12 May 2021 #Forum
Moscow Urban Forum Reveals First Speakers
The business programme of the Moscow Urban Forum 2021 will feature appearances by Ayesha Khanna, futurism expert and one of the foremost female innovators and entrepreneurs in South-East Asia; Ben van Berkel, Dutch architect and head of the famous UNStudio bureau; and Kamer Daron Acemoğlu, American economist, author of the best-selling study, Why Nations Fail. The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty (2012).

In the Forum's architecture-themed block, speakers will include Martha Thorne, Dean of IE School of Architecture and Design and former executive director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize; Jan Gehl, Danish architect and founder of Gehl Architects; and Patrik Schumacher, German architect and director of Zaha Hadid Architects.

In turn, transport development issues will be discussed by Skye Duncan, Director of NACTO's Global Designing Cities Initiative; Jennie Martin, Secretary General at ITS UK (Association for the Promotion of Intelligent Transport Systems); Matts-Åke Belin, security expert at the Swedish Transport Administration; Mohamed Mezghani, Secretary General of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP); and Piero Pelizzaro, Chief Resilience Officer at the Municipality of Milan.

Among other business programme contributors, we should mention Dr Cheong Koon Hean, CEO of the Singapore Housing and Development Board (HDB); Carolyn Steel, British architect and top urban food expert, author of Hungry City; Enrique Peñalosa, urbanist and former mayor of the city of Bogota; Peter van Wingerden, Dutch entrepreneur and founder of Floating Farm; Hiroo Ichikawa, CEO of the Institute for Urban Strategies at the Mori Memorial Foundation; and John Rossant, founder and chairman of the New Cities Foundation.

Aside from the traditional offline discussions, the forum will also have online speakers joining in from everywhere around the world. A total of 80+ events will take place under the business programme over the course of two days. Thanks to the mixed phygital format, the Forum is expected to bring together representatives of foreign and Russian cities, leaders of international organisations and top world experts in the fields of urbanism, economics and technology, despite the ongoing border lockdown.

Moscow Urban Forum 2021 is the world's largest international convention on urban development. It will be held at Zaryadye from 1 to 4 July, concurrently with the Urban Health international convention. More than 350 foreign and Russian speakers, up to 7,000 participants and about 20,000 online viewers will join the event.

The main theme of this tenth anniversary iteration of the forum is going to be 'Superstar Cities. Lessons from Successful Transformations'. The experts will discuss the practices adopted in modern sustainable cities, review the case studies of the world's largest capitals that have been in the lead for many years and note the achievements of cities that are becoming more popular thanks to certain one-of-a-kind features. Today, a superstar city status is hard to obtain: in a world where technology is infinitely varied and the competition for human capital is infinitely intense, the vanguard is formed by the boldest ideas and the most unique projects.

'The COVID-19 pandemic has put the familiar urban lifestyle under fire. After the events of the past year, which was full of challenges and hardships for many megacities, we are seeing new superstar leaders: those cities that have managed to weather this crisis with minimal loss and remain anthropocentric even in these difficult times', notes Sergey Lyovkin, head of the Urban Planning Policy Department in the city of Moscow.

How have different cities around the world coped with the pandemic and adapted to a new way of life? Which strategies and practices ensure sustainable development even during a crisis? How do cities retain their unique identity amid globalisation? All of these questions will be answered at Moscow Urban Forum 2021: 'Superstar Cities. Lessons from Successful Transformations'.

The previous Moscow Urban Forum took place in Zaryadye in 2019. Back then, more than 8,500 people from 69 countries attended the two-day business programme. As many as 30 foreign delegations from 39 countries and 111 international speakers—including the mayors of Kuala Lumpur, Ankara and Greater Paris—contributed to the forum. This was also the first time when the forum hosted the Urban Health international convention, dedicated to the issues of urban community health.

Registration for the forum will open on 1 June.