METREX Conference – Greater Birmingham

15-17 May 2019

Creating an Environment for Inclusive Economic Growth


Birmingham and the West Midlands have seen big changes in their governance structures through the recent establishment of the West Midlands Combined Authority. With a remit to bring together 18 local authorities and four Local Economic Partnerships (LEPs) to address cross-border challenges on climate change, housing, transportation, and to create an inclusive and attractive region to live and work, the region is of huge interest to METREX members eager to learn about how the WMCA was established.

At our Spring Conference in San Sebastian in June 2018, the capital city of the Gipuzkoa region in the Basque Country, METREX members were introduced to the long-term vision of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), the transport authority within the WMCA. The presentation and subsequent discussions demonstrated the potential learning to be drawn from the experience of setting up the WMCA and TfWM.

We are now delighted to invite you to the METREX Spring Conference in Birmingham on 15 – 17 May 2019 to share knowledge and experience, and to discuss in-depth principles and solutions that can be of value to your own situation. And of course, to enjoy another great European city!

The conference, titled “Creating an environment for inclusive economic growth”, will be developed around four themes: Urban – Rural, Employment – Education, Accessibility – Affordability and Environment – Health. These themes enable us to learn in-depth from the Greater Birmingham approach and achievements and link them to other European regional developments.

Over two days we will focus on the vision and delivery plans of the WCMA and TfWM, the relationship between the distinct places within the region and the role they play in its success. We will put what we have heard into context with visits to various parts of Birmingham, the region and their communities. We will hear about the preparations for the XXII Commonwealth Games, set to take place in Birmingham in 2022, and their planned legacy.

We will also bring to Greater Birmingham knowledge and insight from the METREX membership, a network of organisations that represent over 45 regions across Europe. This experience, together with Greater Birmingham as a newly formed laboratory from which to learn, will make for a highly stimulating three days.

We look forward to welcome you in Greater Birmingham!

Structure of the Conference and background information

On Wednesday evening we will be welcomed by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Yvonne Mosquito.

Thursday morning will see an introduction by the Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street CBE, and other officials from the region and city. Join us in the afternoon for visits to various sites in Birmingham and the wider region. In the evening we are pleased to invite you to join us for dinner!

0n Friday morning, break-out sessions will tackle the sub-themes with participation from representatives of the region and city, and experts from our member organisations. During the afternoon we will hear feedback from these break-outs and together we will draw out principles that we can take away.

Participation to the conference is free of charge for METREX Members and invited participants.

The main venues will be in maximum 15 minutes walk from Birmingham New Street Station.

Participants are experts-representatives from our member organisations, about 45 European metropolitan regions and areas, and specially invited guest from city-regions in the UK and Ireland, from universities, think-tanks and interest groups, and special guests invited by the West Midlands authorities.

Day 1 Wednesday 15 May

Expert groups

Venue
Fazeley Studios
191 Fazeley Street
Birmingham B5 5SE

10:00-12:00
Nordic Network
Led by Douglas Gordon

12:00-15:00
Nordic-Baltic Space
Led by Jessica Andersson

12:00-17:00
SURE Expert Group
Led by Peter Pol

12:00
Lunch

13:00-15:00
Governance
Led by Adriana May

13:00-15:00
EconoMETREX Expert Group
Led by Thierry Petit
 

Civic Reception

Venue
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
Chamberlain Square
Birmingham B3 3DH

18:30
Arrivals

19:00
Welcome

Day 2 Thursday 16 May

Venue
Fazeley Studios
191 Fazeley Street
Digbeth
Birmingham B5 5SE

08:30
Registration

09:00
Opening by Dr. Nicola Schelling, METREX President and Director Verband Region Stuttgart

Opening talk by Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands

The West Midlands Combined Authority Vision
Deborah Cadman, CEO, WMCA

The Birmingham Story The specific situation of Birmingham as core city in a wider manufacturing and supplying ‘landscape’ of cities, towns and communities

WMCA Approach on Inclusive Growth
Henry Kippin, Director of Public Service Reform, WMCA

Developing Affordable and Accessible Metropolitan Public Transport
Sandeep Shingadia, Director of Programme Development, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM)

10:45
Break

11:15
Peer Review by Birmingham Partner Cities

  • Lyon – Sébastien Roland, Head Strategic Planning for the Lyon Metropolitan Area
  • Milan – tbc
  • Leipzig – tbc
  • Frankfurt – tbc

