CityLab 2014 will offer more than 400 attendees – including leading mayors from around the world, along with city planners, urban scholars, architects, artists, and journalists – a forum to share best practices and new ideas for tackling urban issues. The event will span multiple Los Angeles venues, and incorporate field trips to local urban revitalization projects, cultural centers, and universities that will serve as urban case studies.
"Los Angeles is a global hub for innovation and offers the perfect urban laboratory for leaders to convene, collaborate and shape the future of their cities. I am looking forward to continuing the conversation started at the inaugural CityLab to explore new ways cities can provide better services to residents and boost our economy," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti added.
CityLab will strive to create a two-and-a-half day global town square in the heart of Los Angeles. Sessions will be led by a mix of Atlantic journalists and urban practioners, and feature interviews, panel discussions, debates, performances, and breakout tutorials. Expected areas of focus will include growth and equity, public health, resilience and sustainability, civic technology, city vibrancy, and innovation and effectiveness in governance, among others.
"On all the big challenges we face – from improving public health to expanding economic opportunity to confronting climate change – cities are leading the way and showing that major progress is possible," said Michael R. Bloomberg, philanthropist and former Mayor of New York City. "The upcoming CityLab in Los Angeles will give the most innovative ideas the close-up they deserve and help them spread to more cities around the world."
"I'm thrilled to once again join with The Atlantic and Bloomberg Philanthropies in an exploration of what's working in our urban environments. Cities are hubs of innovation, typically by necessity, and their solutions are often ones that can be incubated and used to transform society as a whole," saidWalter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute.
"The comeback of American cities is the greatest geographic story on the continent today. The Atlantic loves this topic - and all its work with Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Aspen Institute," added David Bradley, chairman and owner of Atlantic Media, The Atlantic's parent company.
In addition to featuring Michael R. Bloomberg, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Walter Isaacson, and top urban leaders and practitioners, CityLab will highlight some of The Atlantic's leading editorial voices, including James Bennet, co-president and editor in chief of The Atlantic; Ronald Brownstein, Atlantic Media's editorial director for strategic partnerships; and Richard Florida, urban studies expert and Atlantic senior editor.
CityLab 2014 builds on last year's groundbreaking inaugural program, which drew 30 global mayors among its 400 guests. Attendees came from 23 countries, 30 U.S. states, and 95 cities worldwide. Featured international speakers at that event included former Vice President Al Gore; Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis; Nashville Mayor Karl Dean; artist Theaster Gates; Ann Cavoukian, Commissioner, Office of Information and Privacy from Ontario, Canada; Santa Monica Mayor Pam O'Connor; and Fran Tonkiss, Academic Director of the Cities Programme at London School of Economics, among other top urban leaders.
Additional details, including location, speakers, and logistical information for media outlets wishing to attend, will be announced in the weeks and months ahead.
The CityLab summit is an expansion of The Atlantic's longstanding partnership with the Aspen Institute devoted to the exchange of ideas of consequence, which established the Aspen Ideas Festival in 2005, the Washington Ideas Forum in 2009, and New York Ideas in 2012.