Diplomatic Courier’s July 9th summit on “GlobalCities +SocialGood: The Future City” brought together mayors, urban designers, policy makers, and visionaries to discuss what the future of the global city will bring. Several themes echoed through the discussions: 1)resiliency and conscious living will become ever more important to the health and survival of our cities; 2) technology will be a key tool in creating the future city, but will not and should not supplant face-to-face interaction; and3) more than ever, local leaders must thing beyond the city borders, and learn to think global, act local.
“Aristotle said, ‘Most people think that a state, in order to be happy, ought to be large. But even if they are right, they have no idea what is a large and what is a small state. For they judge the size of the city by the number of inhabitants, whereas they ought to regard not their number but their power.’ In an age of globalization, cities are increasingly becoming global cities. But the global city is not just characterized by its number of inhabitants,” Ana C. Rold, Editor-in-Chief of DiplomaticCourier, said in her opening remarks.
Reid Detchon, Vice President forEnergy and Climate at the United Nations Foundation, explaining his interest in the future of global cities, stated, “If you want to tackle the problem of energy and climate, you must think carefully about how that plays out in cities. Everything becomes more efficient in cities; they are a big part of the answer [to climate change.]”
Marek Gootman, Director of The Global Cities Initiative at The Brookings Institution, spoke on the importance of cities in economic growth, and encouraged cities to take a long-term approach to international engagement.
As the world becomes ever more globalized, cities and their leaders are playing an ever more important role in international politics and decision-making. But too many cities do not take advantage of the opportunities to think globally and act locally. With Sister Cities International, Diplomatic Courier brought together mayors from some of the most forward-thinking cities in the United States to discuss how cities can leverage international relationships.
Mayor Michael Nutter of the City of Philadelphia, Mayor Marilyn Strickland of the City of Tacoma, and Brad Cole, former Mayor of Carbondale, Illinois and Chairman Emeritus of Sister Cities International, sat down with Mary Kane, President and CEO of Sister Cities International.