Cannes' Martinez Hotel, venue of Global City 2005

Global City
Tel: +33 (0)1 41 90 45 17
Fax: +33 (0)1 41 90 45 30


Reed MIDEM Paris Headquarters
11 rue du Colonel Pierre Avia
75726 Paris Cedex 15

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Global City 2006
Global City 2005
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First Global City offered varied programme
and in 2006 plans to move away from MIPIM

By Guy Kervella, European Editor

Preceding MIPIM, Europe’s biggest real estate event, and overlapping it by one day, the first Global City, a forum for ‘urban decision makers’, could not fail. MIPIM, one of the main attractions of Cannes’ annual events calendar, has always been attended by large numbers of representatives from cities around the world, eager to showcase their communities to potential investors.

So why stage a separate event for local government? Reed MIDEM, the organisers of both MIPIM and Global City, say that cities attending MIPIM suggested and demanded an event with a wider remit. Nathalie Depetro, Director of Global City, told City Mayors that local governments valued MIPIM because the show allowed them to meet and talk to all the important people in real estate. “Then numerous urban decision makers came to us and said we need an event that allowed us to discuss among ourselves and with representatives from the private sector all the issues which cities have to confront today,” Ms Depetro added.

So Global City was born. The first forum was held in early March 2005 and attracted more than 900 participants, half of them from local government, the other half from the private sector. The event was not short of big names. The advisory committee was made up of some of Europe’s best-known mayors, including Walter Veltroni (Rome), Petra Roth (Frankfurt), Wolfgang Schuster (Stuttgart), Gérard Collomb (Lyon), Jean Marie Bockel (Mulhouse), Alfredo Sanchez Monteseiring (Seville) and Arturas Zuokas (Vilnius).

However, while the organisers claim that participants came from 33 countries, there were few representatives from cities outside Europe. No mayors from North or South America and no mayors from Asia. So the first Global City event was more European than global, a fact freely admitted by Ms Depetro. She told City Mayors that for the first year Reed MIDEM decided to concentrate its marketing efforts in Europe. “We did not want to overreach ourselves this year. In 2006 you will see many more local authority participants from The Americas, Asia and Africa,” she added.

Most participants City Mayors spoke to, praised Reed for staging a well-organised event and for putting together a varied and interesting programme, which included topics such as ‘Making our cities safe’, the ‘Flemish public transport model’ and the ‘Pitfalls of public-private partnerships’.

Peter Batchelor, State Minister for Transport, from Victoria, Australia presented an overview of Melbourne’s transport plan up to 2030. He also described how his Labor government inherited from the previous administration a privatised transport system, which had been introduced two months before the election. He told an audience of transport experts that, while Labor decided to keep the system privatised, he had to renegotiate some of the contracts. “According to the World Bank two-thirds of public private partnerships have to be renegotiated within five years,” the Minister pointed out.

Ingrid Lieten, Director General of the VVM De Lijn public transport company, explained details of the Flemish Pegasus Plan 2003-2025. The plan applied to the densely populated Antwerp region of Belgium aims to encourage people to switch from car use to public transport by offering them mobility rights. For example, all urban citizens should have a bus stop within 500 metres, while people living in rural areas should not have to walk further than 750 metres to pick up a bus.

Carol Sirou, Managing Director of Standard & Poor in France, pointed out that in the US more than 10,000 communities have a credit rating, compared to only 300 in Europe. Ms Sirou told City Mayors that a good credit rating helped local authorities to negotiate favourable terms with investors, suppliers and lenders. At the Global City Forum, several cities, which had applied for and given a credit rating, extolled the virtues of an AAA or AA rating.

At the seminar ‘Making our cities safe’, speakers explained that in the past cities in ‘Anglo-Saxon’ countries introduced more and more CCTV cameras to fight street crime, while communities in Latin countries favoured social and crime prevention policies. But it is now recognised by most local authorities, that successful crime prevention required both systems, City Mayors was told by speakers at the Forum.

