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MIPIM 2015: European Cities Discuss Leadership

Manchester, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Hamburg and Stockholm have a chatr

Published on March 4th 2015.

MIPIM 2015: European Cities Discuss Leadership

CIVIC leaders from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Hamburg, Manchester and Stockholm, will come together next week for a timely discussion on the growing importance of the city and how to assert effective economic models through their investment and leadership strategies.     

The five cities, under the umbrella of the MIPIM City Investment Forum, will be the focal point of a flagship event at the world’s leading property conference MIPIM 2015, which will take place at the Grand Auditorium in the Palais des Festivals.

Global cities advisor and economics expert Professor Greg Clark will lead the event with a keynote speech on the future of city-led investment strategies. His speech will be followed by an open debate led by Mike Emmerich, chief executive of New Economy (Manchester).  

This comes at a time when each of these cities is making great strides in developing tailored autonomous leadership structures, 

  • The Amsterdam Economic Development Board has driven forward a strategy for Amsterdam’s renewed trading success in growing global markets.
  • Barcelona has introduced a new growth strategy supported by a major enterprise growth initiative and a new politics and finance accord.
  • Hamburg has made continued strides with the world class redevelopment of Hafen City and the development of pro-business investment environment.
  • Manchester recently achieved a significant degree of increased devolved powers from the UK’s central government.
  • Stockholm has created the Stockholm Business Region and the successful ‘Capital of Scandinavia’ Brand Platform.

Underpinned by the preparation of a report by the OECD LEED Programme, the event builds on previous discussions of investment and city growth, and responds to the OECD LEED Directing Committee’s growing interest in this area. It will mark five years since these cities first joined together to share their views and experiences at MIPIM 2010.

Sir Howard Bernstein

Sir Howard Bernstein

Titled “Leading Powerhouses of the Future”, this year’s discussion is backed by the organisers of MIPIM (Reed MIDEM) and has moved into the main conference programme, gaining a new venue which suitably doubles the capacity of the event as it has been steadily growing in popularity each year.  

Representatives from each city are as follows: 

Amsterdam:         Eric van der Burg,

Vice Mayor responsible for Land, Spacial Planning and City Development.

Barcelona:             Mr Mario Rubert,

                                City Promotion Manager, Barcelona City Council

Hamburg:              Prof. Jurgen Bruns-Berentelg,

Chief Executive Officer, Hafencity Hamburg GmbH

Manchester:         Sir Howard Bernstein,

Chief Executive, Manchester City Council

Stockholm:            Mr Olle Zetterberg,

Chief Executive Officer,  Stockholm Business Region


To augment the discussion, the panel will also be joined by a selection of industry experts:


  • Rosemary Feenan, Director of Global Research Programmes, Jones Lang LaSalle
  • Debra Mountford , Senior Policy Analyst, OECD
  • Lisette Van Doorn , Chief Executive Officer, Urban Land Institute Europe
  • Anne Kavanagh,Global Head of Asset Management & Transactions, AXA Real Estate
  • Chris Darroch, Fund Director, Hermes 

Prof Greg Clark commented:

“It is easy to forget that city leadership plays a critical role in raising the long term investment in cities. City leaders foster the strategies and alliances that make a city open for investment, they promote the financial tools that can leverage co-investment, and they build long term relationships of trust with investors. Cities are investment ready, if their leaders are investor savvy. In these five winning cities we can observe different models of successful leadership that are raising the investment rate in Europe.”

The MIPIM City Investment Forum takes place at 2pm (until 3.30pm) on Tuesday 10 March in the Grand Auditorium at the Palais des Festivals, MIPIM, Cannes. 

Please see an invite for the event attached. If you would like to attend, please click here to RSVP.



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12 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousMarch 4th 2015.

Does anyone else feel that Manchester is on the brink of something really exciting.....?

5 Responses: Reply To This...
JonnyMarch 4th 2015.

Its on the brink of Salford......Not sure if that is exciting or not.

McRbcnMarch 4th 2015.

I do Anon, there has been so many large projects and announcements in the past year or so alone, Manchester's reputation both nationally and internationally is growing rapidly and has far overtaken all other regional cities within the UK. The whole city seems to be under construction atm and there is no sign of it slowing down; exciting times!

Barry MaginnMarch 4th 2015.

I think this article sums it up well: www.theguardian.com/…/secret-negotiations-restore-manchester-greatness…. Manchester's new (Govt endorsed) position has been in the planning behind the scenes for months, but we're going to see a lot happen quickly now. As long as the outer boroughs are willing to work with MCC towards the bigger picture that is.

