The Charter Cities Institute is a nonprofit dedicated to building the ecosystem for charter cities. It was founded on the idea that a fresh approach was necessary to tackle humanity’s most pressing challenges: global poverty, rapid urbanization, and conflict and migration caused by poverty, war, and climate change. Charter cities—new cities granted a special jurisdiction to create a new governance system—are that solution.
How the Charter Cities Institute is building the ecosystem for charter cities:
Creating legal, regulatory, and planning frameworks needed for rapid urban growth.
Influencing the global agenda through practical and academic research, engagement, and partnerships.
Advising and convening stakeholders like governments, new city developers, and multilateral institutions.
Research & Technical Assistance: Our team does the research to guide new city developers and governments on how to carry out these projects. We work with them directly to develop the legal frameworks to grant charter cities an independent jurisdiction and to implement the new city’s governance structure. Our research aims to establish the economic case for charter cities and inform the decisions of key stakeholders.
Partnerships & Events: We bring together key stakeholders from around the world, such as government officials, city developers, and individuals passionate about improving governance, through events and partnerships. We aim to build relationships and create charter city collaborations to build momentum for this movement. Our events include regular charter city summits, dinner event series, and meetups in cities globally.
Media: We create content to build awareness for the charter cities movement and make our ideas accessible to a wider audience. Our blog, videos, and podcast offer real-time insight into how we think about charter cities, experiments in governance, and developmental case studies from around the world. CCI’s newsletter gives an overview of our work and commentary on charter cities-adjacent activity around the world.
The Charter Cities Institute started with an insight: numerous stakeholders were interested in charter cities and approaching the idea from different angles, but there were limited avenues of coordination or communication between them.
Individuals and organizations working in real estate, government, finance, and international development were independently discovering the potential of new cities to chart new developmental courses in countries across the world. Simultaneously, Mark Lutter, founder of the Charter Cities Institute, realized there was an opportunity for a new organization to play a coordinating role between each of these disparate groups. The goal was simple: to bring each stakeholder to the table and in doing so, accelerate the development of charter cities.