Session Details

International Forum: Remaking Emerging Cities to Guide Urban Growth and Infrastructure

Setting the Stage: Overview of Global Urban Challenges
Anjali Mahendra, Ph.D., Director of Research, World Resources Institute Center for Sustainable Cities

The world urban population will double to over 7 billion in the next 40 years with 8 of 10 people expected to live in cities. Much of this change will occur in countries where the average person lives under $20,000 annually. These emerging cities are facing dramatic change and grappling with how to manage it sustainably.

Keynote: Redesigning Rapidly Growing Cities
Juan Camilo Gonzalez, North City General Manager, Bogota, Colombia

Bogota is expected to double its population by 2050. With an existing urban infrastructure that presents significant challenges in terms of mobility, segregation and access to parks, an inspired approach to urban planning will determine the quality of life of millions of people. An effort is underway to convert a reserve into a public resource, with 3,200 acres of parks, surrounded by a pedestrian-friendly city of 450,000 homes. This project builds on similar projects moving forward in Bogota, the first of their kind in Latin America.

Keynote: Reinvigorating a River and a City
Dr. Yılmaz Büyükerşen, Mayor, City of Eskisehir

Eskisehir is one of five cities selected by World Resources Institute as a finalist for the Ross Prize for Cities. The city is recognized for its dramatic transformation over the last two decades, going from a flood prone city with one of the most polluted rivers in Turkey, to a green, sustainable city with efficient transport networks. The city has cleaned the river and revitalized the central river corridor with a network of parks, trails and civic spaces, a transformation that has improved daily life boosted the economy.

Panel Session: Creating Family-Friendly Downtowns
Moderator: Gil Penalosa, Founder & Chair, 8-80 Cities
Speakers: Mayor Erion Veliaj, Tirana, Albania | Dave Hutch, Director, Planning and Park Development, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation

Many cities are reimagining their urban centers to be places where people of all ages can live. Learn how three cities from around the world are using creative partnerships around programming and place-based development to make the urban realm meet human needs for play and creative interaction.