Session 1: "Perfect City"—What are the Drivers of the Modern Metropolis?
Urban Strategies Inc., Toronto
The world is rapidly urbanizing and at the same time an elite of global cities seems to be gaining more and more economic and cultural power. That growth seems fueled by similar forces: the financial services industry, high-achieving universities, a vibrant tech sector, a vigorous cultural life and well-connected airports. Yet we all share the same problems of inadequate transport infrastructure, rising social inequality, a lack of affordable housing, and a sense of urban sameness. In this presentation, we will dive deep into the drivers of global urban success and examines the cities that are most successful in tackling these common problems.
Eight cities where Joe Berridge has had an active urban planning role will be examined, with guidance for how they might best mobilize themselves for success. No city is perfect in every category, but each offers unique insight: Shanghai in its dramatic expansion of its subways and management of unprecedented growth; Singapore in their unique way of making large projects happen; London in its restructuring of its growth to revitalize the east of the city; Sydney in its response to the challenge of tech giants, Manchester in its inspired re-invention of its economy; Belfast in its forging of civic peace after two decades of urban civil war, and Toronto, the city that successfully settles more immigrants than any other.
Lessons from each of these cities covers not just the strategies each city employs, but also analyzes the leadership involved and the quality of the urban places they achieve, suggesting at a formula for the “perfect city.”