CityLab Detroit: Global Cities Summit to be Held in Detroit Next Week

October 23, 2018

Speakers Include: Mayors of Athens, Greece, Baltimore, Birmingham, Detroit, Seattle, and St. Paul; Mary Barra of General Motors, Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans, and Darren Walker of the Ford Foundation; and Experts on Mobility and Accessibility, Justice, Infrastructure, Art, and Design

October 23, 2018—Next week CityLab Detroit, the preeminent global cities summit organized by the Aspen InstituteThe Atlantic, and Bloomberg Philanthropies to address the most urgent urban issues, will be held in Detroit from October 28-30. This is the first time the sixth annual event will take place in a heartland city—prior summits were hosted by Paris, Miami, London, Los Angeles, and New York—and will draw inspiration from the people and issues unique to the region.

Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City from 2002-2013 and founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies, will announce the winners of the U.S. Mayors Challenge during the opening remarks at this year’s event. The Mayors Challenge is a yearlong competition that challenged city leaders to uncover and test bold, inventive ideas to confront the toughest problems faced by cities. The winning cities will receive support to begin implementation on potentially breakthrough solutions to homelessness, the opioid crisis, mobility, climate change, and economic opportunity.

Limited media credentials are available for CityLab, and must be arranged in advance. Full details and a schedule are available. For more information, please contact Anna Bross (

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. CityLab Detroit will be attended by dozens of mayors from the U.S. and cities around the world, along with the leading city innovators, business leaders, urban experts, artists, and activists. Featured speakers and sessions include:

  • Mary Barra, CEO & Chairman of General Motors, interviewed by David Bradley, Chairman of Atlantic Media.
  • Hannah Beachler, production designer of films like Black Panther and Moonlight, on telling the story of a city in film.
  • Remarks from Michael R. Bloomberg, three-term mayor of New York City, entrepreneur and philanthropist.
  • Mayors Mike Duggan of DetroitJenny Durkan of Seattle; and Melvin Carter of St. Paul, on what cities are doing to build inclusive economies.
  • A look at the global techno movement born in Detroit, and the inspiration a musician can draw from a city, with producer and recording artist Kevin Saunderson.
  • A conversation on how universities can work together to create equal access to higher education, with Ana Mari Cauce of the University of Washington, Mark Schlissel of the University of Michigan, and Mary Schmidt Campbell of Spelman College.
  • President Kersti Kaljulaid of the Republic of Estonia, which is the most digital government in the world.
  • Maurice Cox, director of Planning & Development Department for the city of Detroit, on reinventing a city.
  • A session on how cities are making space for mobility, with former CEO of Zipcar Robin Chase and Scott Kubly, chief programs officer at Limebike.

CityLab Detroit will take place at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. CityLab attendees will also tour a number of sites in Detroit, including Eastern Market, the Real-Time Crime Center, The Tiny Homes Neighborhood and the Empowerment Plan, art installation Mirage Detroit, and Michigan Central Station.


Media Relations Contacts:
Anna Bross
The Atlantic


Courtney Greenwald
Bloomberg Philanthropies

Jon Purves
The Aspen Institute



  • What: CityLab Detroit: 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.

  • Where: Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, 400 Renaissance Drive

  • When: October 28-30, 2018

Social Media: Follow along on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook with #CityLab2018, @AtlanticLIVE and @AspenInstitute, @BloombergDotOrg


Mayors Attending:

  • Domestic: Birmingham, Alabama; Anchorage, Alaska; Long Beach, California; San Jose, California; Stockton, California; Hartford, Connecticut; Fort Collins, Colorado; Atlanta, Georgia; Gary, Indiana; South Bend, Indiana; Baltimore, Maryland; Detroit, Michigan; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Lansing, Michigan; Minneapolis, Minnesota; New Rochelle, New York; St. Paul, Minnesota; St. Louis, Missouri; Henderson, Nevada; Camden, New Jersey; Paterson, New Jersey; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Charlotte, North Carolina; Durham, North Carolina; Akron, Ohio; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Memphis, Tennessee; Georgetown, Texas; Tacoma, Washington; Seattle, Washington; Huntington, West Virginia; Cheyenne, Wyoming.

  • International: Santiago, Chile; Athens, Greece; Palermo, Italy; Braga, Portugal; Sintra, Portugal; Utrecht, Netherlands.
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