Today City Hall has hosted the first full day of the 2018 Global Parliament of Mayors summit. It has been fantastic to welcome mayors and city leaders from across the globe to see Bristol, and to make connections and showcase Bristol businesses.
We’ve got 80 mayors from around the world representing their citizens from countries such as Jordan, Australia, Germany, Liberia, Uganda, USA and Romania. It was surreal to hear them announce themselves in the Council Chamber before the debates and votes.
As the 20th century was the age of nation states, so the 21st century is the age of cities. More and more people live in them across the globe and national governments find themselves ill-equipped to respond to modern challenges in the way cities can.
Bristol is leading the way in this by hosting and driving forward the conversation on key themes and issues facing cities. Migration and urban security, as well as population health are where cities are at the forefront of the challenge and solutions, so it was amazing to share experiences and agree on action we can all begin to take.
But Bristol has also had our own benefits from hosting. There has been a great response to the tours and events we’ve already held, showcasing the talent, creativity and innovation we have to offer. Building connections between delegates and businesses based in Bristol as well as opening opportunities is good for our economy. Holding international events here is important for our reputation as a destination and place investors and people should come to as well.
At a time of instability and uncertainty in international relations, it is vital that cities make their own connections and relationships. The Global Parliament of Mayors offer cities the space and opportunity to do that between each other, but even more importantly, with Bristol at the heart and benefiting too.