This week London took the crown as the global city for business in front of over three hundred of the most influential members of the property industry, in the final show down between London and New York at the 2012 LandAid Debate sponsored by Cushman & Wakefield. Redwood helped LandAid run this exclusive debate and managed all the media for the event.

The debate saw Howard Wolfson and Robert Steel, Deputy Mayors of New York, take on Boris Johnson, The Mayor of London and Tim Campbell, the Mayor’s Ambassador for Training and Enterprise and winner of the BBC’s The Apprentice, fight it out for the title of ‘Global City for Business’.

Boris Johnson’s bombastic nature in many ways stole the show. During his opening gambit he revealed that he is, in actual fact, a New York native, having been born in the ‘Big Apple’. Robert Steel, Deputy Mayor of New York, followed suit by stating that he had lived in our own fair capital for seven years, before opportunistically jumping on Boris’ New York connection to argue that it’s the multi-cultural make-up of New York (35 per cent of the population are first generation New Yorkers) that gives New York its edge over London.

Both teams were then subjected to questions from an impressive panel of experts including Giles Barrie (Editor of Property Week), Tony Travers (Director of Greater London Group, LSE) and Todd Benjamin (former – CNN journalist) covering issues such as their city as a financial centre, transport and development.

One thing on which both cities agreed, was the need to support young and disadvantaged people, something that Sarah Montague was very keen to point out. Both sides congratulated each other in their work in this area, which is ever more relevant in the context of the work LandAid does up and down the country. However in the final vote London came up trumps, despite the superb efforts of the New York Mayors.

Joanna Averley, Chief Executive, LandAid stated:

“As the newly appointed Chief Executive of LandAid, the property industry, I am delighted that the debate has raised £50,000. I would like to warmly thank everyone who was involved in the event and all those who continue to support LandAid in all the work we do to help young people achieve their potential.”

Top quotes from the evening include:

“Mayor Bloomberg is arguably the most successful mayor in New York history. He has been able to build success out of 9/11 and has improved quality of life, improved human capital, improved our infrastructure and modernised our regulations. I am proud to live in a city of immigrants, New York is a place to realise your dreams.” – Robert Steel, Deputy Mayor of New York

“You never know what’s going to happen in New York. Every day in New York is an adventure and everything is possible. It is a place of endless possibilities.” – Howard Wolfson, Deputy Mayor of New York

“We talk about the land of the free, let’s talk about the land of London. London is a city of opportunities for all.” – Tim Campbell, Mayor’s Ambassador for Training and Enterprise

“Look at how many firms are coming to locate in London. Since 2003, 189 international companies came to locate their headquarters in London. How many in New York? 33. I rest my case.”- Mayor Boris Johnson, The Mayor of London

For further information, videos and interviews please click here.