The CityAge Podcast

More than 70% of the world's population will live in cities by 2050

At CityAge, we talk to city builders every day who are solving the world’s biggest problems, from climate change, to accessibility, to inclusive economic growth. We put together digital events, roundtables, and market research showcasing how cities are rising to the occasion, innovating in the face of some daunting, and (forgive the buzzword) disruptive challenges.

The idea of this show is to share those conversations - the kind we get to be a part of all the time. They’re free-flowing, human, energizing, clear and hopeful. We’ll talk to government leaders, industry leaders, startup founders, architects, engineers, and more. We’ll ask them how they’re building the future, but we’ll also ask them about their challenges and hopes for the future. 

We live in an urban world, and it’s getting more and more urban by the day. So when we talk about the future of cities, we’re actually talking about the future of humanity. And we’d like to think pretty much everyone cares about that. 

We hope you’ll listen in. And we hope you like it. After all, you can’t build the future alone.


Season Three Episodes

Chris Castro: Driving Sustainability Locally and Federally

What started as a childhood soaking up the Florida Everglades turned into a passion for the outdoors and eventually a purpose for Chris Castro, Chief of Staff of the Department of Energy's new office of State and Community Energy Programs (SCEP).

"I realized that my passion and purpose was doing everything in my power to make this switch to a sustainable future," Chris tells CityAge in describing his "A-HA!" moment while studying at University of Central Florida.

Chris details his incredible journey from founding a consulting firm and a non-profit to city government to Washington, DC, where his non-stop energy and passion are on full display while growing SCEP since becoming  Employee #1.

With hundreds of millions of dollars available through various DOE initiatives, he shares with Lisa the many ways in which individuals and businesses alike can take part in the sustainability movement and save money, while helping to save the planet, too.

Tracy Loh: Transformative Placemaking for a Post-Pandemic World

From Philadelphia to New York, Detroit to Salt Lake City, Los Angeles to San Diego, cities are experiencing the post-pandemic era very differently. And while there is no one-size-fits-all solution, there are fundamental principles that any city can use to guide its approach to recovery.  

In today's episode of The City Age Podcast we explore this topic in depth with Tracy Loh. She is a Fellow with the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking at Brookings Metro, a part of the Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington, DC.

Tracy and Lisa chat about the future of downtowns, commercial real estate and pandemic recovery, as well as picking their own favorite cities to live in.

In-Person at the Urban Transformation Summit in Detroit—Part 2

Our second of two special episodes recorded in-person at the World Economic Forum’s Urban Transformation Summit in Detroit features three experts involved in urban regeneration projects that place social impact at the centre of their work: Heela Omarkhail, Vice President of Social Impact at the The Daniels Corporation, Dr. Eloisa Klementich, President and CEO of Invest Atlanta, and Eime Tobari who leads a social impact practice at Avison Young.

In-Person at the Urban Transformation Summit in Detroit —Part 1

In the first of two episodes of the CityAge Podcast recorded at the World Economic Forum’s Urban Transformation Summit in Detroit last week, we chat about transportation. From the use of data to improve transportation, to real-world innovations in use today, to the largest mass transit system in the US (believe it or not, schoolbuses!) and much more. Our three special guests share stories from the front lines of one of our greatest urban challenges and opportunities today: Jennifer Holmes, Global Cities, Transport & Infrastructure Industry Lead at Accenture; Ritu Narayan, Founder and CEO of Zūm; and Laura Fox, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Streetlife Ventures.

Kofi Bonner: Rebuilding a city, block by block

On the Season 3 premiere of the CityAge Podcast, new co-host Lisa Chamberlain chats with Bedrock Detroit CEO Kofi Bonner. A seasoned professional with diverse experience in affordable housing, fintech, public sector work and sports, Bonner chats with Lisa about Detroit’s transformation, future development in Cleveland, the importance of public-private collaboration, and much more. From the role of climate change in reshaping urban landscapes, to the need to concentrate redevelopment efforts and the future of manufacturing in Midwestern cities, this wide-ranging conversation has something for everyone.   

