Ten Memorable Quotes From Global Cities Forum

If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no reporter there to cover it, is it still news?

Okay, let’s frame that issue a bit differently. When one major international media company co-hosts an important public forum, no matter how compelling, it’s a good bet that its journalistic rivals will avoid giving their competitor any free publicity. That has to be the reasoning behind last week’s curiously thin press corps at the second annual Chicago Forum on Global Cities, hosted jointly once again by the Financial Times (FT) and The Chicago Council of Global Affairs (CCGA). After all, the attendance and the program were anything but light. Some 600 attendees, including mayors, CEOs, architects, urban planners, researchers and more from more than two dozen countries, all were on hand.

“Can cities solve problems countries can’t?”

— Forum on Global Cities

Held at multiple downtown locations, this year’s densely packed, 45-hour program took attendees on a whirlwind tour of imminent urban demographic challenges that will especially transform Asia, Africa, and South America, while changing life as we know it everywhere else, as well. Climate change, smart grids, disruptive technologies, sustainability, renewable energy, driverless vehicles, economic disparity, big data, healthcare, taxes, and the crying need for political leadership… all were on the table.

  • Full videos of all 12 of the Forum’s varied sessions are available here.
  • Below, a selection of some of the event’s most thought-provoking comments:







Chicago Council’s Amb. Ivo Daalder also said:
“One ‘London’ will be built every year for the next 35 years.”









NOTE: Skosey is EVP of Chicago’s Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC). Above, MPC President Barrett refers to Singapore’s “Father of City Planning”, Liu Thai-Ker.

“Don’t underestimate what forcing renegotiation would mean if what was agreed upon in Paris is undone a year later”

— Connie Hedegaard, former EU Climate chief

…and finally for now, the event’s most popular tweet:




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