Summary of The Metropolitan Revolution

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Local government leaders now guide their area’s destinies. Instead of taking cues from federal and state governments, cities and metropolitan areas are charting their own course on a variety of initiatives and innovations. Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley of the Brookings Institution offer an insightful take on how metropolitan areas are enacting change and what they can do to advance that role. Their report curiously ignores the grittier political aspects of local government, such as graft and patronage. Still, getAbstract recommends this timely overview to businesses, local leaders, investors, entrepreneurs and all those seeking to make their city a better place to live.

About the Authors

Brookings Institution Vice President Bruce Katz is the founding director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, where Jennifer Bradley is a fellow.



Cities Take the Lead

From Boston to Miami to Los Angeles, cities around the United States are forging unique identities and financial futures. Instead of relying on federal or state governments for direction, local leaders are tapping into community strengths to guide change through a variety of initiatives designed to generate jobs and enhance quality of life. For most of the last 50 years, cities looked to the federal government for money for everything from infrastructure to antipoverty programs.

More recently, local government officials are driving collaborative efforts with businesses, charities, universities and community groups to revive local economies or help them continue to thrive. Local business clusters, called “innovation districts,” bring new vibrancy to once-dormant areas. Well-run community outreach programs effectively guide assistance dollars where they can do the most good. As these changes evolve, metropolitan areas are weaning themselves from their long reliance on the federal government’s financial and strategic support. National and state governments devise “one-size-fits all solutions” that no longer make sense for local communities. Local ...

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