Metropolitan Areas Facing a Globalised World



Friday 9 March 2012




Metropolitan Areas Facing a Globalised World: The Case of the Chicago Tri-State Region

Co-organised by the OECD, EDA (USDOC) and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce


9:30-11:30 The OECD Territorial Review of the Chicago Tri-State Metro Region
Part 1:


09:30-10:30 Building the Regional Economy


Cities are coming out ahead in an era of globalisation that is profoundly reshaping their size and function. They are seeing higher economic investment and productivity compared to other areas and creating previously unseen common metropolitan market economies. These developments are strengthening the role of metropolitan areas as important transnational hubs and essential spatial nodes in the global economy.


This evolution and presence on the world’s stage offer tremendous opportunities to cities but also make them more vulnerable to intense international competition and exogenous shocks, putting even the most successful cities at risk. As a result, metropolitan areas are looking to new sources of sustainable growth to bolster their economies, and increase their resilience to economic shocks while addressing pressing environmental and social equity issues.


How cities pursue this growth depends on their strength and assets as well as their development trajectory. A city with high interdependence between urbanization and industrialization will develop a strategy that differs from a city that is growing in absence of industrialization. In many developed countries where the population is ageing and the labour force shrinking, cities’ growth will increasingly depend on their ability to act as centres of knowledge creation, and hence innovation becomes a critical driver of sustainable growth.


The OECD Territorial Review of the Chicago Tri-State Metropolitan Area focuses on the region’s capacity to contribute effectively to regional and national economic performance and quality of life in the context of intense global competition and provides a road map for achieving this objective by improvements in workforce development, transport infrastructure, technological innovation, niche markets capture in the green economy, and institutional arrangements.

Presentation of the OECD Review of the Chicago Tri-State Metro-Region

  • Karen Kornbluh, U.S. Ambassador to the OECD
  • Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General
  • Governor James R. Thompson, Former Governor of Illinois
  • Matthew Erskine, Acting Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce

With contributions from:

  • The Honourable Robert Doyle, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Australia
  • The Honourable Sir Richard Leese, Leader of the Council, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Governor Pat Quinn, State of Illinois
  • Dan Hasler, Indiana’s Secretary of Commerce

Part 2:    

10:30-11:30 Policy Implications for the Region


Moderator: Julia Stasch, Vice President of US Programs of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation


A second panel of academics and policy-makers from the tri-state region will pursue the discussion in the previous session by focussing on the region’s responses to the issues raised in the first part of the discussion.

With contributions from:

  • Warren Ribley, Director Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
  • Paul Jadin, Wisconsin Secretary of Commerce
  • Suresh Garimella, Associate Vice President for Engagement
  • Michael J. Falbo, Regent, University of Wisconsin


11:00 Press Conference


Launch the OECD Review of Chicago Tri-State Metropolitan Area


The Review provides a road map for achieving long-term, sustainable growth within the Tri-State region fuelled by the area’s assets. It provides a framework for effective engagement between government and stakeholders to better anticipate and implement long-term, integrated region-wide strategies that could lead to improved economic performance and quality of life.

  • Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General
  • Governor James R. Thompson, Former Governor of Illinois
  • Matthew Erskine, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development

11:30-12:00 Lunch Registration


12:00-14:00 Combating Global Headwinds: the OECD Perspective

Lunch debate organized by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Foundation (by invitation only)


Since its foundation in 1961 the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has fostered debate, encouraged knowledge sharing and supported countries in advancing their reform agendas across a vast array of policy domains, including growth and development, employment and social welfare, innovation and governance. While each of the OECD’s thirty-four member countries attempts to forge its individual  path out of the economic crisis, all face the same challenges of finding new sources of growth and employment, and improving the wellbeing of their citizens in a sustainable manner.


How effective have national governments been in articulating these new growth models? How are they dealing with the consequences of the global crisis for social cohesion, as income inequality in OECD member countries has reached its highest level of the past half century? How efficiently are governments partnering with the diverse actors required to implement policies effectively, such as sub-national governments, cities and the private sector?


Address by Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary General, on the OECD’s current perspectives on the global economy, introduced by US OECD Ambassador Kornbluh, followed by Q&A


Option A:    14:00-16:00

From Good to Great: Implementing the Action Plan to Secure the Tri-State Region’s International Competitive Edge
Chair: David Miller, former Toronto Mayor and C40 Chair

Afternoon session organized by the Economic Development Administration, a unit of the US Department of Commerce, in partnership with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

Participants include:

  • Arash Amini, President, 312 Aquaponics
  • Mary Isbister, President, GenMet
  • Paul Jadin, Secretary of Commerce, State of Wisconsin
  • Vic Lechtenberg, Director of the Center for Regional Development, Purdue University
  • Dick Longworth, Senior Fellow, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
  • Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President
  • Keith Thorpe, Vice-chair, OECD Working Party on Territorial Policy in Urban Areas and Head of Policy Unit, Local Economic Growth and Regeneration Policy Division, Department for Communities and Local Government

Key questions to frame the discussion:

  • How can relevant stakeholders across the Tri-state region best address workforce development issues and the deepening skills mismatch at all levels of activity in the region to enable the region to compete effectively in today’s globalised knowledge economy? How can stakeholders best address the under- and unemployment of minority groups in the region, along with their spatial segregation?
  • What approaches are relevant stakeholders across the Tri-State region (private, education and training, and governments) taking to build capacity and cohesive approaches to drive and sustain innovation-driven economic growth over time?
  • What are the best planning and financing strategies needed in the Tri-State Region to ensure that critical infrastructure supports the region’s competitive position and that it can continue to attract and retain talent and capital in the global marketplace? 
  • How are metropolitan stakeholders across the Tri-State Region addressing the need for economy-wide innovation to move toward less carbon-intensive energy sources for goods production and distribution? What strategies are public authorities in the Tri-State Region adopting to “green” public service delivery to their residents?
  • What strategies are local stakeholders implementing to ensure functional cross-border cooperation between government and private sector entities for sustaining growth, jobs and quality of life in the Tri-State Region?


Option B: 14:00-17:00 Innovation and Urban Development

ULI Chicago, in partnership the City of Chicago and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will host a neighborhood tour showcasing urban revitalization through current health, institutional, environmental and cultural community redevelopment projects in the neighborhoods of Chicago.


Depart Chicago Hilton at 14:30pm

Site 1: University Village – Urban Campus and Mixed Use Redevelopment
Site 2: Chicago Art’s District – Innovation and the Creative Industries
Site 3: Pilsen Cultural Corridor – Honoring Diversity in Development
Site 4: Chicago Medical District – Institutional Anchors and Economic Growth
Site 5: Housing in Chicago – Transforming Communities through Housing Investment

Return to the Chicago Hilton at 5:30pm



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