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CityLab lands in Detroit this fall

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October 28-30

Photo by Michelle & Chris Gerard

What are some takeaways other cities can learn from Detroit, as it continues to rebuild after decades of decline and the 2013 bankruptcy? CityLab—a global summit organized by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Aspen Institute, and the Atlantic—will bring urbanists, mayors, activists, and city innovators to Detroit October 28-30.

The summit is centered around the theme of opportunity, and many of the talks will focus on transportation, public health, housing, and economic mobility. The summit—held at the Westin Book Cadillac—will also include site visits around the city.

While Detroit’s downtown and the areas immediately surrounding it have seen increased investment and development in the last five years, many neighborhoods are still struggling to rebuild. Detroit has a 39.4 percent poverty rate, and transportation issues—including a lack of regional transit and sky high car insurance rates—continue to plague the city.

According to a press release, “Individual sessions intend to explore such topics as how technology and design can variously enable or inhibit personal freedom; whether universal basic income could work in cities; what cities are doing to combat the opioid crisis; and how everyone from mayors to informal leaders can work to build stronger city communities.”

Specific speakers and programming will be announced soon. The Detroit Free Press notes that this will be an invitation-only event, but much of it will be livestreamed.

“We are grateful to The Atlantic, the Aspen Institute, and Bloomberg Philanthropies for bringing this year’s CityLab to Detroit,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “This is truly an exciting time in our city, with so many visible signs of progress and of work yet to be done. Many of the topics that will be discussed, such as housing, transportation and opportunity, are the same issues we are working on every day. We look forward to listening and sharing our experiences.”

Previous summits have been held in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Paris, and London, with participants from over 400 cities represented.