Season 3 Coming Soon!

This season we're excited to welcome renowned journalist and urban strategist Lisa Chamberlain as our new co-host of The City Age Podcast. In Season 3, Lisa will host another round of extraordinary leaders and thinkers offering their take on the future of cities. Watch for our season premier airing October 4th, with new episodes following every second Wednesday. In the meantime be sure to check out our extensive back catalogue and enjoy hearing more about the business of city building.

Season Two Episodes

Jay Cross: Building Complete Communities Post-Pandemic

On the final episode of the CityAge Podcast season 2, Anna sat down with President of the Howard Hughes Corporation, Jay Cross. They chat about Jay’s career arc and how it led him to this role, how the pandemic changed the way people make decisions about where to live and work, and how that change is giving smaller and mid-sized cities more opportunities to grow and attract a skilled workforce. Jay shares what he’s learned about how to build complete communities as well as what he hopes the future urban landscape will look like in America. 

If you liked this season of the CityAge Podcast and have ideas for season 3, or something you want us to cover, email us at And thanks for tuning in. After all, you can’t build the future alone. 

Susannah Pierce: Decarbonizing Canada

On this week’s penultimate episode of the CityAge Podcast season 2, CityAge Co-Founder Miro Cernetig sat down with Susannah Pierce, President and Country Chair, and VP of Emerging Energy Solutions for Shell Canada. Miro and Susannah discuss what’s unique about Shell’s operations and opportunity in Canada compared to other countries, what decarbonizing looks like for cities, and what her team is currently working on when it comes to reaching the country and the company’s climate goals. Susannah shares how she navigates the complexity of her role, which includes integrating and coordinating business investment and operational performance across Shell’s lines of business in Canada including upstream, downstream, integrated gas and new energies. She’s also accountable for Shell’s overall reputation and stakeholder relations in the country. 

Nolan Gray & Joshua Humphries: Zoning and Affordable Housing

On this week’s episode we sat down with Nolan Gray, author of Arbitrary Lines: How Zoning Broke the American City and How to Fix It, and Joshua Humphries, Senior Housing Policy Advisor to Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens. Both interviews explore the current housing crisis. With Nolan, we dive into the far-reaching problems zoning has caused and worsened (including the housing crisis, racial segregation, lagging economic growth, and urban sprawl that hurts the climate) and what we can do about it. With Joshua, we discuss Atlanta’s housing needs in particular, and the unique way they’re addressing them.

Andrew Bui: Electrifying Transportation & Shaping the Next LA

On this week’s episode of the CityAge Podcast Marc Andrew, CityAge Co-Founder, sits down with Andrew Bui, VP of Global Transportation Strategic Initiatives and Electrification Lead at AECOM. Marc and Andrew dive into lots of interesting stuff about electrifying transportation, aerial-mobility, and more. 

We are also sharing a special feature on how Los Angeles is preparing to host the World at the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic games. You’ll hear from Chief Innovation Officer of LA Metro, Seleta Reynolds, and the President and CEO of the LA County Economic Development Corporation, Stephen Cheung. 

Brian Platt & Caroline Samponaro: City Management and Micro-Mobility

On this week’s episode of the CityAge Podcast Anna chats with Brian Platt, City Manager for Kansas City, MO, and Caroline Samponaro, Head of Transit and Micro-mobility Policy at Lyft. Brian tells listeners about the exciting moment KC finds itself in after winning the Super Bowl (again), and preparing to host the upcoming World Cup and U.S. Conference of Mayors, and what special events like that mean for a city’s development. We chat about how city managers juggle the day to day of keeping their city running with innovation and visionary plans for their city’s future, and how Brian has learned to do it. With Caroline we get a history on micro-mobility, a look into where it’s going, and how the needle is moving when it comes to women taking leadership roles in transportation. She also tells us about the ‘moment’ that micro-mobility is having in mainstream consciousness.

