Building Prosperous Cities Conference

Presentation of case studies from Belfast, Plymouth and Glasgow and the Clyde Valley

Image above: Stephen Wilkinson (Vice President RTPI) with the presenters of case studies from Glasgow and the Clyde Valley, Belfast (Connswater Greenway) and Plymouth

Building Prosperous Cities - the role of ‘natural capital’ and ‘green infrastructure’

This conference took place at London's City Hall on 27th September 2016. It brought together 130 participants from a wide range of professions and sectors to assess the role of green infrastructure and natural capital in the success of our cities.  Through presentations and discussion, we asked:

  • Is green infrastructure fit for purpose for now and the future?  If not, what city-scale policies and programmes might improve it? 
  • How do we make a more effective case for restoring the natural capital of our cities?  

Conference resources

Programme with links to presentations

BuroHappold's Head of Economics, Dr. Jim Coleman addresses the conference

Image above: BuroHappold's Head of Economics, Dr. Jim Coleman addresses the conference

Session 1 – Building prosperous cities

09.30 - Chairperson’s remarks - Sir Michael Lyons, Chairman of the English Cities Fund and Chair of the Lyons Housing Review

09.40 - Keynote 1: The big picture - the future of cities. Prof. Tim Stonor (Space-syntax and The Bartlett, University College London)

10.05 - Keynote 2: Natural Capital: the economics of green infrastructure. Ian Dickie (a Director at eftec)

10.30 - Panel discussion - professional perspectives.

  • Vincent Goodstadt (past President, Royal Town Planning Institute)
  • Brian Collins (Professor of Engineering Policy at University College London)
  • Amanda Clack (President, RICS)
  • Graham Duxbury (Chief Executive of Groundwork UK)

11.15 - Break and refreshments

Session 2 – Case studies

11.45 - Chairperson - Stephen Wilkinson (Vice President, RTPI & Head of Planning and Strategic Partnership, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority)

Case study presentations

  • Glasgow and the Clyde Valley, Max Hislop (Programme Manager, Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network Partnership)
  • Belfast (Connswater Greenway), Wendy Langham (Connswater Community Greenway Programme Manager, EastSide Partnership) 
  • Plymouth (Kathryn Deeney, Natural Infrastructure Manager, Plymouth City Council)

12.45- Lunch 

Research and Innovation Showcase (over lunch). Facilitated by Dr. John Box (Technical Director in Environment and Urban Design at Atkins).  Read more.

Session 3 – Key issues

13.50 - Chairperson's opening remarks: Anne Selby (Chief Executive of the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester & North Merseyside, Chair of the Greater Manchester Natural Capital Group)

13.50 - Remarks from Robert Keeling, Cities & Local Growth Unit (HM Government)

13.55 - Revealing the true value of greenspace in cities: Sheffield’s natural capital accountJason Eis (Vivid Economics) & Ellie Robinson (National Trust). See also the briefing note associated with this presentation.

14.20 - Making a sound economic case for investment in green infrastructureJim Coleman (Chief Economist, Buro Happold)

14.40 - Optimising the co-benefits of urban green infrastructure. Will Evison (an Assistant Director and environmental economist at PwC)

14.50 - Questions

15.00 - Break and refreshments

15.30 - Meaningful green infrastructure. Tom Armour (Global Landscape Architecture Leader, Arup)

15.40 - Measuring the benefits of green infrastructure and natural capital in urban areas. Dr. Alex Collins (Imperial College) & Nick Paling (Westcountry Rivers Trust)

15.50 - Setting the standard for green infrastructure. Dr. Danielle Sinnett (Senior Research Fellow, University of the West of England)

16:00 - Questions

Session 4 – Partnerships for delivery

16.15 - 'City leaders' panel discussion. Chaired by Peter Madden, Future Cities Catapult.Participants:

  • Cllr Derek Antrobus (Lead Member for Planning & Sustainable Development, Salford City Council)
  • Cllr Lewis Dagnall (Cabinet Advisor for Business, Skills & Development, Sheffield City Council)
  • Niall Bolger (Chief Executive of the London Borough of Sutton)
  • Mark Bradbury (Head of Capital Assets, Southampton City Council)
  • Cllr. Lisa Trickett (Cabinet Member for Sustainability, Birmingham City Council)
  • Andrew Jones (Policy & Programmes Manager, Green Infrastructure and Smart Environment, Greater London Authority)

Members of the 'City Leaders' panel in discussion

Image above: The 'City Leaders' panel discussion

Lead Sponsor

A range of sponsorship packages are available. Please contact to discuss.

Supporting partners