New Urban Progress: United States Kickoff Event in Washington

On March 10, 2020

Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft, Das Progressive Zentrum and The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) have joined forces on a transatlantic three-year, comparative study of metro innovation. On 10 March 2020 the U.S. launch of the program, New Urban Progress, took place at the Line Hotel in Washington, D.C.. The launch conference 'Going Local: A Transatlantic Perspective' featured conversations with prominent urban leaders and mayors, as well as top metro analysts and practitioners Bruce Katz, Amy Liu, Evan Absher, Steven Bosaker and many others. In order to establish interactive dialogues, the event was divided into two parts: a panel session and then three simultaneous breakout sessions.

“Going Local: A Transatlantic Perspective“ gave an overview of the current debates, challenges, and state of affairs of urban public policy in the United States. Local, place, and partnerships were on the tips of most participant's tongues, as they discussed the importance of viewing cities and metro areas as networks. The relationship between cities and metro areas with the federal government was often revisited and there was a clear desire to give more agency to the local level.

Equity and inclusivity underlied the discussion. There is a clear necessity to acknowledge and address historical biases and systematic inequalities when writing and implementing urban public policy. Supporting partnerships and policy that create quality jobs for residents with associate degrees, certificates, or who have completed training programs seemed to be a good place to begin. Many mayors and experts considered this also as realistic and effective next step.

These approaches, recommendations, and policies were discussed within the US context. Many, if not most of them, of course also apply to German cities. However, several concepts and terms may need to be translated conceptually to fit the German context. In line with avoiding a one-size-fits-all model, the topics discussed in Washington D.C. can serve a comparative function with the topics that will be discussed in Germany.

The second kick-off event in Leipzig, Germany, was scheduled for late April. Due to the Corona virus, it has been cancelled for the time being. Digital alternatives are currently being developed. For updates on the program, please refer to this website or to our social media.

Learn more about the project here.

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