The Future of Urbanism

Rick Cole

Rick Cole '78 is the City Manager of Santa Monica, former Mayor of Pasadena

Rick Cole is one of the most progressive and outspoken leaders in Southern California on the major challenges facing cities: reducing inequality, building housing, fighting climate change, ending homelessness and promoting environmental sustainability.  The current City Manager of Santa Monica is an Occidental College graduate who’s served as Mayor of Pasadena and City Manager in Ventura and Azusa.  Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti also chose him to be Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation where he tackled the fiscal stresses of the nation’s second largest city with a $7 billion budget.


The discussion with Mr. Cole centered on whether cities can thrive in a time of sweeping global economic and technological changes and if people of color and the poor share in the rebirth of inner-city neighborhoods.  He offered insights on the future of cities and urban democracy.