Tough Road For Office of Urban Affairs

Neal Peirce looks at the daunting challenges facing the new White House Office of Urban Affairs.

"Instead of primary focus on tired (and waning) subsidies for troubled inner cities, advocates for the new office are hoping for a radical shift to a federal partnership that focuses on entire metropolitan regions and their potential to produce innovation and restoke the American economy."

"The reasoning's straightforward. Unlike the hub-and-spoke city-suburban model of yesteryear, today's 363 metro regions encompass broad swaths of multiple center cities, downtowns, suburbs and exurbs. The top 100 are an economic marvel: alone they account for 92 percent of air passenger boardings, two-thirds of major research universities, 75 percent of workers with graduate degrees, 78 percent of all patents."

"So the White House Office of Urban Affairs will have to consult with metro leaders on needed reforms (and avoid getting governors annoyed in the process). It will have to work creatively with departments ranging from Transportation, Housing, Energy and Labor to the Environmental Protection Agency, coaxing historically "solo" bureaucracies into developing joint approaches. It must engage the powerful Office of Management and Budget in the process. And then it will have to persuade Congress to clear roadblocks. Phew!"

Full Story: Hope for Metro Regions In New White House Office?

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