Moving Cities onto the Global Stage

Launched in 2012, the Global Cities Initiative (GCI) is a $10 million, five-year joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase designed to help the leaders of U.S. metropolitan areas strengthen their economies and become more competitive in the global marketplace, while also fostering an international network of metropolitan leaders who are committed to trade, invest and grow together.

Twenty-eight U.S. metropolitan areas are engaged in a two-phase planning process:

Phase 1 is a metropolitan export plan that helps regions cultivate a larger pipeline of export-ready firms and better connect them to export services and growing global markets.

Phase 2 is a foreign direct investment (FDI) plan that explores new forms of FDI, assesses the interaction of FDI and exports, and develops strategies to attract and retain investment.

Ultimately, each metro area produces its own market assessment, a global trade and investment plan (which is a roll-up of its export and FDI plans), an implementation plan, and a policy memo. Five cities (Columbus, Portland, San Antonio, San Diego and Seattle) have already completed unique global trade and investment plans, whereas the remaining 23 cities are at earlier stages. (See map.)

Real estate professionals can turn to the GCI plans for insights into emerging global opportunities in these markets. Specific strategies, tactics, and implementation steps are outlined, including the organizations involved in executing various initiatives related to attracting investment, building infrastructure, promoting innovation, and much more.1

Real estate plays a pivotal role in all these endeavors. Practitioners who get familiar with and involved in civic leaders’ efforts to build the global cities of the future are in an excellent position to participate in key networking opportunities and related real estate transactions.

To learn more about the Global Cities Initiative and access participating cities’ plans and related research, go to

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About Global Perspectives

Global Perspectives in Real Estate is a resource for global professionals, aimed at helping them globalize their local markets. Produced bi-monthly, this newsletter serves as a how-to guide and is full of useful and actionable tips. A free subscription is given to all Certified International Property Specialists (CIPS) designees.

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