Leading Cities

Is urban governance delivering on its promises?

Leading Cities is a global review of the state of city leadership and urban governance today. Drawing on research into 202 cities in 100 countries with over 249 international experts interviewed, it provides a broad, international evidence base grounded in the experiences of all types of cities. It offers an evidence-based and practical assessment of how cities are led, what challenges their leaders face, and the ways in which cities are increasingly connected to global affairs.

Arguing that effective leadership is not just something created by an individual, the project focuses on three elements of city leadership: leaders, the structures and institutions that underpin them, and the tools used to drive change. Each of these elements are examined in turn, as are the major policy issues that leaders confront today on the ground. The book also takes a deep dive into one particular example of tool or instrument of city leadership – the strategic urban plan.

Leading Cities is now published free of charge in online open access by University Collego London Press (UCL Press).