Scotland to Host First Global Summit as Focus Turns to Towns & Urban Neighbourhoods

New charter set to be signed by international experts.

Scotland is to witness the signing of the World Towns Agreement as delegates gather from across the globe to attend the first-ever World Towns Leadership Summit.

The World Towns Agreement will be a charter creating a blueprint for the regeneration of towns and urban centres across the world.

Specialists in social justice, town planning, architecture, placemaking, business and infrastructure will attend the two-day World Towns Leadership Summit in Edinburgh on the 15th and 16th of June 2016 to hear eminent speakers from South Africa, Denmark and the USA.  Experts from Bristol, Michigan and Toronto will also add to the event programme.

Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana, CEO of The Cape Town Partnership; Professor Tina Saaby, Copenhagen’s City Architect; and George Ferguson CBE, the former Mayor of Bristol, will be joined by Michael J. Smith, Chairman of the International Downtown Association, and Michael H. Shuman, founding board member of the Business Alliance for Local living Economies as the Summit’s key note speakers.

Michael J. Smith, Chairman of the International Downtown Association: “IDA is honoured to be a convening partner of this summit for so many experts in placemaking and city-building across the world. These thought leaders will come together and create a charter, a roadmap for our work. This framework will support our work in towns and urban centres large and small.”

Phil Prentice from Scotland’s Towns Partnership said: “Many of our towns need investment to help breathe new life into the communities that still live there, but it’s not about throwing vast sums at them.  There are many things, and in many cases very simple things, that can start bringing new life back to towns both large and small.  Bringing public health organisations, business people as well the property sector to the table will start to unlock the perceived challenges we face.  By starting to take on the easy parts, then the harder bits will start to fall into place.  There needs to be a willingness and understanding of the various solutions, but the rewards are enormous if we embrace them.” 

The World Towns Leadership Summit is being hosted by the International Downtown Association, Scotland’s Towns Partnership, the Association of Town and City Management and BIDs Scotland.

The Summit’s headline sponsor is international lighting specialists Fife-based Blachere Illumination with other sponsors including Stagecoach Group, Abellio and VisitScotland.

Phil Prentice added: “Hosting the World Towns Leadership Summit is a real coup for Scotland and reflects strongly on the reputation our experts are held with their peers across the world. 

“The role that towns play in creating strong communities and economies in every country has been badly misunderstood by policy makers over the last 30 years.  Much focus and investment has been made in major cities over recent decades, often with a disregard to the negative impact on the towns that have played positive and central roles for centuries.” 

The World Towns Leadership Summit will take place at Our Dynamic Earth from the 15th to 16th of June.

Delegates wishing to attend the World Towns Leadership Summit should visit or call 0131-247-1424.

Centre for Scottish Public Policy
c/o Digby Brown LLP
160 Causewayside
Causewayside House
Edinburgh EH9 1PR
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