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Networks and Magnets: The National Role of Regional Cities

February 23, 2021 @ 09:15 February 24, 2021 @ 13:00 online

Session 1: 09:15-13:00 on 23 February
Session 2: 09:15-13:00 on 24 February

A joint conference between The Academy of Urbanism and RIAI across two sessions to examine the conditions that are enabling small and medium-sized cities to achieve growth, prosperity and a good quality of life for all.

Small and medium-sized cities have not had it easy. For successive decades, while cities such as London, Dublin, Edinburgh and Glasgow have prospered, smaller and medium-sized cities have had to grapple with the challenges of inequality, falling productivity and investments, while battling a perception of bigger-is-best.

However, through changes to local and national policies and trends in how people live and work, cities such as Cork, Coventry and Perth are beginning to attract people and work towards matching their potential as great places to live, work and visit.

Whether it’s the Project Ireland 2040’s strategy to “make Ireland a better country for all of its people” by spreading investment across cities, Perth’s ambition to be the most sustainable small city in Europe, or a united focus on the stakeholders between Oxford and Cambridge, cities and policymakers are beginning to think and act differently regarding size.

Eindhoven by Place Images

Read AoU Director Tony Reddy on the theme of this event
Read now

But how do these places ensure that they are maximising their potential? How do they reach consensus on costly issues such as the environment and infrastructure? And how do they ensure that all of this is balanced with the needs and desires of the people who live there?

Join us to hear from a range of case studies at different scales in Ireland, Scotland and England, as well as established leading success stories in continental Europe. Find out how smaller cities are prospering with a focus on city and regional structures and governance, health and wellbeing, connectivity and innovation.

Speaking on 23 February

View speaker biographies

Darragh O’Brien TD, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage


Minister O’Brien will speak about how Project Ireland 2040 will transform Ireland’s cities

Frank Allen
Chair, Iarnród Éireann / Irish Rail

Frank Allen will speak about how rail and greater connectivity can bring renewal

Meg Kaufman
Head of Outreach, What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth, part of Centre for Cities

Meg Kaufman will speak about a green economic recovery for small and medium cities

Councillor John Merry, Chair of Key Cities Group and Deputy Mayor of Salford

Cllr Merry will talk about unlocking the potential of small and medium sized cities

Bev Hindle
Executive Director, Oxford to Cambridge Arc Leadership Group

Bev Hindle will speak about how collaboration and connectivity can make better and more prosperus places

Tony Reddy
Director of The Academy of Urbanism and Chairman of Reddy Architecture + Urbanism

Martin Colreavy
Senior Advisor, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

Martin Colreavy will speak about tools and policies for compact urban Growth and place-based support programmes

Speaking on 24 February

Charlotte Sheridan, RIAI Board Member, Director of Sheridan Woods Architects & Urban Planners, Board Member of NAMA

Charlotte Sheridan will speak about the National Development Plan Review

Thom Aussems
Eindhoven and Former CEO, Trudo Housing Association, Eindhoven

Thom Aussems will speak about Eindhoven’s transformation to a thriving and liveable city

Biljana Savic
Director of The Academy of Urbanism and Interim Head of Urban Design and Integration at HS2

Professor Wulf Daseking
Former Director of Planning, Freiburg

Professor Daseking will speak about Freiburg’s journey to one of the most sustainable cities

Kevin Murray
Director, Kevin Murray Associates

Judith Sykes
Director, Useful Projects and former Commissioner, MK Futures 2050 Commission

Judith Sykes will talk to about how people can create sustainable communities.

David Littlejohn
Head of Planning and Development at Perth & Kinross Council

David Littlejohn will speak about how the future of Perth is being shaped and its role in the wider Tay Cities Region

Duncan Sutherland
Deputy Chair, Homes England

Duncan Sutherland will address the financial and supply implications of land availability and Homes England’s approach to these issues

Who will attend?

This event is aimed at those from across sectors, including policy, planning, architecture, urban design, economic development, local and national politics.

Aerial Freiburg Rieselfeld Thomas Maier
Limerick
William Murphy

The event programme will be available soon.

(image of Limerick by William Murphy)

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