Making Metros Work

In an opinion piece for <em>The Denver Post</em>, Neal Peirce summarizes a new report on the practical ways in which metropolitan regions around the country are working across jurisdictional boundaries to lay the groundwork for prosperous futures.
May 2, 2012, 6am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Echoing themes discussed recently by Kaid Benfield in his Switchboard blog on the importance of regional planning and partnerships "to address important issues facing metropolitan America in a rational way", Peirce points to the eight key ways in which metropolitan regions are recognizing this need and creating new models to work together.

Peirce, the co-author of a new report [PDF] on the topic titled "America's Metro Regions Take Center Stage", highlights the metropolitan partnerships in cities like Chicago, Denver, Philadelphia and Minneapolis-St. Paul that "assemble broad support coalitions" to "break through historic resistance and register advances," and the role that state and federal government are playing to support such collaborations.

Benfield has also published a follow-up to his prior piece, looking at examples of metro areas that are "coming together voluntarily in issue-specific collaborations to get things done." He cites specific examples such as the Leadership Collaborative, which was established "to come to grips with the ever-outward expansion of metropolitan Atlanta," and the Grand Boulevard Initiative in California's Silicon Valley, "an attempt to transform one of the country's most notorious commercial corridors," as promising precedents for voluntary collaboration.

Taken together, these resources help point the direction to promising, and hopefully replicable, examples of cross jurisdictional efforts to solve to the crucial economic, social, and environmental challenges of our time.

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Published on Sunday, April 29, 2012 in The Denver Post
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