Greg ClarkThe following is a verbatim transcript of Greg Clark's presentation to the conference. Introduction
I consider myself a friend of the city, certainly a fan of the things that are happening here; and someone who, from the outside, feels a passion and a sense of urgency that you are being given the opportunity to make all the progress you need to make and want to make. I'm principally drawing on international experience and I'll explain why. I do a lot of work with the British government on English cities but the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has no role in the affairs of cities and regions in Northern Ireland and so I wouldn't attempt to speak in any capacity about that. I'll focus on international experiences which I hope you'll find useful and interesting.
I'm going to tackle this issue in a couple of ways. Firstly, why 'city regions' and what are they for? Why is it that you might be interested in thinking not just about Belfast but about a wider regional context? Then I want to come to the question about implementation vehicles and ask why development agencies? What can a development agency add and what is the value added? Why do it, what works, what doesn't work with development agencies? And finally I want to try to bring these two questions together and ask is a development agency a possible vehicle to pursue a city regional agenda?
Importance of cities
Cities are very much back. The issue of competitiveness and productivity is something that is a much more 'urban' discussion than it has been for a long time. People recognise that the contribution of urban regeneration and of city leadership is one that produces more investment - more investment in cities is part of creating more competitiveness and more productivity, and that contributes to national and regional success. So to sum it up, cities are back as national assets and regional assets. Metropolitan areas have become interesting essentially because of market geographies, travel to work areas, retail catchment areas etc. People have started to realise that cities are not isolated economic spheres.
"People have started to realise that cities are not isolated economic spheres."
Cities are integrated within their wider regions in all sorts of flows of activity that go backwards and forwards in terms of people, movement, goods, services, transactions, all sorts of experiences. At the city regional level these co-ordination failures emerge very strongly, sometimes it's because different local authorities pursue somewhat different agendas; sometimes it's because different rules apply one side of the border than the other; sometimes it's because different entities exist that don't necessarily pursue a joined up agenda; or just because of proliferation.
Now metropolitan areas also offer the potential for very strong territorial brands and identity. I hoped to talk much more about the customer and the importance of branding and marketing places effectively. Metropolitan areas seem to offer a natural geography for marketing and branding purposes and they bring potential benefits of scale in terms of managing and implementing development tasks of various kinds. For example, in Montreal (a metropolitan area of 42 municipalities), instead of having 42 marketing and branding efforts you might just have one.
"Metropolitan areas [ ] offer a natural geography for marketing and branding purposes"
The third strand of what I want to say is that development agencies are potentially able to offer a dedicated effort and a partnership vehicle, a way of bringing people together around a very specific agenda. They're able to build economic tools, tools for intervention, for risk sharing and for cost sharing that you can't easily do within a local government or even a national government framework. There is something about being a little bit removed from the public accounts, a little bit removed from the regulatory aspects of government, and at the same time perhaps able to provide governance roles and leadership roles that are able to strike an agenda forward and enable people to pursue it.
We know much more about the drivers of productivity at the regional level; the UK government has done work here, as has the OECD and the World Bank. We understand there is a relationship between investment and entrepreneurship, between skills and employment, between competition and innovation. We know these things don't exist on their own, and we know increasingly that when you look at how these drivers of productivity play out at a local level, a city regional geography emerges in terms of how they work. You heard from Professor Michael Parkinson last year about his study of the factors of competitiveness in EU non-capital cities, and he talked about diverse economy, innovation in firms and institutions, connectivity and the strategic decision taking capacity.
The case study work underpinning the research report demonstrated that a city regional geography is the space at which we need to act.
Later last year the OECD also published a study examining the links between urban regeneration and metropolitan areas. The study focused particularly on how urban regeneration can make metropolitan areas more competitive and more successful; it stressed the link between competitiveness and governance and that they need to come together. It underlined the point about skills and innovation and employment and entrepreneurship being strategies must be pursued in unison, one affects the other, they don't exist in isolation. It talked about the growth of urban populations as a key opportunity and the importance of clarifying that the purpose of policies are going to be pursued much more effectively. The report emphasised the need for city and metropolitan economic strategies to work together much more, and again connected very much with this idea of marketing - connecting with entrepreneurs and investors and everybody else. Underlining all of this was a need to bring together people based interventions, place based interventions and marked based interventions, and try to have them working hand in hand.
