Taking the High Road: A Metropolitan Agenda for Transportation Reform

Brookings Institution Press
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Since the early 1990s, federal transportation laws have slowly started to level the playing field between highway and alternative transportation strategies, as well as between older and newer communities. The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century made substantial changes in transportation practices. These laws devolved greater responsibility for planning and implementation to urban development organizations and introduced more flexibility in the spending of federal highway and transit funds. They also created a series of special programs to carry out important national objectives, and they tightened the linkages between transportation spending and issues such as metropolitan air quality. Taking the High Road examines the most pressing transportation challenges facing American cities, suburbs, and metropolitan areas. The authors focus on the central issues in the ongoing debate and deliberations about the nation's transportation policy. They go beyond the federal debate, however, to lay out an agenda for reform that responds directly to those responsible for putting these policies into practice—leaders at the state, metropolitan, and local levels. This book presents public officials with options for reform. Hoping to build upon the progress and momentum of earlier transportation laws, it ensures a better understanding of the problems and provides policymakers, journalists, and the public with a comprehensive guide to the numerous issues that must be addressed. Topics include • A wide-ranging policy framework that addresses the reauthorization debate • An examination of transportation finance and how it affects cities and suburbs • An analysis of metropolitan decisionmaking in transportation • The challenges of transportation access for working families and the elderly • The problems of increasing traffic congestion and the lack of adequate alternatives Contributors include Scott Bernstein (Center for Neighborhood Technology), Edward Biemborn (University of Wisconsin), Evelyn Blumenberg (UCLA), John Brennan (Cleveland State University), Anthony Downs (Brookings), Billie K. Geyer (Cleveland State), Edward W. Hill (Cleveland State), Arnold Howitt (Harvard University), Kevin E. O'Brien (Cleveland State), Ryan Prince (Brookings), Claudette Robey (Cleveland State), Sandra Rosenbloom (University of Arizona), Thomas Sanchez (Virginia Tech), Martin Wachs (University of California, Berkeley), and Margy Waller (Brookings).
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About the author

Bruce Katz is vice president, director of the Metropolitan Policy Program, and Adeline M. and Alfred I. Johnson Chair in Urban and Metropolitan Policy at the Brookings Institution. Robert Puentes is a fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Brookings Institution Press
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Published on
May 25, 2006
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Pages
331
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ISBN
9780815797890
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Industries / Transportation
Business & Economics / Urban & Regional
Political Science / Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Academics, community activists, and politicians have rediscovered regionalism, insisting that regions are critical functional units in a world-wide economy and, just as important, critical functional units in individual American lives. More and more of us travel across city, county, even state borders every morning on our way to work. Our television, radio, and print media rely on a regional marketplace. Our businesses, large and small, depend on suppliers, workers, and customers who rarely reside in a single jurisdiction. The parks, riverfronts, stadiums, and museums we visit draw from, and provide an identity to, an area much larger than a single city. The fumes, gases, chemicals, and run-off that pollute our air and water have no regard for municipal boundaries.

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.

In April 1956, a refitted oil tanker carried fifty-eight shipping containers from Newark to Houston. From that modest beginning, container shipping developed into a huge industry that made the boom in global trade possible. The Box tells the dramatic story of the container's creation, the decade of struggle before it was widely adopted, and the sweeping economic consequences of the sharp fall in transportation costs that containerization brought about.

But the container didn't just happen. Its adoption required huge sums of money, both from private investors and from ports that aspired to be on the leading edge of a new technology. It required years of high-stakes bargaining with two of the titans of organized labor, Harry Bridges and Teddy Gleason, as well as delicate negotiations on standards that made it possible for almost any container to travel on any truck or train or ship. Ultimately, it took McLean's success in supplying U.S. forces in Vietnam to persuade the world of the container's potential.

Drawing on previously neglected sources, economist Marc Levinson shows how the container transformed economic geography, devastating traditional ports such as New York and London and fueling the growth of previously obscure ones, such as Oakland. By making shipping so cheap that industry could locate factories far from its customers, the container paved the way for Asia to become the world's workshop and brought consumers a previously unimaginable variety of low-cost products from around the globe.

Published in hardcover on the fiftieth anniversary of the first container voyage, this is the first comprehensive history of the shipping container. Now with a new chapter, The Box tells the dramatic story of how the drive and imagination of an iconoclastic entrepreneur turned containerization from an impractical idea into a phenomenon that transformed economic geography, slashed transportation costs, and made the boom in global trade possible.

Across the US, cities and metropolitan areas are facing huge economic and competitive challenges that Washington won't, or can't, solve.  The good news is that networks of metropolitan leaders – mayors, business and labor leaders, educators, and philanthropists – are stepping up and powering the nation forward. These state and local leaders are doing the hard work to grow more jobs and make their communities more prosperous, and they're investing in infrastructure, making manufacturing a priority, and equipping workers with the skills they need.

