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This past year Aqua, the high-rise featured on the cover of this report, won the prestigious Emporis Award as the “best new skyscraper for design and functionality” in the world. Not only is the building visually stunning, but it also features the largest “green” roof in Chicago and is the tallest building in the world to have a woman (Jeanne Gang) as lead architect. This new architectural marvel is just one symbol of Chicago’s excellence on the world stage. We are a top city for business internationally, and continue to rank higher on indicators such as Global Financial Centres, Cities of Opportunity, and Global Cities Index, on which Chicago jumped from #8 to #6 as a leading global city this year.
These measures mean we are heading in the right direction. During the past year, we’ve found new ways to market Chicago’s business advantages with limited resources. We’ve relied on close relationships with our business and civic partners to collaborate and bring businesses to Chicago, despite the economic downturn. These collaborations have provided tremendously successful interactions with foreign business and government leaders, both here and abroad. We’ve hosted prestigious leaders in conjunction with the U.S. Saudi Opportunities Forum, Global Cities Forum, GreenBuild, Experience America, and more. We also traveled to the Shanghai World Expo to make Chicago top of mind for business and government leaders.