Five things Mayor Gregor Robertson and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have in common
Vancouver and New York City's mayors share more than belief in bike lanes.
Mayor to Mayor
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson flew to New York City for the inaugural CityLab summit, in which leaders from around the world discussed urban problems and how to solve them.
Robertson was the only Canadian mayor to attend.
While Robertson missed a pretty eventful day at City Hall, Vancouver certainly has to face some of the issues brought up at CityLab:
The summit featured conversations on economic development; the environment and sustainability; cultural investment; big data; and the intersection of public safety, privacy, and technology; as well as smaller breakout sessions that explored topics like redevelopment, urban infrastructure, transportation, urban expansion, and the creation of the next tech city.
Redevelopment, cultural investment, and transit are all hot issues in Vancouver, and we must solve some pressing livability problems if we hope to become "the next tech city".
Robertson noted, “From economic development to affordable housing to rapid transit, CityLab will provide a unique forum for discussing the biggest challenges we face in Vancouver and cities around the world.” While Vancouver is doing some interesting things with alternative transportation, we can benefit from engaging with older cities that may have already faced our growing pains; learning from their successes or their failures.
Perhaps most interestingly, Robertson was personally invited by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Bloomberg Philanthropies was one of the groups sponsoring CityLab (along with The Aspen Institute and The Atlantic). Furthermore, CityLab footed the bill.
Could Vancouver's mayor and New York City's mayor become BFFs? Maybe. Both are mayors of progressive cities that eclipse their respective provincial and state capitals. Sorry, Victoria and Albany, but it is what it is.
Beyond that, though, they have a lot in common.