20 Nov

The Phoenix Talks are a series of online meetings set up for members to explore the themes of recovery and regeneration. In the first of these talks, Past Master Alderman and Sheriff Professor Michael Mainelli shared his insights into the City’s response to the Covid pandemic.

Professor Mainelli has researched urban planning since the 1970s and his firm, Z/Yen, runs longitudinal research on cities worldwide via its Global Financial Centres, Global Green Finance, and Smart Centres indices.

The Covid-19 pandemic, he said, has dealt a severe blow to the economic proposition of large cities. London faces some tough decisions about its economic future, none of which are clear-cut. Professor Mainelli explored some of the early, tentative thoughts that he and other researchers are sharing, and concluded with some assessments on the strategic decisions London, particularly the City of London, faces today. He put forward a positive vision of London based on returning and re-emphasising the ‘global business coffeehouse’ that has made London so successful for centuries.

As one might expect, a lively discussion followed. Many thanks to Sheriff Professor Michael Mainelli for giving us his time and sharing his personal insights in such an engaging and lively way.

Sue Algeo