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The Buzz about Cities

Edward Glaeser's new book, Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier, has been generating a lot of buzz.

  • Last week New York Times Op-Ed Columnist David Brooks wrote an interesting article about The Splendor of Cities where he discusses the role that cities play in disseminating new ideas.  His argument stems from ideas brought forth in Glaeser’s new book.  Cities prosper due to their ability to offer face to face communication, which surprisingly comes to matter even more in the age of the internet.  The article explains that “Cities magnify people’s strengths […] because ideas spread more easily in dense environments. If you want to compete in a global marketplace it really helps to be near a downtown.”
  • On Monday Glaeser himself wrote a guest entry on the Freakonomics blog on the New York Times website.  His article, entitled To Get America Growing Again, It’s Time to Unleash Our Cities, offers the message that the key to economic development can be found in cities.  Glaeser claims that the secret to China’s success is its rapid urbanization, but luckily America is just as capable of investing in its cities too.

  • Glaeser was also recently interviewed by NPR to discuss the ways in which cities are actually greener and healthier than the rest of the country.  In the interview he describes what cities need to do in order to successfully adapt and evolve in order to remain competitive.
  • Glaeser even discussed the need to support cities by curtailing many of our country’s anti-urban policies while appearing as Monday’s guest on The Daily Show.

Greater Ohio is pleased to see this conversation spreading across the country.  As stated in our report, Restoring Prosperity: Transforming Ohio’s Communities for the Next Economy, Greater Ohio recognizes that Ohio’s multiple metropolitan areas – fully encompassing urban, suburban and rural places – house the resources and drivers of prosperity necessary to lead the state of Ohio into the next economy.  But these resources and prosperity drivers need to be leveraged.

If you want to support Greater Ohio’s work to leverage Ohio’s metropolitan assets with improved state policies, please sign up to become a Greater Ohio Supporter, and learn what you can do to help.