Who We Are and What We Do

The Citistates Group is a network of journalists, speakers and civic leaders focused on building competitive, equitable and sustainable 21st century cities and metropolitan regions.

The Group’s forte is communications — using its journalistic, speaking and facilitation skills to stimulate active debate on the real-world choices facing 21st century regions.

Formed in 1995, The Citistates Group is an LLC (limited liability company) that functions in a virtual mode, with no central office or staff. Its principals are syndicated columnist and author Neal Peirce, government/civic leader and writer Curtis Johnson, and Farley Peters, a veteran government activist who serves as strategist, business manager and speaking agent for the Group.

The Group offers one-stop access to its Associates — a group of leading thinkers and activists with specific experience and insights on the forging of stronger, more coherent American regions.

Services Offered:

  • Citistates Reports for newspapers. These are the Citistates Group’s signature products. Twenty-five such reports — major series focused on individual regions’ challenges — have been written for metropolitan newspapers across the U.S. Each series is an independent editorial product. You can view a full description of these reports here.
  • Speeches. Citistate speakers deliver talks examining and relating the new century’s cutting-edge regional issues, ranging from strategic economic positioning to smart growth, transportation and workforce housing to community design tools. In each case, they use a sensitive ear to relate the critical common themes to a specific region’s unique situation and challenges.
  • Citistates Convergences. These events, set in distinct metro regions, involve bringing in a team of Citistates Associates from divergent fields — for example urban journalism, community design, economic clustering, metropolitan land use planning and city management.  The goal of the Convergences: to help leaders and citizens of a region, prompted by the outside team, identify and focus on especially salient challenges — or to see already familiar issues in a new light, based on the outsiders’ experience in other metropolitan regions across the U.S.
  • Special Research. The Group conducts research on important policy trends in its field– for example a current project examining the relationships between metropolitan regions and their state governments, supported by the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation.
  • International Projects. An example– the book Century of the City: No Time To Lose, for the Rockefeller Foundation, based on its 2007 “Global Urban Summit” in Italy.  The Group is also working to develop Citiscope, a global news site on innovations and breakthroughs in cities and regions worldwide.  The project is being advanced in collaboration with UN-Habitat, Cities Alliance and other organizations focused on cities and regions worldwide.