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Did you miss our panel discussion Metro Diplomacy: Cities as Transatlantic Changemakers with State Secretary Almut Möller, Plenipotentiary of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg to the Federation, the European Union and for Foreign Affairs and Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina? State Secretary Möller and Mayor Benjamin discussed the role of their cities in a global context, the future of transatlantic relations, strategies needed to address the current crisis and much more.
Watch the discussion and the Q&A Session again here:
During the event, Das Progressive Zentrum, the Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft and the Progressive Policy Institute also launched their working paper Cities as Transatlantic Changemakers that sets the scene for further activities within the New Urban Progress project, bringing together German and U.S. perspectives in a spirit of mutual understanding and the pursuit of a common goal: making German and U.S. cities transatlantic changemakers for a more prosperous future.
Cities as Transatlantic Changemakers - Seeking Common Ground for a Progressive Future
2020 started with the urgent challenges of mitigating climate change, soothing disaffection with democracy, and easing anxiety about jobs disappearing due to technological progress. Little did we know all these concerns would only become more pronounced with the emergence of the global pandemic of COVID19, affecting all, but not everybody equally.
Alongside every other nation in the world, both Germany and the United States have to deal with the challenges described. In a multilateral world, where cooperation is a key to success, these common difficulties can only be overcome by exchanging best practices and building enough political will and trust in order to tackle them together.
We believe that cities and metropolitan areas play an ever more important role in sustaining and further developing the close historical, cultural, economic and political ties between the United States and Germany.
About the Paper
This working paper was written based on the results of two conferences held earlier this year in the United States and Germany, focusing on the most pressing issues ahead of cities today when it comes to inclusive growth, sustainability, democratic governance. We want to reflect upon the challenges that cities and metropolitan areas in both countries are facing today, look beyond their local level activity and identify these urban spaces as internationally relevant actors, capable of not only tackling global challenges at the local level, but also strengthening the transatlantic alliance from the bottom up.
This working paper sets the scene for further activities within the New Urban Progress project, bringing together German and U.S. perspectives in a spirit of mutual understanding and the pursuit of a common goal: making German and U.S. cities transatlantic changemakers and trendsetters for a more prosperous future.
About the Authors
This paper was written by members of the New Urban Progress Steering Committee, each bringing focal points crucial for their organizations and sharing their unique expertise on co-creating a robust and bold vision of urban futures.
New Urban Progress: A Transatlantic Dialogue on Metro Innovation and Democratic Renewal
In times of tense transatlantic relations, we need to find ways to foster close U.S.-German relationships on all levels and to continue the conversation on how to implement measures of social development. We believe that cities are the best actors to take on the challenges of ongoing and rapid societal and technological transformation. It is clear that the overarching issues of our time: globalization, climate change, migration and multiculturalism, must be addressed on a global level and solved collaboratively between cities on both sides of the Atlantic. With the United Nations projecting that up to 75% of the global population will live in an urban environment by 2050, the “New Urban Progress” project argues that now is the time to build intra-city networks for our collective future.
Our concrete goal is to build on the current state of research and debate on the topic of urban development. In doing so, we will enable a structured and practice-oriented reflection on common challenges and support collaborative work in finding practical solutions. Apart from the classic nation-state “summit” policy, we would like to focus on the intermediary level by drawing attention to our hand-picked large and medium-sized metro regions, and their protagonists, at the center of a transatlantic dialogue.
We plan to create a dynamic network that will expand beyond capital cities as an attractive physical and virtual platform for new ideas and bottom-up initiatives, opening spaces for co-creation. This creates real added value to transatlantic relations and ensures a sustainable impact on future-oriented urban life in the U.S. and Germany. The project aims at establishing a high-quality dialogue process over a period of three years and delivering specific project outputs, such as high visibility of its results.
As a dynamic process that brings together people of diverse backgrounds, we believe our “New Urban Progress” project can become a platform for tackling key societal challenges with a fresh approach, as well as the laboratory for future solutions. We are convinced that a progressive urban policy can serve as the foundation for social mobility, cultural inclusion and a prospering economy based on sustainability and innovation, while simultaneously bringing Germany and the U.S. closer together.