This short article responds to the recent report of the UK Civic University Commission, 'Truly civic: Strengthening the connection between universities and their places'. The article suggests that British universities can, as they consider the Commission's recommendations, draw inspiration from urban public universities in the USA. The Atlanta Studies Network, which runs an annual Atlanta Studies Symposium, provides a high quality example. The article explains how the two universities in Bristol - University of the West of England and University of Bristol - have learned from the Atlanta experience. They co-organised, with other civic leaders a successful Bristol Forum. Held in March the Forum attracted over 200 participants. Suggestions on how to strengthen university contributions to place-based leadership are outlined.