September 28, 2016 | By Noah J. Toly

Brexit, Global Cities, and the Future of World Order

In an article published in the journal Globalizations, senior fellow on global cities Noah Toly explores the relationship between London and the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union. Toly characterizes the Brexit vote as linked to larger dynamics of income inequality, political disenfranchisement, and social exclusion, which threaten to destabilize a liberal world order premised on integration and openness. He observes that global cities—like London, which voted 60/40 in favor of remaining in the EU—are both the unique product of a globalized economy and actors uniquely positioned to save that economy from itself.

Toly charts a course whereby global cities have the opportunity and obligation to champion more equitable patterns of resource distribution and growth, both within their boundaries and in the larger geographies that surround them. Global cities did not emerge without a concerted leadership effort, and they will not stem the tide of inequality and exclusion that threatens the economic model on which they are premised without similarly concerted leadership. Put simply, the future of world order may well be in the hands of global cities.

Download the full article: Brexit, Global Cities, and the Future of World Order (PDF).

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Urban Reflections from the 2019 International Student Delegation

Each year approximately 30 students from leading research universities around the world participate in the global student delegation program at the Pritzker Forum on Global Cities. Promising students who have demonstrated a commitment to improving global cities and are enrolled in a master’s or PhD program are nominated by their host universities to attend. The 2019 delegation included 30 students from 20 countries, including China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Germany, Israel, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Their biographies are available here.

The following series of contributions are their reflections and insights inspired by and drawn from their experience attending the 2019 Pritzker Forum.


| By Lille van der Zanden

Social Equity: The Legacy of 100 Resilient Cities

On July 31, 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) officially ceased its operations, marking a turning point in the modern urban resiliency movement to create cities that can bounce back from disaster. In six years, the Rockefeller Foundation-funded initiative brought a standardized urban resilience framework to cities across the globe, facilitating the development of more than 80 resilience plans in the process. As a result of its work, urban resiliency planning has become a common practice for city governments, with many institutionalizing the position of a chief resiliency officer.




| By Ian Klaus

Will Ambassador Subnat Go to Washington?

On June 28, 2019, Congressmen Ted W. Lieu (D-CA33) and Joe Wilson (R-SC02) introduced H.R.3571, the “City and State Diplomacy Act.” The Act seeks to mandate a senior official at the State Department charged with “supervision (including policy oversight of resources) of Federal support for subnational engagements by State and municipal governments with foreign governments.” The position would be at the ambassadorial level, and “Ambassador Subnat” would require the consent of the Senate and oversee a new Office of Subnational Diplomacy.