New Cities Summit in May to discuss the “Future of the City”

GENEVA, April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The New Cities Summit, to be held on May 14 -16, 2012 in Paris, will unite global thought leaders, mayors and city managers, leading CEOs and representatives of civil society to discuss one of the most important topics of our time: the future of cities in the 21st century. CITRIS became an academic member of the New Cities Foundation in January.

The global shift from rural to urban living is one of the most dramatic and important demographic phenomena in human history. By 2050, more than 7 billion people will live in cities worldwide. In countries like China, which is rapidly approaching a billion city dwellers, and other parts of the world urbanization requires a profound physical, social and economic transformation. Globally, this new world of cities will have a massive impact on our economies, on government, on societies and on us as individuals in both the developed and the emerging world. This mega trend is likely to impact each one of us in ways that we know will be profound, but are not yet fully understood.

The theme of the 2012 New Cities Summit, Thinking Ahead, Building Together, reflects the New Cities Foundation’s belief that understanding and contributing to our urban future requires new partnerships built on bold, audacious thinking and analysis.

High-level plenaries featuring some of the world’s greatest urban thinkers will focus on the vision of tomorrow’s urban world, and detailed workshops deal with topics including mobility, the creative and connected city, the annotated city, the just city, water, building greener districts and infrastructure financing for the urban boom. Regional sessions will explore Urban China, Latin America and India as well as Greater Paris. “Navigating the Meta City” a highly-interactive session led by frog, a leading design and innovation firm, offers a glimpse into a future city in which various layers of software constitute a powerful computing platform for hybrid digital-physical environments.

“We are only at the early stages of understanding the impact of global urbanization,” says John Rossant, Chairman of the New Cities Foundation. “This is a phenomenon of unprecedented scale that will affect all of our lives. The New Cities Summit is essential as it is the sole venue which brings together great urban thinkers and builders from a range of disciplines which focuses the global conversation on the city. From the big picture vision to the hands on solutions, we want this Summit to be a watershed event.”

To find out more about the Summit, please visit

About the New Cities Foundation: The New Cities Foundation is a global platform for innovation and exchange on the future of urbanization. The NCF is guided by the principle that the unprecedented rate of urban growth that defines the 21st century represents a unique set of challenges as well as a chance to build more sustainable, vibrant, innovative and equitable communities in the developed and the emerging world.

NCF is a Swiss non-profit based in Geneva with offices in Paris, New York and Rio de Janeiro whose members include GE, Cisco, Ericsson, Orange, GDF Suez, Citynove – Groupe Galeries Lafayette, the Ford Foundation, King Abdullah Economic City, frog, Metropolis, NYU, the SENSEable City lab at MIT, CITRIS, Carnegie Mellon University, HEC Paris, the Urban China Initiative, the Climate Group and others.