Blueprint for American Prosperity:  Unleashing the Potential of a Metropolitan Nation

Blueprint for American Prosperity:  Unleashing the Potential of a Metropolitan Nation

The Brookings Institution is making a push to advance a metropolitan-centric view of prosperty. Brookings’ Metro Program interprets the demographic, economic, social, and cultural forces that buffet the US as drivers for change in cities and metropolitan areas. Their aim is to “unveil the new spatial geography of work and opportunity in the U.S. and identify the new sets of challenges and opportunities (e.g., increased suburban poverty, downtown resurgence, declining older suburbs) that have arisen.” They have a lot going on.

Among current efforts that should interest Next American City readers is the Living Cities Census Series that examines key demographic, social, and housing data to document the changing reality of the nation’s top 100 metropolitan areas. The Metro website also hosts an interactive data site that places the top American cities and metropolitan areas in a national context and provides comparative rankings on key indicators from the Census. The Metropolitan Economy Initiative seeks to better understand the effects of globalization, technological change, and other forces on U.S. metropolitan areas, and to offer policy solutions that respond to those changes.

Running parallel is the Restoring Prosperity Project that aims to catalyze the economic revival of struggling older industrial cities in the Northeast and Midwest, looking at successful efforts in Western Europe. Brookings is conducting tailored research in collaboration with a growing network of leaders from industrial cities and working to stimulate market generating policy reforms in seven states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

This just skips across the surface of what Brookings has to offer. The upcoming Summit for American Prosperity: Washington and Metro Areas Working Together will offer a much more detailed sample of what they are about and it’s free to register. The Summit is planned for the evening of June 11, 2008 through Thursday, June 12, 2008 at the Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Ave, NW, Washington, DC.

This Summit will launch the policy phase of the Metro Project’s Blueprint for American Prosperity (“Unleashing the Potential of a Metropolitan Nation, an ambitious, multi-year initiative to build long-term U.S. prosperity by reinvigorating the federal role in promoting the health and vitality of America’s metropolitan areas.”) If it sounds like journalism, consider that the President of Brookings is Strobe Talbott, erstwhile journalist for Time and Asst. Secretary for State under Clinton. Brookings, in case it was not obvious, is to Democrats as Heritage is to Republicans.

Brookings writes: “The Summit program is based on a simple premise: The United States is now fully a metropolitan nation. The largest 100 Metropolitan areas are home to 65 percent of the U.S. population, 68 percent of the nation’s jobs and account for 75 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. These metro areas are our hubs of research and innovation, our centers of human capital, and our gateways of trade and immigration. American competitiveness depends on the health and vitality of our metropolitan areas. The Summit will introduce a new perspective on how to engage the Federal government in a true partnership in support of our MetroNation.”

Here are the big hitters for the soire:

Michael Porter, Professor, Harvard Business School
Henry Cisneros, Chairman, CityView, former HUD Secretary
Strobe Talbott, President, Brookings
James Johnson, Vice Chairman, Perseus LLC, former Chairman and CEO, Fannie Mae
Dale E. Bonner, Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing, State of California
Michael Mandel, Chief Economist, Business Week
James Traub, Contributing Writer, New York Times Magazine
Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University
Hilary Pennington, Director of Special Initiatives, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Ron Sims, County Executive, King County, WA (Seattle)
Rob Atkinson, President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Bruce Katz, Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, will unveil the proposed framework for improving the federal partnership with states, localities, universities, other non profit leaders and the private sector – a “Blueprint for American Prosperity.”

Alan Berube, Howard Wial, Rob Puentes and Bruce Katz will introduce policy recommendations and specific, federal “legislatable” ideas to build this new partnership, in such key areas as: infrastructure, workforce housing, education, energy and innovation.

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Tags: washington, d.c.

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