Over 1000 international opinion leaders expected in Abu Dhabi to pioneer new thought on urban sustainability - 01 February 2011
A press conference held on the 31st of January in Abu Dhabi revealed the detailed program for Global City 2011, the only international forum providing public and private sector leaders a dynamic platform to exchange views, discuss challenges and find solutions to urban sustainability. Director General of the Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development, Fahad Saeed Al Raqbani, and Nathalie Depetro, MAPIC and Global City Director, introduced the March 15-17 proceedings, confirmed key speakers, expected outcomes and results.
Under the Patronage of H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Global City 2011, Abu Dhabi, will set new limits for innovative thinking on urban sustainability. The Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development (ADCED), Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Department of Transport, Municipality of Abu Dhabi City and the Western Region Development Council have collaborated to bring this essential and timely forum to the city.
The focus for the fifth edition of this increasingly anticipated event, which will be held at Emirates Palace, is “Visionary Values,” as well as the elements that make sustainable cities inclusive, competitive, cultural and livable; these issues will spark much-needed debate around burning topics such as identity and culture, setting new standards for knowledge sharing, potentially influencing strategic city visions currently being formulated throughout the world. Global City 2011, Abu Dhabi, will also address some of the new challenges posed by growing global urbanization, including social inclusion, investment attraction, employment growth, environmental security, new infrastructure development and respect for the environment.
With more than 1,000 guests expected to attend, the forum will provide an opportunity for participants to exchange concrete solutions and best practices, present case studies, generate discussion and share knowledge and insight with city leaders and expert advisers from Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. They will also have access to local and international knowledge networks, including mayors, urban planners and city leaders. A closed-door, invitation-only Leaders’ Summit will examine issues surrounding financing sustainable growth, and will allow participants to discuss, debate and discover what other leaders are doing around the world.
“The world is experiencing the largest wave of urban growth in history,” said Al Raqbani. “Approximately 3.3 billion people, more than half the world’s population, live in cities, and by 2030 this number will approach five billion. Managing this population growth in a way that is financially, culturally and ecologically sustainable is of paramount importance to leaders all over the world.”
The program itself is expected to be a powerful combination of imposing names and important issues: “I have been involved in the organization of Global City since its origins,” remarked Depetro. “This year, I feel we have added value on many levels. We look forward to high-level exchanges that capitalize on five years of Global City heritage.”
Global City 2011, Abu Dhabi, promises to be a forum of “firsts”: it will be the first time Dr. Jacques Attali shares his vision of sustainability with the Middle East; culture and local values will be introduced to the program for the first time; and the first-ever Global City master classes on culture and city branding will be offered.
Participants will benefit from the experience and expertise of some of the world’s top thinkers. Economist, writer, and president of PlaNet Finance, Dr. Jacques Attali will deliver the keynote address entitled “Towards a Civilization of Sustainable Cities.” Dr. Attali has been designated as one of the three most influential intellectuals in France and one of the 100 most influential worldwide.
Guests at the Mayor’s Panel on City Identity will hear from high-profile leaders such as Mark Mallory, Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio, Mayor Jussi Ilmari Pajunen, of Helsinki, Finland, and Phil Gordon, Mayor of the City of Phoenix, Arizona.
As registration for media and general delegates continues (www.globalcityforum.com), the organizers intend to announce a series of new speaker confirmations and partnerships in the coming weeks.