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London Conference 2012 - a conversation on jobs, growth and urban renewal after the Olympics

communities, economy, jobs, regional issues


Event review: London Conference 2012

03 Dec 2012

It has been described as a ‘Davos for London', and this year’s second annual London Conference again brought together a raft of leading politicians, business people, academics, community leaders and others at the Southbank Centre.

London mayor Boris Johnson, who was on a trip to India, sent a goodwill message, declaring that:

'The London Conference is an amazing opportunity to share your thinking with us. Any ideas that emerge from your discussions will be a welcome addition to our thinking around 2020 Vision, my blueprint for London's future.'

Three of London’s deputy mayors spoke at the conference, Richard Blakeway, Muniria Mirza and Isabel Dedring, along with transport minister Norman Baker, London’s transport chief Peter Hendry and many others A full list of the programme can be found here.

Some of the highlights of the day were captured on video

In the opening session, against the spectacular backdrop of the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament, Charlie Leadbeater, author and leading thinker on innovation and creativity, discussed the tug-of-war between empathy and systems in cities around the world, and the lessons for London in trying to create a high-system, high-empathy community.

Over lunchtime, delegates enjoyed a discussion between two giants of London politics and planning, Lord Michael Heseltine and Lord Richard Rogers. Although both men are now 79, chair Tony Travers, asked them what they would do if they were mayor of London – and neither was short on ideas.

In a session on what London and New York could learn from each other on infrastructure and transport planning, the NYC planning chief Amanda Burden gave an illuminating presentation about the Big Apple's big plans.

The closing session of the conference was an inspiring speech by the world-leading urbanist Richard Florida, whose ideas about the creative classes have done so much to shape thinking about how cities thrive and survive.

London Conference is produced by IPPR and the Centre for London.

We would like to thank all the sponsors and supporters of the event:

  • McKinsey and Company
  • Trust for London
  • Mace
  • Southbank Centre
  • Heathrow
  • CH2M Hill
  • London Evening Standard
  • UBM Future Cities
  • London Communications Agency
  • London Funders
  • NLA
  • London Community Foundation
  • LSE Cities
  • London Chamber of Commerce
  • London First
  • London Loves Business

Charlie Leadbeater on cities, systems and empathy, #LonConf 2012

Michael Heseltine and Richard Rogers on the London mayoralty, #LonConf 2012

Amanda Burden on public spaces, #LonConf 2012

Richard Florida on cities and the creative classes, #LonConf 2012