What we do.

We build + activate cross-sector teams.

Cities are economic engines powering our nation. Yet every city has work to do. CEOs for Cities is a member-supported nonprofit that connects urban leaders, across sectors, generations and the country. We help build and activate teams – deadset on making timely, meaningful progress in their cities – with research, events and a national network of changemakers.

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RESEARCH + METRICS

Leaders use CEOs for Cities’ research to benchmark city performance and our frameworks to realize gains from incremental change. Big data isn’t a buzzword. It’s vital to city success.

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PEOPLE POWER

Our network is hundreds-strong with cross-sector thought leaders and practitioners around the country. Members build hometown teams to collaborate and compete with fellow cities.

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ALL-STAR EVENTS

National meetings, workshops and competitions help members ditch the status quo. Our events offer platforms for idea exchange, solution scaling, networking, debate and education.

662
CEOs for Cities Members in National Network
175
Cities Represented by Member Network
418
National Meeting attendees
130
Metros ranked in City Vitals Research

Why join?

You are the new CEO.

Leadership isn’t born of elections or corner offices. The leaders we bring to the table are driven by passion and the unshakable urge to turn communities’ challenges into opportunities. That’s what we call a CEO. We’re planners, council members, college presidents, bloggers, entrepreneurs, business executives, social advocates, coders, mayors and architects from cities around the country. What kind of CEO are you?

You’re not the type to wait around for someone else to address your community’s issues. But you can’t do it all on your own. CEOs for Cities helps build and activate cross-sector teams (we call them City Clusters) in cities, like yours, to make real progress happen. Consider it an all-star team. You don’t get a uniform. But you do get these tools to get in the game.

City Vitals Research

CEOs for Cities measures six key indicators and benchmarks city performance for the top U.S. metro regions. Where does yours rank?

National Meetings

Imagine it: hundreds of cross-sector leaders gathering to exchange the smartest ideas for making progress happen. We do it once a year.

City Dividends Framework

Can small changes produce big economic dividends? Our framework outlines how cities can realize huge gains via incremental change.

National Network

Our most powerful asset is our community. This network features thought leaders, experts, dreamers and doers you should know.

Power of the Prize

Competition fosters innovation, and our competitions yield real results. Participants implement actual strategies and share the how-to.

Continuing Education

Hands-on workshops, webinars and regular doses of recommended readings keep members sharp on solutions and best practices.
Our Work
City Vitals 3.0

City Vitals 3.0

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2015 City Cluster Workshop

2015 City Cluster Workshop

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2015 National Meeting

2015 National Meeting

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City Dividend Prize Challenge

City Dividend Prize Challenge

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City Clusters

City Clusters

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City Dividends

City Dividends

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BECOME A CEO IN YOUR CITY TODAY.

All members receive one year of unlimited access to our national network, unique city success resource library, city communications, webinars, data and research publications. Plus: FREE registration to our renowned National Meeting.

City news, trends + research highlights

The Blog

To Make Your Community Healthier, Make It Denser

To Make Your Community Healthier, Make It Denser

In the wake of 9/11, author Stephen Johnson wrote in Wired that “density kills” and advocated turning to the decentralized vision of Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1939 Broadacre City as a way of protecting Americans in the future. As it turns out, he got it backwards: Density saves lives. The contemporary affinity for higher-density, mixed-use, walkable places in cities and suburbs alike arguably represents the single most significant contribution to public health — for those who can afford them — since World War II.

Neighborhood Building in Memphis: A Strategy of Hope

Neighborhood Building in Memphis: A Strategy of Hope

By Jarrett Spence, J.D. Candidate, University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, Neighborhood Preservation Clinic  // The Executive Inn For years, one of the very first sights to greet people entering Memphis from our airport was the Executive Inn. This time last year, the hotel – which was owned by an anonymous corporation in…

Increasing Economic Equality One City at a Time: Portland’s Story

Increasing Economic Equality One City at a Time: Portland’s Story

We asked Erin Flynn, Associate Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at Portland State University to speak with us about what Portland is doing to become more economically inclusive. The Challenge: Historically, Portland has been a predominantly white city with limited racial and ethnic diversity. But the city’s demographics are changing dramatically and business and civic…

Aligning Economic Incentives to Create REAL Smart Growth

Aligning Economic Incentives to Create REAL Smart Growth

By Rick Rybeck, Director, Just Economics // If smart growth is so smart, how come there’s so much dumb growth?  Economic incentives for sprawl are partly to blame.  If we understand the economic incentives for sprawl, the remedies become clear.  Properly applied, these remedies can create jobs, enhance housing affordability and reduce tax burdens. Today, infrastructure…

Tackling Low Wages and Gentrification in a Livable City

Tackling Low Wages and Gentrification in a Livable City

Asheville traveled pretty far down the same path as most American cities in the 1970s and 80s with a dwindling downtown and booming suburbs. All the boarded up buildings gave rise to a proposal to tear down eleven square blocks downtown and construct a state-of-the-art shopping mall. Plans fell through and the mall was build elsewhere, hurting downtown even more in the short run but setting the state for a remarkable revival.

Harnessing the Power of CEOs to Make Cities Thrive

Harnessing the Power of CEOs to Make Cities Thrive

By Sam Williams, Business City Partnerships // Metro cities are the drivers of our nation’s economy and will contain 80% of the population by 2020.  They are complex geographic, social, political and economic regions.  With a multitude of local governments, issues such as infrastructure, healthcare and economic development frequently bog down in political standoffs. In…