Young professionals like Belle Brookfield and Dylan Hubbard believe they hold the key to making our cities a better place to live.

And they are taking their ideas straight to the top — to 100 city mayors from throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Belle and Dylan are part of a team of 26 Griffith University students — and 100 young emerging leaders nationwide – who will be participating in the Young Professionals Forum at the Asia-Pacific Cities Summit in Brisbane from 5 — 8 July.

Griffith University is a major sponsor of the Young Professionals Forum and participants will discuss ways to deal with some of the biggest challenges to face our region, such as urban growth. They will then have the opportunity to present their ideas to the group of city mayors attending the Summit.

Griffith Urban Research Program Acting Director, Professor Paul Burton said the students will get the chance to discuss and come up with innovative ways of dealing with urban challenges which will be cost neutral or revenue positive.

“Cities are typically the powerhouses of economic growth and individual prosperity, but they can also be places where the problems of rapid social change, congestion and pollution have the biggest impact on our daily lives,” Professor Burton said.

“It is sometimes said that if we fail to plan, we plan to fail. The leaders of our growing cities need to think carefully about the pace of growth but also about the nature of the urban growth we want to promote and encourage.

“The students will draw on their own collective wisdom and speak directly with city mayors, giving them the chance to make a real contribution to current policy debates about how to plan our cities of the future.”

Belle, who is studying a Bachelor of Government and International Relations, said she would like to see Australian cities working with cities across the world to share collective knowledge on approaches that work.

Dylan, a Bachelor of International Business student, said he would like to see more people empowered to make decisions at a grassroots level.

“I want to see cities give people power again, the power to make decisions,” he said.

“An example would be more peer to peer interaction at a university level rather than academic to peer.”

The Asia Pacific Cities Summit, which is held every two years, provides a dynamic and interactive platform for participants to exchange knowledge and improve city governance. This year it will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, with some activities also taking place at City Hall.

Musical Theatre student Tim Carroll and Head of Musical Theatre Paul Sabey.

Musical Theatre student Tim Carroll and Head of Musical Theatre Paul Sabey.

Musical Theatre students from Griffith’s Queensland Conservatorium will be performing at the official opening ceremony in Brisbane City Hall onSunday 5 July. They will also perform at the Yong Professional Forum dinner and during break-out points of the Summit in the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.