Why have we become interested in city regions and what's the international context? The point I want to stress is that Belfast and Northern Ireland are not alone in thinking, 'How do we make sense of this new social and economic geography?' We find this question about the relationship between the core city and the wider region, about the impact of growth in the core city's economy, with growth in the wider region's economy, about the impacts, positive and negative, of switches and shares between these two places that are so deeply interconnected and yet are often treated as separate spheres. This is the question facing thousands of cities and regions all around the world for obvious reasons.
Firstly, functional economic geographies are becoming much more important. There's a productivity advantage to managing your geography well - enabling people to get to and from work quicker, enabling those agglomeration activities to occur, building a strong image and identity and brand for your place, making the most of your logistics and infrastructure. Those are now all city regional issues. The old industrial economy may have put all of those things together in very tight units but the new global knowledge service oriented economy spreads those things out into a much bigger geographical space.
The second reason is that market failures occur everywhere. The mismatch between skills supply and demand and housing supply and demand are obvious examples which lead to the over concentration and intensification of housing markets in some places, while at the same time there's abandonment elsewhere. It leads to a mismatch between what employers need and what the labour supply offers. But there are also other macro economic drivers, in particular, the environment and the challenges of sprawl, the challenge of car dependency, the legacy of industrial pollution and the environmental damage which it causes, and the need to tackle those things. These are all city regional issues in one way or another. There are also policy and co-ordination failures which we can identify, concentrations of poverty and degradation in some places, concentration of wealth in others, perverse incentives between different entities who perceive themselves obliged to compete with one another, even though they're neighbouring entities and they're somehow in it together in terms of their future. The planning regime has been slow to respond, in many cases, to the new dynamic nature of the economy.
Another reason why we're interested in city regions is because there has been success. Urban regeneration has really taken hold in the UK, - it's certainly taken hold here in Belfast and many other cities across the UK. That has created a new frontier, a desire not just to do the old industrial lands or to do the old city centre, but to spread the investment effort out to the suburbs, to the further industrial districts, to the satellite towns and cities around the traditional cores. The expansion of higher education has also been a big driver of this and the need to accommodate many more students and the travel to study journey. The whole success of greenbelt protection to the extent that we have managed to protect it has created a desire now to manage the hopping of investment from one place to another.
Types of city-regions
I want to describe three different kinds of city regions very quickly. There's a nuclear form of city region where you have a strong city within a wider region and that city is clearly the primate city; where there is increasing interdependence between the two, examples might be Vienna, Atlanta and Dublin. In these cities the issues arising are to do with connectivity, it's to do with cost and risk sharing between the different parts of the region, getting the strategic alignment right and getting the branding right e.g. 'Are we selling Atlanta or are we selling Georgia?' and being absolutely clear when one is selling which and for which purpose.
Then there's another kind of city region which I might call a bipolar region for this purpose, the example obviously the twin cities of Minneapolis/St Paul, the San Diego/Tijuana area, the Oresund region that connects Copenhagen in Denmark with Malmo in Sweden, the Leeds Bradford city region now emerging in England, is quite a strong one. The issue here is clearly interdependence and how to make that work, how to improve connectivity yet maintain the functional specialisation between the different places, how to foster a big picture in the teeth of parochialism, again how to do branding properly for the place, how to overcome the fear of domination.
"The impact of improved connectivity here can play a big part."
Interestingly, the impact of improved connectivity here can play a big part. Just as examples, Johannesburg and Pretoria, Milan and Turin, two sets of places that have traditionally been almost two hours apart. Now with the introduction of fast trains over the next six or seven years, they are going to be about 45 minutes apart which effectively creates a single metropolitan area whereas there used to be two separate city regions. Initiatives like this will certainly start to happen in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Leeds and Manchester and possibly between Dublin and Belfast if this corridor begins to emerge as something very strong. So over the long term this might be an important thing for you as well.
A third kind of city region would be polycentric city regions, Emilia Romagna, the East Midlands, the Randstad in the Netherlands are good examples of this, where again similar sorts of issues emerge, but at a more complex level.
We should consider the nuclear city region whilst recognising, that Belfast will have many important relationships with other places not least Lisburn, Newry and Derry, but also, in the long term, Dublin, and possibly other cities within the British Isles - Liverpool obviously being one example. If Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds create the corridor effect that they would like to, then obviously that could have implications for flows of investment and activity into Belfast as well. Let me illustrate what I'm saying with some examples by drawing out some different examples of city-regions.
In Athens you have a national leadership capital city model where, within the Greek government there is an office for metropolitan Athens. Essentially the national government of Greece sees the capital city region as 50% of the economy, 45% of the population, a top down model with central government building a metropolitan programme from within its own auspices. This is very good for implementing large scale infrastructure and urban development change. It's not so good at fostering new forms of indigenous growth, community development and other kinds of things.
