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29 July 2011

The Just City: A Ford Forum on Metropolitan Opportunity

Marking its 75th anniversary, the Ford Foundation gathered some of the most creative minds in metropolitan development on July 14. Civic leaders and policymakers, urban designers and entrepreneurs explored how fairness, opportunity and equity could serve as the defining features of a new era of urbanization.

  • The Just City Highlights Highlights from The Just City From green pioneer Van Jones to Jean Quan, mayor of Oakland, Calif., watch what made this 75th anniversary forum on metropolitan opportunity such a groundbreaking day at the foundation. (03:54)
  • The Just City Welcome A video opening the second 75th anniversary forum explores how to create a new geography of opportunity. (01:48)
  • Opening Remarks Opening Remarks Featuring the welcome video followed by remarks by Luis Ubiñas, president of the foundation, and Pablo Farías, vice president of our Economic Opportunity and Assets program. (11:47)
  • A New Vision of Metropolitan Opportunity A New Vision of Metropolitan Opportunity Featuring moderator Angela Glover Blackwell, founder and CEO of PolicyLink; Alejandro Echeverri, architect and director of Center for Urban and Environmental Studies; Kasim Reed, mayor of Atlanta; Robin Willner, vice president of IBM's Global Community Initiatives; and Bruce Katz, vice president of Brookings Institution. (58:02)
  • Breaking Down the Barriers Breaking Down the Barriers Featuring moderator Andrea Bernstein, director of Transportation Nation; Manuel Pastor Jr., professor at the University of Southern California; MarySue Barrett, president of Metropolitan Planning Council; Governor of Colorado John Hickenlooper; and Ben Hecht, president and CEO of Living Cities. (01:00:36)
  • Teddy Cruz Reimagining Urban Design A video of Teddy Cruz, Ford Foundation Visionaries Award recipient and architect, telling the story of his work to transform the poor and overlooked neighborhoods of the Tijuana-San Diego border region. (03:29)
  • Making the Invisible Visible Making the Invisible Visible Featuring Ken Snyder, CEO of PlaceMatters, and a presentation on an interactive project developed by Open Street Map. (08:11)
  • Teddy Cruz 25 Years of Change in Cities A video to close “Making the Invisible Visible,” session on the evolution of the City and what the future holds. (Produced by Penn State Public Broadcasting, 02:35)
  • Urban Leadership on the Global Stage Urban Leadership on the Global Stage A lunchtime discussion featuring moderator James Traub, contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine; Joan Clos i Matheu, executive director of UN-HABITAT; and Shaun Donovan, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. (59:42)
  • Sarah Jones Special Live Performance: Sarah Jones Tony- and Obie-Award-winning playwright and performer relects on some of the key issues raised at The Just City forum through five acclaimed characters that appear in her multi-character solo shows. (42:31)
  • Getting Concrete: Urban Innovations That Work Getting Concrete: Urban Innovations That Work Featuring moderator Carol Coletta, director of ArtPlace; john powell, executive director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity; Ellen Dunham-Jones, architect and professor, Georgia Institute of Technology; Van Jones, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress; Madeline Janis, co-founder and executive director of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy; and Daniel T. Kildee, co-founder and president, Center for Community Progress. (01:05:37)
  • A Just City Upon a Hill A Just City Upon a Hill Featuring moderator E.J. Dionne Jr., columnist for The Washington Post; Isabel Wilkerson, journalist and author; Jean Quan, mayor of Oakland, Calif.; Christine Todd Whitman, president of The Whitman Strategy Group; and the Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick. (59:57)
  • Isabel Wilkerson Isabel Wilkerson on Her Vision of a "Just City" The Pulitzer-Prize winning author and former bureau chief and national correspondent for The New York Times talks about how equity, collaboration, and intimacy can come with an urban landscape. (00:45)
  • Mayor Jean Quan Mayor Jean Quan on the City of Oakland Quan shares her vision of Oakland as a “city of dreams for everyone.” (00:16)
  • Solomon Greene Solomon Greene on Urban Development Today The senior program officer at the Open Society Foundations considers the remarks of Bruce Katz, a panelist on “A New Vision of Metropolitan Opportunity.” (00:54)
  • Mayor Jean Quan Keith Magee Describes His Ideal City The executive director of the National Public Housing Museum reflects what an ideal city looks like, one that is all inclusive and ensures all voices are heard—the poor, working, middle and wealthy classes. (00:49)
  • Mayor Jean Quan Andrea Levere on Collaboration The president of the Corporation for Enterprise Development considers how collaboration can help develop new models that improve the economy and play a critical role in bringing local, state and federal players together to work more effectively. (00:30)

Live Blog


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About the Event

Session One: A New Vision of Metropolitan Opportunity

Cities have long been engines of opportunity, creativity and vitality. In today’s increasingly global and rapidly urbanizing economy, how do metropolitan regions continue to fulfill this promise? How can they connect all citizens to opportunity while ensuring economic growth? What is the new urban vision—and how can we break through old assumptions to make it a reality?

