The Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase have launched The Global Cities Initiative, a project aimed at providing tools and research to maximize the economic strength of the top 100 metro areas in the U.S.

Cities are the global economic engines of the future, according to Bruce Katz, vice president and founding director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. In a blog posted on the Brookings website, he says, “More and more, global trends and commerce reflect energy and innovation at the local-and especially the metropolitan-level. Cities are the locus of the forces and assets that power trade: innovative firms, talented workers, supportive public and private institutions, and modern infrastructure.”

Katz will direct the Global Cities Initiative. Former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley will serve as chairman. During his 22-year tenure, Mayor Daley demonstrated a commitment to making Chicago an international city. “I am passionate about cities,” he tells the Washington Post. “We need our cities better positioned for innovation and growth if our nation is to succeed.”

JPMorgan Chase provided a $10 million grant that will fund the initiative’s research.