AnonymousMarch 6th 2015.

Yes if we are in the company of those esteemed cities. Since the devolution proposals were announced people have had a spring in their step. The rest of the country is looking on green with envy. I went on the Leeds confidential site and all the articles were about Manchester.It is soaring away from the rest of the North.It won't be long before the stock exchange opens a branch here. I predict that will be the next big announcement.

Barry MaginnMarch 7th 2015.

I think Hamburg is a particularly relevant city to look to. Essentially a regional city come massively good. Huge redevelopment of the dock area, growing to be the centre of German media. And just a really great, liveable place with its own distinct, proud feel.

AnonymousMarch 5th 2015.

100% agree

AnonymousMarch 7th 2015.

Yes I would agree about Hamburg. Good analogy Barry. I went there in the 90s and it did remind me of Manchester. The St Pauli district was very like the NQ and there was a bit near the river that reminded me of Granada studios. The problem is though that Berlin does not dominate Germany in the way London dominates the UK,as it is not even the financial centre,that being Frankfurt. It appears that Berlin is the seat of government,Frankfurt financial,Munich Industry and Hamburg media. London has all those accolades except industry and we don't have enough industry now for anywhere to be the centre of it. Manchester could be the centre of media if only the government would bite the bullet and locate all the BBC here. That is not beyond the realms of possibility.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Barry MaginnMarch 8th 2015.

Cheers - and I would agree with you on the difference btw the challenge of overcoming London hegemony we face in the UK vs the relative historically-engrained even division of power across Germany. The city-state origins of Germany and the fact that Berlin was effectively taken out of commission as a workable capital city for many years means the German model will never be directly comparable to our situation. It's not relevant or useful to look for lessons by studying how power has historically been distributed between cities in Germany. But what is useful is using cities such as Hamburg, Frankfurt et al as a case study to show how various power centres can be effectively and sustainably dispersed across the country - and how doing so actually benefits the entire wellbeing and economic potential of the country in the long-term.

AnonymousMarch 8th 2015.

Manchester is now being spoken of by the chattering classes in London as the Northern Powerhouse. I have friends living in Hamptead and they tell me that the cool city is now Manchester,particularly amongst younger people with university in mind. George Osborne has made a rod for his own back with the term Northern powerhouse as it was meant to refer to the four great cities on both sides of the Pennines collectively and their satellites. The media think it just refers to Manchester and it's satellites and it is being used as a term to describe only Manchester by some journalists,Simon Jenkins in the Guardian uses it constantly to refer to Manchester. Jenkins advocated recently that only Manchester was man enough for the job to try and rebalance the economy and he said that although the rantings of the other cities would ring in Osborne's ears.he should take the flack and concentrate is resources on Manchester. This he appears to have done. Manchester is now forging ahead and if we stall it's progress,by spreading investment thinly amongst all the cities,we will still have a world capital and half a dozen second rate regional centres. This is our time folks and we must be ruthless in grabbing it with both hands. Do we want to be talked about in the same breath as Leeds and Sheffield?or Milan and Hamburg? The greatest industrial city the world has ever seen is on the verge of greatness again. We never played second fiddle to London in the Nineteenth century,we need to regain our rightful place as what was once described as the only city in the land that can look London in the eye.

AnonymousMarch 9th 2015.

Barry refers to the outer boroughs hopefully working with Manchester. This is beginning to happen already and the Metrolink is the catalyst.Oldham,Rochdale and Ashton are unrecognisable to how they were before the Metrolink. Bolton should be the priority for the next line .This is history repeating itself as they all thrived in the nineteenth century when Manchester did and all built their amazing Town Halls. Then they never saw Manchester as a Mother city,as they were industrial powerhouses in their own right,particularly Oldham,which turned out more cloth than the United States. This time it is different.There is a collaboration between the boroughs and the two cities,because we must not forget Salford which is playing a remarkable part in the conurbation's renaissance in it's own right. Westminster sits comfortably as a city within London,Salford must learn to do the same. Manchester must also stop treating Salford like the poor relation. Everyone needs to work together from Ramsbottom to Hale Barns and from Standish to Mottram to make this work.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Barry MaginnMarch 9th 2015.

I hope so. My main worry is that many of the boroughs seem to have been quite resistant to the idea of an elected Gr Manchester mayor, which from what I've read is a 'must have' for Osborne in return for all the autonomy he already has or is promising to deliver. Although I can see why a mayor (who will undoubtedly sit in central Manchester but have powers over all the boroughs) would be a concern is I was the leader of Rochdale or Oldham, to be fair.

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