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CityLab Summit in Washington, D.C. Concludes with Conversations on Citizen Activism, Cities Confronting Climate Change and Improving Inequities in Maternal Health

October 30, 2019 GMT
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today marked the conclusion of CityLab DC, a two-day summit organized by The Aspen Institute, The Atlantic, and Bloomberg Philanthropies. Over the course of the event, 125 speakers engaged in conversations across dozens of topics focusing on the greater theme of urban innovation. Sessions addressed the use of data to help communities address homelessness; gun violence in cities; affordable housing; decriminalizing poverty; the impact of technology on health and employment; scooters and the micro-mobility revolution; local problem solving; climate change; 5G and the digital divide; surveillance in cities; self-driving cars; governance within a digital city; reinvestment into cities; workers that help drive a city’s economy; city regulation around the gig economy; and the cultural impact of music.

CityLab DC gathered over 500 city leaders, practitioners, planners, architects, artists, economists, business leaders, tech innovators, urban scholars, and other civic leaders—representing 169 cities across 30 countries. Forty-four mayors attended CityLab DC from the U.S., Europe, Africa, and Latin America.

The second day convened an important discussion with Mayor Muriel Bowser and Stacey Stewart, President and CEO, March of Dimes, in a session titled, “Healing the Divide in Maternal Health.” In 2019, American women are more than twice as likely to die of pregnancy-related causes than they were in 1987. More American women are dying of pregnancy-related complications than women in any other developed country. And only in the U.S. is the rate of maternal mortality on the rise. Mayor Bowser has launched an Infant and Maternal Health Initiative called Maternal Mondays in Washington, D.C. to help raise awareness and provide resources to new mothers and babies in the District.

“It’s not enough to say do we have insurance. But do people feel heard and respected when they go to see their doctors?,” Bowser said. “Part of the data suggests to us that the closer we can get to the grassroots and supporting women, the more likely they are to trust those providers. We know that we can provide more supportive environments for them during their pregnancy,” she added. “All of that information is going to help us build a government that supports women and families.”

Stewart spoke of the need for community collaboration for mother and infant care, saying, “There’s no one sector, not one entity alone that can solve this. What we know about premature birth and infant mortality, is that it has to do with not only what happens in the doctor’s office, but it has to do very much with how women live….access to transportation, access to healthcare, housing, and all of the kinds of factors that affect a woman’s life.”

In a closing session, David Grohl called for cities to embrace all-ages music venues to create more opportunities for younger residents to develop their passion for music, and help foster an increased sense of community.

Conversations and insights from featured speakers on Day 2 included:

Yesterday CityLab’s mainstage programming featured a joint welcome by Bloomberg Philanthropies CEO Patricia E. Harris and Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser; an interview with founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Former Mayor of New York City, Mike Bloomberg; conversations with Jimmie Fails, Mayors Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, Michelle de la Isla, Greg Fischer, Sam Liccardo, former Deputy Mayor Maria Vassilakou, Roger Enriquez of University of Texas at San Antonio, Fernando Godinez of Mexican American Unity Council; and a stunning performance by the Chuck Brown Band, featuring Doug Crowley, “Mighty” Moe Hagans, William “Ju Ju” House and Frank “Scooby” Sirius.

Press Assets:

Live stream: All videos will be archived at CityLab DC.

Photos & Videos: Bloomberg Philanthropies photos are available for download and use via Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bloombergphilanthropies/. Credit: CityLab, Bloomberg Philanthropies. We will make available rush video clips and selects from plenary sessions. We’re happy to provide photos from our photographer upon request. Credit: CityLab DC.

Social: Follow along on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook with #CityLabDC, @AtlanticLIVE and @AspenInstitute, @BloombergDotOrg

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