New York City Mayoral Candidates Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota Join the Closing Session of the CityLab Summit, October 8 in New York City

October 3, 2013

New York City Mayoral Candidates Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota Join the
Closing Session of the CityLab Summit, October 8 in New York City 

Washington, D.C., and New York, N.Y. (October 3, 2013)—On Tuesday, October 8, 2013, New York City mayoral candidates Bill de Blasio (D) and Joe Lhota (R) will join the closing session of “CityLab: Urban Solutions to Global Challenges,” a two-day summit presented by the Aspen Institute, The Atlantic, and Bloomberg Philanthropies in New York City. The candidates will each address audience members Tuesday afternoon, followed by individual interviews with Aspen Institute CEOWalter Isaacson. New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will also make remarks. 

The Conrad Hotel’s Gallery Ballroom
102 North End Avenue
New York, NY 10281
(Also, live streamed at

Tuesday, October 8, 2013
1:00 – 2:30 pm, ET (press registration opens at 7:30 am for CityLab’s earlier sessions)

To request press credentials, or for more information about the event, please contact The Atlantic’s Alexi New ( Upon check-in, members of the media must present a valid ID from their news organization.

Additional details and the full program agenda follow.

As previously announced, the CityLab summit will bring together 300 global city leaders—more than 25 mayors, plus urban theorists, city planners, scholars, architects, and artists—for a series of conversations about urban ideas that are shaping the world’s metro centers. As previously announced, the summit will feature conversations on economic development; the environment and sustainability; cultural investment; big data; and the intersection of public safety, privacy, and technology; as well as smaller breakout sessions exploring topics like redevelopment, urban infrastructure, transportation, urban expansion, and the creation of the next tech city. 

Over the course of two days, programming will feature conversations with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City Department of City Planning Director Amanda Burden, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, urban-studies expert and Atlantic senior editor Richard Florida, Centers for Disease Control Director Tom Frieden, artist Theaster Gates, former Vice President Al Gore, Cornell Tech Campus Dean Daniel Huttenlocher, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein, former chairman of the National Endowment of the ArtsRocco Landesman, former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Jane Holl Lute, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, Santa Monica Mayor Pam O’Connor,New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, and former FEMA Director James Lee Witt, among other top urban leaders.


Monday, October 7
The Conrad Hotel (102 North End Avenue, New York, NY)
7:30 am 
Press registration and breakfast

9:15 – 9:40 am
Welcome remarks by David Bradley, chairman of Atlantic Media, and Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, followed by an opening address by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York City

9:40 – 10:30 am 
Plenary Session—Engines of Prosperity:  Urban Success Stories of Economic Development
As the national economy continues its sluggish recovery and states struggle with crippling financial problems, cities and the metropolitan areas that surround them are leading the way on economic development, becoming the best incubators for innovation, job creation, and sustainable growth. How can cities focus on their specific strengths to spur economic progress? 

Carol Coletta, Vice President, Communities and National Initiatives, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Mayor Karl Dean, City of Nashville
Bruce Katz, Vice President and Director, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institution
Bob Steel, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, City of New York
Richard Florida, Editor-at-Large, The Atlantic Cities (moderator)

Breakouts Sessions Running Concurrently
(Members of the media: Space is limited in breakout sessions. To register for one of the below, please email Alexi New at 

10:45 – 11:35 am
CityStudio: Making Innovation Routine at City Hall
Cities are doing more with less, amid budget shortfalls and stagnant economies, while facing escalating citizen needs. Governments around the world are beginning to put formal structures in place to drive innovation. What value do these structures bring to mayors and city practitioners? How can interested cities replicate success?

Katie Appel Duda, Government Innovation, Bloomberg Philanthropies
Philip Colligan, Executive Director, NESTA Innovation Lab
Paras Desai, Director, Chicago Innovation Delivery Team
Chris Osgood, Co-Founder and Co-Chair, Office of New Urban Mechanics, City of Boston

10:45 – 11:35 am
City 2.0:  Creating the Next Tech Cities
What magical mix of incentives can be used by cities to lure high-tech businesses and drive innovation? Why is a thriving technology and start-up community so important to city success? How does technology impact how we interact with our cities?