In 2006, Global City will have to prove that it can succeed without being associated with MIPIM. Nathalie Depetro, the event’s director, expressed confidence. “Next year we will be in Lyon on 16 to 18 May,” she told City Mayors. She also added that she saw no reasons why subsequent events could not be held outside France.

New forum aims to showcase
development success stories

Interview with Nathalie Depetro, Director of Global City,
conducted before the event

Each March, the world of commercial real estate descends on Cannes to attend MIPIM, Europe’s biggest property event. In 2005, MIPIM will be preceded by Global City, a forum for ‘urban decision-makers’. City Mayors spoke to Global City’s director Nathalie Depetro to find out whether the purpose behind the new event was merely commercial or whether it could become an annual showcase for successful urban development projects.

City Mayors: Are the reasons for starting Global City mainly commercial?
Nathalie Depetro: Reed MIDEM is a leading organiser of professional, international trade shows. It organises MIPIM, the international property market, which brings together real estate professionals and cities from all over the world. The idea of creating Global City came after numerous requests from cities attending MIPIM for an event more focussed on urban strategies and not only property matters. Therefore Reed MIDEM decided to support urban decision makers with its full range of skills and expertise and organise an annual show, which also sustains contacts and dialogue throughout the year. As Reed MIDEM’s initiative is not financed by any public or European institutions, we had to create a forum which generates revenues.

City Mayors: What differentiates Global City from other discussion forums such as Glocal or forums held by organisations such as United Cities and the World Urban Forum?
Nathalie Depetro: Global City is an innovative forum because it is the only one to gather the key elements :
• a global approach to urban issues.
• a place where public and private partners come together to show their projects, developments and solutions.
• an annual event allowing participants to follow up their contacts.
The organiser of Global city, Reed MIDEM, is not a city nor an affiliate of any urban organisation. Therefore it is totally non-political when selecting cities to present their urban strategies. The aim of Global city is to show as many effective solutions and experiences as possible.

City Mayors: Whom does Global City aim to address?
Nathalie Depetro: Global City aims to gather together mayors and council leaders, elected people in charge of urbanism, environment and transport, development agencies, architects, experts in urban development and private companies coming to present global solutions together with cities.

City Mayors: The mayors and cities on your list … how were they selected.
Nathalie Depetro: The programme of Global City is featuring two kinds of cities :
• cities that have a global success story in their urban development
• cities showcasing with their private partners innovative solutions in the fields of economic development, quality of the environment, and transportation and high tech connectivity in the city.

Therefore it was a big research effort to select cities which are going to be part of the programme. For example, we will have the city of Ghent presenting its approach to urban lighting with its partner Philips, while the city of London will be reporting on its radical project to use a toll to cut city-centre traffic congestion.
But there is no selection process at all for Mayors or cities attending GLOBAL CITY as the aim is to facilitate communication and exchange of ideas and solutions among cities.

City Mayors: What do the participating mayors/cities expect to achieve at Global City?
Nathalie Depetro: Participating cities come to Global City to share ideas, case-studies and best practice. Attending this event will provide mayors with innovative solutions or ideas they can implement in their own cities. It will also help them gain time by seeing in place solutions already tried and tested in other cities. This annual event will also be an excellent networking and promotion tool. More generally, Global City will provide mayors with information and examples of their changing role in the context of new governance models.

City Mayors: Do they pay Global City to participate or are they being paid?
Nathalie Depetro: All mayors are invited to attend Global City, whether they speak during a conference or not. All the other participants pay their entrance fees.

City Mayors: What kind of audience do you expect?
Nathalie Depetro: We are expecting around 1,000 participants with 80 per cent of public participants and 20 per cent of private partners, which seems to us a good balance between public and private participants. The audience will be totally international, if mainly European in this first edition. However, we will have the City of Melbourne from further afield, for example, which will tell the story of its experiences in sustainable growth.

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