The Cities Summit 2019: 100 Delegates Gather for Culture in the City

21 Oct 2019

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On the 10th October, Culture in the City took place in Leeds City Centre. The one day event attracted 100 delegates across all four nations of the UK and also Ireland.

Chaired by Vaughan Allen, Chief Executive of CityCo and Co-Chair of ATCM Cities Group, the event saw contributions from Leeds City Council, LeedsBID, the BBC, Local TV, the Yorkshire Post, the National Centre for Writing, The Big Picture (Cinema Advisers), Heart of Glass Arts Group, and many others.


Place managers from Fife, London Bridge, Cork and Belfast discuss best practice in culture during a panel debate. This debate was chaired by Wild in Art.


What is a Norwich? Chirs Gribble of the National Centre for Writing discussed the role literature and words have in shaping the image of a city, using the example of this video by Piers Harrison-Reid. This linked a key theme from this year's Summer School around a new era for influencers who can shape perceptions about a town through social media.


Media representatives from the BBC, Local TV and the Yorkshire Post engaged in what was a, sometimes tense, discussion about the reporting on the health of the high street. There were disagreements about the ease with which place managers can successfully get positive news stories reported in amongst today's constant doom and gloom.


Delegates were given insight into Leeds International Festival and the role of LeedsBID as a driver behind this powerful and popular event by Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive of LeedsBID.


The event concluded with a study tour of Light Night Leeds, a wonderful networking opportunity for the 50 delegates who stayed on for dinner in Bibis Italianissimo in the company of the excellent City Centre Manager for Leeds, John Ebo.

For those who stayed on for Light Night, Leeds City Council would greatly appreciate your feedback. To complete a short survey please click below.

Light Night Leeds Feedback
Thank You Leeds for Being Wonderful Hosts to the ATCM Family!

Looking Forward to 2020

We are already planning our events for 2020. We are delighted to announce the following:

The Green High Street 2050
The 30 Year Countdown Begins...

Where and when: TBA... watch this space...

The one policy that could define Theresa May’s legacy as Prime Minister came after her departure date from Number 10 had been announced. In June, the former Prime Minister amended the Climate Change Act to include a commitment for the UK to be carbon neutral by 2050, making it the first member of the G7 to legislate for net zero emissions.
There is no question that this means change for towns and cities in the way they are designed and used. Transport, infrastructure, property and public realm could see radical change. The question is, can the town and city management industry rise to a challenge that some might see as outside its comfort zone?

This industry, in fact, has its roots in environmental sustainability. Although town and city management emerged to support high street retail, its central ambition was to prevent the unnecessary and, too often, unchecked urban sprawl of out-of-town retail destinations. This is an industry with strong environmental credentials. Maybe it can rise to the challenge.

The 2020 ATCM Place Management Conference will assess both the policy and practice of making sure our urban areas can support a carbon neutral country. This event will not only look at the strategic and operational issues that will dictate whether we can achieve net zero emissions, but will also bring forward best practice in other areas including recycling and plastic alternatives.

The town and city management industry has one of the largest contributions to make when it comes to environmental sustainability. This will be the theme of the next Place Management Conference in London, early in 2020.

The ambition is to deliver the Green High Street. We have 30 years, and counting.

The clock is ticking.....

High Streets vs The Industrial Revolution
ATCM Summer School 2020

Cardiff City Centre
When: 24th and 25th June

Shops. Banks. Estate agents. Travel agents. Restaurants. Transport. Communications. Crime. Cash. Jobs. Skills.


When you take a step back to observe the big picture, it is clear that society and economy are fundamentally changing, and these changes are interlinked and impact every aspect of the high street. The way we work, live and play is exposed to a revolution, and without taking account of the big picture and understanding how we adapt, our town and city centres will be exposed to a painful transition.

High Streets vs the Industrial Revolution (working title) will bring together our learnings from the 2018 Cities Summit (The Fourth Industrial Revolution?) and 2019 Summer School (#Futureconsumer) to explore the technology driven transition happening across society and economy, explaining what this means for practitioners in place management.

ATCM Summer School 2020 will bring together 200+ delegates to discuss one of biggest challenges facing the place management industry. We will also celebrate best practice through the return of the Town and City Management Industry Awards for 2020.

Bookings will open in the coming months.

Exciting times!!!!