CityLab Paris: Preeminent Annual Summit to Convene Mayors, City Innovators, and Leaders from Across the Globe to Discuss Opportunities and Challenges Facing Cities

CityLab to be held October 22-24 // Presented by the Aspen Institute, The Atlantic, and Bloomberg Philanthropies

Washington, D.C. and New York, N.Y. (September 8, 2017)—From climate change and transnational security to inclusive economic growth and affordability, global cities are often the source of the most transformative thinking regarding the world’s most urgent challenges. Identifying effective and replicable solutions will be central to conversations at the fifth annual “CityLab: Urban Solutions to Global Challenges” event in Paris, France in October. A partnership between the Aspen Institute, The Atlantic, and Bloomberg Philanthropies, CityLab is the preeminent meeting of city leaders and the top minds in urbanism and city planning, economics, education, art and architecture, community development, and business— convened with the goal of creating scalable solutions to major challenges faced by cities everywhere.

CityLab Paris will take place on October 22-24, 2017, at the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand. Media registration is now open. To request a media pass please be in touch with The Atlantic’s Sydney Simon (, +1 202 266 7338).

Paris Mayor and C40 Chair Anne Hidalgo, who will speak at CityLab, reflects on the selection of Paris to host the summit: “I am delighted that the fifth edition of CityLab will be taking place in Paris. The summit will provide a great forum for leaders from across the world to exchange innovative ideas and strengthen coordination and collaboration in our common fight for a sustainable and equitable future.”

Also confirmed to attend CityLab Paris are the mayors (or officials of equivalent position) of London, Liverpool, West Midlands, United Kingdom; Tokyo, Japan; Hong Kong, China; Helsinki, Finland; Auckland, Wellington, New Zealand; Riga, Latvia; Dunkerque, France; Kingston, Jamaica; Rikuzentakata, Japan; Turin, Italy; and from the United States Anchorage, Alaska; Durham, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Stockton, California.

Among the featured speakers this year are: Michael R. Bloomberg, three-term mayor of New York City, entrepreneur and philanthropist; author and The Atlantic’s national correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates, who has lived at times in Paris; Stanford University economist Raj Chetty; former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy; novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; architect and urban planner Yona Friedman; art curator and artistic director of London’s Serpentine Galleries, Hans Ulrich Obrist; The Atlantic’s editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg; terrorism expert Gilles Kepel, Amsterdam’s Night Mayor Mirik Milan and London’s Night Czar Amy Lamé.

“Collaboration fuels creativity and helps great ideas spread – that’s the aim of CityLab, which brings people together from around the world to learn from one another and address common challenges. We’re excited to be hosting this year’s edition in Paris, where Mayor Hidalgo is building on the city’s long history of urban innovation,” said Bloomberg.

CityLab was founded on the principle that urban solutions can be applied to global problems. In 2017, the summit returns to Europe to grapple with a raft of issues: the environment and the future of the Paris climate agreement; cybersecurity and networked cities; the urban-rural divide; autonomous vehicles and next generation transportation; social cohesion and inclusive growth; refugees and migration; terrorism and security; social and economic mobility. Using Paris—and the key challenges and opportunities that animate it—as the backdrop, CityLab will explore how mayors and cities can best collaborate to introduce new ideas for entrenched urban problems, particularly in these divided times.

“Europe and America are grappling with dual questions of identity, nationalism, and internationalism, and cities are playing a key role as centers of gravity for these debates,” said David Bradley, Chairman and Owner of Atlantic Media. “As The Atlantic continues its global expansion, looking for new ways to cover a changing world, there is no more apt time and place to be having important conversations about the future of cities than at CityLab Paris with our partners at Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Aspen Institute.”

“Cities are at the center of human creativity and of our economic, social and cultural identity,” said Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson. “I can think of no better opportunity for continuing the important conversation on cities and their future than CityLab Paris.”

Over the last four years, CityLab has hosted participants representing 400 cities, including hundreds of mayors representing cities including: Accra, Ghana; Athens, Greece; Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Barcelona, Spain; Cape Town, South Africa; Denver, Colorado; Detroit, Michigan; Istanbul, Turkey; Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel; London, United Kingdom; Los Angeles, California; Lisbon, Portugal; Medellin, Colombia; Mexico City, Mexico; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Montreal, Quebec; Nairobi, Kenya; Oakland, California; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Schaerbeek, Belgium; Seoul, South Korea; Vilnius, Lithuania; Warsaw, Poland; and Washington, D.C., among others.

The award-winning summit is an expansion of The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute’s longstanding partnership devoted to the exchange of ideas of consequence, which includes Aspen Ideas Festival and Washington Ideas. The previous CityLab summits were hosted in Miami, London, Los Angeles, and New York City. In August 2017, CityLab held its first ever pop-up event in Baltimore.

More details about CityLab will be announced in the coming weeks. To learn more about the event or to RSVP for media credentials, please contact The Atlantic’s Anna Bross ( and Sydney Simon (

General Motors, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Mastercard are Presenting Level underwriters of CityLab Paris. McKinsey & Company is a Knowledge Level underwriter. The Bernard van Leer Foundation and UPS are Supporting Level underwriters; and Amazon Web Services and Uber are Contributing Level underwriters.


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 is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

About The Atlantic:
Founded in 1857 and today one of the fastest growing companies in the media industry, The Atlantic has throughout its history championed the power of ideas to shape the conversation and change the world. Operating across print, digital, events, video, and audio platforms, The Atlantic strives to bring clarity and original thinking to the most consequential issues of our times—on topics ranging from politics, business, urban affairs, and the economy, to technology, arts, and culture. In addition to the magazine and the flagship digital property, the company also operates an urban focused site,, Atlantic Live, the company’s events arm, The Atlantic’s marketing team, Atlantic Re:think, and creative agency, Atlantic Media Strategies. The Atlantic was named the 2016 National Magazine of the Year. The Atlantic is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year. The president of The Atlantic is Bob Cohn.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies:
Bloomberg Philanthropies works in over 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2016, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $600 million. For more information, please visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.