progrss in cities is an event series that brings together urban players to showcase innovative work being done by the next generation of city makers to serve the next generation of cities.

Cities from the Americas to Africa and Asia are struggling to keep up with the pace of urban change, leaving a number of gaps to be filled. As incapacitating as some of the challenges they face may be, stakeholders and communities are continuously coming together to find practical solutions to impractical problems.

Why progrss in cities?

In our experience, cities around the world face similar challenges, but they often choose to address them in different ways – for different reasons. Through progrss in cities, we bring together stakeholders and community members that are working in urban issues to the same table. By allowing these players – many of whom work in different fields – to connect and become aware of how similar challenges are being addressed elsewhere, we aim to inspire them to think of new ways about their own solutions.

Bringing our knowledge of local initiatives and transformative urban technologies to different communities can yield a plethora of innovative solutions to the problems keeping cities from experiencing the change they all strive for. Through progrss in cities, we hope that we can act as a bridge between the cities of today and the cities of the future.

Why now?

At Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador, progrss in cities organized a panel that challenged top-down models of urban planning and city-building. progrss show-cased inspiring, bottom-up urban innovation (“urbanovation”) stories from around the world in a seminar that highlighted the role that urban entrepreneurs play in creating successful interventions to make their cities more liveable.

In October 2017, progrss in cities co-organized the Pan-African The Future of African Cities conference in Cairo – a gathering that brought together innovation hubs from AfriLabs‘ network and Hivos’ Coworking Summit. Through it, we saw the potential of bringing together different players from across the region to share experiences, network, and explore new solutions to longstanding challenges.

Through our partnership with the Cairo-based innovation hub KMT House, we continue to build a strong community around urban technology and urban innovation in the Egyptian capital.