In an age of Trump and trolls, it may be strange to talk about utopia. Not only has a divisive reactionary right-wing privileged minority surged to the fore, but social inequality, militarism and the climate crisis have worsened too. There does seem, however, to be one arena for hope for progressive solutions and that is in the city. Worldwide, mayors are increasingly a progressive and fearless voice advancing bold agendas on climate change, welcoming refugees and trialling new forms of democratic participation. The question remains: can these cities offer solutions that address multiple systemic crises instead of pursuing, as Greg Sharzer suggests, a “way to avoid, rather than confront capitalism” by focusing on “piecemeal reforms around the edges”? Can a group of cities really offer any fundamental solutions to a crisis created by the immense power of corporate capital?