Cities picking up the slack

Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley (Credit: Ralph Alswang)
Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley (Credit: Ralph Alswang)

We all know the system is broken, but maybe instead of hoping in vain that election after election will fix it, we just need to look to a different system.

That’s the argument made by Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley in “The Metropolitan Revolution,” a new book that studies the ways in which cities and their surrounding metro areas are taking up the slack left by the partisan gridlock in Washington.

“Cities and metros are now the vanguard of innovation in the United States, not just the engines of the economy,” says Katz, who is the founding director of the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. “What’s happening in the United States is more and more cities and suburbs are coming to understand that, particularly with Washington broken, that they really have to make choices together about pretty substantial issues.”

Those issues include infrastructure, education, innovation, manufacturing and trade, and in their book Katz and Bradley point to metros across the country that are already taking innovative steps to innovate their approaches.

New York City enlisted major universities to help bolster its tech economy for the future; Denver forged a partnership between the city and its surrounding suburbs rather than pitting them against one another; Cleveland emphasized collaboration over the “hero” model of a single transformative figure; and Houston has chosen to view its immigrant community as a unique asset rather than a drain on public coffers.

Most of these initiatives were undertaken, Katz says, in the aftermath of the Great Recession.

“The recession really unveiled a growth model that wasn’t working for the country. Running up to the recession there was this focus on consumption, home-building, stadium-building; we lost sight of the fundamentals in terms of what really drives economies and prosperity for people. So cities, which are on the frontlines of everything, understood that we needed to get back to basics.”

Through its case studies and prescriptions for innovation, Katz wants the book to inspire other cities and metros to undertake more ambitious transformations.

“We’re hoping that the book is a catalyst for change,” he says. “The reality is pretty stark in terms of the challenges that cities and metros face and the fact that the federal government has left the building. I think the metropolitan revolution is what this century demands.”

If you go

The Metropolitan Revolution: Philadelphia as a Model for the Nation
Jul. 11, 5:30 p.m.
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Free
www.nextcity.org



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…