Helsinki is a good example, as is Adelaide in Australia, where you've got a capital city region partnership with national government coming together with local governments in a capital city region and forming a joint body for the governance and management of the capital city region area. This introduces both new tools and instruments for intervention and a new planning regime and shared responsibility between national government and local governments to foster the capital city.
In Melbourne there has been a new metropolitan economic strategy and the building up and fostering of a development agency. There is very strong state government leadership and rather weak local government playing in the partnership. But the state is very much taking the lead and seeing the need to consolidate the centre city and also to designate and build growth polls outside the centre city, so you've had that kind of approach. In Seattle, there has been metropolitan co-operation between local governments and other entities producing joint services, boards, joint marketing activities, a plethora of entities and agencies which deliver elements of the public service but on a metropolitan basis.
In Frankfurt there has been essentially a business coalition, heavily focused on the issue of branding and marketing Frankfurt, the idea of Frankfurt as a unique new financial centre in Europe. It has been a success of branding and marketing rather than a particular success of activity, although the activity has started to follow the branding, just to underline the importance of it. In Phoenix, Arizona, a kind of a hybrid of this - business partnership with public sector, particularly higher education, again with a strong focus on branding and marketing but also on some catalytic projects particularly regarding infrastructure, utilities and water.
In Lyon there is the classic example of inter-municipal co-operation where the mayor of the big central city has got the other city, St Etienne, and the municipalities around, to form a joint coalition for growth around a set of agreed policies and plans and particularly a process for advocacy for resources from French national government in Paris and the EU in Brussels.
In Toronto there has been an amalgamation process where small local governments have been abolished and larger scale city government, operating more on an almost metropolitan basis has been created but for various reasons it hasn't worked. In Milan what you've had is the renaissance of the historic provincial geographies which were invented 500 years ago. Now, through an ironic quirk of history, they approximate to a city regional geography and therefore reinvestment has started. In the past the provinces were treated as some kind of super parish councils that had little to do but people have now discovered that the old Italian provinces are perhaps a vehicle for city regional co-operation. In Berlin there has been a lost opportunity where the attempt to get Berlin and Brandenburg to collaborate in some way on a city regional agenda has utterly failed. The result is that Berlin continues to haemorrhage population to Brandenburg and both Berlin and Brandenburg continue to haemorrhage jobs and economic activity to other regions.
"The outcomes of city regional activity are all about enhanced co-ordination."
What drives city-region success?
The point I want to make is that the factors driving a city region focus towards economic development and regeneration are not going to go away in a hurry. It's very clear that the outcomes of city regional activity are all about enhanced co-ordination. They're about improving the performance of the economy, tackling social cohesion issues and improving the environment.
These three key principles can also contribute very much to cultural restoration within a region in various ways. They can contribute to brand building and much better marketing and can contribute to a city or a region becoming much more investment ready, much more customer focused. So all of these drivers are set to continue.
There are some key 'enablers' which make a difference as to whether a city region gets its act together or not. One of them is crisis or the fear of crisis, the fear of something about to go wrong, a major opportunity being missed, or a major shock about to happen to the system, and this can sometimes be described as common enemies or common competitors. 'Who are the common enemies for everyone in the Belfast city region?' I don't know, but you will. Changes in circumstances can make this happen very clearly, and Turin, which has experienced the loss of 300,000 manufacturing jobs over the last 20 years in the automobile industry, is a good example of a material change in circumstance which is also a crisis.
Political alignment at different scales between local and national or local regional and national and between neighbouring authorities is an important enabler although not an absolute prerequisite. There are many examples of good city regional co-ordination where people are reaching across political divides but where you do get political alignment it can foster an acceleration. Doing real intelligence and strategic scanning and awareness of the kind that Belfast City Council has been fostering for the last three or four years, is very important. Without a group of people like this hearing the analysis and digesting that analysis and understanding the position in which this place finds itself; if you don't have that it's very difficult to do city regional activity.
"Without a group of people understanding the position in which this place finds itself, it's very difficult to do city regional activity."
