First Cities Summit of the Americas taps potential of local leaders

View of lake in park and Denver skyline, with mountains and sky in background (© Andrew Zarivny/
Denver will host the first Cities Summit of the Americas. (© Andrew Zarivny/

The first Cities Summit of the Americas the week of April 24 in Denver will bring together leaders from city, state and regional governments across the Western Hemisphere.

President Biden announced the event at the Ninth Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles in June 2022.

In addition to government leaders, the summit will include representatives from the region’s youth, arts and culture groups, as well as indigenous and previously underrepresented groups. The summit will build relationships and advance regional cooperation in a wide variety of subject areas.

Palacio de Bellas Artes, the Palace of Fine Arts, in Mexico City from high vantage point (© Richie Chan/
Mayors of cities throughout the Americas, including Mexico City, will collaborate to address common issues such as strengthening democracy and public health. (© Richie Chan/

At the summit, subnational authorities — governors of states, mayors of cities and other local officials — will discuss the role cities can play in implementing the outcomes of the Summit of the Americas related to strengthening democracy and public health; fostering clean energy transitions; addressing environmental challenges; increasing access to critical digital technologies; combating the spread and influence of disinformation; and fostering collaborative, humane migration. They will also discuss ways to promote racial equality at the local level.

In addition, the Cities Summit will showcase the best the region’s private sector has to offer with “Innovation Plaza,” a commercial expo of companies with tangible solutions to urban challenges. Innovation Plaza will offer Cities Summit mayors and decisionmakers a one-stop shop demonstrating real solutions to urban sustainability problems.

Two electric buses in manufacturing facility (© Abbie Parr/AP)
Electric buses at New Flyer, a heavy-duty transit bus manufacturer in St. Cloud, Minnesota (© Abbie Parr/AP)

The Cities Summit of the Americas will also see the launch of the Cities Forward initiative. Cities Forward will help participating cities develop sustainability action plans to ignite equitable job creation and investment in innovation. Supported projects will focus on mitigating air, soil, water and plastic pollution and improving the health and welfare of underserved communities.

As Secretary of State Antony Blinken said to mayors from the region gathered at the Ninth Summit of the Americas, cities are “where there is more democratic connectivity than at any other level of government.” By building stronger partnerships with local leaders, he said, the Cities Summit will lay the groundwork for stronger relationships among the countries, cities and people of the Americas.