Successful transformation of cities: who will speak at the Moscow Urban Forum

May 15
City administration

The Moscow Urban Forum that will be held from July 1 to 4, announced the first speakers. 80 experts from 27 countries have already confirmed their participation. They will tell you how different cities have survived the pandemic and adapted to new living conditions, what strategies lead to sustainable development even in a crisis, and how megacities retain their uniqueness in the context of globalization.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has put at risk the usual way of urban life. Taking into account the experience of the past year, full of challenges and hardships for megapolises, a number of superstar cities have become new leaders - cities that managed to overcome the crisis with the least losses and focused on people even in the most difficult times," Sergey Levkin, Head of the Moscow Department of Urban Planning Policy, said.

This year, the forum theme will be the successful transformation of cities. As part of the business program, one of the most innovative entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia, futurist Ayesha Khanna, will speak. Dutch architect Ben van Berkel, Head of the UNStudio bureau, and American economist Daron Ajemoglu will also take the floor.

The architectural block of the business program will be attended by the dean of the Architecture and Design IE School Martha Thorn, the Danish architect - founder of Gehl Architects - Jan Gehl and the German architect - the director of Zaha Hadid Architects - Patrick Schumacher.

One of the sections of the forum will be devoted to transport. Skye Duncan, director of NACTO, an association that brings together transportation departments in North American cities, will speak. Jenny Martin, General Secretary of the ITS United Kingdom association that promotes intelligent transport systems, will also share her experience. Another speaker in this section is Matts-Oke Belin, the Director of Vision Zero Academy, a security specialist at the Swedish Transport Administration. The Secretary General of the International Public Transport Union, Mohamed Mezghani, and the Director of Sustainability of Milan, Piero Pelizzaro, will also speak at the forum.

Other issues will also be discussed at the Moscow Urban Forum. For example, Dr. Cheong Koon Hean, CEO of the Housing and Development Council of Singapore, and Carolyn Steel, British architect, author of the book about street food ‘Hungry City’, as well as urbanist ex-mayor of Bogota Enrique Penyalosa and Dutch entrepreneur Peter van Wingerden, founder of Floating Farm, confirmed their participation.

Professor Hiroo Ichikawa, Director of the Mori Memorial Foundation's Urban Strategy Institute in Tokyo, and John Rossant, founder of the New Cities Foundation, will also speak at the forum.

In addition, online connections will be organized. With their help, even more foreign experts will be able to participate in the forum, despite the closed borders. The business program will last for two days during which time more than 80 events will be held, and where representatives of foreign and Russian cities, leaders of international organizations, leading world experts in the field of urbanism, economics and technology will speak.

The Moscow Urban Forum is the world's largest international congress dedicated to urban development. This year it will be held in Zaryadye Park from July 1 to 4. The forum will be attended by more than 350 foreign and Russian speakers, about seven thousand visitors, as well as 20 thousand online viewers. Registration for the forum will start on June 1.

The theme of the tenth anniversary Urban Forum is Superstar Cities: Lessons of Successful Transformation. Experts will discuss the experience of the largest capitals that have held the world leadership for years, as well as the success of cities that are becoming more famous due to some particular feature. Getting the status of a superstar city is not easy. Today, those who are not afraid to implement the most challenging ideas and unique projects come forward.

The previous Moscow Urban Forum was held in 2019. That time, for two days, the business program was attended by more than 8,500 people from 69 countries. The event was attended by 30 delegations from 39 countries and 111 foreign speakers, including the mayors of Kuala Lumpur, Ankara and the Greater Paris Metropolitan Area. For the first time, the forum organized the international congress Urban Health, where participants discussed the health of urban residents.


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