Launched in 2011, the Global Cities Initiative (GCI), a joint project of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase, aimed to strengthen the international economic connections and competitiveness of city-regions through research, demonstration projects, advisory support, and peer networking.

GCI activities included more than 25 original research products and tools for practitioners, more than 50 summits and working sessions in 16 U.S. states and 12 countries, and direct work with cross-sector coalitions in roughly 45 U.S. and international metropolitan areas to create and implement locally tailored strategies.

Melding think tank insights with real-world action, GCI helped metropolitan areas assess their position and assets in the global marketplace, develop comprehensive approaches to boost trade and investment, share promising practices, forge partnerships within their regions and with international counterparts, and advance supportive program and policy changes.



“San Diego is poised to really take that step onto the global stage in a way that we have not before. San Diego for some time has been punching below its weight relative to our global engagement. And so today we’re looking to change that. We’re looking to change that in partnership with the public, private, and academic partners throughout our community.”

Sean Barr
Senior Vice President, Economic Development at the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation

“With the majority of the world’s consumers overseas and increasing amounts of innovation and partnerships driving global partnerships, we see it as crucial that Greater Portland be engaged internationally, and we have really benefitted not only from the research and strategy support from the Global Cities Initiative, but also through the interchange of ideas and experiences with other metros in the Initiative that have both piloted or have followed on this important work. And so for us, it is really cutting edge economic development.”

Derrick Olsen
Former Vice President, Greater Portland Inc.

“Representing Louisville-Lexington, it struck me as I listened and spoke in these sessions that the enduring value of the GCI work has been not just to convene some of these top 100 metropolitan areas, but to deputize us—to imbue us with a sense of the critical role of these cities in the future of countries vying to be counted among the leaders and innovators of the 21st century.”

Jeanine Duncliffe
Director of International Economic Development, Louisville Forward