U.S. Conference of Mayors Delegation to Visit Cortex, Learn Tools for Establishing a Successful Innovation Hub

Brookings Institution-Project for Public Spaces' Bass Initiative on Innovation and Placemaking to Facilitate Conversations

April 10, 2017 | 2 min reading time

This article is 5 years old. It was published on April 10, 2017.

ST. LOUIS -- Mayor Francis Slay and Cortex President & CEO Dennis Lower will host members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors for a tour of the City of St. Louis innovation hub and to learn about its extraordinary growth and success.

The mayors' delegation will be led by Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher, who heads the Conference of Mayors' efforts to promote innovation districts, and chairs its Council on Metro Economies and the New American City.

The Brookings Institution has recognized Cortex as a gateway to innovation and inclusion and, along with Cortex officials, will present to the mayors what interventions and instruments are driving Cortex's success.

The Brookings Institution-Project for Public Spaces' (PPS) Bass Initiative on Innovation and Placemaking aims to catalyze a new cross-disciplinary approach to city building that integrates the reinforcing benefits of vibrant public spaces, innovative urban economies, and inclusive growth.

On Wednesday, April 12, 2017, scholars Bruce Katz (Brookings), Julie Wagner (Brookings) and Meg Walker (PPS) will guide a delegation of nine U.S. mayors and city officials representing 19 cities on a tour of St. Louis's innovation assets as part of the U.S. Conference of Mayors' Council on Metro Economies and the New American City.

Katz, Wagner, and Walker, experts on urban economies and placemaking, will use St. Louis's Cortex as a backdrop and premier example of best practices in the use of physical space, programming, and governance for economic success and inclusion in innovation districts.

"The shifting geography of innovation is one of the most disruptive economic trends underway today," Katz said. "Innovation districts, the physical manifestation of this shift, are amenity-rich areas where leading-edge companies, research institutions, start-ups, and business incubators are located in dense proximity. Cortex is a perfect example of how these districts facilitate new connections and ideas, accelerate the commercialization of those ideas, and support metropolitan economies."

"I am happy to be welcoming fellow mayors to the City of St. Louis to showcase the success Cortex has been for our entire region," Mayor Slay said. "This has been a long time in the making, but today Cortex serves as a hub for thought-leaders, job creators, dreamers and doers. We look forward to sharing our experiences with other cities looking to develop their own innovation assets."

"We are excited to come to St. Louis to learn from the leadership of Mayor Slay and the Cortex team on how innovation districts can be drivers of economic growth in a new, fast-changing global economy," Mayor Fischer said. "Other mayors have a great deal to learn from the St. Louis experience."


Mayor Francis Slay, City of St. Louis
Mayor Greg Fischer, Louisville
Dennis Lower, President &CEO, Cortex Innovation District
Bruce Katz, Brookings Institution Scholar

Cortex One
4320 Forest Park Pkwy
St. Louis, MO 63108

Wednesday, April 12, 2017
11:45 a.m.
Press Conference
Press: B-roll opportunity to follow during delegation's tour of Cortex
Please email your RSVP to Maggie Crane: cranem@stlouis-mo.gov

For Brookings: Grace Palmer, 202-765-8561 | gpalmer@brookings.edu
Ellen Ochs, 301-768-9692 | eochs@brookings.edu
For Cortex: Gilberto Pinela, 314-497-7068 | gpinela@cortexstl.com
For U.S. Conference of Mayors: Elena Temple-Webb, 202-286-1100 | etemple@usmayors.org

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