Tue 8 Mar 16
Join international town and urban leaders for a world first, taking place in Scotland in June 2016.
Organised by ATCM, BIDs Scotland, IDA and Scotland's Towns Partnership, the World Towns Leadership
Summit will discuss the evolving nature of civic governance and the changing economic drivers for
Across the world, the State is shrinking. Urgent action is essential if we are to make our places better.
What are the new alliances and approaches we need to develop to achieve a strong competitive economy
combined with a fairer, more equal society?
Discussing this will be the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, leading on what a fairer Scotland
should look like in 2030 and how to make this vision a reality. We will also hear from a range of
internationally recognised leaders and thinkers including, Mayor George Ferguson, Bristol City Council,
Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana, CEO, The Cape Town Partnership, Tina Saaby, Copenhagen's City
Architect, international economist Michael Shuman and Michael Smith, Chair of the International
This global conversation will result in a published World Towns Agreement – 'A Public-Private-Social
Vision for Urban Centres'. Issued in advance to delegates and further refined at the Summit, it will have
input from the United Nations Habitat Future of Places Programme, the World Economic Forum,
URBACT, the International Economic Development Council, the Academy of Urbanism and the
This call to action is now vital. Towns are a key element of global urban infrastructure. At the scale of
nations, they are nodes of labour force, distinct local production and tourism. Towns, while distinct from
entire cities, share many traits with urban neighbourhoods outside the city centre. Across regions, networks
of towns connect people and infrastructure at scale. Towns and neighbourhoods matter to the
transformation of modern economies, promising value; blending local and global opportunities.
But, the town narrative is less well articulated than cities. Towns suffer. Transformation is stalled. The promise of a networked urban system, with choices, to support an increasingly diverse society is not met with the support and investment to deliver the reality. Towns are dealing with social migration at a scale previously even unknown to cities; the supporting infrastructure is not there and the response has been chaotic.
Amongst the challenge lies opportunity. Across the world, towns and neighbourhoods are in this struggle. They are the largest scale for community, and the smallest scale for urbanity.
So, what can we learn from each other and how do we collaborate on shared areas of concern?
Join our global discussion in Scotland, 15 – 16 June 2016.
Please see the attached PDF for the Programme of Events.