The most important characteristic of the 21st century is the rise of cities. The world may obsess over whether a “Chinese century” is replacing an American one. But the real action is not in nations — but in their urban centres.
As evident in Sao Paulo, London, Singapore, and New York, the diplomatic role of global cities is increasing.
We sometimes feel like L.A. gets no respect. This megalopolis of billionaire media moguls, extraordinary global food and influential SoCal culture is still often treated by New York media as a backwater of undiscovered delights. But at least the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper gets us.
Cities are the future of the world. Over half the world's population lives in cities, and by the middle of the century more than seven in 10 people will live in cities, according to the United Nations. Almost all this urban growth will take place in emerging economies.
L.A. is a global city and so is our city's economy, which is why I'm in Mexico City right now on my first trade mission as Mayor. I am joined here by representatives of our Port, Airport, and Tourism & Convention Board as well as a business delegation organized by the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce.
Jessica Lopez, a four-year old with a shy smile, has suffered severe chronic asthma attacks since she was born. Her condition always worsened in the fall, when dust rose up from the abandoned fields that bordered her family’s modest one-room house.
Last week, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Mexico City Mayor Miguel Mancera entered into a first-of-its-kind city-to-city agreement. This was not a typical Sister Cities cultural exchange pact. The Global Cities Economic Partnership instead plans a series of joint initiatives in trade, innovation, and education to increase employment, expand advanced industries, and strengthen overall global competitiveness.
It is Tokyo, after all. It was nearly 6am when a few thousand supporters gathered at Komazawa Stadium, one of the key venues for Tokyo’s 1964 games, exploded in celebration as International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge held up the winning envelope marked “Tokyo 2020." With Madrid ousted at the first round, the Tokyo-Istanbul competition boosted the hopes of the Japanese bidders that eventually took the final vote by a large margin: 60 to 36.