World’s Top Urban Leaders and Thinkers Head to Dallas, Texas for NewCities Summit

  • 92 international speakers from across public, private, non-profit and academic sectors to animate discussions on “Re-imagining Cities: Transforming the 21st Century Metropolis”
  • 800 participants from over 40 countries expected to converge in Dallas for NewCities Summit
  • NewCities Summit to showcase outstanding urban innovators from around the world through WhatWorks talk series and finalist stage of AppMyCity! contest
  • Summit to underscore the importance of arts and culture in cities through talk series curated by the Global Cultural Districts Network (GCDN)

Dallas, U.S. and Paris, France – June 5, 2014. NewCities today unveiled the complete program of the third annual NewCities Summit, which takes place in the Dallas Arts District, Texas, from June 17 – 19, 2014.

The NewCities Summit is the leading global event on the future of the urban world. The Summit is a platform for action-oriented discussion and knowledge sharing among leaders, thinkers and builders of global cities. The theme of this year’s event is Re-imagining Cities: Transforming the 21st Century Metropolis.

The Summit takes place in the acclaimed Winspear Opera House, designed by Foster & Partners, in the heart of the Dallas Arts District – America’s largest contiguous arts district.

Included in the roster of confirmed speakers:
Mike Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas
Betsy Price, Mayor of Fort Worth
Fahd Al Rasheed, Managing Director & CEO, Emaar Economic City
Lady Barbara Judge, Chairman, UK Pension Protection Fund
Nithya Raman, Director, Transparent Chennai
Zhigyong Fu, Vice Director, Information Art and Design Department; Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University
Dave Brown, Chief of Police, City of Dallas
Iñigo de la Serna, Mayor of Santander
Sean Donohue, CEO, Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport
Esther Dyson, Founder, The Way to Wellville; Chairman, EDventure
Wim Elfrink, Executive Vice President, Industry Solutions & Chief Globalisation Officer, Cisco
Bernard Manyenyeni, Mayor of Harare
Jamie Lerner, Celebrated Urbanist, Former Mayor of Curitiba, Brazil
Richard Sennett, Centennial Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics; University Professor of the Humanities, New York University
Mpho Franklin Parks Tau, Executive Mayor, Johannesburg
Geoffrey West, Distinguished Professor & Former President, Santa Fe Institute
Aaron Hurst, Founder and CEO, Taproot Foundation & Imperative
Juan Carlos Izagirre, Mayor, San Sebastian – Donostia
Harold Madi, Director of Urban Design, City of Toronto
Huang Rui, Chinese contemporary artist and Founder, Stars Group and 798 Beijing Art District
Manal Ataya, Director General, Sharjah Museums Department, Government of Sharjah
Jamie Bennett, Executive Director, ArtPlace America
Ahamed J.M. Muzammi, His Worship the Mayor, Colombo
Paul Romer, Professor of Economics & Director of Urbanization Project, New York University, Stern School of Business

Summit Highlights

This year’s Summit will also underscore the vital role that arts and culture play in the reimagination of cities. To this end, the Foundation’s recently launched Global Cultural Districts Network, (GCDN), will be curating several important sessions. The Network is a federation of global centers of arts and culture fostering co-operation and knowledge sharing among those responsible for conceiving, funding, building, and operating cultural districts.

Find out more about culture-related sessions at

WhatWorks: 10 urban innovators tell their stories

After unprecedented success at last year’s Summit in São Paulo, Brazil, NewCities will once again present WhatWorks – a dynamic talk series by grassroots urban innovators from around the world and from across sectors – including urban farming, crime control, waste management, sustainable energy and urban design.

View the full list of ten innovators at

AppMyCity!: the contest for the world’s best new urban app – Finalist Stage

On June 18, the three contenders for the AppMyCity! contest for the world’s best new urban app will take to the main stage and present their projects in their final bid to win the $5,000 prize. The audience will cast a live vote and the winner will be announced at the close of the Summit.

