OPENCities Conferences

OPENCities Monitor update 2012 will be presented at a conference in autumn.

Details follow.

OPENCities and Economic Recovery
Why city openness matters during recession - 25 May 2011

Venue: European Economic and Social Committee / Committee of the Regions, Brussels, Belgium

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European Economic and Social Committee

What does city openness mean? How can diversity help your city be more competitive? How can cities capitalise on the many resources that migration and a diverse population bring? What does it mean to become more international? What are the economic and social benefits of openness? Can openness be a competitive advantage during recession?

The OPENCities closing conference tackled all these issues and more. The OPENCities Monitor was presented to delegates, the City Local Action Plans were handed over to the European Commission and forward looking debate about a different way of city governance which can help cities and Europe to meet the 2020 Agenda was had.

European Economic and Social Committee

The OPENCities project, a collaboration between the British Council, the European Commission and City Governments worldwide, is unique as it brings together European and global cities at special times. The project identifies the links between international migration to cities and economic growth, and suggests openness as a way forward to sustainable long-term success.

The OPENCities closing conference brought out the highlights of this project. It provide pointers to city leaders, professionals and citizens on the value of open cities in the new global context and what is needed to make these cities more open.

Conference Participants

Conference participants will include governance and migration experts, economists, media representatives and local and regional government officials as well as representatives of EU institutions. We expect around 150 delegates representing European cities and regions as well as Latin America, North America and Asia.

Running from October 2008 to September 2011 OPENCities is the only UK led project with a European Commission Fast Track label. Partner cities include Bilbao, Cardiff, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Nitra, Poznan, Sofia and Vienna. The Local Action Plans, prepared by each of the partner cities were presented and submitted to Dirk Ahner, Director General of DG REGIO at the conference.

European Economic and Social Committee

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Past Conferences

Competitive Advantages of OPENCities Internationalisation & Population Strategies

Madrid , 28 + 29 February 2008

Greg Clark

The first OPENCities conference, chaired by Greg Clark, focused on the definition of an open city. It provided an excellent opportunity to explore within the expert community how openness can be measured and which indicators provide appropriate tools in this process. Based on pre-conference research 8 factors [Link to 1.4 What Is An Open City?] affecting the openness of a city were introduced. The relationship between these factors and cities' openness and their relationship to successful internationalisation and open population strategies were the core areas covered during this conference.

Over 200 delegates representing cities and regions in Europe and beyond were present at this conference.

More detail on the 8 factors of openness can be obtained from the publication by Greg Clark Towards OPENCities , commissioned by the British Council.

OPENCities baseline publication Towards OPENCities

Conference summary - day 1

Conference summary - day 2


The OPENCities Monitor is conducted by BAKBASEL. BAK Basel Economics AG (BAKBASEL) is an independent Swiss research institute.