9th Transatlantic Dialogue
(Re)Building Capacities for Urban Governance
June 12-15, 2013
For the first time in human history more people across the world are living in urban than in rural areas. This massive urban concentration creates great opportunities for economic growth and social progress but also poses challenging questions over the capacities of existing urban governance structures. Most metropolitan areas face complex and inter-related problems ranging from urban decay and environmental disasters to protest movements and rising social disorder and crime. Further, many of these problems are worsening as poverty and inequitable wealth distribution increase and resources available to combat them decrease.
Despite these social problems and tightening fiscal pressures, many cities have been able to leverage innovations that promote economic growth and development that extend to even their surrounding regions and countries. These cities are the centers of culture and of community identity; the locus of innovative thinking; and the place for better jobs, better health, and enhanced human interaction. They are exemplars of effective horizontal and vertical coordination and collaboration; they are also laboratories where ideas ranging from desegregation to the application of new technologies are born and tested. Such cities represent resiliency, with many success stories of revitalization and gentrification.
The 9th Transatlantic Dialogue seeks to bring together scholars and practitioners from both sides of the Atlantic to exchange ideas about how to help city governments develop the capacity to manage contemporary problems and take advantage of opportunities in an increasingly globalized environment. Our host city, the City of Baltimore, is an ideal setting for this dialogue. While Baltimore has had its share of struggles, it is also an example of reinvention and revitalization that is ranked 25th in the United States and 90th worldwide as an innovation city.