Dr. Daniel Huttenlocher, Dean, Cornell Tech Campus
Rob Kitchin, Director of the National Institute of Regional and Spatial Analysis, National University of Ireland
Caterina Fake, Founder, Findery; Co-Founder, Flickr and Hunch
Steve Clemons, Washington Editor-at-Large, The Atlantic (moderator)

10:45 – 11:35 am
Smoke Out: How Cities Can Lead the Charge Against Tobacco
In the early 2000’s, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his then-health commissioner Tom Frieden implemented the most restrictive anti-smoking policies the world had seen, yielding striking results and creating a model for other cities working to combat tobacco use. What’s changed since then in the fight against smoking?

Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City Health Commissioner
Paula Johns, Executive Director & Co-Founder, Alliance for the Control of Tobacco Use
Matthew Myers, 
President, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
Moderator to be announced
Corby Kummer, Senior Editor, The Atlantic (moderator)

10:45 – 11:35 am
Urban Expansion
Urban growth has eclipsed suburban growth for the first time, and with that comes the need for close attention to changing demographics. Experts from cities with diverse needs will discuss innovative housing and expansion solutions.

Amanda Burden, Director, New York City, Department of City Planning
Paul Romer, Director, the Urbanization Project, NYU Stern School of Business
Fran Tonkiss, Director, Cities Program, London School of Economics
Richard Dobbs, Director, McKinsey & Company (moderator)

Breakout Sessions Running Concurrently
(Members of the media: Space is limited in breakout sessions. To register for one of the below, please email Alexi New at 

11:50 am – 12:40 pm
CityStudio: What’s New in Evidence-Based Government?
City leaders face tremendous pressure to make every dollar count, and it’s more important than ever to use data and evaluation to drive better decision making and focus funding on programs that work. What are the most exciting initiatives underway to build an evidence-based government?

David Edinger, Chief Performance Officer, City and County of Denver
Linda Gibbs, Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services, City of New York
Samuel Nguyen, Senior Economist, Behavioural Insights Team, U.K. Cabinet Office
Matt Segneri, Government Innovative Team, Bloomberg Philanthropies

11:50 am – 12:40 pm
Is Redevelopment Good for Everyone?
All too often small businesses and low-income residents are left behind as redeveloped urban neighborhoods come “back to life” with high-end retail and pricey housing. How can policymakers and private sector leaders ensure that future redevelopment projects serve the full spectrum of urban residents?

Judith Bell, President, PolicyLink
Kyle Kimball, Incoming President, New York City Economic Development Corporation
Jodie McLean, 
President and Chief Investment Officer, EDENS
Jonathan Rose, President, Rose Companies
Ben Hecht, President and CEO, Living Cities (moderator)

11:50 am – 12:40 pm
Supporting Future Growth: Urban Infrastructure Uncovered
As climate change, population growth, and the forces of globalization continue to shape urban life, what does the infrastructure of the future need to look like?  Whether it’s moving millions of people safely to work each morning, or keeping the lights on via a secure and efficient grid, how can cities best address their looming infrastructure challenges in an era of rising seas and crumbling bridges?  

Sir Edward Lister, Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for Planning, City of London
Swati Ramanathan, Co-Founder, Janaahraha
Jonathan Woetzel, Director, Infrastructure Practice, McKinsey & Company
Moderator to be announced
Rob Puentes, Senior Fellow, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program (moderator)

11:50 am – 12:40 pm
Thinking Small: Tiny Design Solutions for the Big City
As city populations balloon, urban spaces become more congested, polluted, and expensive. Increasingly, innovative designers are taking a downsized approach to cars, housing, and even agriculture in their quests for a sustainable, affordable future. From micro-apartments to rooftop farms, these forward thinking urbanists are looking to get the most efficient use out of every city block, open space, and parking spot, proving that sometimes the ‘next big thing’ is actually tiny.

Mayor Tom Barrett, City of Milwaukee
Eric Bunge, Principal, nARCHITECTS
Steve Girsky, Vice Chairman, Corporate Strategy, Business Development and Global Product Planning, GM
Emily Badger, Staff Writer, The Atlantic Cities (moderator)

12:40 – 1:30 pm

Breakouts Sessions Running Concurrently
(Members of the media: Space is limited in breakout sessions. To register for one of the below, please email Alexi New at 

1:40 – 2:30 pm
CityStudio: Jump-Starting the Venture Environment
The world of venture investing is nimble, opportunistic, bold, and future-oriented. Increasingly, cities are tapping a range of tactics to create conditions for new ideas to emerge and take hold. What successful techniques are being employed and how can they help your city?

