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.


Watch the highlights from The Just City event.  Scroll down for more videos from the day.


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?

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

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.

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?

Andrea Bernstein (Moderator) Director, Transportation Nation
MarySue Barrett President, Metropolitan Planning Council
Ben Hecht President and CEO, Living Cities
John Hickenlooper Governor of Colorado
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.

Ken Snyder CEO and President, PlaceMatters

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?

James Traub (Moderator) Contributing Writer, The New York Times Magazine
Shaun Donovan Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Joan Clos i Matheu Executive Director, UN-HABITAT

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.

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.

Carol Coletta (Moderator) Director, ArtPlace
Ellen Dunham-Jones Architect and Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology
Madeline Janis Co-Founder and Executive Director, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy
Van Jones Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Daniel T. Kildee Co-founder and President, Center for Community Progress
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?

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

Follow the conversation at #justcity

RT @JustCity901: In a #JustCity we all wear black track jackets that look like this.…

15 November 2017

RT @JustCity901: In a #JustCity we all wear black track jackets that look like this.…

15 November 2017

In a #JustCity we all wear black track jackets that look like this.…

14 November 2017

Still can't believe I got to do this! Thanks @johnson_carrie #JustCity…

13 November 2017

RT @Charlotschans: So inspired by the wonderfully visonary @tonilgriffin #JustCity '#participation is a two-way street' #agency #community

11 November 2017

So inspired by the wonderfully visonary @tonilgriffin #JustCity '#participation is a two-way street'…

10 November 2017

Expungement order signed by the judge. Returned to clerk, who already checked for outstanding court debt. “Wait! Sh……

9 November 2017

A resilient Rotterdam is a just city to all her inhabitants. Tomorrow @tonilgriffin will elaborate on this in her k……

9 November 2017

Nearly every one of these inbound calls is an expungement inquiry. #CleanSlate #JustCity

8 November 2017

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