DLDcities 13: London roundtable

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Cities, regions and countries all over the world are faced with the effects of economic and cultural globalization. One manifestation of these effects is the increased competition among cities, which is apparent in various fields of activity. There is competition for resources, for business relocation, for foreign investment, for tourist and even residents among the world’s cities.

Creating and projecting the image of an attractive city is not just about providing good essential services, like mobility, energy, water, education etc. Ease of doing business and environmentally friendliness are important differentiating factors.

The importance of cultural, leisure and entertainment economy has grown steadily the latter years underlining the importance of cultural branding of cities, for tourist as well as the local population.

The discussion will dovetail a screening of the Siemens Festival Nights in collaboration with the Salzburg Festival and beers and sausages.

General Schedule

7.00 pm Reception - Dinner + Drinks
8.15 pm Keynote
8.40 pm Panel
9.45 pm Illumination of the Crystal

followed by drinks and music spinned by Jason Heath (Cocolores)

About DLDcities

In our new, urbanized world all problems of society ultimately converge in the city. The repercussions of the economic crisis, the ecological negligence, the political climate, large-scale migration - you name it - are felt by anyone in the city. We believe that cities are more than just the reflection of the current state of the world; they are a seismograph of what there is yet to come, the hotbed for innovation and avant-garde thinking, and the arena in which we can take on the challenges of rapid urbanisation.

In just a few decades, up to 80% of the world’s population will be living in major cities. Issues like sustainability, pollution, infrastructure and energy consumption will be crucial. Obviously, neither there is such a thing as a typical megacity nor a panacea to meet the challenges. A city like New York will develop in a completely different way from Frankfurt am Main, Mumbai or Mexico City. Most attributes are sticky to location, however patterns overlap and dialectic analysis and cross-fertilisation of ideas are powerful.

The city is not the problem - it is our opportunity. “The city talks back,” says the sociologist Saskia Sassen. We want to listen and enter this conversation, we want to learn and figure out how we can face the challenges and seize the possibilities.

With the rise of new technologies our cities, buildings, and objects communicate with us extensively. We - the companies, the governments, the people - are in this together. Interdisciplinarity is key and all stakeholders are interwoven. Architects should be interested in biosynthetic materials, energy companies should care about window farming, designers should be technology companies and vice versa. After all: Discovering how to make better, "smarter" cities, is working on a better future.

The first DLDcities conference took place in September 21, 2012. Together with our long-term partner Siemens, the one-day conference served as inauguration for the world leading Sustainability & Urbanism exhibition at the Crystal in East London, and as kick-off for an on-going crossover conversation on the collective creation of cities.

Mentioned in this article

Sassen sw
Saskia Sassen
Columbia University
Columbia University