Debuts at Rio Conference

Our Citistates Group has been laying plans for a global news service that covers noteworthy experiments, breakthroughs by cities across the globe. The articles will be written by knowledgeable local journalists, supplemented by global experts on the issues they’re covering, tied to new media and tied to state-of-the-art user discussion tools.

On Friday March 26, for an audience of several thousand at the concluding session of the Fifth World Urban Forum in Rio de Janeiro, I was able to make the official announcement.

The text of the announcement is below. For a full taste of what the service will be like, several lead stories included, we invite you to take look at the beta web site — It includes the “who, what, when and how” of the new service, which we hope to launch full-bore in the near future.

Remarks to the World Urban Forum

Concluding Plenary Session
Rio de Janeiro, March 26, 2010

Across the continents, today’s cities are coming up with new and intriguing solutions to the massive problems cities face in this century. From city halls to neighborhood councils, the wave of originality in amazing.

But the mainstream media too often fails to “get it.” News of cities’ disasters or crises or scandals get coverage. But there are rarely reports of original, noteworthy innovations — stories that could lead to inventive adaptation in other cities, whether they’re next door or across oceans.

We think the gap imperils cities’ learning and progress. In close cooperation with the World Urban Campaign, assisted by Cities Alliance and UN-Habitat, we’ve developed a new global news service — we’re calling it

Our goal: to report regularly on cities’ notable new approaches and solutions on every issue from climate adaptation to local food self-sufficiency to slum upgrading. Professional journalists in the breakthrough cities will be invited to write the stories — objectively, clearly, for worldwide dissemination.

We’ll aim for a constantly growing global reader base. And media worldwide will be invited to pick up the reports.

The website, again, is Please check out our first group of stories. Submit story ideas yourself. Help us tap the world’s top expert commentary, seek out inventive links, help inventive NGOs spread word of their star experiments, track the vital urban trends — and make a real difference for this Century of the City.