Building Sustainable Societies

Conference will consider cities of the future

Leeds Social Sciences Institute (LSSI) is inviting people to attend a one day conference that will consider the opportunities and challenges facing cities of the future.

Future Cities will include keynote speeches from Tom Riordan, Chief Executive of Leeds City Council, about ‘The Challenges and Opportunities for the City of Leeds’; John Urry, Lancaster University, about ‘Living in the City of the Future’; and Sir Alan Wilson, University College London and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Leeds, about ‘Science and the Future of Cities’.

The event will be held in the Great Hall on Wednesday, 4 February 2015 between 10am-3.30pm.

10.00 Registration and Refreshments
10.30 Welcome from Professor David Hogg, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, University of Leeds
10.40 Future Cities (Chair: Professor Adam Crawford, Pro Dean for Research and Innovation, Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law, University of Leeds):

  • 10.45: ‘Science and the Future of Cities’ – Sir Alan Wilson, University College London
  • 11.10: ‘Living in the City of the Future’ – Professor John Urry, Lancaster University
  • 11.40: Q&A
  • 12.00: ‘The Challenges and Opportunities for the City of Leeds’ – Mr Tom Riordan, Chief Executive, Leeds City Council
  • 12.20: Q&A
12.30 Lunch
13.20 Cities Research Showcase (Chair Professor Ian Kirkpatrick, Director of LSSI, University of Leeds) with contributions from academics at Leeds and a response from Mr Tom Bridges, Chief Economic Development Officer, Leeds City Council.
14.00 Roundtable Discussion: ‘Rising to the Challenge and Possible Future’ (Chair: Dr Alice Owen, Sustainability Research Institute) with contributions from internal academics and representatives from the public, voluntary and private sectors.

  • Questions for consideration:
    What challenges need tackling first?
  • What are they key enablers of success for different cities?
  • What are the most important decisions in preparing for the future and how can research inform/influence them?
15.15 Closing Remarks

Attendance is free but it is necessary to book in advance. Places are limited by the size of the venue and so early registration is recommended.

The conference is being staged in response to the Government’s Foresight Future Cities Group a project for which Sir Alan Wilson sits as Chair of the Lead Expert Group and for which John Urry authored one of the first reports, ‘Living in the City’

The Group aims to identify the opportunities and challenges UK cities will face in the future, which cities need to embrace in order to be resilient, adaptable and thrive.

For further information about the conference please contact Susan Darlington –

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