Story Bellows, Co-Director, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, City of Philadelphia
Tom Freedman, President of Freedman Consulting, LLC
Clare Newman, Government Innovation Team, Bloomberg Philanthropies
Euan Robertson, President and COO of MaRS Discovery District

1:40 – 2:30 pm
Getting There: Today’s Smartest Investments in Tomorrow’s Transportation Solutions
In an environment of limited—and ever shrinking—city and federal budgets, and a changing climate that demands smarter energy sources, what are the smartest investments cities can make in how their residents, workforces, and visitors move? 
Gabe Klein, Commissioner of Transportation, City of Chicago
Mayor Pam O’Connor, City of Santa Monica
Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner of Transportation, City of New York 
Ronald Brownstein, Editorial Director, Atlantic Media (moderator)

1:40 – 2:30 pm
Advance Notice: Disaster Preparedness
City leaders must remain constantly vigilant against disasters, both natural and man-made. How are city leaders equipping law enforcement, transit systems, infrastructure experts, and environmental officials to prepare for the sometimes unpredictable? 

Mayor Michael Hancock, City of Denver
Caswell Holloway, Deputy Mayor for Operations, City of New York
James Lee Witt, Former Director, FEMA
David Monsma, Executive Director, the Aspen Institute’s Energy and Environment Program (moderator)

1:40 – 2:30 pm
Town/Gown Partnerships: Universities, Innovation and Cities
In the popular imagination, town-gown relationships are often characterized by the tensions that can arise between institutions of higher learning and the communities that surround them. But increasingly, colleges and cities, finding their fortunes inextricably linked, are partnering to achieve big goals and solve complex problems. How are these traditionally separate entities uniting to attract talent, federal funding, and new business?

John Fry, President, Drexel University
Esther Fuchs, Professor of International Affairs and Political Science, Columbia University
Mayor Stephanie Miner, City of Syracuse
Eduardo Padron, President, Miami-Dade College
Jennifer Bradley, Fellow, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program (moderator)

1:40 – 2:30 pm
Urban Disruption: Technologies Turning Urban Industries On Their Heads
When funding and resources are scarce to solve an urban problem, entrepreneurs are often willing to try to solve it. In this session, presenters will discuss how city officials can best collaborate with innovators. The session will also look at examples of cross-sector partnerships, after which city officials everywhere might be able to model new programs.

Ben Berkowitz, Founder, SeeClickFix
Sascha Haselmayer, Fellow, Economic Development, Ashoka
Luther Lowe, Director of Public Policy, Yelp
Sommer Mathis, Editor, The Atlantic Cities (moderator)

2:30  2:45 pm 

2:45   3:35 pm  
Plenary Session—Number Cruncher: Big Data in the Big City
As collecting and synthesizing vast sets of urban data becomes easier and more affordable, mayors and city managers are focusing on innovative ways to put it to use. So-called big data serves as a common language between people who may never have spoken, inspiring collaboration, offering metrics for decision making, and turning seemingly unrelated ideas into powerful insights that can solve the most complex problems city dwellers and leaders confront.

Emer Coleman, Architect, London Datastore
Michael Flowers, Analytics Director, Office of Policy and Strategic Planning, City of New York
Anthony Townsend, Author, Smart Cities
Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive, Nesta (moderator)

3:50 pm
Conclusion of daytime programming

Monday evening programming originates from NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (566 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY)

7:00 pm
Press registration

8:00 pm
Welcome remarks by Richard Florida, Editor-at-Large, The Atlantic Cities, andWalter Isaacson, President and Chief Executive Officer, the Aspen Institute

8:15 – 9:15 pm
Plenary Session—Ecological Infrastructure: Case Studies for Urban Resilience and Sustainability
The focus on urban resilience efforts to help mitigate the effects of violent weather has come to the forefront after several unprecedented storms worldwide. Efforts are also being made to ensure that cities around the world are being built and maintained in a sustainable way. How do these initiatives converge, how do they differ, and how can cities foster solutions to larger environmental problems?

