Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Aspen Institute Announce Bloomberg CityLab 2022 in Amsterdam, October 9 – October 11

June 23, 2022

As cities continue to lead through pandemic recovery, global conflict, and climate change, CityLab will convene mayors, urban innovators, business leaders, cultural experts, and more to explore scalable solutions; members of the media invited to register to attend

Contact: Jon Purves
Associate Director, Media Relations
The Aspen Institute
[email protected]

New York, NY and Amsterdam, June 23, 2022 – Bloomberg CityLab, the preeminent global cities summit organized by Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with the Aspen Institute, will take place in Amsterdam October 9 to October 11, 2022. Cities are on the frontlines of today’s major crises – from leading their communities through pandemic recovery to welcoming refugees from global conflicts to combatting climate change – and Bloomberg CityLab 2022 will bring together mayors from around the world alongside prominent city innovators, business leaders, urban experts, artists, and activists to discuss and discover replicable solutions to these pressing issues. In addition, CityLab will spotlight the role mayors play in creating space for the arts to flourish and using new technologies like the metaverse to benefit residents. The event will be hosted in-person, after being postponed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and moving to a virtual event in 2021.

Bloomberg CityLab 2022 will take place in a historic European capital city which, like many cities around the globe, has seen daily life profoundly impacted by the pandemic but has still found ways to adapt to these new challenges. Programming at CityLab 2022 will showcase innovations unique to Europe, and explore the shared hurdles and possibilities faced by cities and towns around the world as they look towards recovery and create opportunities for people and communities to thrive.

Among the featured speakers this year are Michael R. Bloomberg, three-term mayor of New York City, Founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies; Salla Eckhardt, Director of Digital Building Lifecycle and Innovation, Microsoft; Justin Elszasz, Chief Digital Officer, City of Baltimore; Xiaoqi Feng Associate Professor and expert in Urban Health and Environment at the School of Population Health, University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney), Australia; Kadir Van Lohuizen, photojournalist best known for his work covering conflicts in Africa, the diamond industry and migration in the Americas; Melissa Martin, Chef, Mosquito Supper Club; Kara Swisher The New York Times journalist and podcast host; and Amir Nazir Zuabi, Artistic Director of Good Chance Theater. Many additional speakers will be announced and posted on the event website in the weeks to come.

​​“Cities are facing extraordinary pressures on a wide variety of issues – like climate change, public health, and economic stagnation – but they aren’t facing them alone,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, 108th mayor of New York City and founder of Bloomberg L.P and Bloomberg Philanthropies. “CityLab is the conference where local leaders can come together to collaborate and exchange ideas on how to actually get things done. This year’s conference will offer timely and thought-provoking conversations that will empower leaders to make a difference in their communities back home.”

“Amsterdam is quickly becoming a hub for technology companies, immigrants from around the world, and a city where many decide to live and work because of our thriving cultural offerings and quality of life,” said Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema, who will participate in conversations throughout the summit. “We are proud to be the host of this prestigious and vital convening, gathering some of the world’s most responsive and innovative leaders facing challenges that we are all facing on the front lines of government service.”

Programming will include panel discussions, one-on-one interviews, interactive breakout sessions, artistic performances, and excursions to unique destinations across Amsterdam. Topics will address critical issues facing cities today, including  governing with uncertainty brought on by the pandemic; why cities are racing to become crypto-hubs; digital safety and equity; how we help our communities process painful histories; the urgent need to rethink city infrastructure and buildings in order to adapt to climate change and flooding; how cities can respond to global issues like migration and war; and the importance of green space to tackle loneliness.

“CityLab is an indispensable international forum where urban leaders and innovators can share their expertise and passion for developing thriving, sustainable cities,” said Dan Porterfield, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute. “As a historic yet forward-looking world city navigating challenges and opportunities shared by urban areas around the world, Amsterdam is the ideal host for our 2022 event. The Aspen Institute looks forward to working with our partner, Bloomberg Philanthropies, to bring leaders together to discuss critical issues ranging from the climate crisis to economic resilience, and more.”

Among those confirmed attending are the mayors (or officials of equivalent position) of Athens, Greece;  Bristol, Riga, Chefchaouen, Morocco; Coimbra, Portugal; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Dublin, Ireland; Freetown, South Africa, Gdańsk, Poland;  Helsingborg, Sweden;  Helsinki, Finland;  Latvia; Bratislava,  Reykjavik, Iceland; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Skopje, North Macedonia; Slovakia; Tallinn, Estonia; Tirana, Albania; and from the United States San Francisco, California; and Cincinnati, Ohio.

The power of co-creation with all these different actors will help enormously in finding sustainable and inclusive solutions for fast-growing cities,” said Geerte Udo, CEO of amsterdam&partners. “We feel honored to host CityLab2022 in Amsterdam, where we have a tradition of free thinkers and where the combination of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship provides an ideal breeding ground for visionary thinking and achievable solutions.”

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. For nearly a decade, CityLab summits have crisscrossed the globe, gathering the most influential mayors and voices from hundreds of cities. Summits have made global headlines, and generated tangible takeaways for attendees. Past CityLab conferences have been hosted in New York, Los Angeles, London, Miami, Paris, Detroit, and Washington D.C.

Limited media credentials are available for CityLab 2022 and must be arranged in advance. For more information on credentialing, please contact Jon Purves: [email protected].

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About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 941 cities and 173 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: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2021, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.66 billion. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.

About the Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.

Media Contacts

Jon Purves, Aspen Institute [email protected] 

Courtney Greenwald, Bloomberg Philanthropies [email protected]

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