Ken Livingstone told London’s property community that he was the man to beat off competition from New York and emerging eastern cities.

Speaking at the Future London mayoral debate held at CB Richard Ellis’s West End headquarters on Tuesday the mayor said: ‘New York continues to grow well as do Mumbai, Shanghai and Hong Kong. We need to keep at the cutting edge of change.’

The mayor also pledged to revive plans for a tram on Oxford Street, part-funded by new development at Marble Arch and Tottenham Court Road.

Livingstone said he would also encourage more tall developments in the city, contrary to recent criticisms aired by the Prince of Wales.

‘I don’t want to turn London into Manhattan but I see the occasional tall building is a good thing. I can see 20 tall buildings being developed over the next 20 years.’

The event was organised by Property Week, Central London Partnership, New West End Company and the Westminster and City Property Owners Associations.