Cities, Prosperity and Influence

March 2017

For the first time in history most people now live in cities.

By Jo Beall and David Adam

This paper examines how cities can shape their own destinies and help address urban, national and international challenges. It explores the increasingly important balance between nations - which must give their cities the autonomy and support they need to prosper - and cities - which need to ensure that their pursuit of city-led agendas do not run counter to national interests and diplomacy. These conclusions have significant implications for organisations and individuals within cities, as well as for cities and nations themselves.

Any opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the British Council.