Rit Aggarwala: How New York City is Building Resilience to Climate Change

On this week’s Earth Day edition of the CityAge Podcast we sat down with Rit Aggarwala, Chief Climate Officer of New York City and the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection. Anna and Rit discuss recent wins for the city’s climate efforts, some challenges they’re facing, how it feels to lead a city like New York through the climate crisis, and what all of us can do in our own lives to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. 

To learn more about the work Rit mentions:

Gowanus Canal cleanup:


Local Law 97:

Marc Eichenbaum & Mary Rowe: Houston’s Homelessness Strategy & The Future of Downtowns

On this week’s episode of the CityAge Podcast we chat with Marc Eichenbaum, Special Assistant to the Mayor for Homeless Initiatives at the City of Houston, and Mary Rowe, President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute. Marc discusses Houston’s progress so far in addressing homelessness, as well as the city’s next steps, challenges, and the lessons he’s learned. With Mary we discuss the future of Canadian downtowns and what the post-pandemic future for Canadian cities looks like.

Alisia McClain: Building the Future of Work in Louisville

On this week’s episode of the CityAge Podcast Anna chats with Alisia McClain, Executive Director of the Louisville Future of Work Initiative, powered by Microsoft. The Future of Work initiative is a partnership between Microsoft and the Louisville Metro Government, focused on giving historically marginalized people more opportunities to learn digital skills and secure employment in tech, while also making Louisville into a regional hub for Artificial Intelligence, IoT, and data science. Anna and Alisia talk about why it’s important for women and people of color to be involved in the research, development, and deployment of AI, what it feels like to be excluded from it, and what companies like Microsoft can do to help.

For more on the Future of Work Initiative:

Ben Almond & Christine Bergeron: Canada's Climate Goals and Housing Needs

On this week’s episode of the CityAge Podcast, sponsored by EMILI, we sat down with Ben Almond, CEO of Engineering Services Canada at SNC-Lavalin, and Christine Bergeron, President and CEO of Canada’s largest community credit union, Vancity.

We talk about SNC-Lavalin’s data-driven solution to decarbonize Canada’s built environment and how Vancity is financing affordable housing in the midst of the country’s housing crisis. We cover everything from what diversity and equity have to do with reaching net zero, whether we’re on track to meet our climate goals, the role that financial institutions must play in solving our biggest challenges, and how Vancity’s business model allows them to prioritize people, profits, and planet at the same time.

For more on our friends at EMILI, visit or follow them on Twitter at @EMILI_Canada.

Steve Zoegall & Candy Johnson: Digitizing Net Zero and Achieving Economic Equity

This week we chat with both Steve Zoegall, the Global Industry Lead for Cities, Transportation, and Infrastructure at Accenture, and Candy Johnson, the President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga. We talk about two very different but equally important issues: the digital underpinnings of reaching net zero and the role of public private partnership, and how to build inclusive economies where people of color drive and achieve prosperity.

Candy Johnson is a native of Clarksville, Tennessee where she was the youngest member ever elected to public office for the Clarksville City Council, at 25 years old. Johnson’s professional experience includes more than a decade as a leader in nonprofit, education, political and civic related roles.

Steve Zoegall studied at Harvard and Columbia University. Prior to joining Accenture he worked in biotech marketing, taught at the university level, and worked as a strategy consultant.

For more on Accenture’s work with the World Economic Forum:

For more on the Urban League:

Shin-pei Tsay: How Tech Companies are Driving the Future of Mobility

On this episode of the CityAge Podcast, Anna sits down with Uber’s Director of Global Policy for Cities and Transportation, Shin-pei Tsay. They talk about how Uber is prioritizing electrification and decarbonization, while also adapting to the realities of climate change (extreme weather), and how they’re increasing accessibility for all kinds of users. That includes business partnerships to make EVs more accessible to drivers, policy work on EV charging, disaster response, and initiatives that help increase transportation options for people who need it most. 

