If Brisbane is truly to become a “new world city”, it must live up to the promises that helped secure hosting duties for the G20 World Leaders Summit.
According to Professor Paul Burton, Acting Director of Griffith University’s Urban Research Program, the credibility and opportunities created by G20 must be carried forward beyond the event.
Professor Burton was commenting after attending the G20 discussion session Cities of the Future: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in a Global Economy. Speakers represented some of the world’s most rapidly emerging major cities: Brisbane, Toronto, Cape Town, Barcelona and Auckland.
“The emergence of those cities confirms there is a great deal of potential in, and hence competition among, cities of a certain scale,” Professor Burton said.
“The task for Brisbane is to not rest on the laurels of hosting the G20, but to be proactive and intelligent in continuing to make itself known to the world.
“Events like G20 and, looking down the track to the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018, give us the chance to display our wares, to announce our presence globally and embark on a program for the future that lives up to the promises made today.”
Key drivers of Brisbane’s future
In his G20 welcoming speech, Brisbane Lord Mayor Councillor Graham Quirk said energy, urgency and youthful efficiency would be the drivers of Brisbane’s future beyond G20.
“Successful future cities will need to be connected and that means digitally, socially, in business, industry, science and academia,” Cr Quirk said.
“If cities are to become smarter, they should not become more complex. The aim should be to draw the best possible human resources into the city as well as to engage the local residents who are already an active and vital part of the city.”
Cr Quirk said cities are always a work in progress and that branding Brisbane as a new world city was a “statement of cultural thinking in all that we do”.
Entrepreneurial and innovative
The CEO of Brisbane Marketing, Mr John Aitken, said cities needed to entrepreneurial and innovative and needed to be perceived as such.
Professor Burton said it was important for Brisbane to establish its point of difference, and its aspects of attraction, that set it apart from other emerging world cities and convey a distinct international identity.
“We want people from all over the world to think and know about Brisbane. Hosting G20 is very important, but it is just the start.”