This year, the Americas Project is bringing together young leaders throughout the hemisphere to facilitate an informed and open dialogue on urban migration in the Americas -- an issue of critical importance to the region. Metropolitan cities are home to approximately half of the world"s population. In Latin America alone, 74 percent of the population lives in urban areas, and estimates indicate that this is a growing trend.
Houston is not exempt from this reality. With 2.2 million inhabitants -- and an estimated 5.6 million in its metropolitan area -- it is the fourth largest city in the United States and the largest city in Texas. The city is home to some of the largest Central and South American, Mexican and South Asian communities in the United States, as well as to the most influential Vietnamese-American population in the state.
The current situation forces local governments and decision makers to adopt a new dimension on the global stage. Can public policy respond to these changes? Can the private sector formulate actions that take rapid population growth into account?
Our panel of experts will address these issues, focusing on three major themes: public education, affordable housing and sustainable public policy.