Active private and civic sector partners are particularly important, particularly private and civic sector partners who transcend administrative boundaries such as major companies, major retailers, major facilities like airports, and also major civic partners like higher education institutions, hospitals, major cultural facilities, football clubs. These all provide both a sense of belonging and a sense of identity with a broader geography and are very important enablers of city regional working and need to be brought into the process. Having big customers and new opportunities is very important. By big customers, I mean customers who are too big to digest within one municipality, and that's very important and can be critical. For example, it's hard to imagine how Seattle would have got its act together on city regional issues without the presence of Microsoft driving it. It's hard to imagine how you would have had the kind of city regional activity demonstrated in Frankfurt without a big dense financial services cluster driving it. So big customers are very important and they provide an important drive.
The removal of disincentives particularly the perverse disincentives which put people into competition with each other when they don't need to be and the creation of incentives for collaboration seem to be enablers as well. Generally, processes of decentralisation help city regions and increased connectivity, improvements in connectivity between places within the city region, the death of distance, the reduction of travel times, or of the improvement of other forms of connection and communication are very important. Confidence seems to come from success, so making sure that you understand what you're already doing well and seeing city regional activity as a way of enhancing what everybody is doing well rather than as an alternative agenda also seems to be key and obviously the absence of these enablers are real barriers in their own way.
There are a very wide range of tools which city regions can use to start building and developing a programme. It's clear that where growth is occurring in some economies (this is the case in England) that city regional growth is really at the forefront of where that growth is occurring. There are essentially two forms of growth in England at the moment, or two locations of growth. One is the city region, the global city region ie London and the South East, and the other is the renaissance of the metropolitan economies of Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and York along with the city regional activities in the West Midlands and in Coventry, so city regions is where the growth is happening. Lots of different ways of getting organised, lots of issues which both link together city performance with regional performance on the one hand and issues which link together urban and rural performance on the other hand.
Now what I really want to say is that city regional approaches are about recognising and addressing the competitive advantage of organising your development efforts differently in a less sub-optimal way and in a way which is much more customer facing.
On to the second part of what I want to say which is about development agencies and to stress that there is a huge variety of development agencies. There are a wide range of models and options which any place should consider before considering whether any of them is appropriate or if they want to invent a new hybrid.
Worldwide, there are about 20,000 development agencies today. Continental integration seems to be a key driver; the creation of the European Union is a form of continental integration and is driving the creation of development agencies in Central and Eastern Europe. At this point, many of them are operating on a city regional basis. The same thing has been happening in Latin America, North America and Asia. Development agencies are not just creatures of national government or creatures of local government, they are sponsored by local, regional, national and intergovernmental organisations and many are also increasingly sponsored by private sector partners of various kinds. They operate as partnerships, special purpose vehicles, and they tend to emphasise implementation roles, but in many parts of the developing world they also have strategic and initiating roles.
It would be interesting to give you a full history of development agencies but let me just say that there have been four waves; Europe after the Second World War, the North American situation after the invention of refrigeration and air-conditioning on a mass scale which swept industry southwards across the country, Asia after the original fiscal crisis and then more recently Latin America as part of the development of Mercosur. All of these development agencies have evolved in different contexts with different freedoms and tools and different financial and fiscal responsibilities. It's clear that where development agencies work, there is a good partnership between different parts of the public sector, good partnership across different parts of the private sector, and good partnership between the two, there's no good public private partnership unless the public sector is well organised and the private sector is well organised.
The other key point is that without trade unions, community organisations, airports, higher education institutions, etc, engaging in some way, development agencies don't seem to work. And without the support of national or higher tier governments actively changing the way they do their business through the agency, they don't seem to work either. Why do people set up development agencies? There are a wide range of reasons; I've identified twelve reasons in a study I recently did for the World Bank. Let's simply say that what development agencies add in terms of value is the speeding up of the process of development, the scaling up of the process of development where that is necessary, the introduction of a wider range of partners into the process in a more direct and effective way. Also in efficiencies, particularly the sharing of costs and the sharing of risks, innovation in the sense of being free to do things a bit differently, and sustainability in terms of creating a financial engine for pursuing development over the long term. Each of the twelve reasons adds a different kind of value.
One of the questions I would ask any city region is, 'What are the things you really need from a development agency? Will it be the outward facing marketing arm for the territory or the vehicle to organise a response to crisis when crisis occurs? Is it about creating something with a particular legal or fiscal status, so it's allowed to do the commercial end of the financing? Is it allowed to borrow or issue bonds or is it much more about being a business facing organisation which can do business with a particular kind of commercial customer?' There are many examples of what a development agency can add here, you need to decide in a sense which ones are the most important ones for you.
