Imagining the cities of the future

Our research1 has revealed that 92% of businesses had to make sweeping changes to the way they operate in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We carried out a panel discussion with experts across local government, academia and business to explore how businesses and cities could work together to map a green recovery from the pandemic.


During this panel session the experts discussed matters such as:

  • What were the most significant changes to businesses during COVID-19?
  • How can cities and businesses best adapt to safeguard their future?
  • How we can make sure that cities are serving the needs of those who exist within them?
  • How can businesses, industry and consumers work together to improve our cities of the future?
  • From an environmental point of view, how can businesses make sure that the disruption they're facing now doesn't undo the progress they've made so far towards achieving net zero?

You can watch the discussion below:

The panelists

(Host) Solène Wolff,
Co-Founder – PLANE-SITE

Solène Wolff is a strategist, working across the fields of architecture, urban policy, and sustainability. She is the co-founder and managing partner of PLANE–SITE, a content and communication agency focused on the built environment and its users.


Martin Reeves
Chief Executive – Coventry City Council

Martin has been Chief Executive of Coventry City Council since April 2009.  He was also the Chief Executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority from March 2016 to September 2017 and spent much of his early career as a lecturer and researcher and has a PhD in applied economics.


Rohit Talwar
Global futurist, award-winning keynote speaker, author, and the CEO of Fast Future

His prime expertise lies in helping people to understand and shape the emerging future. He works with corporations, governments, investors, associations, business schools and NGOs to help them anticipate, prepare for and create the future.

Rohit is the co-author of Designing Your Future, lead editor and a contributing author for The Future of Business, Beyond Genuine Stupidity—Ensuring AI Serves Humanity, The Future Reinvented—Reimagining Life, Society, and Business, A Very Human Future—Enriching Humanity in a Digitized World, editor of Technology vs. Humanity.


Ricky Burdett
Professor of Urban Studies at the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), and Director of LSE Cities and the Urban Age Programme

Ricky has been involved in regeneration projects across Europe and was Chief Adviser on Architecture and Urbanism for the London 2012 Olympics, and architectural adviser to the Mayor of London from 2001 to 2006.

Alongside his academic activities, he acts as an adviser to national, regional and local governments on urban issues, and has worked with private companies and architectural practices on the development and framing of urban projects.

He is also part of LafargeHolcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction’s global network of leading professionals in the fields of architecture.


Philip Wallace
Head of City Energy Transformation – E.ON Energy

Philip has worked at E.ON for 23 years, first joining in 1997 in the financial and management accounting team. As Head of the City Energy Transformation for E.ON, Philip is focused on improving lives by transforming the cities and communities we live in. 


1 Research conducted on behalf of E.ON by Opinium in September 2020 with 500 UK business decision makers at businesses based in cities.