8:15-8:45 pm
Vice President Al Gore, interviewed by James Bennet, Editor in Chief, The Atlantic

Followed by Bennet’s discussion from 8:45 – 9:15 pm with:
Andrew Zolli, Author, Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back
Sergej Mahnovski, Director, New York City Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability
Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Founding Partner, Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. and Co-Founder, the Congress for the New Urbanism
Bina Venkataraman, Senior Advisor on Climate Change Innovation, Executive Office of the President

9:15 – 9:55 pm
Plenary Session—Cultural Investment: Creating a Civic Identity Through the Arts
A city’s personality is largely formed by its cultural offerings. Savvy city leaders recognize that appropriate investment in this arena can do anything from woo the best designers, to inspire innovative ways to improve education, engagement, and crime rates. How do cities and their artists influence each other, and how do these relationships, in turn, shape those urban personalities?

Theaster Gates, Artist
Dr. Kate Levin, Commissioner, Department of Cultural Affairs
Helen Marriage, Co-Director, Artichoke
Mayor Angel Taveras, City of Providence
Rocco Landesman, Former Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts (moderator)

10:00 pm
Transportation back to the Conrad Hotel

Tuesday, October 8
The Conrad Hotel (102 North End Avenue, New York, NY)
7:30 – 8:15 am
Press registration and breakfast

8:15 – 9:15 am 
Plenary Session—Public Safety, Privacy, and New Technologies
Public safety officials worldwide are taking advantage of new and relatively inexpensive policing technologies. Unmanned drones are replacing helicopters as a tool for monitoring traffic patterns, storms, and crime-ridden neighborhoods. Designated smart phones now grant police officers making a routine traffic stop immediate access to multiple databases documenting outstanding warrants and criminal activity in the area. How can cities best leverage technology to promote public safety while also addressing the concerns of civil libertarians? 

Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Commissioner, Office of Information and Privacy, Ontario, Canada
Ed Davis, Police Commissioner, City of Boston
Jane Holl Lute, CEO, Council on Cyber Security
Ray Kelly, Police Commissioner, City of New York
Franklin Zimring, Law Professor, UC Berkeley
Walter Isaacson, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Aspen Institute (moderator)

9:15 – 9:45 am
Plenary Session—Slimmer Cities: Promising Strategies for Fighting Obesity
Obesity is the leading public health threat in American cities and a burgeoning threat in many cities around the world.  This session will feature some out-front leaders who are taking innovative—and often controversial—steps to confront this ballooning public health crisis.

Greg Fischer, Mayor of Louisville
Dr. Tom Frieden, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dr. Mauricio Hernández-Avila, Director, National Institute of Public Health, Mexico 
Elliot Gerson, 
Executive Vice President of Policy and Public Programs, International Partners, The Aspen Institute (moderator)

9:45 am – 1: 00 pm
Against the backdrop of New York City, the summit will feature behind-the-scenes tours that highlight achievements in urban development, including the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Governors Island, the Real Time Crime Center, Long Island Railroad’s East Side Access project, and the Whitney Museum’s upcoming expansion on the High Line.
Return to the Conrad Hotel (102 North End Avenue, New York, NY)

1:00 – 2:15 pm
Lunch and closing session featuring New York City mayoral candidates Bill de Blasio (D) and Joe Lhota (R), and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

Hitachi and Citi are the presenting underwriters of CityLab. McKinsey & Company is the knowledge underwriter, Amazon Web Services is the supporting underwriter, and the Rockefeller Foundation is the contributing underwriter. 

For those unable to attend in person, all main stage programming, including the closing session with the mayoral candidates, daytime plenaries, and the evening session at NYU, and select breakout sessions, will be live-streamed at: Participants can also join the conversation on Twitter by using #CityLab and following @Atlantic_LIVE,@AspenInstitute, and @BloombergDotOrg

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 the national debate across print, digital, and event platforms. With the addition of its news- and opinion-tracking site,, and 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 Company. 

About the Aspen Institute
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. 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, D.C.; 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, please visit

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 2012, $370 million was distributed. For more information, please visit

Media Relations Contacts:
Natalie Raabe, The Atlantic
(202) 266-7533 

Jennifer Myers, The Aspen Institute
(202) 286-1680 cell

Meghan Womack, Bloomberg Philanthropies
(212) 205-0176

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