Even the most successful cities are facing significant challenges as they strive to achieve long term, sustainable growth against an economic outlook that is making investment and capital increasingly difficult to access.
The ability of cities to leverage their assets and funding is ever more vital, and some cities, more than others, remain relentlessly positive in their outlook.
Recent work with Amsterdam, Barcelona, Hamburg, Lyon and Manchester has shown that what differentiates them from many others is their ability to understand what will really generate growth over the medium term, and what they can do today to help that along.
These are cities that refuse to be submerged in the difficult tasks of the immediate, and insist on gathering evidence about what will place them amongst Europe’s most successful cities in the years to come. They are also acting on that evidence, putting in place a variety of policy, regulatory and operational vehicles that increase the chances of these cities seeing greater growth. Each has a maturity that enables them to be realistic about their distinctiveness in this globally competitive environment, and to develop their particular advantages and sector strengths. This feeds confidence and investment, which themselves are of course two of the key ingredients for sustainable growth.
At MIPIM, these cities will be coming together to discuss the findings of a research study focused on key questions related to the generation of investment in Europe’s leading cities. The research centres on the five cities themselves, but is also applicable to a broader class of global, middle-ranking cities which have been identified as most likely to generate the majority of economic growth in the coming years. It reflects on what is currently proving successful in encouraging investment in European cities’ real estate sectors and the wider areas of urban development and infrastructure.
Uniquely, these cities are debating these results on an open platform with investors and developers; testing and sharing the evidence in order to understand what they need to focus on to build lasting partnerships with the best fit of investors, from which should flow value, return and long-lasting reward for both the cities and their partners. There can of course be no guarantees that these cities will prosper more than others in the years to come, but it is the consistent application of this approach that suggests they have a better chance than most of their peers. It is also the approach that is increasingly making them drivers of national policies.