Blue Dots in a Red Sea: America’s Urban-Rural Divide

The current populist, anti-globalization movement around the world – exemplified by but not limited to Donald Trump – has reshaped the political narrative on many fronts. One of the most striking new themes is our view of cities – global, national, regional – and how globalization has magnified the divide between these cities and their hinterlands. Whether we’re talking about voting patterns, values, wealth, inequality, governance, political power, it’s clear that those living in cities and those living outside of them experience different realities.

In this series of six essays, I discuss the role of cities – mostly but not entirely American – in the time of Donald Trump and the populism he represents. The series will lead up to the 2017 Chicago Forum on Global Cities, hosted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Financial Times June 7 through 9.

This divide between the cities and the rest is not the central theme of the forum, but it will be the constant background rumble to all its debates and discussions. The events of the past year are forcing cities to make hard choices – on what they owe to themselves, their nation, and their world.

- Richard C. Longworth, Distinguished Fellow on Global Cities
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