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February 19, 2015

Events-Focused Cities Look to Overcome Urbanization Challenges

At the recent ‘greenmeetings and events conference’ held February 9 - 10 in Frankfurt-am-MainGermany, Siemens' Global Head of Urban Development Martin Powell used his keynote address to outline the ‘future of the events city.’

According to Powell, cities across the world need to address the challenges of urbanization in order to ensure they remain attractive locations for meetings and events. Increasing populations have put pressure on the environment, infrastructure and transport.
The Sustainable Cities Index by ARCADIS, a global natural- and built-asset design and consultancy organization, named the conference’s host city as the most sustainable city in the world, followed by London and Copenhagen.

Powell’s address at the conference covered how cities can respond to current challenges to ensure a successful future. All cities are different, he said, but they each share the same pressures. He also offered examples from cities around the world that have made positive steps towards tackling these pressures. London, for instance, has a long term plan to reduce environmental and congestion problems, introducing hydrogen-fueled buses, a congestion zone and waste-reduction measures.

Cities that have seen relatively recent mass urbanization are rapidly seeking to spread their increasing population away from the city center. New territories are being created outside cities with people able to both live and work in the same area, reducing the need for regular commuters and traffic into the city center.
The key to addressing issues around urbanization is planning for the long term - devolving power to cities to enable them to implement local measures and long term solutions is crucial. In the current environment where there is increased competition between cities to host events and meetings, local knowledge is of growing importance.
Martin ended his keynote by confirming that cities can ensure events and meetings success in the future if they put in place measures to address the issues affecting them in the present.
Held at Messe Frankfurt’s "Kap Europa" Congress Centre, the conference was organised by the German Convention Bureau (GCB) and the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC). Host was Messe Frankfurt and Tourismus+Congress GmbH Frankfurt was the conference partner.

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