The London Conference 2020


Overview Register Programme Speakers Sponsors Exhibitors

Monday 2 November

Keynote from Mayor Sadiq Khan, and presentation "Crisis and renewal: London’s existential year" by Ben Rogers


Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, will join us to give a keynote speech to kick off the London Conference 2020. The speech will lay out a clear vision for the future of London and the leading role for cities in the recovery from the pandemic.

This will be followed by Director of Centre for London Ben Rogers reviewing the many unprecedented events of 2020, looks at the global forces shaping our city, and lays out some potential future paths London might choose to become a healthier, more sustainable city that works for all Londoners.

Contested territory: How should we remember and celebrate London’s past?


This panel discussion will ask how London, a global city with a history of slavery and colonisation, comes to terms with that history, and explores how it should be represented and contextualised in public.

End of an era? Edward Glaeser on cities after coronavirus


Nearly 10 years on from the publication of definitive urbanist text Triumph of the City, laments about the death of the city post-Coronavirus seem overblown. But how will cities need to adapt to new patterns of working and living? What does the city have to offer so-called ‘low skilled’ workers who have been so essential these past six months? What’s the role of cities in knowledge transmission in our increasingly digitised lives?

Harvard professor and author Edward Glaeser will address the conference with his latest thoughts on Triumph of the City, followed by an opportunity for audience Q&A led by urban innovation specialist Kat Hanna.

Tuesday 3 November

Climate reset: A green recovery for London


This panel discussion will explore how London can recover and move forward from the coronavirus crisis in the most inclusive and sustainable way. What are London’s green jobs of the future? How can government and business work together on climate goals? And how can we ensure London’s economy is green at every level?

Promoting economic recovery across London


How will London’s economic recovery play out across central London and its subsidiary centres? This panel discussion will be introduced by Ruth Duston OBE, OC, and feature Minister for London Paul Scully MP, Leader of the London Borough of Camden and Chair of London Councils Cllr Georgia Gould, Vidhya Alakeson of Power to Change and Paul Williams, Vice Chair of the Westminster Property Association.

Street smart: Janette Sadik-Khan and Andy Byford in conversation


Former New York City Transport Tsar and author of Streetfight Janette Sadik-Khan will present her thoughts on active travel, coronavirus disruption, and global transport innovations and then be joined by Transport for London’s Andy Byford. This session will be chaired by author, urban sociologist and transport expert Tiffany Lam and introduced by Alistair Moss from the City of London Corporation.

Wednesday 4 November

Digital democracy, trust in government and London's relationship with Asia: An interview with Audrey Tang


Audrey Tang, Taiwan’s digital minister, is a groundbreaking thinker who’s had a big year. A self-described ‘conservative anarchist’, she has combined expertise in software programming with Daoist philosophy to revolutionise the way Taiwan builds trust between its citizens and government. This has seen dividends in the way Taiwan is dealing with coronavirus, using a ‘humour over rumour’ approach.

Join James Crabtree, author of ‘Billionaire Raj’ as he interviews Audrey Tang on digital democracy, coronavirus recovery, and London’s future relationship with Asian cities and thinkers.

[Please note: this session requires extra secure streaming so audience questions may be taken over the platform rather than Zoom.]

Crazy paving: Parks, green spaces and the public realm for everyone


This panel discussion will explore how Londoners’ relationship with green space and parks has changed during the pandemic, and how we can ensure London’s green spaces and public realm are inclusive to all users.

What are the homes London needs now? 


Given the massive disruption in the way Londoners work and live, how will we need to think about, design and build homes for Londoners? And what can we do right now to give people, especially younger people, the space and flexibility they need?

Thursday 5 November

Culture in the 2020s: Building a cultural renaissance in London


This panel discussion will look at what London’s cultural sector could and should be in the future. How is technology democratising access to culture (or not)? How can we preserve what’s great about traditional centres like the West End while encouraging a more dispersed and thriving cultural sector throughout London? What role does culture play in our neighbourhoods?

Personal reflection

Personal reflection

Centre for London invites a Londoner to reflect on their experience of one of the most important news stories of the year.