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Bloomberg CityLab 2023 Kicks Off in Washington D.C. With More Than 500 Mayors, Urbanists, and Policymakers Sharing and Exploring Scalable Solutions

Bloomberg Philanthropies Launches Bloomberg Cities Idea Exchange and City AI Connect

Mayor Muriel Bowser Announces Innovative City Hall Apprenticeship Program for HBCU Students With I-Team

Additional Featured Speakers Included Mitch Landrieu, Senior Counselor to Secretary of Commerce Zoë Baird, Governor Wes Moore, Managing Director of Sèmè City Development Agency Claude Borna, Founder and Principal of Reddymade Architecture and Design Suchi Reddy, and Mayor John Giles

Photos from Bloomberg CityLab 2023 are available here (photo credit: Courtesy of Bloomberg Philanthropies)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Bloomberg CityLab, the preeminent global cities summit organized by Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with the Aspen Institute, kicked off its tenth summit in Washington, D.C. at the new Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue. The Summit runs October 18-20.

Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City, shared remarks that summoned mayors’ ambitions to spread and implement solutions to pressing issues, announcing the Bloomberg Cities Idea Exchange, a first-of-its kind initiative that will turbocharge the efforts of thousands of local governments to adapt and replicate innovations from other cities: “Over the last decade mayors have been learning and borrowing good ideas from one another. As a result, proven solutions to climate change, education, infrastructure, and much more have been spreading across the world,” Michael R. Bloomberg said.

Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C. announced a new initiative to provide graduates of D.C.’s two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Howard University and the University of District Columbia (UDC), with public service opportunities in the D.C. government, with the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies Innovation Team (“i-team) program: “Over the last few years, there’s been a great competition for talent. Everybody’s trying to figure out the changed ways of work. For the mayors who are running cities and have to provide incredible city services, we continue to need police officers, teachers, firefighters, 911 call takers, and case managers. We have been very grateful to partner with Bloomberg Philanthropies to have an i-team that’s really supported us in thinking about our talent pool,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said.

During the Mayors Innovation Studio, a convening of more than 100 mayors from around the world, Bloomberg Philanthropies, in collaboration with the Bloomberg Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University, launched City AI Connect, a new global learning community and digital platform for cities to trial and advance the usage of generative artificial intelligence to improve public services.

Highlights and commentary from featured speakers on Day 1, October 18:

  • Former mayor of New Orleans and Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Coordinator at the White House Mitch Landrieu called on mayors to seize the moment to leverage once-in-a-generation infrastructure funds to implement ambitious projects in their cities.
  • “You have a chance, a once in a generation chance, because it hasn’t happened in the last 50 years. And it will not happen again to rebuild this country in a way that makes it so that we don’t ever have to look back again. And you, ladies and gentlemen, are the architects of building a bridge to the future.”“There is no other elected job in America that’s got that much responsibility and that much proximity to reality than anywhere else, which is why mayors rule the world,” Mitch Landrieu said.
  • In a conversation between the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart and Maryland Governor Wes Moore, the Governor discussed the power of mayors sharing great ideas with each other to achieve results for their residents: “Find it, fund it and scale it, right? A pretty simple equation. Find what works. Make sure it’s getting the resources that it needs and then make sure it can touch more people.”“If we lead with data, we’re going to come up with the right conclusions. We’re just following the data. And the data is very clear that we are going to put an inordinate amount of resources towards healing,” Governor Moore said.
  • Commenting on the migration crisis facing his city, Mayor John Giles of Mesa, Arizona, said, “The migrant crisis has been something that we’ve been very concerned about and trying to get the attention of the federal government for decades. We’re very excited that we now have New York City and other advocates joining that chorus of local leaders that are asking for some federal assistance.”During the same panel, First Deputy Mayor of New York City Sheena Wright shared solutions that New York City is deploying: “We’re setting up a whole center to help people apply for this. And that’s hundreds of people really trying to be of service to thousands of people, trying to get work authorization. And that’s something as well, the federal government should be doing and it should be certainly making it easier to do. But we need it across the board.”
  • Claude Borna, Managing Director of Sèmè City Development Agency in Benin, joined a panel of African leaders to discuss the power of the next generation to turbocharge progress: “In the struggles, lies opportunity, and young Africans have a mindset that the world is their oyster. You don’t know about Benin today, but you will know about Benin tomorrow because you will hear about the great things that are coming out of what’s happening there.”
  • As part of a discussion about new strategies for supporting local journalism, Sonam Vashi, Director of Documenters Network Success at City Bureausaid, “I think what we’re doing is very much aligned with the original goal of media, which is really to reflect community needs and desires and make public life accessible. One of the reasons that we’re having this conversation here at CityLab is because healthy media ecosystems are essential to building healthy communities.”

Upcoming programming on October 19-20 will feature speakers including Pete Buttigieg, Michael Regan, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Mayors Karen Bass, London Breed, Paige Cognetti, and Chokwe Lumumba, Nina Hachigia, Vishaan Chakrabarti, Rodney Carmichael, Diana Rodríguez Franco, Brandon Hill, Jeff Goodell, Eleni Myrivili, Edgar Pieterse, and many more. View the October 19 agenda here, and the October 20 agenda here.

Press Assets:

Photos: Bloomberg Philanthropies photos are available for download and use here.

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of Bloomberg Philanthropies

Social: Follow along on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook with #CityLab2023, @BloombergDotOrg and the @AspenInstitute.


About Bloomberg Philanthropies:
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 700 cities and 150 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2022, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed US$ 1.7 billion. For more information, please visit, sign up for our newsletter,  or follow us on  Facebook,  Instagram,  YouTube,  Twitter, and LinkedIn.

About the Aspen Institute:
The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization whose purpose is to ignite human potential to build understanding and create new possibilities for a better world. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve society’s greatest challenges. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, as well as an international network of partners. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:
Bloomberg Philanthropies:
Sam Fuld,

The Aspen Institute:
Jon Purves,