The contenders are: Social Cyclist (New York), a biking app; Djump (Paris/Brussels), a peer-to-peer ride sharing service; and Peerby (Amsterdam), an app enabling neighbors to borrow items from each other in under 30 minutes. Find out more at

Discovering the Dallas-Fort-Worth metro region

The final day of the NewCities Summit – June 19 – is reserved for site visits in Dallas, offering international delegates the chance to witness exciting initiatives and social projects in the city of Dallas and neighboring Fort Worth.

Site Visits include:

Dallas Fort-Worth International Airport – This tour will offer insights into the workings of DFW Airport, one of the world’s most important global air hubs.

Public/Private Partnerships: Leveraging Resources – Showcasing the Public Private Partnerships that are revitalizing Dallas’ urban core and surrounding area, this tour will highlight Downtown Dallas, the Cedars and the Medical District. Participants will see examples of new residential, commercial and institutional (re)development while enhancing the City’s open space and livability.

Fort Worth Museum District – this tour will focus primarily on the Kimbell Art Museum and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. The tour will address the design philosophies of the architects who have worked in the city’s Cultural District, including differences in construction technologies and details and other behind-the-scenes anecdotes.

Summit participants will also discover the highlights of the Dallas Arts District during the Summit, with a drinks reception at the Nasher Sculpture Center on June 17, and the opportunity to see Shen Wei Dance Arts, a performance choreographed by celebrated Chinese American choreographer Shen Wei, at the Winspear Opera House.

To find out more about the NewCities Summit, visit

To obtain press credentials for the summit, please contact


Press contact
Andreia Furtado
Communications Coordinator
NewCities Foundation
+1 514 987 0029

About the NewCities Summit

Organized by NewCities, the NewCities Summit is the premier global leadership event on the future of cities. Fostering positive urban change, the high level gathering advocates cross-sector collaboration through network building, cutting-edge forums and lively discussion. The Summit showcases and disseminates the best ideas on the future of cities and generates concrete, scalable solutions capable of being adopted and replicated across the world. Following the inaugural Summit in Paris in 2012, last year’s event was hosted in São Paulo. The NewCities Summit 2014 will be hosted in Dallas, Texas, USA, from June 17 – 19.

About NewCities

NewCities is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to making cities more inclusive, connected, healthy and vibrant. Focusing on people, places and policies, we bring together a global network of public and private sector leaders and Urban Tech innovators to foster results-oriented collaboration. We also produce actionable research that can be implemented by decision-makers across sectors.

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About the AppMyCity!

Contest AppMyCity! is a competition organized by the NewCities Foundation that promotes and rewards mobile apps that improve the urban experience, connect people, and make cities more fun, fair, vibrant and sustainable places.

About the Dallas Arts District

The Dallas Arts District is a nonprofit organization stimulating the cultural and economic life of North Texas by advocating for the largest urban cultural district in the United States – comprising 20 square blocks of museums, performance halls, parks, restaurants, offices and residences. The Dallas Arts District also serves as world headquarters for the Global Cultural Districts Network in partnership with the NewCities Foundation and AEA Consulting. For more information, please visit

About the Global Cultural Districts Network (GCDN)

The GCDN serves to foster cooperation and knowledge-sharing between those responsible for conceiving, funding, building, and operating cultural districts; and to help to ensure that these projects are vital assets for their communities, contributing to the vitality of 21st century cities. Over the next decade, some US $250 billion will be invested in the creation of new cultural districts around the globe.
A successful cultural district is not just one that is built, but one that, once built, thrives and, in thriving, animates the city or region that it serves. This holistic definition of success is central to the Network: success is not just getting an arts building or series of buildings out of the ground, it is about ensuring that they are viable and play a central role in their communities.

The GCDN provides the following services for its members:

  • Regular convening to share emerging best practices, hear expert panels, and discuss the place of cultural districts in urban policy, economic development and related areas of public policy such as travel and tourism;
  • Original research on topics of common interest such as programming, audience development,
    cultural tourism, professional development, relevant trends in technology and creative industries
  • Regular summaries and circulation of secondary research and news of common interest;
  • Virtual forums for detailed sharing of information and discussion of opportunities and
  • Opportunities for establishing strategic partnerships for content, programming, skills training
    and knowledge transfer.