The Atlantic Council hosted a panel of distinguished diplomats and civil servants this week, to discuss how a rapidly urbanizing world is shaping global governance, security, and diplomacy.
The event featured keynote addresses by
Arun Singh, the Indian Ambassador to the US, and Julian Castro,
US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Mr. Singh discussed the rapid urbanization of India, and the importance of encouraging smart growth and inclusive programs. Mr. Castro highlighted the global importance of cities, the recent passage of the SDGs and the US participation in the upcoming Habitat III conference.
A panel discussion followed with Kathryn Schalow, Special Representative for QDDR at the US Department of State, Miguel Angel Mancera, Mayor of Mexico City, and Ian Klaus of the State Department's Office of Policy Planning. Mr Mancera discussed the programs Mexico City is implementing to improve air quality, transportation and planning, and the opportunities to learn from other cities. Ms. Schalow discussed how cities have gained importance within the QDDR and how their agility makes them critical partners for tackling issues such as climate change. Finally Mr. Klaus discussed the State Department's growing interest in cities as non-state actors.
The whole session was recorded and can be viewed here. The event also launched a new issue brief from the Atlantic Council's Peter Engelke on foreign policy importance of cities. It can be viewed here.