New York City / Wednesday Nov 02,2016
12:30 pm - 1:45 pm

Michael Cohen: How Cities Can Help Global Problems

NYU Urban Seminar

The Puck Building
Rice Conference Room
295 Lafayette Street
New York, NY

Michael Cohen, Director and Professor of International Affairs at The New School for Public Engagement, will lead this NYU Urban Seminar, titled "Thinking Inside Out: How Cities Can Help Solve Global Problems."

The urban narrative has failed to capture global or national attention. Despite the growing economic and demographic importance of cities in both rich and poor countries, their role is neither widely understood nor recognized in global official and public debates. Six hundred cities now account for about 60 percent of global GDP, yet cities do not appear in the global discussions of the G20, they did not appear in the national stimulus packages following the global economic crisis of 2008, they have only recently been linked to climate change, and their attention in the media is not consistent or urgent. Discussions of employment are stuck at the macro-economic level and are not focused on the fact that jobs must be created in cities where the potential for multiplying effects are highest due to their demographic and spatial advantages. This suggests an urgent need to reframe the global debate and to place urban areas on the agenda for debate and action.

The NYU Urban Seminar is co-hosted by the Marron Institute and the Wagner School.


Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen
Director and Professor of International Affairs / The New School for Public Engagement

Michael Cohen is Director of International Affairs at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy and Professor of International Affairs at the New School for Public Engagement.  He is an urban and development policy specialist. He worked at the World Bank from 1972 to 1999 and was responsible for much of the bank’s urban policy development during that period. Mr. Cohen has worked in 55 countries and was heavily involved in the World Bank’s work on infrastructure, environment, and sustainable development. His numerous published works include several books on urban development, Africa, and the impact of development assistance. Mr. Cohen has advised governments, NGOs, and academic institutions around the world. He recently helped the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) prepare its 2007 Global Report on Human Settlements. He is currently the director of The New School’s Observatory on Latin America.