The Mayor of Buenos Aires Mr. Horacio Rodríguez Larreta met his peer Sadiq Khan in London City Hall on Monday to discuss urban development strategies that both global cities are pursuing.
Both leaders spoke about the transformation that the area of the London 2012 Olympic site underwent, as well as discussing how the Olympic Games became a tool to stimulate social integration in one of the city’s less privileged areas.
”We agreed that, when properly planned, these events carry a great potential to generate integration. Mayor Khan was delighted that we share the same vision in the run-up to the 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG)”, said Mr. Larreta.
Earlier that day, he toured the Olympic site in the company of the Argentine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Carlos Sersale and Paul Brickell, Executive Director of Regeneration and Community Partnerships for the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), to learn first-hand the work developed before, during and after London 2012.
During the meeting, Mr. Larreta and Mr. Khan discussed various initiatives to promote diversity and integration for both cities. They also explored possible areas for collaboration in matters regarding traffic planning and control, cultural management policies and ways to promote the creative industries.
“The 19th century was of the empires, the 20th belonged of the States and the 21st will be of the cities”, said Mr. Khan, who transmitted the experience of the city of London in public-private partnership projects, which the government of Buenos Aires is seeking to look into as a tool for sourcing long-term finance and where the United Kingdom is one of the world leaders.
In this regard, on Tuesday, Mr. Larreta´s government signed a convention agreeing to exchange good practices in this domain with the UK Treasury Infrastructure and Projects Authority.
We found a good connection with Mr Khan. We are both Mayors of large global cities having to contend with the great urban challenges of our time, such as putting a greater onus on public transport and the need to promote diversity and generate greater inclusion in our cities, said Mr. Larreta.
During the 45 minutes encounter, Mr Rodríguez Larreta formally invited Mr. Khan to be part of the Urban20 initiative (U20), through which Buenos Aires, alongside Paris and the C40 (the network of major cities committed to combating climate change), is seeking to create a space for dialogue and exchange between the world’s major cities and the G20, set to take place late next year in Argentina.
On Monday, Mr. Larreta visited the Argentine stand of the World Travel Market where, besides promoting the City, he joined the Argentine Tourism Minister, Gustavo Santos, and executives of the Edelweiss airline, to the announcement of a direct flight between Zurich and Buenos Aires from next year.
Adding more direct connections between Buenos Aires and the world is always great news, because it expands the possibilities of growth of the city and the country thanks to the increase in tourism. Minister Santos is doing a great job, said Mr. Larreta.