Cities have traditionally been focal points for economic activity and magnets for foreign direct investment. Investment in cities has strengthened in recent years as both talent and innovative businesses have gravitated towards urban areas. However, this year’s events have raised questions about the future concentration of activity in densely populated areas and have led to predictions that businesses and people will move away from cities to areas that are perceived to offer greater safety and quality of life. This discussion focused on the role of cities as locations for FDI and the strategies that economic development and investment promotion agencies of metropolitan areas can pursue to continue attracting investment and talent. Topics addressed include:
• To what degree are companies and individuals really leaving cities?
• How will the growth of distributed work models affect economic activity in cities?
• How can cities turn urban challenges into investment opportunities?
• What can cities do to ensure that they remain attractive as locations for businesses, innovation, and talent?
• Does talent attraction still make sense in the current economic environment?
• What can other levels of government learn from cities about branding, promotion, and digital marketing?