The American City: A Land of Opportunity?

The American City: A Land of Opportunity?
October 28, 2018 paperlesslion
Detroit Skyline by FJB Paperless Lion

The eyes and minds of urban America will be on Detroit this coming week, as more than 600 people representing 156 cities across 27 countries attend CityLab Detroit’s annual global cities summit to discuss the challenges and opportunities posed by life in the modern metropolis. Follow the discussion via Detroit Public TV’s live-stream Monday and Tuesday at

Entitled, “The American City: A Land of Opportunity?” the CityLab Detroit conference brings together thought leaders, mayors, city planners, entrepreneurs, artists and activists, as well as uncommon Detroiters who are working tirelessly in their communities to make them a better place to live.  They will discuss and debate the most pressing urban issues in two days of conversations, panels and field trips. Sessions will address topics including universal basic income; tackling the opioid crisis; gun violence; higher education; affordable housing; and art in the city.

CityLab Detroit has an impressive roster of major national speakers, including GM’s Mary Barra, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York Times columnist David Brooks, author and The Atlantic’s national correspondent James Fallow, Quicken Loans’ Dan Gilbert, and Hannah Beachler (production designer for “Black Panther”!). It is an invitation-only event, but Detroit Public TV is able to carry a live-stream of the featured presentations at (See the schedule below).

CityLab Detroit is a leading global cities summit organized by the Aspen InstituteThe Atlantic, and Bloomberg Philanthropies. This is the first time the sixth annual event will take place in a heartland city. Prior summits were hosted by Paris, Miami, London, Los Angeles, and New York. Its choice of Detroit makes perfect sense. Ours is a city widely seen as undergoing a remarkable rebound – after suffering through the largest bankruptcy in American history. There are gleaming new buildings in the core city, but you don’t have to travel far to find neighborhoods whose residents aren’t enjoying the economic resurgence but are dealing with longstanding inequities and social problems.

Detroit, as we say at DPTV, is the most important city in America, a crucible for long-simmering urban issues. CityLab’s presence in Detroit attests to that. Hopefully, the summit can help us create pathways to progress for those in our community wrestling with these problems.

Welcome, CityLab Detroit, and let the solutions begin!

Here is the schedule for the live-stream of the conference:

Monday, Oct. 29

  • 9:10-11:55 a.m. — Morning main-stage plenary sessions
  • 1:15-2 p.m. — Breakout session: City Innovation: What’s New in 85 City Halls Across the Globe
  • 2:20-3:20 p.m. — Curbing Gun Violence and The Promise of Opportunity Zones
  • 3:30-5:15 p.m. — Afternoon main-stage plenary sessions

Tuesday, October 30

  • 9-11:10 a.m. — Morning main-stage plenary sessions
  • 11:20 a.m.-12:05 p.m. — Breakout session: Journey into the Heart of America
  • 1-2:10 p.m. Afternoon main-stage plenary sessions

DPTV’s live-stream can be found at