3 March 2020
10:30am - 17:00pm


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Green High Street 2050: A Climate Emergency



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 2019, 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. With a Conservative majority returned in the 2019 UK General Election, and EU leaders ratifying a similar target, both the UK and Ireland need to be carbon neutral by 2050.


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 tough challenge?


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 destinations that has complemented the growth in car use. This is an industry with a strong environmental credentials.


The 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, March 2020.


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



10am: Arrivals, Networking and Refreshments


10.30am: Climate Crisis: A New Era for Place Management?

Welcome by Ojay McDonald, CEO, Association Town and City Management



10.40am: The Clock is Ticking: Review of the UN Special Climate Report ‘Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees’

Gale Burns, Greenpeace


11.05am: The Co-Benefits of Climate Action

Dr Neil Jennings, Partnership Development Manager, Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment


11.30am: Town Centres Reimagined: What Carbon Neutral Urbanism Looks Like

Victoria Hills, CEO, Royal Town Planning Institute


11.55am: Refreshments


12.15pm: The Transition: Panel Debate on Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change



Ojay McDonald, CEO, Association Town and City Management



Adrian Watson, CEO, Aberdeen Inspired 

Representing the levy payers of a city world renowned for energy production and oil.


Kelvin Reynolds, Director of Corporate and Public Affairs, British Parking Association

Representing the parking industry as it faces demands for scale up of EV charging infrastructure and questions over capacity with attempts to deliver modal shifts to public transport.


Catherine Davis, Economic Initiatives and Economic Marketing Coordinator, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Representing a local authority challenged by extreme weather events, working towards flood alleviation to safeguard businesses and investment.


David Johnston, Partner, Wedlake Bell LLP and Chair of Revo’s Sustainability Committee

Representing commercial property industry, a significant contributor to carbon emissions.


1.15pm: Lunch 


2.10pm: The Economic Argument for a Green High Street

Nick Richardson, CEO, The Insights People


2.35pm: Rising to the Challenge: A New Look for High Street Businesses

Antonio Roade, Senior Sustainability Manager, New Look


3pm: Plastic Free Wembley

Speaker TBA, London Borough of Brent Council 


3.25pm: Refreshments


3.40pm: Are we the Problem or the Solution? Panel Debate on the Role of the Town and City Management Industry



Helen Burridge, Senior Operations Manager, Baker Street Quarter Partnership



Seb Slater, Executive Director, Shrewsbury BID

Jean Ball, Chair, Transition Buxton Group 

Seamus Connolly, Neighbourhoods and Sustainability, Glasgow City Council

Jackie Mulligan, CEO, ShopAppy.com


4.30pm: Closing Remarks and Introduction to ‘City Resilience: The Climate Emergency Part 2’

Ojay McDonald, CEO, Association Town and City Management


4.45pm: Close