London is widely acclaimed as the best city in the world. Whether deserved or not, adverts reveal London’s appeal as a global city – fuelled, in part, by the international success of its financial and creative industries. Yet with the city’s population set to reach 10 million within a decade, and with property prices soaring much faster than incomes, there are concerns about how long London can maintain its success. Are cheap studio spaces and preferential business rates –being undermined by the pressures of the housing crisis, with property investors and rising business costs driving dynamic SMEs and young creatives further out. One of London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s first acts was to launch the #londonisopen campaign to tackle the perception that Brexit will further damage London’s international standing. Is this a confident assertion of London’s genuine strengths, or an attempt to shore up London’s reputation in the face of emerging weaknesses?
The speakers include: Alex Benson, director, Bloc nightclub; Mark Boleat, policy chairman, City of London Corporation; Dr Jessica Ferm, lecturer in planning and urban management, UCL; Don Levett, executive director, Non Paribas, author, It Took Another Riot; Munira Mirza, advisor on arts and philanthropy, former deputy mayor of London for education and culture, author, The Politics of Culture: the case for universalism. The chair is Michael Owens, commercial director, Bow Arts Trust, owner, London Urban Visits, formerly, head of development policy, London Development Agency.