Followed by chaired debate

A Narrative for Birmingham
Glenn Howells, Director, Glenn Howells Architects

12:45
Lunch

14:00-17:00
Study visits to sites in Birmingham City Centre and other regional cities, including:

  • Paradise / Arena – led by Glenn Howell Architects and Birmingham City Council
  • Digbeth / Birmingham City University / STEAMhouse – led by Steve Hardin and Birmingham City Council
  • Birmingham City Centre – led by Sandeep Shingadia
  • Coventry
  • UK Central – led by Solihull LEP and Birmingham City Council
  • Wolverhampton – led by Birmingham City Council

17:00
Return to Birmingham New Street Station area
 

Conference Dinner

Venue
Canalside
The Cube
Mailbox District
Birmingham B1 1RN

19:00
Reception

20:00
Dinner

Please see the ‘Dinner’ tab for further details.

Day 2 – Conference Dinner Thursday 16 May

Venue
Canalside
The Cube
Mailbox District
Birmingham B1 1RN

19.00
Reception

20.00
Dinner

22.00
Close

Day 3 Friday 17 May

Venue
Please note that sessions begin at different venues – see details below

08:30
Registration

09:00
Welcome

Parallel sessions on the following issues, held across various venues in Birmingham.

Urban and Rural
Venue: The Nest, GHA, 321 Broad Street, Birmingham B56ET
An integrated vision on the wider region
Chair: Chris Murray – Connected Cities

WMCA: Laura Shoaf
BCU: Kathryn Moore
Lyon: Karen McCormick

METREX experts

Employment and Education
Venue: The Lab at STEAMhouse, 108 Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 6DT, UK
Creating wealth to enable sharing wealth
Chair: Alistair Lomax

Urban M: Steve Harding and students
Birmingham Hub: Immy Kaur
Prof Matthias Klaes, Buckingham University

METREX experts

Accessibility and Affordability
Venue: HS2 Academy / TfWM?
Chair: Camilla Ween (London-TfL)

TfWM: Sandeep Shingadia
Birmingham City Council: Philip Edwards
UK Central – Solihull

METREX experts

Environment and Health
Venue: Fazeley Studios
Chair: Irma Karjalainen (Metrex-Helsinki)

Cllr Waseem Zaffar
Elaine Trimble (Siemens)
METREX experts

11:00
Groups travel to Fazeley Studios, 191 Fazeley St, Birmingham B5 5SE

11:30
Feedback on parallel sessions

  • Lessons learned
  • Panel with partner cities Lyon, Leipzig/Frankfurt and Milan moderator: Henk Bouwman

12:30
Closing Keynote Presentation
Methods vs. Behaviour

Prof Matthias Klaes, the Nigel Vinson Chair of Political Economy and Director of the Vinson Centre, Buckingham University

13:00
Lunch

14.30
Baltic Space Presentation

15:15
Update on the METREX SURE Network Group

15.30
Close of the conference

Venues

Principal Venue
Fazeley Studios
191 Fazeley Street
Birmingham B5 5SE
https://digbeth.com/spaces/fazeley-studios

Reception Venue – Wednesday 15 May
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
Chamberlain Square
Birmingham B3 3DH
http://www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/bmag

Dinner Venue Thursday 16 May
Canalside
The Cube
Mailbox District
Birmingham B1 1RN
http://www.canalsidebirmingham.co.uk/

14:00-17:00
Study visits to sites in Birmingham City Centre and other regional cities, including:

  • Paradise / Arena – led by Glenn Howell Architects and Birmingham City Council
  • Digbeth / Birmingham City University / STEAMhouse – led by Steve Hardin and Birmingham City Council
  • Birmingham City Centre – led by Sandeep Shingadia
  • Coventry
  • UK Central – led by Solihull LEP and Birmingham City Council
  • Wolverhampton – led by Birmingham City Council

Further details on the study tours to be confirmed soon.

METREX is being supported by
Birmingham City Council

Birmingham Convention Bureau has put together a list of suggested hotels with preferential rates. You can view and book these hotels using the link below. It is important to be aware that hotel prices fluctuate from day to day and so the rates offered on the Convention Bureau site may not be the most competitive on any given day.

Book hotels