"Both President Obama and his chief urban adviser, Valerie Jarrett, have made it clear that federal urban policy is about to evolve into something very different: a means of helping cities and their regions become instruments of American economic strength. Just how the policies will proceed won't be clear for some time. But when it comes to the new administration's commitment to a different approach, there is little room for doubt."
"Obama has fundamentally accepted the argument of mayors and other local officials that metropolitan areas are the primary economic drivers in the country and deserve to be treated as assets rather than problems. It's not just that many central cities have experienced downtown revival and an uptick in population over the past decade. It's that metro areas are punching well above their weight in contributing to the nation's economic activity, even during the current downturn."