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

Wednesday 15 May 2019
On Wednesday evening we will be welcomed by the Leader of Birmingham City Council, Councillor Ian Ward.

Thursday 16 May 2019
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!

Friday 17 May 2019
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.

Venues

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

Main venue – Thursday 16 & Friday 17 May 2019
Old Ikon Gallery
Fazeley Studios
191 Fazeley Street
Birmingham B5 5SE

Dinner venue – Thursday 16 May 2019
Canalside
The Cube,
Mailbox District
Birmingham B1 1RN

Breakout session venues – Friday 17 May 2019
STEAMhouse: 108 Digbeth, Birmingham B5 6DT
Glenn Howells Architects: 321 Bradford St, Birmingham B5 6ET
Fazeley Studios: Old Ikon Gallery, Fazeley Studios, 191 Fazeley Street, Birmingham B5 5SE

Who is attending

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
 

Reception

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

18:30
Arrivals

19:00
Welcome by Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council

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 Councillor Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council

The West Midlands Combined Authority Vision
Sandeep Shingadia, Director of Development & Delivery, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM)

The Greater Birmingham Story – a Core City in a Wider ‘Landscape’ of Cities, Towns and Communities

Simon Marks, City Executive, Arcadis and Board Director for Optimising Assets, Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

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

10:25
Break

WMCA Approach on Inclusive Growth
Dr Henry Kippin, Executive Director, WMCA

11:20
Peer Review by Birmingham Partner Cities / Metropolitan Authorities

  • Lyon – Sébastien Rolland, UrbaLyon
  • Milan – Dario Parravicini, Città Metropolitana di Milano
  • Leipzig – Reinhard Wölpert, Metropolregion Mitteldeutschland
  • Frankfurt – Reinhard Henke, Regional Authority FrankfurtRheinMain

Forward – A Narrative for Birmingham
Glenn Howells, Founder, 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 Jessica Rowden and Shauna Bradley, Glenn Howell Architects and Simon Garrad, Birmingham City Council
  • Digbeth / Birmingham City University / STEAMhouse – led by Dr Steve Harding, Birmingham City University and Gary Woodward, Birmingham City Council
  • Birmingham City Centre – led by Sandeep Shingadia, TfWM
  • Coventry – led by Colin Knight, Coventry City Council
  • UK Central – led by Claire Barker, Urban Growth Company
  • Wolverhampton – led by Ruth Taylor, Wolverhampton 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 – please see details below.

Parallel sessions on the following issues, held across various venues in Birmingham, but all in walkable distance from Fazeley Studios. Each session includes a brief presentation followed by a focused discussion chaired by a METREX member.

08:30
Registration for all groups

09:00
Session start for all groups

Urban and Rural
An integrated vision on the wider region

Venue: The Nest, GHA, 321 Broad Street, Birmingham B56ET

  • Chair: Chris Murray, Director, Connected Cities
  • Reinhard Henke, Regional Authority FrankfurtRheinMain
  • Dario Parravicini, Città Metropolitana di Milano
  • Laura Shoaf, TfWM
  • METREX experts

Employment and Education
Creating wealth to enable sharing wealth

Venue: The Lab at STEAMhouse, 108 Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 6DT, UK

  • Chair: Lawrence Revill, Independent Consultant
  • Dr Steve Harding, Birmingham City University
  • Immy Kaur, Birmingham Impact Hub
  • METREX experts

Accessibility and Affordability
Venue: Rooms C502/3, Curzon Building – 5th Floor, Birmingham City University – City Centre Campus, 4 Cardigan Street, Birmingham, B4 7BD

  • Chair: Camilla Ween, Goldstein Ween Architects (London-TfL)
  • Sandeep Shingadia, Transport for West Midlands
  • Jonathan Bray, Urban Transport Group
  • Christina Suomi, City of Helsinki
  • METREX experts

Environment and Health
Venue: Old Ikon Gallery, Fazeley Studios

  • Chair: Irma Karjalainen (Metrex-Helsinki)
  • Cllr Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment
  • Elaine Trimble, Urban Development at 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, Frankfurt and Milan, and Helsinki
    Moderator: Henk Bouwman, METREX

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 Expert 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 Harding 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

Delegates will have the opportunity to sign up for study tours on the morning of Thursday 16 May 2019.

METREX is being supported by
Birmingham City Council

There are a number of hotels that offer good access for all of our venues.

Clayton Hotel Birmingham
Albert St, Birmingham B5 5JE

The METREX team will be staying in the Clayton Hotel Birmingham. This provides easy access to all of the venues – being located on the eastern edge of the city centre.
Website

Premier Inn Birmingham
Exchange Buildings, Stephenson St, Birmingham B2 4PY
Website

Hilton Garden Inn
BrindleyPlace

1 Brunswick Square, Birmingham, B1 2HW, United Kingdom
Website

Bookings through the Convention Bureau
If you previously made a hotel booking through the Birmingham Convention Bureau and have any questions, please contact Stephen Gallagher on .

Book hotels