University Cities

Monday, October 9, 2017 

University cities share a special place in a 21st century economy. They are midsize metropolitan communities with 250,000- one million citizens, a major research university, and a healthy student population. University cities have outgrown their college town status and make a lasting and dynamic economic impact on our region.

As Kentucky’s flagship and land grant research university, our mission of teaching, discovery, service and care reaches across our entire Commonwealth. The University is an integral part of the city of Lexington. The creative class in our community - enhanced by the broad expertise and scholarship on our campus - is symbiotic. We share and shape a common future.  Together, we are a university city

University cities like Ann Arbor, Michigan; Durham, North Carolina; Madison, Wisconsin; and Lexington, Kentucky celebrate the best of a modern and diverse community and economy of a world growing closer together. These places share common characteristics like a robust and stable economy, high business start-up activity, low cost of living, and low violent crime rates. 

This week, through a partnership between the city of Lexington and UK’s Gaines Center for the Humanities, scholars and community leaders from university cities will gather on campus to explore and promote the ideas born in these complex and cohesive places.

It’s this collaborative spirit - a shared desire to innovate - that defines a university city's success. We are excited to see the ideas they create, and to begin our collaborative work that is ahead. Ed Glaeser, the Harvard economist and author of Triumph of the City, is the conference keynote. Learn more here. 

Indeed, as Lexington’s largest employer and economic partner, we have a common future. The university cities initiative will help maximize the value of that partnership and ensure we remain at the cutting-edge as a leader economic and general well-being. 


Eric N. Monday