The focus in 2016 may be on national politics, but it’s cities and the people who live in them that are more often the epicenter for change, innovation, upheaval, leadership, and progress. With this in mind, the Aspen Institute, The Atlantic, and Bloomberg Philanthropies will convene “CityLab: Urban Solutions to Global Challenges,” the fourth annual summit on the ideas and solutions transforming metro centers around the world, Sunday-Tuesday, October 23-25 in Miami. Previous CityLab summits were held in New York, Los Angeles, and London.
CityLab convenes the world’s most creative mayors and city practitioners along with artists, academics, funders, and other public and private sector leaders focused on improving cities and identifying and sharing effective urban solutions. Presented just two weeks before America elects its next president, CityLab 2016 will provide an especially unique vantage point: the opportunity to candidly collaborate on the most pressing issues facing the world’s growing metros. The event will take place at the InterContinental Miami, with events and field trips to several neighborhoods and locations throughout the city.
Among the many key planned conversations at CityLab:
CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden will talk about battling the unprecedented Zika virus, and discuss the role of cities in confronting and combating the spread of the disease.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer will address resilience and leading a city through terrorism and tragedy.
On the affordable housing crisis affecting many major cities, participants will hear from Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, and Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond, author of the best-selling book Evicted.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza will discuss economic inclusion.
Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miller, and others, will tackle how local governments can fix aging infrastructure—and avoid future crises.
Ricky Burdett from the London School of Economics and Jagan Shah from the National Institute of Urban Affairs will discuss the recent India Smart Cities Challenge.
Leaders of cultural institutions, among them Miami’s Perez Art Museum and the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, will cover the importance of using arts to ease ethnic tensions and assimilate immigrants into communities.
How close is the end of car ownership, and how will a driverless future transform cities? This discussion will include Los Angeles DOT director Seleta Reynolds and Door to Door author Edward Humes.
Mayors will discuss the public health aspects of the soda tax and how it plays out in different cultures, and offer a primer on tactics used to get it passed.
CityLab speakers and attendees are drawn from a diverse global roster; last year’s participants represented 133 cities and 44 countries. This year’s summit will host the mayors of (U.S.) Akron, Charleston, Detroit, Flint, Gary, Grand Rapids, Hartford, Jackson, Louisville, Memphis, Miami, Miami Beach, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Oakland, Orlando, Philadelphia, Providence, Seattle, Syracuse; and (International) Kingston, Jamaica, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, México, Estación Central, Chile, Godoy Cruz, Argentina, Tirana, Albania, Mexico City, Mexico, Bogota, Colombia, and Medellin, Colombia, among others.
CityLab Miami will also feature CityLab Sandbox, interactive showcases of tech companies and start-ups from a number of cities, as well as CityLab Makers, featuring artisans from Cuba and Latin America.
Bloomberg Philanthropies will kick off CityLab with a private, daylong “Mayors Innovation Studio” on Sunday, October 23 hosted by Michael R. Bloomberg and Arianna Huffington where the participating mayors partake in executive sessions exploring the essential qualities of effective public leaders and the tools necessary to advance successful innovation.
Further details about the program agenda and speakers will be released in the coming weeks. Media interested in learning more or attending the program should contact Sydney Simon (ssimon[at]theatlantic.com) and Anna Bross (abross[at]theatlantic.com) at The Atlantic.