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Advice to Aspirational Mega-Cities

By 2030, two out of every three people worldwide will live in cities. If cities are surpassing corporations as the principal economic organizing units of our time, mega-cities — clusters of great cities, which in many cases cross national boundaries — are on track to replace nation-states as the world's most important global political units.

At the Aspen Ideas Festival last Friday, I asked former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley if he thought mega-cities were here to stay. He reminded me that political power resided in city-states for centuries, and that cities were built on water to facilitate trade. Now that we have air travel, interior cities are becoming much more important.

Looking ahead, he said, mega-areas will only become more important. In the future, he concluded, "it’s not going to be Chicago, it’s not going to be L.A., it’s not going to be Toronto. It’s going to be regions."

More from the Aspen Ideas Festival

Keywords: Mega-city

Richard Florida is Co-Founder and Editor at Large at The Atlantic Cities. He's also a Senior Editor at The Atlantic, Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, and Global Research Professor at New York University. He is a frequent speaker to communities, business and professional organizations, and founder of the Creative Class Group, whose current client list can be found here. All posts »

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