On-site event | Cities Summit - Urban Transformation and Inclusion Through the Power of Sports

On-site event | Cities Summit - Urban Transformation and Inclusion Through the Power of Sports

April 27, 2023

Denver, Colorado

Within the framework of the Cities Summit of the Americas, CAF invites you to this high-level discussion amongst key stakeholders, experts, and local decision-makers on how to take advantage of major sporting events to generate policies, projects, and infrastructure to include and facilitate access for all people to the opportunities offered by the city to its inhabitants. 

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Mega-sports events can generate significant economic benefits, infrastructure improvements, international exposure and community engagement for host cities. They can increase tourism, boost local business, create jobs, improve infrastructure such as new transportation systems and upgrades to public spaces, attract investment, and create opportunities for civic engagement and community pride. 

A well-planned sporting event can catalyze urban renewal and regeneration, with specific and significant improvements to transportation, public spaces, and social cohesion. This can be especially beneficial for forgotten and often ignored groups, such as low-income communities, women, children, at-risk juveniles, the elderly, and persons with disabilities, as a sports event can become a trigger to start taking universal accessibility seriously. For these communities, there is also an opportunity to promote cultural changes, reducing discrimination and stigma. One example, amazing performances by athletes with disabilities challenge old stereotypes, and may very well be the most powerful tool to make the broader society shift their mindsets towards this and other communities.

However, many public officials and decision makers still do not see the potential of sports events and sports in general to achieve such changes. More needs to be done for audiences beyond the usual sports stakeholders to get buy-in into sports as a tool for development. This lack of understanding also results in lack of funding for community, sports and accessibility in transportation systems and sports venues. 

Thus, this session will discuss the benefits of designing and planning these events with an inclusion lens by using the Panama and Parapanam Games in Barranquilla 2027 and the Panama and Parapanam Games in Chile in 2023, as an opportunity to promote a robust collaboration between cities, organizing committees, and Development Banks. Likewise, speakers will identify the legacy that Santiago leaves to Barranquilla to strengthen the role of these major sporting events and the inclusion agenda in the cities, as well as they will discuss how the Paralympic Committee of the Americas can strengthen the incorporation of the inclusion agenda into its sporting events calendar. Moreover, the panel will introduce the main motivations for an international funding agency to promote and implement a social inclusion agenda in the framework of its policies and projects. 

The voice of civil society will also be present in the discussion, in order to raise how sport can be used as a tool for social transformation, mainly among at-risk juveniles involved in violent offending and/or be a victim of violence, without the need to depend on big sport events. 

The sport for development agenda has had major innovations in the past few years, but it will be key to engage cities and financial institutions to turn all these great ideas into real strategies for change throughout the world. 

Date: Thursday, April 27th

Time: 11:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. (MST)

Place: Colorado Convention Center, Room 403-404


*Local time (of the country where you are located)
  • Opening remarks
    • Rebecca Bill Chavez President & CEO, Inter-American Dialogue
  • Roundtable: Urban Transformation and Inclusion Through the Power of Sports

    Moderator: Juan Pablo Salazar |  Inclusion Coordinator at CAF - Development Bank of Latin America- 

    • Gianna Cunazza Executive Director Pan American and Parapan American Games Santiago 2023
    • Erin Bromaghim Deputy Mayor of International Affairs for the City of Los Angeles. Former Director of Olympic and Paralympic Development in the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs
    • Alfredo Carbonell Manager of Social Development, City of Barranquilla
    • Ángel Cárdenas General manager of urban development, water and creative economies, CAF -Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean-
  • Closing Remarks
    • Rebecca Bill Chavez President & CEO, Inter-American Dialogue