Masdar and HSBC have launched an exclusive four-part virtual boardroom series for executives leading urban developments in Latin America (LATAM), Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT), Asia-Pacific ASP and North America. The first session of the invite-only series took place during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2021, the global platform for accelerating sustainable development, hosted by Masdar.
The inaugural meeting addressed the topic of New Cities and Advanced Districts and was attended by executives representing a range of global public sectors, industry entities and new ‘cities’ and districts. The session was hosted by industry leaders, Professor Greg Clark, global head of future cities and new industries, HSBC, and Stephen Severance, Head of Program Management and Marketing, Masdar, who led the discussion which addressed the questions, what are advanced districts and new cities, what challenges do they face and what is the fresh mandate for a post Covid-19 world.
The quarterly series by Masdar and HSBC will bring together the best in global industry knowledge with each session hosted by international industry experts to explore the factors that are driving the development of future cities, the challenges to achieving sustainable urban development, harnessing new trade and talent corridors, advancing mobility, improving liveability and integrating new technologies.
Abdulla Balalaa, Acting Executive Director, Sustainable Real Estate, Masdar City, said, “Globalisation and urbanisation mean the world’s urban population is quickly expanding. An estimated two billion more people will be added to the world’s cities between now and 2050 and this has enormous environmental implications and places huge demand on resources. Therefore, in order to cope, while conserving natural resources, cities must adapt to support a more sustainable way of living. In short, we need to redefine how we live together, and create new urban districts that provide a compelling lifestyle.”
“The UAE leadership has long recognized that we need to think holistically to make our cities more liveable. With Masdar City, our flagship sustainable urban development project, we have shown what the future of cities can be. We have created a complete sustainability ecosystem and a hub for innovation and the development of technology that will allow new ideas to thrive as well as finding novel ways to implement existing technology. By implementing existing technologies alone, cities could cut their carbon emissions by 90 percent by 2050. This series between HSBC and Masdar was created to provide a platform for global executives to come together to discuss the most relevant topics on the issues at hand, to share best practice and learn and progress from challenges that each have experienced,” Abdulla Balalaa, continued.
Greg Clark, said, “Over the next 30 years, a renewed global system of connected and trading cities is being set in motion with 600 leading cities, 30 mega-regions and 15 large metropolitan cities – all integrated by new routes and corridors, advanced mobility and deep digital connectivity. The MENA region alone has 250 million city dwellers today, high levels of urbanization, and 40 cities with more than 1,000,000 residents by 2035 - the region is now producing one of the most remarkable urban experiments in history. A key element of this is the creation and stewardship of new advanced districts.”
“Several cities in the MENA region are creating new locations that are setting new global standards in energy, healthcare, education and sustainability, building a quality of life equation that appeals to people from all corners of the word. The region is a nexus for internationally mobile talent drawn from across the world. Throughout this series, we look forward to creating this space for industry leaders to meet and address the primary challenges for global cities and districts, including, climate change, accessibility, affordability, livability, innovation and productivity,” Greg Clark, continued.
The remaining three sessions of 2021 will focus on the topics including; How to build an advanced district; the role new jobs and future talent plays in new cities and districts; and connections and the future of mobility in advanced cities and districts.