Before Leading Cities became a network open to all municipalities, everywhere, it started as a network of ten marquee cities representing ten countries focused on collaborative urban research. These cities were chosen specifically for their common traits. All are mid-sized metropolitan areas with a highly educated workforce, strong ties to higher education, innovation, and technology.
Cities all over the world face many similar challenges, but by choosing cities with similar characteristics we identified similar trends and opportunities in response to the common limitations and restrictions that these cities faced. To be a founding member of Leading Cities, a city had to secure both the commitment of its municipal government and at least one university.
These Founding Cities built the foundation on which Leading Cities is now built. They helped forge the direction, vision, tools and opportunities now accessible by any municipal government in the world. We look forward to sharing these and future resources with cities of all sizes and locations, who want to join our network.