Thery, General Manager of SAMOA, Nantes Metropole; and Jean Blaise, founder of “Lieu Unique”, France.

Immigration’s role in contributing to a city’s success will be debated in a session at which participants include Mark Kleinman, Director for Migration and Chief Social Researcher, Communities and Local Government, London, UK; Marie Therese McGivern, Director of Development, Belfast City Council; and Peter Woods, Secretary General, United Cities and Local Governments for the Asia Pacific.

Other sessions at Global City include:
- “Globalization of the world’s sustainable cities”
- “City branding – a comprehensive approach for city identity”
- “Dynamizing the city through downtown redevelopment - How to make a sustainable downtown”
- “Disaster resilient cities: planning for sustainability”
- “Smart Cities: a new generation of very large scale projects at the intersection of real-estate development, technology and urban design”
-  “Local climate strategy”
Reed Exhibitions will also organize specialized workshops at Global City on environmental services and clean technologies for waste, water, energy and transport. The workshops are structured to provide a platform for speed networking and rapid information sharing, and are designed to be informal and entertaining. Associations, sponsors and other partners at Global City will conduct these workshops.

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