There's a growing menu of what development agencies do, 21 different things I've identified. There are implementation roles, leadership roles, some are very much research, marketing and branding intelligence kinds of roles. The key thing is that not all development agencies do all of these things, but all development agencies should know why they do the things they do, and which tools they're not using which might be available to them. We've talked about the successes and we've talked about the challenges.
I've picked five cities to talk about because they offer different sorts of examples and each one in their own way is struggling with a city regional opportunity or dynamic. So we've got Glasgow, Turin, Greater Washington, Bilbao and Glasgow, which are cities struggling with something that might be akin to the city regional agenda you might want to pursue. I did a scoring of the cities to illustrate the differences and answer a series of questions. Firstly, which cities are really taking proper economic interventions in the performance of the city region?' That really means engaging with business, land, investors, trying to re-engineer the entrepreneurship, innovation, investment, skills. Which ones are really doing the planning intervention, focusing very much on re-organising the way land is used or being presented for use? Third point, how many of these cities are more about a governance mechanism, trying to compact different entities together just to get a shared agenda? Fourth point, how many of them are rather about fostering partnership? Fifth point, how many are working on a city regional geography? And then my final point, which I've called 'time', is how many of these development agencies are able to pursue an agenda beyond a normal political cycle? If the score is ten it means the city is doing a huge amount of that activity and they're really leading on that for the city region. If the score is zero it means they're doing almost nothing.
Let's consider Turin which has more than one development agency and they're doing different things, but there is quite a strong set of activities going on in the development agency realm. And comparing that with Glasgow to give a comparison; in terms of what the development agency is doing in Glasgow there's a much lesser sense of a role. This really illustrates choices, it's not to say that one is better than the other. Where the development agency is not doing something there may be a compensating activity being delivered by another body, but it's important to ask, 'What are the things that you really need the development agency to do?' In Turin, where I've put a ten out of ten against planning, the development agency fosters a long term strategic plan for the metropolitan area with over 300 partners engaged in it. You need a vehicle to do that because 300 partners are hard to work with. For Washington DC, I've given an eight to the economic side, you've got thirteen partners, both local governments and private sector, working together on an investment programme for the Greater Washington region. And then Bilbao, I've given a score of eight to city region, that's because there are 30 municipalities acting together through this development agency in an inter-municipal partnership.
I want to ask, why is a city like Turin interesting for you? Well, because it's faced this incredible challenge of de-industrialisation and made the transition to a service economy. Turin has lost 300,000 jobs with no rise in unemployment. The only way it has achieved that is essentially by embracing technology and innovation and commercialising its supply chain in a different way; looking for new customers very rapidly and re-engineering its land in a massive way. Of all the cities in Europe at the moment, Turin is the biggest building site and they have four development agencies, three operating at a city regional scale. Turino Internationale is a public, public/private sector partnership that's really about strategic planning and managing catalytic projects like the winter Olympics next year. Invest in Turin and PieMonte (ITP) is a marketing agency designed to promote the city and region for foreign direct investment, for trade, tourism, foreign students. Turino Wireless is a partnership between higher education, business and local government to digitise the whole city. Pie Monte is a private sector agency, it's a coalition of banks involved in raising and managing special funds for investment in the region.
Johannesburg on the other hand, is another interesting city. One of the legacies of apartheid has been a particular kind of spatial segregation of land uses and communities which make it very difficult to integrate efforts. There is a need to constantly create new shared spaces within the city where communities can come together in a way they weren't able to for a long time. During apartheid people got used to doing things differently and not really using the city. In this context, Johannesburg has to rebirth into a city which people do want to use so the old habits can be unpicked. There are effectively five development agencies, some at the city regional level, some at city level, some at regional level, some public/private, some wholly private, some public.
My last example is Washington DC which has gone through the doldrums for nearly two decades. Washington DC has very much re-emerged as a city region, not just as a city. There are development agencies operating at the city level, the city regional level and the local level. It's interesting because this is a good example of how a capital city has been able to engineer an alliance across a wider region. Washington has achieved economic development, skills upgrading, marketing, branding, entrepreneurship, development, in a way which didn't previously happen. The result of this has been that the centre city has become stronger through the business improvement districts and simultaneously the whole region has benefited.
Advantages of development agencies?
I'm coming to the conclusions now, and the question I've got to answer is, 'So what?' Do development agencies then, help to foster city regional approaches to economic development and regeneration? Would a development agency perhaps be something that Belfast and Northern Ireland and all of the partners locally might consider investing in as a way to take forward part of your agenda? That's clearly not for me to decide, that's for you.
