Urbanization’s complex challenges are resulting in a new breed of global specialists such as Greg Clark, the founder of the Business of Cities, a London-based urban advisory service. Clark is not an urban planner, a government official, an economist, a real estate developer or an academic. Instead, he is what might be called a business planner for cities; i.e., an independent urban practitioner with strategic thinking and hands-on experience in helping cities grow around the world. Clark was in Mumbai to speak at a half-day symposium on South Asian development, organized by JP Morgan and The Asia Society in December, where Mumbai: India’s Global City, a report co-authored by Clark, was released. He spoke to Mint on the sidelines of the conference.

Expertise in 100 cities

“My interest is really the intersection of place, capital and leadership, and how those things come together. And the way I work is that rather than having one job, I spend a lot of time occupying thought leadership roles, almost in part-time basis, in places like the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Bank, the Brookings Institution, the Urban Land Institute, and I find that a more fulfilling way to work."

Grag Clark. Photo: S. Kumar/MInt