Washington, D.C. and New York, N.Y. (January 26, 2015)—The Aspen Institute, The Atlantic, and Bloomberg Philanthropies will host the world’s foremost mayors and urban leaders for the third annual “CityLab: Urban Solutions to Global Challenges,” to be held this year in London from October 18-20, 2015. The working summit will bring together practitioners and those who work closely with cities to advance bold, scalable ideas and solutions that are transforming metro centers around the world into more livable and sustainable cities. CityLab was first held in New York City in 2013, and in Los Angeles last fall.

During CityLab, the Aspen Institute, The Atlantic, and Bloomberg Philanthropies will convene the people who are shaping the cities of the future—mayors from around the world, practitioners, planners, architects, artists, economists, urban scholars, and other civic leaders—to discuss pressing issues, emerging trends, and share best practices for common challenges. Speakers and attendees are drawn from a diverse global roster; last year’s 550 participants represented 127 cities and 26 countries.

With the host city for CityLab becoming a central player in the program itself, London was selected as the event’s first international location for demonstrating leadership amidst change, and for showcasing the best in municipal innovation. London’s neighborhoods will act as the campus for CityLab, with field trips to sites across the city to serve as urban case studies.

“As an international city booming with innovative ideas in both the public and private sectors, London is the ideal setting for CityLab’s annual gathering of urban leaders,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, philanthropist and three-term mayor of New York City. “And there’s no better host for a big event than my friend Boris Johnson.”

"By creating an urban lab of sorts where workable solutions can be shared, this gathering is uniquely positioned to make a real impact on the cities and countries represented at the event," said Walter Isaacson, the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute.

“Taking CityLab to London is an important next step for this one-of-a-kind event,” said Atlantic Media Chairman and CEO, David Bradley. “Cities across the country and around the world are grappling with similar challenges and opportunities. There is real power in this convening—to tackle the most pressing issues of our time. We are proud and pleased to be doing this for a third year with our extraordinary partners at Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Aspen Institute.”

In its two years, CityLab has welcomed as participants and speakers global mayors from dozens of cities, including Athens, Greece; Atlanta, Georgia; Barcelona, Spain; Cape Town, South Africa; Jerusalem, Israel; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Montreal, Quebec; Oakland, California; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Seoul, South Korea. The award-winning 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.

Details about CityLab’s planned locations and speakers will be announced in the coming months.

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About the Aspen Institute


The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also maintains offices in New York City and has an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.

About The Atlantic


Since its founding in 1857 as a magazine about “the American Idea” that would be of “no party or clique,” The Atlantic has been at the forefront of brave thinking in journalism. One of the first magazines to launch on the Web in the early 1990s, The Atlantic has continued to help shape debate across print, digital, and event platforms. With its award-winning presence TheAtlantic.com and CityLab.com on global cities, The Atlantic is a multimedia forum on the most critical issues of our times—from politics, business, urban affairs, and the economy, to technology, arts, and culture. The Atlantic is the flagship property of Washington, D.C.-based publisher Atlantic Media.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies


Bloomberg Philanthropies’ mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation and the Arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $462 million. For more information on the philanthropy, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

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