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Thanks To New Cities Summit, The World Is Coming To Dallas In June

Drriss and Marrion
The Winspear Opera House will be one of the venues for the New Cities Summit when it comes to North America and Dallas in June

A thousand of the world’s top thinkers, business leaders, scholars and entrepreneurs are headed to Dallas this June for an international summit on evolving cities. Monday’s announcement pointed to the arts district as a key attraction.

Held in Sao Paulo, Brazil this year and Paris in 2012 , The New Cities Summit makes its North American debut June 17-19 here. Attendees from 40 nations will tackle the topic “Reimagining Cities” because experts say 70 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050.

They’ll discuss the best ways cities can grow, govern, educate, transport, and care for their residents.

Why come to Dallas?

“We’re known for our architecture and we’re known for our people,” said Catherine Cuellar, the city’s Arts District director. She says the Switzerland-based summit organizers were wowed by the arts district, with buildings like the Perot Museum and Winspear Opera House, all designed by world-class architects, and Klyde Warren Park, created by roofing a roadway.

"This is a model of visions of leaders who were generous and well organized, creating a cultural district," Cuellar said. "And now, cultural districts under construction, like those in Qatar, in the United Arab Emirates, or West Kowloon in Hong Kong are looking to us for lessons learned.”

Cuellar says this summit is a big deal, and the focus isn’t just fine arts.

It's also about how "culture districts all over the world are helping  to attract the best employers and helping those employers retain the best employees," Cuellar said. "The liberal arts and sciences also help play a key role in keeping the mind flexible and adaptable in the global economy.”

The summit will be followed by the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors, capping the global gathering with a meeting grabbing national attention. 

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.