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Hosted by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois, this international conference brings to Chicago leaders from over 30 top research universities from around the world to discuss the role university-based research plays in addressing the challenges of urban growth.

In 2011, the United Nations projected that nearly two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in cities by 2050. Yet the physical and social infrastructure of most cities is ill-prepared to absorb the expected influx of new residents. Staffed with expert faculty members and thought leaders on these issues, research universities are especially qualified to develop new knowledge and creative solutions that could be beneficial to cities around the world.

Through a series of plenary and working group sessions, this three-day conference aims to:
  • frame the challenges in areas of urban health, urban education, and urban vitality;
  • serve as a forum to exchange ideas and research expertise; and
  • provide opportunities to forge international partnerships.
The conference is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Northern Trust, the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Foundation, the Segal Family Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation.

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