Monday, July 9, 2007

Great Read: Brookings' Restoring Prosperity

The evidence is clear. On the whole, America's central cities are coming back with growing employment and increasing numbers of young people, empty-nesters, and others choosing city life over the suburbs. Unfortunately, not all cities are fully participating in this renaissance.

Many cities are lagging behind their peers, especially older industrial communities that are still making the transition from manufacturing-based economies to more knowledge-oriented activities. These cities weren't always in such a tenuous position. They were once economic, political, and cultural hubs and the engines of America's economic growth. And so they can be again.

The Restoring Prosperity Initiative provides a framework for understanding how to restore prosperity in Americais struggling cities, particularly those in the Northeast and Midwest. A new report by the Brookings Institution, Restoring Prosperity: The State Role in Revitalizing America's Older Industrial Cities, anchors this initiative and describes the challenges, unprecedented opportunity to leverage existing assets, and a policy agenda to advance their renewal. It is targeted at state and local government, business, and civic leaders and underscores three central messages:

- Given their assets, the moment is ripe for the revival of older industrial urban economies.

-Older industrial cities possess a unique set of characteristics and resources that, if fully leveraged, could be converted into vital competitive assets.

-States have an essential role to play in the revitalization of older industrial cities, but they need a new urban agenda for change. The

-The overall benefits of city revitalization—for families, for suburbs, for the environment, and ultimately for states—are potentially enormous.

Read more at this resource link: http://restoringprosperity.org/

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