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Latin America's Urban Visionaries, in the New Issue of Americas Quarterly

Latin American Urban Visionaries

October 16, 2018

An inspiring, diverse group of Latin Americans shows why collaboration and thoughtful planning are as important as resource funding to make their cities more livable. Co-organized with Citi Foundation, and in conjunction with the U20 Mayoral Summit, an October 31 Americas Quarterly launch event in Buenos Aires will gather urban disruptors who are committed to transforming the lives of millions across the region.

New York, October 16, 2018  In a continent where 80 percent of the population lives in crowded urban areas, fixing problems requires more than smart policyIt takes vision and courage. For its final issue of 2018, Americas Quarterly (AQ)the leading publication on politics, business, and culture in the hemisphereidentifies five outstanding leaders who are driving change and creating cities that are more sustainable, resilient, and better prepared for the workplaces of the futureThe featured personalities in AQ’s Urban Visionaries 70-page special section  include mayors, entrepreneurs, activists, architects, and everyday people who believe powerful ideas combined with an ability to build collaboration can translate into better cities for all.

 Latin America is a place where civic identity is often weak, perhaps because of the world’s biggest gap between rich and poor. Self-interest, distrust, and political polarization sometimes carry the day,” writes AQ Editor-in-Chief Brian Winter. “These leaders have found ways to overcome them, and shown the rewards can be immense.

“There is no shortage of innovation across Latin America, and with the growing demand globally for cities to meet the needs of their booming populations, we need out-the-box ideas that make our communities more livable and sustainable," says Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation. "By working together, across sectors and silos, we can help move from ideation to action and bring more of these pioneering projects to scale.”

Latin America’s top urban visionaries according to AQ are:

Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, the Buenos Aires mayor who, despite formidable economic headwinds, has invested heavily in infrastructure and education to reduce inequality. 

Ricardo Moraan entrepreneur in Ciudad Juárez whose start-up incubator and co-working space is attracting talent and investment to the depressed border region. 

Raisa Banfieldthe former TV personality who is now the Panama City deputy mayor and a globally recognized environmental advocate. 

Jhony Fernando Fernándeza young man from a low-income neighborhood of Cali, Colombia, who went from gang member to community leader and peacemaker.

Aline Cavalcantea cycling enthusiast-turned-activist who wanted to make the perilous streets of São Paulo safer for two-wheelers.

LIVE EVENTHow will the job market in Latin American cities change by 2030? What should cities do to prepare for the gig economy, automation, climate change, and other coming challenges? Co-hosted with Citi Foundation and with the support of the city of Buenos Aires, the U20 Mayoral Summit, 100 Resilient Cities, and Universidad Torcuato di Tella, an October 31 launch event in Buenos Aires will convene a unique mix of mayors, entrepreneurs, activists, and regular citizens from around the region to discuss how to make the twenty-first century a truly great one for cities. This event will be live webcast. Follow the conversation at @AmerQuarterly and #AQcities.  

In the Urban Visionaries special section, Citi Foundation President Brandee McHale argues that there is no shortage of bold proposals for urban infrastructure in Latin America but making them reality requires long-term thinking from policymakers. The journalist Seth Kugel describes how microbreweries are resurrecting a run-down and under-utilized industrial area of Porto Alegre, Brazil. Torcuato di Tella University School of Government Dean Eduardo Levy-Yeyati urges cities to lead an education revolution that addresses the mismatch between training and market demandsAnd from electric scooters to vertical gardens to young coders creating chatbots, AQ features the most promising initiatives that are changing Latin American cities for the better.

Other articles in this issue include:

  • An essay on how Cuban-American exile groups carried out over 100 bombings on U.S. soil in the mid-1970s.

  • AQ’s fall music playlist, from Guadaloupean blues to old-time boleros. 

  • PanoramaAAQ snapshot of people and trends in the region.

The complete Americas Quarterly’s fourth 2018 edition will be available October 31, 2018 at

Press inquiries: 
AS/COA Media Relations: | 1-212-277-8384 | 1-212-277-8333.

Americas Quarterly (AQ) is the premier publication dedicated to politics, business, and culture in the Western Hemisphere, with a focus on Latin America. Launched in 2007 and based in New York City, AQ’s award-winningmagazineand website appeal to a broad audience interested in the region. Readers include top policymakers in Washington, D.C., Brasilia, Mexico City and beyond; executives at Latin American multinationals and Fortune 500 companies; opinion leaders in universities and the media; and a vast array of general readers who are passionate about Latin America. Editorial board members include former presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Ricardo Lagos, Ernesto Zedillo and Alejandro Toledo, as well as leading voices from business, journalism, finance and academia. Americas Quarterly is an independent publication ofAmericas Society and Council of the Americas, which for more than 50 years have been dedicated to dialogue in our hemisphere.