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.