In early December the Brookings Institute sponsored the Global Metro Summit – Delivering the Next American Economy . The purpose of the event and webinar was to discuss their vision for long-term growth to occur in the U.S.
The foundation of their vision for short-term job growth and long-term economic success is better utilization of the strengths of our top 100 cities. To illustrate this point they cited a series of statistics. For example, two-thirds of the U.S. population lives in the top 100 metro areas, three-fourths of the GDP is generated there, and 94% of venture capital funding occurs in these focal points of business.
Bruce Katz, Brookings Vice President identified the following as the means for better utilizing the U.S. centers of commerce:
• Innovation is essential in delivering the “next economy”. The development and implementation of new ideas is essential for positioning the U.S. as a global leader, both in economic and social reform. On the economic side of the equation, this will allow American companies to develop distinct competencies. From a social perspective, innovation also has the potential to raise the standards of individuals with lower incomes. American innovation is most likely to occur in our top metro areas.
• Increased global demand and the growth of third world countries will result in increased exports. Today, the top U.S. cities will have a chance to develop strategies with other cities (rural and metro), states, and regions to take advantage of this opportunity.
• The energy revolution will bring about change through the use of alternate energy sources. It is essential for the world to develop cleaner and more diverse sources of energy, particularly for use in the top 100 cities.
While Katz’s notions are well conceived and thought out, time will tell if they will become the driving force of the next economy or if they are great ideas that will be celebrated by urban leaders, scorned by rural communities, and ignored by political leaders because they are perceived as too self serving.
©Copyright 2011 by CBER.