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.

The New Localism provides a roadmap for change that starts in the communities where most people live and work.

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.”

Academics, community activists, and politicians have rediscovered regionalism, insisting that regions are critical functional units in a world-wide economy and, just as important, critical functional units in individual American lives. More and more of us travel across city, county, even state borders every morning on our way to work. Our television, radio, and print media rely on a regional marketplace. Our businesses, large and small, depend on suppliers, workers, and customers who rarely reside in a single jurisdiction. The parks, riverfronts, stadiums, and museums we visit draw from, and provide an identity to, an area much larger than a single city. The fumes, gases, chemicals, and run-off that pollute our air and water have no regard for municipal boundaries.

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.

Across the US, cities and metropolitan areas are facing huge economic and competitive challenges that Washington won't, or can't, solve.  The good news is that networks of metropolitan leaders – mayors, business and labor leaders, educators, and philanthropists – are stepping up and powering the nation forward. These state and local leaders are doing the hard work to grow more jobs and make their communities more prosperous, and they're investing in infrastructure, making manufacturing a priority, and equipping workers with the skills they need.

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.

The early returns from Census 2000 data show that the United States continued to undergo dynamic changes in the 1990s, with cities and suburbs providing the locus of most of the volatility. Metropolitan areas are growing more diverse—especially with the influx of new immigrants—the population is aging, and the make-up of households is shifting. Singles and empty-nesters now surpass families with children in many suburbs. The contributors to this book review data on population, race and ethnicity, and household composition, provided by the Census's "short form," and attempt to respond to three simple queries: —Are cities coming back? —Are all suburbs growing? —Are cities and suburbs becoming more alike? Regional trends muddy the picture. Communities in the Northeast and Midwest are generally growing slowly, while those in the South and West are experiencing explosive growth ("Warm, dry places grew. Cold, wet places declined," note two authors). Some cities are robust, others are distressed. Some suburbs are bedroom communities, others are hot employment centers, while still others are deteriorating. And while some cities' cores may have been intensely developed, including those in the Northeast and Midwest, and seen population increases, the areas surrounding the cores may have declined significantly. Trends in population confirm an increasingly diverse population in both metropolitan and suburban areas with the influx of Hispanic and Asian immigrants and with majority populations of central cities for the first time being made up of minority groups. Census 2000 also reveals that the overall level of black-to-nonblack segregation has reached its lowest point since 1920, although high segregation remains in many areas. Redefining Urban and Suburban America explores these demographic trends and their complexities, along with their implications for the policies and politics shaping metropolitan America. The shifts discussed here have significant influence in demand for housing and schools, childcare and healthcare, as well as private goods and services. Contributors include: Alan Berube (Brookings Institution); Benjamin Forman(Massachusetts Institute of Technology); William H. Frey (University of Michigan, Milken Institute); Edward L. Glaeser (Harvard University); John R. Logan (University at Albany, State University of New York), William H. Lucy (University of Virginia); David L. Phillips (University of Virginia); Jesse M. Shapiro (Harvard University), Patrick A. Simmons (Fannie Mae Foundationa); Audrey Singer (Brookings Institution); Rebecca R. Sohmer (Fannie Mae Foundation); Roberto Suro (Pew Hispanic Center); Jacob L. Vigdor (Duke University. Brookings Metro Series
Results from Census 2000 continue to reveal the striking changes taking place in the nation's cities and suburbs during the 1990s. Thanks to a decade of strong economic growth, concentrated poverty in inner cities declined dramatically, homeownership rose among young minority households, and workers from abroad settled in growing metropolitan areas that had experienced little immigration to date. This second volume in the Redefining Urban and Suburban America series makes clear, however, that regional differences add texture to these broader social and economic trends. Using data from the Census "long form," the contributors to this book probe migration, income and poverty, and housing trends in the nation's largest cities and metropolitan areas. Economically, the fast-growing Sunbelt and the Midwest performed well in the 1990s, enjoying declining poverty rates, rising homeownership, and the evolution of a solid middle-class population. Cities like San Antonio, Chicago, Houston, and Columbus saw stunning declines in high-poverty neighborhoods. The story was more mixed in the coastal areas of the Northeast and West, where poverty rates rose in cities such as Boston, New York, Washington, and Los Angeles. On net, their metro areas lost residents to other parts of the United States, even as they gained workers and families from abroad. This volume provides a closer look at the unprecedented social and economic changes taking place in the nation's oldest and newest communities, and explores the implications for a diverse set of policy areas, including metropolitan development patterns, immigrant incorporation, and the promotion of affordable housing and homeownership.
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