Today in New York, The Ford Foundation is holding a 75th anniversary event to explore how fairness, opportunity and equity can serve as defining features in the development of megacities and metro regions this new era of urbanization. The event includes speakers working on all kinds of issues related to cities, including mayors, transportation experts, academics, artists, business leaders, journalists, governors and federal lawmakers. By way of introduction to the event, Ford created the beautifully illustrated video above to explain their vision for cities in the new century:
Across the ages, people have been drawn to cities, centers of power, protection and privilege. But also places of crime, corruption and crushing poverty.
Today, over half the world’s people live in cities, drawn by the promise of prosperity. But do our swelling metropolitan regions really deliver on that promise? Do they offer opportunity to all? Or does urban development, more often than not, mean exclusion? Where the elites control growth and opportunity, equality and sustainability are merely slogans?
What’s our vision of the ideal city? Is it ambitious and competitive? Or does it promote fairness and equity? Lifting the lives of all?
[The Ford Foundation] believes it should be both. That means building affordable housing, strong schools, transportation that connects people to jobs, green spaces and civic spaces. It means city and suburbs as one thriving whole, and it means involving people in the decisions and plans that affect them. Welcome to the future. To a place that fulfills our highest aspirations. To a place we can choose to create. Welcome to The Just City.
Follow live blogging of the event at www.fordfoundation.org.