Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chicago Ranked 8th Most Global City

A recent report in foreign policy magazine ranks Chicago the 8th most global city in the world (according to a variety of factors, some of which are displayed in the chart below). In my mind it's pretty impressive company, especially when looking at some of the cities that are ranked above Chicago:

The Chicago Tribune editorial board also talks at more length about the potential for a higher ranking in the future. They cite Obama and the Olympics as two potential platforms to help showcase the city.

In my mind, one of the major things that hampers Chicago’s “global perception” is its anonymity. I used to work in New York and I remember people joking about the Midwest as “fly-over” country. Although they were joking, there is always some truth to jokes.

I like to think of Chicago like Barcelona in Spain, a hidden gem that is often over shadowed by other worthy European cities. It wasn’t in the news a ton, it wasn’t the biggest city in its country, but nonetheless it was a great, worldly city.

Chicago often cites Barcelona's Olympics as an example for the 2016 bid. I think this is an excellent comparison as Barcelona used its Olympics to showcase its amazing city to the world. As a kid I remember the images of the diving competition (yes, I watched diving) with the cityscape in the background. I was intrigued by this city and eventually went there when I was traveling in Europe. I’m not sure if that’s completely due to Barcelona’s Olympics, but I know it had some effect.

If Chicago is lucky enough to land the 2016 Olympics, I’m hopeful that it will expose the world to some of Chicago’s attributes that are often not mentioned. And hopefully it will also influence some young international kid to want to see Chicago one day when they get older.

No comments: