Urban Land Institute, Cleveland and City of Cleveland to hold Virtual Symposium

The Cleveland District Council of the Urban Land Institute and the City of Cleveland, with support from the Cleveland Foundation, will host Building the 21st Century City: The Future Is Now!, a virtual symposium from March 2-3, 2021.

The two-day symposium will discuss themes that will allow the city to maximize its future prosperity with an emphasis on inclusivity. Three tracks will be utilized, technology, mobility and inclusive economic development.  These three key topics will be discussed to help facilitate development of realistic programs and policies by the city.

The symposium’s keynote speaker will be Ben Hammersley, a futurist and strategic forecaster. 

“The movement to rethink our cities is at the heart of every solution to the problems we face today, and drives the opportunities we can build for tomorrow,” Hammersley said. “We’ll all be living the rest of our lives in the future, so we should start as soon as possible. That’s why I’m so excited for the conversations we will be having at this event.”

See below for information on speakers and discussion topics:

Technology Track Speaker

Debra Lam, the founding executive director for Partnership for Inclusive Innovation will be the keynote speaker for the technology track. Lam also continues to work with Georgia Tech on leading smart communities and urban innovation work.

For the technology discussion, the two panels will focus on broadband access (methods, financing and equity) and preparing for new technologies (electric and autonomous vehicles, digital signage and media including methods, financing and infrastructure).

Mobility Track Speaker

Gabe Klein, the founding partner of Cityfi, will be the keynote speaker for the mobility track. Klein advises governments and companies worldwide on innovation in cities. Klein is the former commissioner of the Chicago and Washington, D.C. departments of transportation.

For the mobility discussion, one panel will focus on funding alternatives for 21st century transportation, as well as new approaches needed due to innovation in logistics and distribution. The second panel will focus improving transit for all modes and developing the 21st century right of way.

Economic Development Track Speaker
Tawanna Black, the founder and chief executive officer for the Center for Economic Inclusion, will be the keynote speaker for the inclusive economic development track. Black is a nationally recognized thought leader known for influencing, inspiring, and equipping cross-sector leaders to transform a personal conviction for equality into actions that produce equitable and thriving communities.

One panel will consider location decisions for 21st century businesses including workforce readiness and another will highlight opportunities in growing sectors and support for minority business and entrepreneurs. The symposium will also engage a cross section of stakeholders within the City of Cleveland and the region. 

The event will utilize three significant actions to identify steps to take to energize the city and stakeholders to accelerate action steps: education, conceptualization and execution. The first action step of Building the 21st Century City is the symposium, which will utilize speakers with breakout sessions and include workshops and panels. Following the symposium, the second phase, conceptualization, will bring together active participants to discuss what may be applied locally, and to firmly establish the area as a more competitive and smarter city that will be ready for the changing technology of the 21st century. The final phase will include execution of the plans, which will consist of selecting the most relevant approaches learned and identified to apply in Cleveland. This stage will focus on what the city should do to prepare and facilitate for changes to accelerate economic development.

 Registration tickets for the Building the 21st Century City: The Future Is Now!a virtual symposium from March 2-3, 2021, are now available. Registration prices are Private (member) $80 / (non-member) $110; Public/Non-profit/Academic (member) $60 / (non-member) $90; Student (member) $50 / (non-member) $70. (Private pricing applies to those who work for a private company.)

Ticket pricing includes admission to programming on March 2-3, recordings of the symposium following the event dates, and admission to a virtual networking reception with program attendees. For group rates, please email cleveland@uli.org. Early registration ends February 19, 2021. For more information and to sign up for the ULI Cleveland mailing list, visit cleveland.uli.org.​