A preeminent group of international planning and design professionals will convene in Toronto to discuss big ideas and innovations for cities at The Global City Indicators Facility's (GCIF) inaugural Global Cities Summit in Toronto. On May 15 and 16, 2014 the Summit will bring together global leaders from the world’s top cities, businesses, universities, and agencies including the United Nations. The Summit will be an opportunity for cities and those who help to plan and build them to learn, share, and exchange experiences, ideas and innovative solutions for cities under the theme Getting on Track: Sustainable & Inclusive Prosperity for Cities

Global Cities Summit, May 15th and 16th in Toronto

Speakers will be coming from cities around the world including New York, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Seattle, Chicago, Ottawa, Geneva, Paris, Nairobi, Johannesburg, Eindhoven, Cape Town, Niagara Falls, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Milan, Los Angeles, Rotterdam, Makkah, Riyadh and Helsinki to discuss a number of topics including: city data, ISO international standards for cities, smart cities, urban resilience, mobility, competitiveness, governance, and more.  

The Global City Indicators Facility will present three Keynote Speakers at the Summit: 

1. From New York City, Saskia Sassen.  Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Co-Chair of the Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University. First known for her classic book, The Global City (Princeton University Press, 1991/2001) and Cities in a World Economy (now in its 4th edition), she is published widely and her books are translated into over 20 languages. Professor Sassen is chosen as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy (2011). She is also a Senior Fellow of the Global Cities Institute at the University of Toronto, Canada. 

2. Doug Saunders.  Doug Saunders is a Canadian-British journalist, and author of the books  Arrival City: The Final Migration and Our Next World (2011) and The Myth of the Muslim Tide (2012), as well as serving as the international-affairs columnist for The Globe and Mail. He served as the paper’s London-based European bureau chief for a decade, after having run the paper’s Los Angeles bureau, and has written extensively from East Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, the Middle East and North Africa. He writes a weekly column devoted to the larger themes and intellectual concepts behind international news, and has won the National Newspaper Award, Canada’s equivalent to the coveted Pulitzer Prize, on five different occasions. 

3. Brock Carlton.  Brock Carlton is the Chief Executive Officer for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).  Since joining FCM 21 years ago, Mr. Carlton has channeled his leadership abilities towards local government issues domestically and internationally. He chairs the Municipal Infrastructure Forum and the National Forum on Housing and the Economy and is a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness. Internationally, Mr. Carlton has represented Canada on the OECD Urban Municipal Development Secretariat’s Sustainable Cities Working Group. He is currently Secretary General, North America for United Cities and Local Government. He has lived and worked in Kenya, China and Namibia.  

Launched in 2008, the Global Cities Indicators Facility (GCIF) responds to the growing need for a globally standardized set of city indicators. The GCIF hosts a network over 250 member cities across 81 countries and provides a globally standardized system for data collection that allows for comparative knowledge and learning across cities globally.

The inaugural summit is being organized with the cooperation of The John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture at the University of Toronto. The Daniels Faculty of Architecture is known for turning some of Ontario's brightest minds into promising architects and city builders, and the Faculty will soon be moving to its new location. 1 Spadina Crescent, a Gothic Revival structure built in 1875 as the first Knox College at the University of Toronto, is seeing significant renovations and additions in preparation for it's new life as The Daniels Faculty of Architecture. We look forward to the completed project, and the restoration of Spadina's axial view terminus.

Additional information about the Global Cities Summit can be found at their website, linked here. For more information about The John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, visit our dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or voice your opinion in the comments section provided at the bottom of this page.

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