Global Mayors Forum Established at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs
Joint appearance by mayors of New York and London signals launch
Media contact: Tanya Domi, 212-854-5579, email@example.com
NEW YORK, September 17, 2009—Building on its unique history and location, Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs has announced a new initiative to enhance its engagement in urban policy through the creation of the Columbia SIPA Global Mayors Forum.
The forum was launched this week as part of an international conference hosted by Columbia, the Manhattan Institute and the Regional Plan Association which brought together New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg and London’s Mayor Boris Johnson. They collaborated on a public dialogue focused on a range of public policies to boost the economies and quality of life in both cities.
“We were proud to have Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor Johnson on our campus not only to strengthen the ties between our cities, but also to share in the launch of our new Global Mayors Forum,” said Columbia president Lee C. Bollinger. “As global capitals of business and finance, culture and ideas, New York and London are not only engines of a dynamic economy, they are leaders in the search for solutions to many of the world’s most pressing problems. Great research universities are essential to the life of both these great cities, generating the talented people and intellectual capital that drives innovation in every field of human endeavor across the globe.”
Under the direction of Ester Fuchs, professor of public affairs and political science, and former policy adviser to Mayor Bloomberg, the forum is Columbia’s latest initiative to promote cross-national collaboration, research and policy innovation. The need to understand and confront the problems of urban areas is paramount. In a few decades from now, fully two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities—up from 10 percent at the beginning of the last century.
“Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor Johnson have demonstrated the international leadership necessary to tackle major issues like environmental sustainability, economic growth and quality public education,” said Fuchs. “We believe that the solutions to current and continuing challenges will be found in the laboratories of the world’s great cities. By engaging mayors in discussions and dialogue with our students and faculty, we are expanding our traditional intellectual role by thinking about, studying and helping to solve global problems.”
“Cities and their mayors have a strong, direct, and immediate impact on the lives of billions of citizens through the police, firefighters, transport and sanitation systems, parks, libraries and schools,” said John Coatsworth, dean of Columbia SIPA. “By engaging these leaders in our Global Mayors Forum, we will benefit from their thoughts about the role that cities play in the generation of new policy ideas and their experiences in trying to improve urban life.”
About Columbia University
A leading academic and research university, Columbia University continually seeks to advance the frontiers of knowledge and to foster a campus community deeply engaged in understanding and addressing the complex global issues of our time. Columbia’s extensive public service initiatives, cultural collaborations, and community partnerships help define the University’s underlying values and mission to educate students to be both leading scholars and informed, engaged citizens. Founded in 1754 as King’s College, Columbia University in the City of New York is the fifth oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.