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MAS President Leads Economic Diversification Panel

nyc-londonThis morning, MAS President Vin Cipolla moderated a panel discussion considering how to diversify New York City’s traditionally finance-heavy economy in light of the ongoing global financial crisis. One of four major topics to be addressed at the conference Thinking Big, New York and London: Heading Back to the Top beginning today, the panel focused on issues germane to the economies of both these cities, including: what urban governments can do to encourage start-up ventures and emerging industries; what the implications are of slowing real estate development; how to sustain cutting-edge arts-based creative economies and niche manufacturing in a future of increasingly high costs; and what the role of landmarks and historic preservation is in that future. Other topics for examination at the conference, which kicked-off today with a conversation between Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Mayor of London Boris Johnson, are: the future of concentrated financial districts; housing production, affordability and global competitiveness; and, the infrastructure systems that make great cities work. Thinking Big aims to identify ways New York and London — formerly fierce competitors — can work together to regain their recent positions in the global vanguard. Sponsored by the Manhattan Institute, the Regional Plan Association, and Columbia University, the conference runs from the 14-16 September, and will be followed by a similar set of working sessions set for February 2010 in London.