Global cities increasingly shape our world – not only the global economy but its ideas, culture, and policies. On the front lines of the world’s greatest challenges, cities are driving the most innovative solutions. Their influence transcends national borders.

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is a leading center for studying the influence of cities in solving global challenges and shaping the world’s future. With over a decade of research and programming on global cities, the Council examines the policies needed to be successful, identifies global best practices, connects leaders, and provides concrete recommendations to decision-makers.

Research and Digital Interactives

The Council publishes original research and produces digital interactives on topics such as the foreign policy of cities, the role of cities in global governance, inclusive societies, climate change and the environment, security and safety, migrant integration, and economic competitiveness.

Experts and Fellows

Resident and nonresident fellows contribute to the Council’s expertise by authoring blogs and commentaries, peer reviewing reports, developing podcasts and interactives, and presenting Council research on critical platforms.

Chicago Forum on Global Cities

Hosted in partnership with the Financial Times, this three-day international conference brings together leaders in business, civics, education, and the arts for a cross-sector dialogue on the influential role cities play in solving critical global challenges.

Year-Round Programming

The Council regularly hosts speakers, workshops, public programs, and private dinners to inform audiences of pressing issues affecting cities and to share the findings of Council research.

The Council's global cities work is made possible by:


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No Silver Bullet: The New Urban Agenda and Smart Cities

March 13, 2018 for Fair Observer

Populism Is Poisoning the Global Liberal Order

January 29, 2018 for The Global and Mail

Opinion: Why the Actions of Cities — Not Nations — Will Be the Key to Our Survival on Earth

January 16, 2018 for Ted

Diplomats and Designers Discuss: How Can We Protect Our Cities From Terror Attacks?

January 5, 2018 for World Economic Forum

Cities Are Stepping up on Climate Action as Nation States Fall to the Wayside

December 7, 2017 for Global Insight

The Biggest Risks Facing Cities

November 30, 2017 for TED

Where Are the World’s Most Fragile Cities?

November 27, 2017 for City Lab

Dissecting Mankind's Most Consequential Experiment: Moral Life In The Global City

November 17, 2017 for Pacific Standard

Past Event Multimedia

  • The Foreign Policy of Cities

    Ivo H. Daalder, President, Chicago Council on Global Affairs; Michele Acuto, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Global Cities; Beyza Unal, Research Fellow, Nuclear Weapons Policy, International Security Department, Chatham House

  • Global City Mayors on Climate Action: The Ripple Effect

    Muriel Bowser, Mayor, Washington, DC; Héctor Insúa García, Mayor, Colima City, Mexico; Gregor Robertson, Mayor, Vancouver; Valérie Plante, Mayor, Montreal

  • The True Cost of Climate Change: Reinforcing Inequality?

    Alice Hill, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Amir Jina, Assistant Professor, Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago

  • From the Highline to the 606

    Dan Doctoroff, CEO and Founder, Sidewalk Labs; former Deputy Mayor, New York City; Steve Koch, former Deputy Mayor, City of Chicago

  • Disruptive Forces Changing Cities

    Amy Liu, Vice President and Director, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institution

  • The 2017 Urban Challenge: Global Migration and Refugees

    Akel Biltaji, Former Mayor, Greater Amman Municipality, Jordan; Henry Cisneros, Chairman, CityView; Claudia Gonzalez Romo, Chief of Advocacy, UNICEF; Khalid Koser, Executive Director, Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund

  • The Future Economy

    Phillip Woolley, Partner, Manchester, Grant Thornton; Linda Jojo, Executive Vice President and CIO, United Airlines; Adriana Krnáčová, Mayor, City of Prague, Czech Republic; Gerald Lawless, Chairman, World Travel & Tourism Council; Head of Tourism and Hospitality, Dubai Holding; Steven Levitt, Professor of Economics, University of Chicago; And other participants

  • The Urban Crisis

    Richard Florida, Professor and Author of The New Urban Crisis; Mark Hoplamazian, President and CEO, Hyatt Hotels Corporation; Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama; Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls; Denis Mizne, CEO, Lemann Foundation; Claudio Orrego, Governor, Metropolitan Region of Santiago, Chile

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