Check out the Future of Mobility podcast here

Ben McAdams: Putting Assets to Work

Welcome to the CityAge Podcast, season 2! We’re thrilled to be back. Ben McAdams is our first guest and he does not disappoint. He’s a Senior Fellow at the Sorenson Impact Center at the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah and the founder of the Common Ground Institute. The Institute works with local governments to unlock revenue from their publicly-owned real estate. Ben served previously as a Member of the United States Congress, as Mayor of Salt Lake County and in the Utah State Senate. 

We chat with him about his Putting Assets to Work incubator and the impact it can have for cities and regions across America. Ben is definitely a thermostat (that will make sense to you in a few minutes). Enjoy!

If you want to know more about Putting Assets to Work, check out Ben’s Podcast, Possible City.

COMING SOON: Season 2!

The CityAge Podcast is back. And this time around we'll have more interviews, topics, and episodes. In Season 2, Anna, Alon, and our guests will dive into the future of urban infrastructure from smart buildings to transit systems, decarbonization strategies, best practices for inclusive economic development and entrepreneurship, new housing solutions, and more.

We're excited to welcome you back to the conversation, starting January 25th.  

Season ONE Episodes

Rick Cole: The New Urbanism and Reason to Hope

On the final episode of season 1, brought to you by Genome BC, Anna sits down with Rick Cole, Executive Director of Congress for the New Urbanism. The CNU is a champion for legalizing walkable urbanism, supporting complete neighborhoods, designing for climate change, and building cities that work for everyone by addressing historic inequities. Rick and Anna chat about how the response to the concept of the new urbanism has changed over the course of Rick’s career and Rick’s faith in Gen Zs’ ability to help solve some of the biggest problems facing North American cities. 

For more on zoning: How Zoning Broke the American City (

Learn more about Genome BC here (

Nicolia Robinson: Building With the Community

Nicolia Robinson is an architect from Cooper Carry, and she’s on the show today to tell us what it means to take a community-driven approach to urban design. Nicolia and Anna chat about how Nicolia’s team engages the community, why it’s important, the growth that Nicolia’s city (Atlanta) is experiencing, and Alon and Anna chat about why they both love architects.

Then, Anna and Alon share the story for this week: Louisville awarded $20.5 million in federal RAISE grants to fund ReImagine 9th Street, Broadway All the Way

Learn more about Microsoft’s Westside Campus in Atlanta.

Learn more about the Kauffman Foundation.

Lafayette Crump: Reconnecting Milwaukee

On this episode Anna sits down with Lafayette Crump, Commissioner of City Development for Milwaukee. They cover a lot: from the basics of his role as Commissioner, how he balances multiple competing priorities, community engagement in neighborhood investment, and what he’s learned during his time in the role. Then, CityAge Co-Founder Miro Cernetig tells us about the future of food in a special feature segment. You’ll hear from food expert Evan Fraser, Director of the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph and Tamara Rebanks, Director at the Weston Family Foundation. We dive into the state of the food crisis, what role Canada can play in solving it, and how the Weston Family Foundation is helping the country lead the world. 

Then Anna and Alon share this week’s story: Averting a Lost Decade.

Cindy Wallis-Lage: Building Sustainable Cities

On this week’s episode, brought to you by the Kauffman Foundation, CityAge Co-Founder, Marc Andrew, chats with Cindy Wallis-Lage, Executive Director of Sustainability and Resilience at the engineering firm, Black & Veatch. They talk about her new role as well as her previous position in Black & Veatch’s Water Business, the federal infrastructure money, EV charging, why everyone needs to take responsibility for building a more sustainable future, and why.

Then Anna and Alon share this week’s story: Washington, DC, among cities piloting transparency standard for digital tech

Learn more about the Kauffman Foundation.

