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Mayor Rui Moreira explains Porto economic rise
15-03-2019

In the final Strecht of MIPIM, Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira attended the Mayors & political leaders - Think Tank, which took place in the Majestic Hotel, Cannes, on 14 March, from 8 to 11am.


Mayors and political leaders of 35 cities gathered to discuss public space management, urban planning, utility distribution and also to debate new phenomena in terms of local urban policies and the role Mayors can have in operationalising new management policies that engage in the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals), between cities and national governments, between citizens and governments and between cities and businesses.


The 2 hours closed-door event, by invitation only, for public institutional stakeholders, included topic discussions by speakers Neal Gorenflo, Executive Director and co-founder of Shareable, an award-winning nonprofit news outlet and global action network, Christopher Williams, Director of the New York Office of UN-Habitat, the United Nations agency responsible for affordable housing and sustainable development goals, and Steven Zeeman, the Managing Director for Greystar Continental Europe.


The debates were hosted by Prof. Greg Clark, Global Advisor on Cities in the areas of city economies and/or investment.


The tables presented their conclusions and the general thinking was that money made available by central governments, whether right or left winged, is not enough, as people are the most importante when managing a city.


All round tables reached the conclusion that "leaving it all to national or central governments is not enough" and "looking at historic centres and rehabilitating them" is key and people will support it if they understand the benefits.


Moreover, the mayors and political leaders shared the idea that the key stake aways have to be for people to talk about funding, by rebalancing and aligning goals. Also, more communication is needed as critical issues have to be combined in an aligned vision from the outset.


Mayor Rui Moreira of Porto referred that the vision regarding city management has to be an European and integrated vision, cities individually cannot do much, highligting that transport network problems need solving as well, new versions of dismantling and rebuilding have to be taken into account and European regulations for energy efficiency need revising.


Some of the final conclusions included the ideas of a shortage of houses and affordability in cities. Also, the new generations don't want to buy a car, they prefer to rent, so they don't need a parking space; thus mobility and urban building policies have to be jointly analysed and it will change the market. Moreover, people are not interested in large houses, they don't mind living in quality medium to small apartments, smart designed as cities continue to be the main option people present both to live and work.