Paper on 'Vision for Cities'

Paper on 'Vision for Cities'

The discussion paper outlines the environmental, economic and social context in which city governments and property professionals across the globe are planning and delivering long-term infrastructure, and identifies the nine key drivers for global city growth and place shaping.

Cities are faced with a number of economic, social and technological drivers which, to remain competitive in attracting investment and growing sustainably, means targeted investment, planning and delivery of infrastructure is critical. According to the paper, key drivers for global city growth are:

Progressive urbanisation has already resulted in over half the world’s population now living in cities. Very large cities of the future will be the principal location for human habitation, in-migration, social and economic reproduction and work.

The international dispersal of knowledge-intensive, business and professional services facilitated by ICT development and cheaper travel, has made such cities specialised service centres for offices of businesses which enable global production networks, supply chains and trade to operate and which add value to all economic sectors.
The development of global office networks for international business services is generating significant physical, as well as virtual, mobility of people, labour, goods and commodities within and between cities.

The increasing complexity of high-value, specialised international business functions, requires continuing close proximity of skilled labour, suppliers, clients and competitors in densely clustered city locations to be able to compete successfully in international markets.

Private sector investment in these clusters also provides essential investment into the city infrastructure needed to support resource flows such as high speed internet cable and public transportation as well as offices. Many cities are also extending outwards to form large functionally interconnected urban regions (recently referred to as global ‘mega-city regions’) that stretch beyond the metropolitan boundaries of the city.
These very large city regions generate high volumes of cross-cutting commuting and business travel not currently supported by sufficient rail and sustainable transport infrastructure and investment.

There are a number of steps policy makers can take to encourage the effective delivery of the infrastructure, the paper explains. Accordingly, they include:

Developing and attracting sufficient built environment expertise to plan and deliver the infrastructure through a thriving community of built environment professionals.
The costs of planning and delivering infrastructure, which should be benchmarked against competitor cities to lower the infrastructure delivery costs.
The funding and financing for new and retrofitted infrastructure, which includes developer tariffs and PFIs/PPPs.

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