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Cities in a Globalized World: In Dialogue with Jeffrey D. Sachs

Today, 4 billion people live in cities, and in the next 30-40 years, cities will add 2 to 3 billion more people. So we need these cities to be designed in ways that are livable, pleasant, safe, and where people can be productive. We need to make our cities sustainable and healthful places for the city dwellers of the present and the future.


On November 9th, 2020, the Office of the President and the Georgetown Global Cities Initiative hosted Jeffrey D. Sachs, one of the world’s leading economists.  Prof. Sachs’ recent book, The Ages of Globalization: Geography, Technology and Institutions (Columbia University Press, 2020) explores the evolution of global interdependence over the span of centuries.


Sachs highlighted the importance of the global trend of urbanization and the need for producing livable, safe and productive urban environments for people to thrive.  Emphasizing the governance principle of subsidiarity, Sachs highlighted that the alignment between global goals and local community development strategies was a prerequisite to producing sustainable outcomes.   


Sachs encouraged students to understand the global and local interconnectedness of physical, social, political, economic and environmental systems.  Jack Hennessey (SFS Undergraduate) reflected after the event, “Jeffrey Sachs' perspectives on the growth of urban centers in sub-Saharan Africa struck me as incredibly cross-cutting.  He emphasized the need for novel systems of urban planning in these chronically underfinanced and rapidly growing areas.”


To view a video recording of the event, click here

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