My answer is yes, development agencies do usually help, but no, sometimes they don't. Well, why don't they when they don't work? The formal reorganisation of government (in the Toronto example I've called this amalgamation) rarely produces the right outcomes for city regions and it can blight other forms of co-operation. Even though in the Toronto model they created a new metro city, actually the geography of the new metro city is all wrong; it's neither big enough nor small enough; it's halfway between being a city and a city region. The result is that it has created more co-ordination failures than it's solved, and the development agency created to cover that area finds itself constantly being undermined and unpicked by the other entities near and around. On the other hand, the other reason why it a development agency may not work is if the agency is the only thing created, and there is no intergovernmental activity. This means the development agency has to do not just the development effort but it has to do all of the partnership, all of the governance and all of the leadership alone. It usually can't cope because development agencies are not really able to do all of that, and it would be better to have some kind of city regional commission like they've had in Melbourne, or as they haven't had in Frankfurt which has been one of their challenges.
So when does a development agency work? It works when there is a real economic development task or major project or set of catalytic initiatives which you can make the development agency responsible and which no other logical partner or entity is better placed to take forward. Graham spelt out this morning in his presentation, particularly his four points at the end, some really critical aspects of an agenda where I think you can see you might need some kind of dedicated vehicle to take that forward. It also works when you particularly need to use development agency tools and the distinctive competencies of a development agency. For example, the entrepreneurial stewardship and management of assets, particularly land, and the careful letting of that land back into the market on a basis which is co-ordinated and planned so as to optimise value, optimise outcomes and capture values in ways which trigger regeneration processes, or where you need to do financial intermediation or foster entrepreneurship in a new way or you need to do the communication side of marketing and branding and everything else. When you need those core competencies of a development agency, that's when to use it.
It also works well when there's a parallel inter-municipal and public/private co-operation. The absence of that co-operation makes it very difficult for a development agency to succeed. The creation of this co-operation is absolutely critical to fostering a development agency at a city regional level and giving it a governance framework outside of the agency, but where it works hand in hand with each ratcheting up the progress which the other is unable to make. It works well when private and civic actors are engaged as very active partners particularly those borderless partners I talked about who transcend more than one local administration. It also works well when higher tiers of government engage constructively and consider, how to have the best impact, not how to have the best control.
The last point is that it needs to be a well run agency with the freedom to improve, evolve and experiment as it goes along, not an agency which is constantly constrained within a single set of tramlines or regulations.
So given what I've said, what are all the implications of this for Belfast and for where you are? Well, it is very important that you continue to do what you are doing, which is to understand the city regional dynamics and drivers, and understand the comparison between what that research and analysis shows you need to do versus what you're currently able to do, yet constantly understand what that gap is, which is very important. It's also important because this emphasises the strategic alignment between different partners, public, private, civic. It also emphasises that thinking about doing the right things at the right geographical scale and also in terms of the quantum of activity. For example, there has been tremendous urban regeneration activity in terms of site redevelopment here in Belfast, and yet there is still so much to do. So what's the right scale and pace for urban regeneration in Belfast? I don't know but you probably do. It seems to me it's very important that you take a detailed approach to picking the right economic instruments; if you don't have the right instruments it won't work. You should take a confident approach from your recent successes. If you do all of those things and over the next year and think about what kind of organisational arrangements could best help you optimise outcomes for the region, for the city, then I think you'll be at least halfway towards creating a distinctively Belfast approach which will be great not just for you, but for everyone else around the world to see, to recognise, to understand and to learn from.
Greg Clark is an urban regeneration and regional economic development practitioner with 17 years experience, gained mainly in senior management in public development agencies and local/regional government in London, UK. He currently holds a portfolio of key roles; including Global Practice Advisor at the London Development Agency, and Chairman of the OECD Forum of Cities and Regions.
He was previously Director of Strategy and Communications, London Development Agency, Managing Director, Economic Development, at Greater London Enterprise and Chief Executive of the London Enterprise Agency: 'One London'. Prior to this he was a Project Director at the London East Training and Enterprise Council and the London Docklands Development Corporation and held management positions at the Local Economy Policy Unit/London South Bank University, London Borough of Lambeth and British Refugee Council.
He is a Board Director of the International Economic Development Council (in Washington DC) and the European Association of Development Agencies (in Brussels). For the OECD and the World Bank he has undertaken reviews of economic development arrangements in over 50 cities around the world. He wrote the World Bank's formative study on Development Agencies in 2004 and is now producing their assessment of City-Regions as an economic development tool (forthcoming 2005).