The great and the good from the global business community were gathered in London today to launch a new city-business alliance.
Over 50 organisations, including MasterCard, PwC, Bechtel, and Clear Channel Outdoor, attended the first meeting of the Global Cities Business Alliance.
The meeting heard an address from by London’s mayor Boris Johnson.
A statement before the meeting said: “With cities now generating 80% of global GDP, the Alliance aims to help leading global cities work with firms to be competitive environments for business, maintain their vibrancy as centres for talent, creativity and innovation, and be good places to live.”
A communique was later released which states that the shift in power from national governments to cities is being fuelled mainly by population movement around the world into cities. Another factor is the effect of devolution policies. It notes that whilst only 2% of the global population lived in cities in 1800, more than 50% does today. By 2050, this figure will have risen to more than 75%.
Further: “Cities are the key drivers of global economic growth. Improving the business environment and managing strong population growth will put big pressures on infrastructure, the environment and the social fabric of the world’s largest cities.”
The Alliance will initially focus on cities that have strong global links, populations larger than five million and city-level GDP of $200bn. This includes cities such as London, New York, Shanghai, Sao Paulo, Seoul and Mumbai.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “In this time of increasing global urbanisation, there is both a global imperative and an opportunity for business and city leaders to work more closely together to ensure we develop better strategies and solutions to address our urban challenges, as well as to ensure our cities continue to thrive and generate the economic wealth required to support their citizens.”
Attendees were given a tour of the Crossrail Bond Street Station.