In their new book, The New Localism, urban experts Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak reveal where the real power to create change lies and how it can be used to address our most serious social, economic, and environmental challenges.
Power is shifting in the world: downward from national governments and states to cities and metropolitan communities; horizontally from the public sector to networks of public, private and civic actors; and globally along circuits of capital, trade, and innovation.
This new locus of power—this new localism—is emerging by necessity to solve the grand challenges characteristic of modern societies: economic competitiveness, social inclusion and opportunity; a renewed public life; the challenge of diversity; and the imperative of environmental sustainability. Where rising populism on the right and the left exploits the grievances of those left behind in the global economy, new localism has developed as a mechanism to address them head on.
New localism is not a replacement for the vital roles federal governments play; it is the ideal complement to an effective federal government, and, currently, an urgently needed remedy for national dysfunction.
In The New Localism, Katz and Nowak tell the stories of the cities that are on the vanguard of problem solving. Pittsburgh is catalyzing inclusive growth by inventing and deploying new industries and technologies. Indianapolis is governing its city and metropolis through a network of public, private and civic leaders. Copenhagen is using publicly owned assets like their waterfront to spur large scale redevelopment and finance infrastructure from land sales.
Out of these stories emerge new norms of growth, governance, and finance and a path toward a more prosperous, sustainable, and inclusive society. Katz and Nowak imagine a world in which urban institutions finance the future through smart investments in innovation, infrastructure and children and urban intermediaries take solutions created in one city and adapt and tailor them to other cities with speed and precision.
As Katz and Nowak show us in The New Localism, “Power now belongs to the problem solvers.”
Bruce Katz is the cofounder of New Localism Advisors and was the Centennial Scholar at the Brookings Institution, where he focused on the challenges and opportunities of global urbanization. He was vice president and codirector of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, which he founded in 1996. He coauthored The Metropolitan Revolution (Brookings, 2013).
Jeremy Nowak is the cofounder of New Localism Advisors and is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Drexel University's Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation. He created The Reinvestment Fund, one of the largest community investment institutions in the United States, and chaired the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. He is also the chief strategist for Spring Point Partners and was a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.
This book lays out a variety of opinions on regionalism, its history and its future. While the essays do not comprise a debate, pro and con, about regionalism, they do provide a wide array of perspectives, based on the authors' diverse backgrounds and experience. Some contributors have made close academic studies of how regional action occurs, in various states like Minnesota, California, and Oregon; others give an historical account of a particular region like that surrounding New York City; and yet others point out aspects of regionalism--race, especially-- that should not be ignored.
Why did past efforts at regional collaboration fall apart? What did regionalist efforts of decades ago leave undone, and what new goals should regionalists set? Without an understanding of these questions, policymakers and advocates may find themselves "reinventing the region." This book provides an important understanding of how regionalism has played out in the past, how policies shape places, and the possibilities and limits of regional action.
Bruce J. Katz, director of the Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy, was formerly chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
When the news broke in 1975 that New York City was on the brink of fiscal collapse, few believed it was possible. How could the country’s largest metropolis fail? How could the capital of the financial world go bankrupt? Yet the city was indeed billions of dollars in the red, with no way to pay back its debts. Bankers and politicians alike seized upon the situation as evidence that social liberalism, which New York famously exemplified, was unworkable. The city had to slash services, freeze wages, and fire thousands of workers, they insisted, or financial apocalypse would ensue.
In this vivid account, historian Kim Phillips-Fein tells the remarkable story of the crisis that engulfed the city. With unions and ordinary citizens refusing to accept retrenchment, the budget crunch became a struggle over the soul of New York, pitting fundamentally opposing visions of the city against each other. Drawing on never-before-used archival sources and interviews with key players in the crisis, Fear City shows how the brush with bankruptcy permanently transformed New York—and reshaped ideas about government across America.
At once a sweeping history of some of the most tumultuous times in New York's past, a gripping narrative of last-minute machinations and backroom deals, and an origin story of the politics of austerity, Fear City is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the resurgent fiscal conservatism of today.
In The Metropolitan Revolution, Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley highlight success stories and the people behind them.
· New York City: Efforts are under way to diversify the city's vast economy
· Portland: Is selling the "sustainability" solutions it has perfected to other cities around the world
· Northeast Ohio: Groups are using industrial-age skills to invent new twenty-first-century materials, tools, and processes
· Houston: Modern settlement house helps immigrants climb the employment ladder
· Miami: Innovators are forging strong ties with Brazil and other nations
· Denver and Los Angeles: Leaders are breaking political barriers and building world-class metropolises
· Boston and Detroit: Innovation districts are hatching ideas to power these economies for the next century
The lessons in this book can help other cities meet their challenges. Change is happening, and every community in the country can benefit. Change happens where we live, and if leaders won't do it, citizens should demand it.
The Metropolitan Revolution was the 2013 Foreword Reviews Bronze winner for Political Science.