What makes a city world class?


“The right infrastructure creates better cities – smart infrastructure that generates and uses quality, real time data, improves services, saves our time and our money. So we have to get better at planning and delivering it…”
– Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The future of cities are on everyone’s agenda. Population growth, climate change and automation are making this conversation imperative. Michael Bloomberg, the former Mayor of New York City once said, “The future belongs to cities”, and we think he’s onto something. But like any ecosystem, many different elements must co-exist to ensure a healthy, balanced city.

We believe that cities, by their nature, are shaped by a combination of public and private interests; collaboration is the key to getting the best outcome, utilising the strengths of both sides. While governments have a great strategic oversight of what is needed, industry has the resources to be nimble, innovate and deliver. This is particularly important when it comes to changes in technology. In a time of rapid growth and change, we believe that industry can help cities to adapt and move with the times and that smart Out-of-Home (OOH) signage can play its part in planning for the future of modern cities; making them more sustainable and livable.

The Outdoor industry is certainly up for the challenge. In April, the OMA will curate a series of conferences – Future Cities – designed to bring together city thinkers and creators to discuss this notion of where our modern cities are going and the positive role industry can play in this development. The full day conferences will be held in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney and will bring together thought-leaders to ask, “what makes a city world class?”

As one keynote speaker from the Sydney conference, Dr. Tim Williams, CEO, Committee for Sydney, recently said, “There is the need for cities to develop strategies and advocate for policies that will enhance a city’s competitiveness. Our cities are currently experiencing a demographic shift in population and migration and communities are now increasingly asking for vibrant street life, historic neighbourhoods mixed with new stuff and public transit.”

At the OMA we are particularly interested in what is happening in Rio, in the lead up to the Olympic Games, where significant innovation has been undertaken in the digital space, in particular, work on public needs and the strengthening of citizens’ relationship with the municipality. Mayor Eduardo Paes recently said, “Never before have so many cities worldwide committed to combat climate change. We are making ambitious and important pledges to our citizens: to ensure our cities grow sustainably, enabling citizens to live and work happily. Mayors and politicians need to work with business and with civil society organisations to fulfil these promises… Out-of-Home advertising can make an important contribution.”

The Future Cities conference will explore and address the issues surrounding how we, as an industry, can work together towards developing economically viable, strong, well connected, livable cities and regions – with OOH paving the way for this new economy.

As Prime Minister Turnbull has said, “All of our policies must ensure that cities continue to provide this critical role in human progress, especially as we face the transition from the old economy to the new. Technology and infrastructure can smooth and enable that transition.”

The OMA is looking forward to being part of the solution that provides this smooth transition.

*There are limited tickets available to the Future Cities conferences. Register to attend by clicking on your city below:

Melbourne: Friday 22 April
Brisbane: Tuesday 26 April
Sydney: Thursday 28 April

If you would like more information about the event, please contact Tess Phillips.