How Cities Can Thrive In The Age Of Populism

Responsibility for addressing some of the world’s hardest challenges is being pushed down to cities and metropolitan areas, often without compensating resources or structural authority. As a result, problem solving is increasingly bottom up rather than top down and delivered by networks of institutions and leaders rather than the public sector alone.

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The New Localism provides a roadmap for change that starts in the communities where most people live and work. In their new book, The New Localism, urban experts Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak reveal where the real power to create change lies and how it can be used to address our most serious social, economic, and environmental challenges.

The Yorkshire Post · May 1
Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak: Devolution is a major chance to redefine city power in Leeds and Yorkshire

AS the Brexit deliberations unfold, the conventional wisdom is that the future of Britain will be decided by a small number of national elected officials responsible for negotiating the contours of the final relationship between Britain, Europe and the rest of the world. The Brexit game, one would conclude, is a game played exclusively by the few and the powerful.


Bruce Katz & Jeremy Nowak, Centre for Cities · April 5
Brexit, Trump and the New Localism

With major distractions in national governments both in the US and UK, it is up to cities to deal with real and practical challenges.

Bruce Katz & Jeremy Nowak · May 15
How Impact Capitalism Re-Discovers Place

Our book tour has included several events hosted by impact investors. A question that comes up in these forums: how does New Localism connect to the activity of intermediaries and investment strategies that have a social mission while also generating returns for private investors?

There is a very direct connection. And we want the connection to grow in depth and capital commitment. But for that to happen, there has to be more of a focus on place within the impact field – urban, metropolitan, and rural – than has presently been the case. It is possible that the newly legislated opportunity tax incentive may enable more of a place-oriented connection for impact investors.


Policy Brief
Bruce Katz & Jeremy Nowak, Commissioned for The Governance Project · March 9
Guiding Principles for Opportunity Zones

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 established an Opportunity Zones tax incentive, which provides a federal capital gains tax deferral and partial exemption for investments in designated Opportunity Zones. Governors in each state will select Opportunity Zones from an eligible group of low-income census tracts. Selections must be made by the third week of March 2018 (or third week of April 2018 if an extension is requested). Given the significant interest among many private investors, it is possible that Opportunity Funds will attract tens of billions of dollars in private capital, making this one of the largest economic development programs in U.S. history.

This policy brief puts forward four principles to guide the selection and development of Opportunity Zones. The principles are designed to enable the greatest job creation potential and the most significant advantages for lower income resident employment, both, inside and outside the eligible zones. Throughout the document we stress the use of data analytics, local knowledge, and the need to see these incentives as just one part of a broader economic development strategy.

Harvard Kennedy School PolicyCast · March 19
The Network Effects that Make Cities Better Problem Solvers

Bruce Katz explains why cities have avoided populism and partisan bickering to become hubs of policy innovation.