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Mayors And Leaders From World’s Leading Cities To Gather In Abu Dhabi To Discuss Future Of Urban Living

City managers and planners from the world’s leading cities including Seoul, Lyon, Paris, Mumbai, Beijing, Jeddah, Riyadh and San Francisco will meet in Abu Dhabi next month to debate and determine the blueprint for successful urban living over the next 10 to 100 years. This high-profile set of municipal leaders will participate in the Mayors Panel of Global City 2009, the two-day international forum scheduled for April 7 – 8 at the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi. The Global City 2009 conference, currently in its fourth edition, is taking place in the Middle East for the first time. The Mayors Panel, addressing ‘the factors of success for a city in 10 years vs. 100 years,’ will feature the Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai, Dr. J. M. Phatak; Lyon mayor Gérard Collomb; Paul Bevan, Secretary General of Eurocities, Belgium; Seoul mayor Oh Se-hoon and Patrick Devedjian, Minister responsible for economic stimulus plan, France and President of the World Business Districts Network for Sustainable Development, among others. According to Mr. Devedjian, “Economic progress has moved faster than our awareness of the environment around us. However several events in the recent past have alerted us to the risks our environment faces. Previously, business districts did not successfully integrate sustainability into their developmental policies. But in the future, business districts have to become an alternative model of society by laying strong emphasis on sustainability." “In recent years many cities around the world have experienced unprecedented growth and revival in infrastructure, tourism, industry, service or residential projects. However, this wave of development is not always in keeping with the core nature of our cities and could lead to long-term concerns such as sprawl and congestion,” said Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai, Dr. J. M. Phatak. . “Over the long-term, positioning our cities as ideal destinations for residents, businesses and visitors is a top priority for city leaders and I look forward to the solutions and insights that Global City will offer,” added Dr. Phatak According to Frederic Theux, President, Reed Exhibitions Middle East, organisers of Global City in Abu Dhabi, “Earlier, cities evolved over centuries, whereas now, they have to rapidly adapt to coping with expanding population and the overall fast pace of development. Perhaps at no other time in history has there been as much pressure on cities to compete to be hubs for business, culture, lifestyle and living. We expect the Mayors’ Panel to be a useful guide to best practices and future solutions for the region’s urban planners,” In addition to the Mayors’ panel, Global City 2009 organisers, Reed Exhibitions will also host a ‘Leaders’ Summit,’ a collaborative platform for new ideas and thinking on mobility patterns in modern cities. The closed-door summit is organised in partnership with the French Forum for Urban Management (FGV) and the City on the Move Institute. “Mobility of citizens, goods and information has strongly influenced city development over the years,” said Ludovica Sarram, Conference Manager, Reed Exhibitions Middle East, quoting the example of elevators paving the way for skyscrapers and trams allowing the creation of the first suburbs. “Similarly, information technology will play a strong role in defining mobility patterns in the 21st century,” added Sarram. Other highlights of the Global City 2009 programme include keynote sessions by Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lund Professor of Sociology at Columbia University, USA and Richard Florida, City Guru and Founder of advisory services firm, Creative Class Group. In a session moderated by Pooran Desai, One Planet Living Technical Director and Co-Founder of BioRegional, UK, the UAE’s Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar; Aamer Bashir, First Assistant to the Mayor of Amman; Tian Ye, Deputy President, Tianjin Planning Institute, Tianjin Eco-city, China and Tatiana Bosteels, Head of Responsible Property Investment, Hermes Real Estate Investment Management Limited, UK, will highlight the growth of innovative eco-neighbourhoods and discuss how the guiding principles of these eco-clusters can be applied to transforming entire cities.. Other sessions at Global City 2009 will focus on globalization of the world’s sustainable cities, culture and immigration as drivers for a successful city, city branding, developing sustainable downtown areas, smart cities and public transport. Reed Exhibitions will also organise specialised workshops at Global City 2009 on the array of business opportunities that are made available as cities pursue their sustainability agenda. The workshops, conducted by Cisco, Siemens, EUROCITIES, Lord Cultural Services and EPAD (La Defense, Paris), among other organisations, will provide participants a platform for speed networking and information sharing. Global City 2009 is sponsored and supported by the Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development (ADCED) and the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC). Abu Dhabi-based Aldar Properties and Sorouh Real Estate are platinum sponsors of the event.

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