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October 20, 2021, 12 pm ET

The pandemic has forever changed our cities, making our vision for them both urgent and open to new possibilities. Key players from the worlds of architecture, urban planning, design, the arts and more convene to explore what makes a city great and what is needed to achieve that. The summit explores the New York City of the future, the renewal of America’s cities and how to make them more equitable, the role of architecture in social change, new ideas for public transportation, parks and open spaces, the potential for arts as engines of renewal, the psychology of design and more.


On The Future of Cities

Frank Gehry, Alex Ross

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry explores the future of cities with the New Yorker’s Alex Ross.

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The Renewal of the American City

Anne-Marie Slaughter, Eric Liu, Ai-Jen Poo

The promise of America is inextricably tied to its cities. As our cities emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, grapple with social unrest, divided politics and more, we gather leading figures from the worlds of labor, economics, education and journalism to discuss how we all — organizations and citizens — can initiate positive change to forge a strong new collective future.

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Arts and the City

Karen Brooks Hopkins, Seth Pinsky

The arts have long played a critical role in every aspect of city life, from bringing enrichment and opening minds to invigorating public spaces and fueling economic growth. The cultural infrastructure of our cities has never been a more valuable engine of revitalization and renewal. As we emerge from the pandemic, how do we maximize the role of our museums, theaters, concert halls, galleries and other cultural sites in the cities of the future, better serve the artistic communities that drive them, and ensure that the arts are accessible to all?

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The Future of New York City

Bruce Katz, Julie Samuels, Vishaan Chakrabarti

The pandemic has changed New York City in ways once thought unimaginable. Now, as businesses rebound, Broadway reopens, restaurants serve indoors and out, and more, the city is at an inflection point of renewal. We look at the enormous opportunity that can arise from crisis, and at the imagination, fresh perspectives and bold planning being brought to the world’s most iconic city.

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Jane Jacobs’ Big Ideas

Rana Foroohar

Why the iconic urbanist’s arguments have renewed urgency in the post-pandemic metropolis.

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Cities on the Frontlines of Climate Change

Angel Hsu, Rohit Aggarwala, Kunle Adeyemi, Emily Tisch Sussman

70% of global cities — from New York to London and Quito to Cape Town — are feeling the impacts of climate change. If left unchecked, entire populations might experience the effects, already struggling services will be further stressed, and city governments could find themselves unable to protect their citizens. What is being done in our cities to fortify and guard against the growing impacts of climate change? Are there cities on the global map that others can learn from? What are the most essential steps to take right now?

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The Equitable City: A Design for Fairer Living

Ifeoma Ebo, Jose Ortiz, Jennifer Rittner

Who has a voice in shaping our cities? How do we ensure that all city residents have a say about the environments in which they live, work and pay taxes, and the basic services they rely on? Leveraging this unprecedented moment, we look at cities from the perspective of socio-economic, racial and educational equity, and explore how planners, government officials, architects and others can move us toward more fair and just cities and societies.

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Reimagining Old Design for New Use

Asad Syrkett, Deborah Berke

ELLE DECOR Editor in Chief, Asad Syrkett, in conversation with architect and educator, Deborah Berke, to explore adapting old structures for new purposes and working through the present challenges of the ever-evolving landscape of design.

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How Do Megacities Confront Their Biggest Challenge?

Eric Garcetti, Kate Hampton

When it comes to climate action, no one is doing more than cities, but no one is doing enough. We are entering a make-or-break decade for the preservation of our planet and environmental justice for every community” says Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles and chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a network of the world’s megacities committed to concrete action to combat climate change. He explores ways Los Angeles and other cities across the globe can tackle the biggest challenge our planet has ever seen, starting in our cities.

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