As one of the world's major cities and a nexus of commerce and culture, Chicago is a critical component of the Upper Midwest. For the whole of 2020, public health-related and human events—a pandemic, protests, violence—have conspired to reshape the city in unexpected ways. But Chicago is far from done. It's a survivor, and many still believe in its future. With that in mind, Crain's spoke with two global cities experts: Teresa Cordova, director of the Great Cities Institute and professor of urban planning and policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Samuel Kling, Global Cities fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. This is an edited transcript.