CityLab DC Rallies Global Mayors, Musicians, Artists, and Business Leaders October 27-29 To Explore Cities’ Influence, Footprint, and Potential

September 18, 2019

Featuring: Foo Fighters Frontman Dave Grohl on how music shapes a city; San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz Soto on protests as civic engagement; and living through gentrification with “Last Black Man in San Francisco” actor Jimmie Fails. Dozens of U.S. mayors join international counterparts from Santiago, Chile; Prague, Czech Republic; Helsinki, Finland; Trenggalek, Indonesia; and other cities

Media Contacts
Anna Bross, Hugo Rojo
The Atlantic

Rebecca Carriero
Bloomberg Philanthropies

Jon Purves
The Aspen Institute

September 18, 2019CityLab, the preeminent global cities summit organized by the Aspen Institute, The Atlantic, and Bloomberg Philanthropies, is announcing the first roster of speakers for its 7th annual summit, happening in October at The Wharf in Washington, D.C. More than 45 mayors representing cities around the world are already confirmed to attend CityLab, along with leading city innovators, business leaders, urban experts, artists, and activists. Prior summits have been held in New York, Los Angeles, London, Miami, Paris, and Detroit. 

This year, CityLab will explore a central question: In a time of discourse and opportunity around the world, who has the power to improve cities and unlock new solutions to urban challenges? Programming will draw from the nation’s capital as a symbol of democracy and political power, a city steeped in rich history, culture and diversity, and whose influence extends far beyond its geographic borders. 

CityLab DC will be held at the InterContinental Hotel Washington, D.C. at The Wharf (801 Wharf Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024) from October 27-29, with additional field trips and events throughout the city.

Press registration is now open: To request a credential or explore coverage opportunities, please contact The Atlantic’s Anna Bross and Hugo Rojo at Confirmed speakers and presenters include:

  • Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, and three-term mayor of New York City
  • Rohit Aggarwala, Head of Urban Systems, Sidewalk Labs
  • Muriel Bowser, Mayor, Washington, DC
  • Gary Brantley, Chief Information Officer, City of Atlanta
  • Kimberly Brown, Chief Program Officer, DC Central Kitchen
  • Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick, Associate Professor of Social Movements and Human Rights, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, University of San Diego
  • Ebony Edwards, Principal & CEO, Neighborbuilt/Movement KC
  • Jimmie Fails, Lead Actor, The Last Black Man in San Francisco
  • Kate Fillin-Yeh, Director of Strategy, National Association of City Transportation Officials
  • Dave Grohl, Musician and Filmmaker
  • Monty Hoffman, Founder & CEO, PN Hoffman/Developer of the Wharf
  • Natalie Hopkinson, Professor and Author, Howard University; Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City
  • Scott Kratz, Vice President, Building Bridges Across the River
  • Terri Ann Lowenthal, Census Expert
  • Eric Liu, Founder and Executive Director, Citizen University; Citizenship and American Identity Program, The Aspen Institute
  • Carolyn Muraskin, Owner and Tour Guide, DC Design Tours
  • Kwame Onwuachi, Chef and Author, Kith & Kin; Notes From a Young Black Chef: A Memoir
  • Ai-jen Poo, Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance
  • Dan Porterfield, President and CEO, The Aspen Institute
  • Seleta Reynolds, General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Transportation; Open Mobility Foundation
  • Frank Sirius, Band Leader, Chuck Brown Band
  • Anne Stuhldreher, Director, Financial Justice, City and County of San Francisco
  • Almis Udrys, Deputy Chief of Staff – Innovation and Policy, Office of Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer  
  • Jose Antonio Vargas, Founder, Define American
  • Maria Vassilakou, Former Deputy Mayor of Vienna, City of Vienna
  • Erica Walker, Founder and Principal Investigator, Noise and the City and Community Noise Lab
  • Tommy Wells, Director, Department of Energy and Environment, Washington, DC
  • Heather Worthington, Director, Long Range Planning, Community Planning and Economic Development, City of Minneapolis
  • Carmen Yulin Cruz Soto, Mayor, City of San Juan, Puerto Rico

Across the summit, individual sessions will explore topics like creative housing solutions; technology and surveillance in cities; micro-mobility; the role of protests as civic engagement; the shape of the urban shadow economy; and how everyone from mayors to informal leaders can work to build stronger city communities.

CityLab was founded on the principle that the most important innovation is happening at the local level and that global impact can be achieved when cities share solutions. Over the last six years, CityLab summits have crisscrossed the globe, gathering the most influential mayors and voices from over 400 cities. Each summit has made global headlines, and generated tangible takeaways for attendees.


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