Hundreds of international delegates interested in the opportunities and challenges facing ‘cities on the rise’ will travel to Cork this week, June 27-30 for the annual congress of the Academy of Urbanism.
Keynote speaker is the controversial US ‘ godfather of gentrification’, Richard Florida, who has been derided by some for previously espousing a development philosophy that forced working classes out of city centre.
This Academy of Urbanism conference will ask how mid-sized cities can provide a strong economy for growing populations while ensuring a quality of life for residents and retaining the place’s distinct sense of identity.
The congress, which is being held in collaboration with Cork City Council, comes at a time when Cork is projected to become the fastest growing city in the country over the next 20 years with the population of the city set to almost treble under the National Planning Framework and planned boundary extension.
Speakers include Jeffrey Tumlin, Principal and Director of Strategy with US transportation consultancy, Nelson Nygaard who will speak on autonomous travel or self-driving cars and whether they are the answer to city growth. He will argue that they are a threat to freedom and privacy.
Susana Ruiz from the City of Bilbao’s Urban Planning office will offer some tips to Cork and Irish cities on how the Spanish city transformed itself from a city beleaguered by industrial decline to one of Europe’s leading cities by developing its industrial waterfront, offering strong financial supports for regeneration and investing heavily in physical, community and cultural infrastructure.
The challenge of providing housing in cities will feature strongly in the programme with Regitze Marianne Hess, Director, International Affairs, International Federation of Housing and Planning Growth, due to speak about how we can create adequate, inclusive and affordable housing for all while Imandeep Kaur will discuss Impact Hub Birmingham, a network and talent pool of citizens, makers, doers, entrepreneurs, activists and dreamers that she helped co-found ‘to build a better Birmingham and a better world’
The Congress, which will be held at the Cork School of Music, St Angelas College, the Crawford Art Gallery and Nano Nagle Place, will use Cork as a ‘place laboratory’ to discuss city building and delegates will take bike and riding tours of the city exploring its unique history and heritage and development strategy.