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The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and The Pattis Family Foundation are pleased to announce that Dream States: Smart Cities, Technology, and the Pursuit of Urban Utopias has been named the winner of the 2023 Pattis Family Foundation Global Cities Book Award. With a $25,000 prize, the award celebrates books that deepen our understanding of the role cities play in addressing critical global challenges.

“I’m extremely honored to be the recipient of the inaugural Pattis Family Foundation Global Cities Book Award,” said author John Lorinc, a veteran journalist and editor who reports on urban affairs, politics, business, technology and history. “The whole domain of smart cities touches on many of the most pressing questions of our era—climate, privacy, urban infrastructure and the broad societal implications of artificial intelligence in its various forms.”

As global leaders prepare for the disruptions that AI will bring, Dream States raises tough and important questions about smart city technology and its impacts on urban communities, surveillance, automation, and public transportation.

“Cities are more than just locations—they are actors that shape our global economy, culture, and politics,” said Vanessa Vardon, director of the Pritzker Forum on Global Cities at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. “And with artificial intelligence set to reshape our world, cities will be at the forefront of these changes. Dream States offers a timely and comprehensive analysis of the challenges and opportunities of smart city technology.”

Dream States was selected from a shortlist of six outstanding titles that were narrowed down from nearly 100 submissions. The jury concluded the book had the greatest global impact and that its analysis fit the current geopolitical moment perfectly, while also being relevant for both a general audience and practitioners alike.

Dream States goes beyond the concept of a smart city as a utopia for tech companies and prepares us for the impact of technology on the city and residents,” said judging committee chair Eugenie Birch, co-director of the UPenn Institute for Urban Research. “This book covers pressing, timely geopolitical issues affecting every city around the world.”

The two runners up for the award are Emergent Tokyo: Designing the Spontaneous City by Jorge Almazán, Joe McReynolds, Naoki Saito, and Studiolab, and The Moving City: Scenes from the Delhi Metro and the Social Life of Infrastructure by Rashmi Sadana. Each finalist will receive a $2,500 prize. Emergent Tokyo examines how Tokyo balances massive growth and local communal life and can be a model for other cities to emulate. The Moving City is the story of how the Delhi Metro reshaped the city’s social and urban landscape and is a commentary on the physical and emotional impact of public transportation.

The winner and finalists will be celebrated at an award ceremony to take place at the opening night of the 2023 Pritzker Forum on Global Cities in Chicago.

Submissions for the 2024 award are now open and can be made here. Eligible books should enhance our understanding of significant policy and policy-adjacent issues affecting urban areas and address global actors, forces, and trends that shape neighborhoods, cities, or metropolitan areas.


About the Chicago Council on Global Affairs

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing knowledge and engagement in global affairs. Our in-depth analysis and expert-led research influence policy conversations and inform the insights we share with our growing community. Through accessible content and open dialogue of diverse, fact-based perspectives, we empower more people to help shape our global future. Learn more at

About the Center on Global Cities

We believe global cities—often on the front lines of the world’s greatest challenges—increasingly drive the most innovative solutions and shape our world. Through programming and research, we examine the policies needed to be successful in, identify global best practices, connect leaders, and provide concrete recommendations to decision-makers. Learn more at

About The Pattis Family Foundation

With a history originating from book and magazine publishing, The Pattis Family Foundation of Highland Park, Illinois actively supports programs that elevate the value of the written word and intellectual inquiry. In addition to The Pattis Family Foundation Global Cities Book Award, The Pattis Family Foundation Chicago Book Award is awarded annually with The Newberry Library; similar book awards with other organizations will be announced in the future. The Pattis Family Foundation also supports various health, educational, and cultural initiatives as well as programs that help bridge the opportunity gap for talented students with limited financial resources.