Portrait Name Title and Address
Angela Glover Blackwell Angela Glover Blackwell (Moderator) Founder and CEO
Alejandro Echeverri Alejandro Echeverri Architect and Director
Center for Urban and Environmental Studies
Bruce Katz Bruce Katz Vice President
Brookings Institution
Kasim Reed Kasim Reed Mayor of Atlanta
Robin Willner Robin Willner Vice President
Global Community Initiatives

Video: Reimagining Urban Design

Internationally renowned for his urban research on the Tijuana-San Diego border, Teddy Cruz is an architect with a humane vision for metropolitan areas across America. In this video, the Ford Foundation Visionaries Award-winner discusses how he’s breaking down physical and cultural barriers, and reimagining urban design.

Portrait Name Title and Address
Teddy Cruz Teddy Cruz Architect and Founder
Center for Urban Ecologies

Session Two: Breaking Down the Barriers

Metropolitan economies define a nation’s competitiveness. Yet metropolitan cooperation—reaching across local borders to to plan for future growth, invest in infrastructure and manage costs—remains a challenge. Recent innovations may bring us to a turning point: New advances in technology, policy, finance and organizing offer unprecedented opportunities for civic leaders to work together to transform metropolitan areas. How can leaders embrace these tools to build safe, equitable and prosperous metropolitan regions?

Portrait Name Title and Address
Andrea Bernstein Andrea Bernstein (Moderator) Director
Transportation Nation
MarySue Barrett MarySue Barrett President
Metropolitan Planning Council
Ben Hecht Ben Hecht President and CEO
Living Cities
John Hickenlooper John Hickenlooper Governor of Colorado
Manuel Pastor Jr. Manuel Pastor Jr. Professor
University of Southern California

Presentation: Making the Invisible Visible

In Kibera—a large slum in Nairobi, Kenya—a group of young people have used the Open Street Map platform to create a digital map of their community that will help them plan for and implement upgrades to their informal settlement. Ken Snyder, of PlaceMatters, will introduce Open Street Map's unique mapping project and talk about how such interactive tools like this one can help improve civic engagement.

Portrait Name Title and Address
Ken Snyder Ken Snyder CEO and President

Lunchtime Discussion: Urban Leadership on the Global Stage

How can leaders at all levels of government step up to meet the challenges of an increasingly urbanized world? What new avenues exist for international cooperation, and how can the world’s great cities achieve success together? What should leaders be thinking about today to anticipate the demands of tomorrow?

Portrait Name Title and Address
James Traub James Traub (Moderator) Contributing Writer
The New York Times Magazine
Shaun Donovan Shaun Donovan Secretary
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Dr. Joan Clos i Matheu Joan Clos i Matheu Executive Director

Live Performance: Sarah Jones

In this performance, Tony Award-winning playwright and performer Sarah Jones reflects on the themes of the day. Jones is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and performs internationally as a spokesperson on violence against children. Her multi-character, one-person show “Bridge & Tunnel” was originally produced by Meryl Streep and became a critically acclaimed hit on Broadway.

Portrait Name Title and Address
Sarah Jones Sarah Jones Playwright and Performer

Session Three: Getting Concrete: Urban Innovations

Real solutions already exist. A series of exciting new efforts demonstrate how metropolitan areas can expand access to opportunity while advancing global competitiveness. See how experts and entrepreneurial leaders from a variety of fields are working together to create prosperous, equitable and sustainable metropolitan regions.

Portrait Name Title and Address
Carol Coletta Carol Coletta (Moderator) Director
Ellen Dunham Jones Ellen Dunham-Jones Architect and Professor
Georgia Institute of Technology
Madeline Janis-Aparicio Madeline Janis Co-Founder and Executive Director
Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy
Van Jones Van Jones Senior Fellow
Center for American Progress
Dan T. Kildee Daniel T. Kildee Co-founder and President
Center for Community Progress
john powell john powell Executive Director
Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity

Session Four: A Just City Upon a Hill

History shows us that cities have faced and met great challenges in the past. Now it’s our turn to imagine what is possible for the metropolitan region of our future. Twenty-five years from now, what will the urban landscape look like, and how will cities function?

Portrait Name Title and Address
EJ Dionne Jr. E.J. Dionne Jr. (Moderator) Columnist
The Washington Post
Deval Patrick Deval Patrick Governor of Massachusetts
Jean Quan Jean Quan Mayor of Oakland, Calif.
Christine Todd Whitman Christine Todd Whitman President
The Whitman Strategy Group
Isabel Wilkerson Isabel Wilkerson Journalist and Author

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