CityLab

A partnership between Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic, CityLab is the preeminent meeting of city leaders and the top minds in urbanism and city planning, economics, education, art, architecture, public sector innovation, community development, and business — convened with the goal of creating scalable solutions to major challenges faced by cities everywhere.

Past CityLabs have been hosted in New York, Los Angeles, London, Miami, Paris, and Detroit.

Every year, CityLab covers the most pressing challenges that cities face around the world.  In 2018, topics included investing in broadly shared opportunity; strengthening education; rethinking the social contract; transportation and urban mobility; and how the arts can bolster economic growth.


Members of the Detroit Youth Choir performing a Motown Medley to open the sixth CityLab summit in Detroit, October 2018.

CityLab Detroit attendees heard from Mike Bloomberg and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan; The Atlantic’s James Fallows and Deborah Fallows on their journey into the “heart of America”; Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs on his city’s experiment with a universal basic income; Republic of Estonia President Kersti Kaljulaid in conversation with Government Innovation Head James Anderson, discussing digital governance; former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu in conversation with The Atlantic’s Editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg on building social cohesion amidst our fractured politics; Production Designer Hannah Beachler in conversation with The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson on how she designs cinematic worlds for films, including Black Panther and Fruitvale Station; Ford Foundation President Darren Walker in conversation with Performance Artist and Publisher jessica Care Moore about the power of the arts; Aspen Institute President and CEO Dan Porterfield in conversation with University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce, University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel, and Spelman College President Mary Schmidt Campbell on “seeing talent in every zip code”; John S. and James L. Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüen in conversation with Center for Urban Innovation Director Jennifer Bradley on how technology is changing citizenship; and New York Times columnist and author David Brooks on how we can make more intimate and emotional connections.

CityLab is part of the American Cities Initiative, a suite of investments that empower cities to generate innovation and advance policy that moves the nation forward.