Bloomberg Philanthropies Kicks Off CityLab Paris Summit

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Bloomberg Philanthropies Kicks Off CityLab Paris Summit

Paris, France – October 23, 2017 – The Atlantic, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Aspen Institute began “CityLab: Urban Solutions to Global Challenges,” a two-day gathering taking place in Paris, by discussing urgent issues faced by mayors and city leaders. In panels and breakout sessions throughout the day, mayors, city innovators, academics, business leaders, and artists candidly discussed and collaborated on ideas to address the most pressing issues facing the world’s growing cities.

In his opening remarks, Michael R. Bloomberg, three-term Mayor of New York City, philanthropist and entrepreneur, said: “The more cities learn from one another, the faster they can make progress, and the brighter our future will be – and that’s what CityLab is all about. This is the fifth year for the conference – and it keeps getting bigger, and better, each year. Mayors around the world really are eager to get together, see what’s happening in other cities, and learn from one another.” 
Highlights and commentary from civic leaders include: 

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike shared the stage with former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy to speak about what it’s like to be a woman running one of the world’s largest and most efficient capitals. One day after the national election in Japan, Gov. Koike spoke about the struggle for inclusion in politics. “After this recent election, I felt again [that] there is a very strong barrier for women,” said Koike. She continued: “There is a glass ceiling, unfortunately. I passed over this glass ceiling with strength,” referring to her election as Tokyo’s first woman governor in 2016. “I would like to continue to make efforts to help women get into politics.” Read a report on the session on CityLab.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, in an emotional session on the aftermath of the terrorist attack in May and the importance of a city’s resiliency, talked about the need for preparation and unity in the face of terrorism. Interviewed by The Atlantic’s editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg, Mayor Burnham commented on the danger of extremist views across the political and social spectrum. On President Trump’s tweets after the attacks in London and Manchester, the Mayor said, “I find it worrying in this polarized time that extreme views are amplified from the oval office.” And Mayor Burnham called upon the tech industry to help foster broader and more balanced platforms that expose users to various perspectives and points of views.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo discussed urban strategies for climate action and how these can reduce inequality as well as emissions. Liverpool Mayor Steve Rotheram and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, two of six metro mayors across England, together discussed how metropolitan governance can help reduce regional inequalities that tend to lead to political tumult. 

Also at CityLab, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Aspen Institute today released the Global Atlas of Autonomous Vehicles (AV) in Cities, a comprehensive, first-of-its kind map that shows how city governments around the globe are preparing for the transition to AVs. The Atlas will be a critical resource for cities to learn from one another and share best practices.

CityLab speakers and attendees are drawn from a diverse global roster – this year representing more than 130 cities across 60 countries worldwide. Nearly 40 mayors are in attendance at CityLab Paris, representing (U.S.) Anchorage, Austin, Durham, Nashville, Tulsa, Los Angeles, Stockton; and (International) Paris, France; Helsinki, Finland; Reykjavik, Iceland; Greater Manchester, UK; Tokyo, Japan; Auckland, New Zealand; Quezon City, Philippines; Amman, Jordan; Durban, South Africa; Lusaka, Zambia, among others. 

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

All plenary programming tomorrow is being streamed live on the CityLab event website: Archived video is available upon request. Follow the conversation with #CityLabParis. 

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