London, 2 February – Today, the seven expert commissioners who will lead the UK Urban Futures Commission alongside co-chairs Andy Haldane, CEO of the RSA (royal society for arts, manufactures and commerce), and Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol and Chair of Core Cities UK, have been announced.
Launched in July last year, the UK Urban Futures Commission is an ambitious enquiry led by the RSA in partnership with Core Cities UK and Lloyds Banking Group. It will look at policy interventions and practical steps that can transform our cities and improve the health, wealth, and wellbeing of their residents. The commission will also be supported by Inner Circle Consulting.
The commission will develop a practical action plan for cities and city-leaders to maximise the potential of the UK’s city regions, supported and encouraged by national policy, through interviews, roundtables, participatory workshops and public events, working alongside local residents and community organisations, finance and business experts and practitioners, local leaders and changemakers, and experts from a multitude of sectors.
The commissioners span the worlds of policy, academia, business, and finance, and will provide specialist insight and oversight to the commission to help it achieve its ambition of unlocking the potential of the UK’s cities and citizens. They are:
- Polly Mackenzie, Chief Social Purpose Officer at UAL
- Lord Karan Bilimoria, President of CBI
- Anna Valero, Senior Policy Fellow at the Centre for Economic Performance and Deputy Director of the Programme on Innovation and Diffusion (POID)
- Bruce Katz, Founder of New Localism Advisors and Professor at LSE
- David Hutchison, Former Chief Exec and current Senior Adviser at Social Finance
- Jane Davidson, former Minister for Environment, Sustainability, and Housing in the Welsh Government and author of #futuregen: Lessons from a Small Country
- Prof. Michael Keith, Director of the PEAK Urban Research programme.
The commission will also explore how this transformation of our cities can be financed, with a particular focus on how the public and private sectors can work together, with the support of a Finance Advisory Group of 11 finance and business experts, chaired by David Hutchison.
Andy Haldane said “In light of the persistent social, economic and environmental crises we all face, there can be no better time to unlock the potential in our cities and unleash a wave of energy, creativity, and regeneration to stimulate growth, jobs and wellbeing and make our cities green, prosperous and globally competitive places to live and work.”
Marvin Rees added: "The Urban Futures Commission has attracted a great selection of policy leaders. This is a big first step towards its eventual aim to put together a practical guide to how we can get the most out of our cities and urban areas.
"Cities are a vital part of levelling up the country, so this commission will show how the right policies - delivered in partnership with local people - can make a difference.
"Key to the commission's work will be the views of our citizens. We will engage with communities across the UK to ask people what they want from their cities and how they can grow in a more sustainable and equitable way."
Tom Le Quesne from Lloyds Banking Group concluded “Lloyds Banking Group is honoured to be a part of this vital effort to create a more sustainable and inclusive future for communities across the country.”