Competitive and Sustainable Cities

Miami Beach, United States. Photo by Gaetano Cessati


  • Urban population in 2016 accounted for 55% of the total global population, up from 34% in 1960, and is expected to reach 66% by 2050 (UN).

  • Cities have powered the world economy for centuries. Large cities generate about 75% of global GDP today and will generate 86% of worldwide GDP growth between 2015 and 2030 (McKinsey Global Institute, 2016).

  • Among the 30 largest economies in the world ranked by GDP, 12 are subnational (regional or municipal).

  • Policymakers and corporations need therefore to adjust to a world where knowledge, innovation and skills are primarily concentrated in urban clusters, and where cities are increasingly global in scope and impacted by external political, economic, social and climatic challenges.



Urban settings are key to the transformation of the global economy. They are a complex system in itself at the same time that they are agents within a larger complex system which is the global economy. 

The program aims to empower cities to become active engines of sustainable development and wellness, offering concrete opportunities for its population as they leverage the impact economy to become curators for systemic change.

The program will demonstrate the benefits of intersecting the agendas of competitiveness and sustainability to serve as a guide for policymakers to build the necessary ecosystem for innovation and for the impact economy to flourish and provide additional elements for action and positive change.