Maximizing the Metro

Looking for a long read this long weekend? Check out Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley's article on the keys to creating collaborative metropolitan areas that can successfully compete in the global economy.
May 26, 2012, 9am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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In the newest entry in Next American City's "Forefront" series, Katz and Bradley look at the shifting status of cities entering the "next economy" emerging from the ashes of the global economic recession. The authors argue that the "collapse of the consumption-driven, domestic-focused growth model" that the recession precipitated, has redefined the ways in which communities across America must compete to succeed in the global economy. At the root of this competition is the need for collaboration with partners across cities, regions, and even the world. 

Katz and Bradley argue that, "the realities of economic restructuring, global competition, fiscal pressures, environmental imperatives, technological possibilities and a dysfunctional federal government require new models of collaboration within and among metropolitan regions." And "the metro scale, and even the multi-metro and regional scale in certain places," they note, "is now the entry ticket to global competition."

With this framework for success in mind, the authors look to the key characteristics of metros that have positioned themselves well to compete in the next economy and give examples of metros that exhibit each of the traits identified below. 

"Those metros that have created successful networks have certain characteristics in common. They are smart about their goals and how to measure them; confident enough to resist cookie-cutter strategies; sophisticated about their place in the global economy; clever about balancing short-term wins and long-term aspirations; and open to people representing a spectrum of groups, interests and sectors."

They conclude their article with an examination of the key tools in building metropolitan networks: "the new technologies and platforms that connect people instantly and expansively."


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Published on Monday, May 21, 2012 in Next American City
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