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Past Program

Jun 13 - Jun 20, 2000

The Entrepreneurial City

Session 378

Abstract

Although cities have conventionally been viewed as places of dehumanization plagued by excessive crime, pollution, and decay, there is another dimension. The human energy that generates so many social problems is also responsible for an extraordinary array of benefits. Concentrated urban populations uniquely promote social integration through the mingling of otherwise separate social, ethnic, and racial groups. They support economic activity by nurturing new products and services, and are typically vibrant venues for diverse forms of cultural expression.

This session will consider the city as an engine of creativity and common enterprise. Focusing on case studies of several cities around the world, participants will discuss the importance of cities as sources of economic productivity and social progress, and as sites of intellectual and cultural ingenuity; whether the ills of modern urban life are the necessary price of this dynamism; and whether there are important variances between the developing and the developed world in the role that cities play.