Connecting City Leaders

From 2014 to 2016, the Network hosted three convenings for local leaders from participating Network cities. These events created an opportunity for cities to share successes, challenges and lessons learned while connecting with peers from around the country.

These peer convenings included a smaller, inaugural event in Chattanooga (2014) that also helped establish the trajectory of the Network’s peer activity, and two larger convenings – in Miami (2015) and New Orleans (2016) – that each brought together more than 100 representatives from 30-50 cities. Each attending city sent two high-ranking government officials and a third participant from a local foundation, anchor institution, chamber of commerce or other key partner to each convening; this model has proven successful in moving cities toward action on ideas generated at the convening. The last two convenings focused on a mix of participant-led educational sessions, formal and informal networking and city tours.

Consistently, participants in these events cited leaving them with a more positive attitude, new contacts and concrete ideas to implement at home. To learn more about the convenings, please contact us at

Resources for Cities, by Cities

The Network has facilitated the development of two peer-generated resources for city leaders. These guides represent an innovative model for intercity collaboration and peer learning. While federal agencies, nonprofits, foundations and private interests often produce reports for cities, we believe the alignment of perspectives between the authors and the target audience allows for greater sensitivity to the financial, social and political realities that will impact communities seeking to launch new initiatives. Ultimately, it produces a more useful resource. To date, the Network has focused this peer activity on two topics:

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