Miles Sandler: Investing in Entrepreneurship to Build Better Cities

On this week’s episode, brought to you by Genome BC, Anna chats with Miles Sandler, Director of Policy and Engagement and Public Affairs at the Kauffman Foundation, about how investing in entrepreneurship, and diverse, inclusive entrepreneurship in particular, is critical to building better cities. They get into how regional economic growth is directly impacted by the success of small businesses, how neighborhood design impacts whether someone can access entrepreneurial, educational, and job opportunities, and why supporting businesses owned by women and people of colour helps all of us. 

Then Anna and Alon share this week’s story:

Abolish Zoning. Entirely. For good.

Learn more about Genome BC.

Learn more about the Kauffman Foundation’s policy framework, America’s New Business Plan.

Barbara Humpton: The Future of City Infrastructure

On this episode of the CityAge podcast Anna and Alon chat about summer, parks (did you know your insurance might go down if you live close to one?), and of course today’s guest: Barbara Humpton. Barbara Humpton is the CEO of Siemens USA. Fast Company named Siemens World Changing Company of the Year in May. Marc, one of CityAge’s Co-founders, sits down with Barbara to talk about what it really means to change the world. They touch on three of the verticals of infrastructure that Siemens is transforming (transportation, buildings, and energy), her advice for young women building a career in city building, where she gets her optimism from, and what it’s really like to work in DC among federal leaders. 

Then Anna and Alon share their story for this week, sent to them by Heather, CityAge’s Event Manager, all about how Houston is confronting homelessness:

How Houston Moved 25,000 People From the Streets Into Homes of Their Own

Monte Wilson: The Natural City

On this special episode of The CityAge Podcast, Anna & Alon share a feature on what we like to call The Natural City. Then CityAge Co-Founder, Miro Cernetig, sits down with Monte Wilson, the Global Market Director for the Built Environment at Jacobs, to dive in a bit deeper. They talk about the practice that makes the Natural City possible (biomimicry), what it means for the future of cities, what kind of work Jacobs is doing in this area right now, and how the public, especially in Houston, is responding to the idea of biomimicry. 

Then Anna and Alon share this week’s story: 8 Cities That Show You What The Future Will Look Like

Bruce Katz: Cities and the New Disorder

On this episode Anna chats with Bruce Katz, Founding Director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University and one of the Co-Founders of the New Localism. He helps cities design, finance and deliver transformative initiatives that promote inclusive and sustainable growth. Katz regularly advises global, national, state, regional and municipal leaders on public reforms and private innovations that advance the well-being of metropolitan areas and their countries. Katz is the co-author of The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism and The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy. Both books focus on the rise of cities and city networks as the world’s leading problem solvers. Anna and Bruce talk about why he calls our current era The New Disorder instead of The New Normal, what role cities will play in navigating it, and why he views cities as the real “doers” in our society. Then Bruce shares which book has taught him the most about cities (the answer might surprise you).

Then Anna and Alon share this week’s story: A new Maryland-based nonprofit aims to create a hub supporting women of color entrepreneurs.

Kim Williams: Public Transit is for Everyone

On this episode Anna sits down with Kim Williams, Chief Innovation Officer for the Metro Transit Authority for Harris County. She’s worked in California, Washington, D.C. and Beijing but today, she is in charge of METRO’s “idea factory”. She looks for the latest and greatest developments in transportation and figures out how to make them work for the Houston area. They talk about how the rise of Uber and Lyft pushed public transit to innovate, public-private partnerships, the biggest challenges that come with working in transit, her vision for the future of cities, and the move towards more people-centered transportation.

Then Anna and Alon share with you their story for this week:

Jonathan Reichental: Our Future Belongs to Cities

In this kick-off episode Alon and Anna discuss CityAge’s delayed entry into podcasting, what they hope listeners will take away from the show, and Alon reveals he doesn’t know much about blockchain. 

Then CityAge Co-Founder and journalist, Miro Cernetig, sits down with founder, professor, author, and smart city expert: Jonathan Reichental. They talk the future of cities, autonomous vehicles, digitizing government services, and more. 

Finally Alon & Anna share with you the stories and articles that the CityAge team has been sending each other lately. You can read them here:

Welcome to the CityAge Podcast


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