Urbanisation in the 21st Century – St David’s Day Lecture, Cardiff

1 March, 2017 | 17:30 - 19:30

Find out more about urbanisation in the 21st century.
Find out more about urbanisation in the 21st century.

About this event

In line with ICE's mission to shape a better world, we must shape a better urban environment. With nearly 70% of the world's population set to live in urban areas by 2030, the quality of life experienced by this population will determine our global future. It is increasingly cities, more than national governments, which have the power to tackle climate change, fuel the global economy, deliver prosperity, and alleviate poverty.

With the advent of social media, and the growth of the global middle class, urban citizens have greater power than ever to delay, stop or start projects such as the M4 Relief Road, Severn Barrage, and Wylfa nuclear power station: they can choose where they live, work and invest, and they can demand a far higher quality of life.

Intrinsic to the success of cities and the quality of life they offer is how people move around them. In the twentieth century planning for the city was about planning for the car. The advent of the Welsh Government's Well-being and Future Generations Act (2016) demands that we need to adopt policies that encourage sustainable transport systems supported by integrated technology.

Moving towards an urban environment fit for the 21st and 22nd Centuries requires actions. These actions concern visions and strategies, safe and efficient integrated transport systems, creating liveable environments, and smart and responsive cities.

Speaker: Keith Howells, CEO, Mott MacDonald Group.


Keith Howells, CEO, Mott MacDonald Group

Keith Howells

Keith graduated in civil engineering in 1974 and spent the first 10 years of his career in infrastructure design and project management, mostly in the water and transport sectors.

He did an MBA at Cranfield University in 1985/6, following which he was engaged on master planning and feasibility studies in the infrastructure and urban environment sectors in China, Hong Kong, India, Russia, Egypt and Southern Africa, as well as being project director for a number of UK water sector projects.

In 1998 he became Managing Director of the Group's Water and Environment business, and became a member of the Group Board in 2002. In 2004 he was made Group Managing Director, responsible for world-wide business operations.

He became Chairman of the Mott MacDonald Group at the beginning of 2011 and following restructuring of the governance arrangements for the Group in 2016, is currently Group CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board – accountable to an independent Shareholders' Committee which acts as a Supervisory Board.