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.

Press
IFF.org · May 3
Illinois Facilities Fund (IFF) profile of Jeremy Nowak
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IFF: Briefly, what is “the new localism”?

Jeremy Nowak: New Localism is the term we use to describe the shift in power that is taking place today from the Feds downward to metropolitan communities; horizontally across public, private, and civic networks; and globally along circuits of capital, talent, and innovation. For us, Localism does not refer only to local governments, but to the interplay of multiple sectors. Most importantly, we view New Localism as a problem-solving practice focused on the major challenges of our time, including growth, sustainability, and social integration.

Policy Brief
Commissioned for The Governance Project · June 25
How States Can Maximize Opportunity Zones
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Co-authors: Bruce Katz, Jeremy Nowak, Jamie Rubin, Dan Berkovits

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 provides a new incentive—centered around the deferral of capital gains taxes—to spur private investments in low-income areas designated as Opportunity Zones. Given the significant interest among investors, it is possible that this new tax incentive could attract tens of billions of dollars in private capital, making this one of the largest economic development initiatives in U.S. history.

Download How States Can Maximize Opportunity Zones

Newsletter
By Bruce Katz and Luise Noring · October 14
Cities and the Glasgow Climate Summit: Lessons from Copenhagen

In several weeks, the global community will gather in Glasgow for COP 26, the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference. There is no doubt that the “Conference of the Parties” will discuss in detail the role of cities in driving down carbon emissions as well as adapting to the disruptive effects of climate change. We urge the Summit to go one step further and make urban governance a critical element of transformational change.

A strong focus on cities and urban governance is critical for multiple reasons. Most cities around the world actually exacerbate carbon emissions due to the dirty sources of their energy, the excessive level of dependence on automobiles for intra-city mobility and the low energy efficiency of their buildings. They also, increasingly, bear the brunt of climate change, due to the consequences that extreme weather has for urban populations (e.g., flooding, droughts, and heat waves hit vulnerable populations and disadvantaged neighborhoods the hardest) and urban infrastructure (e.g., the flooding of public transit systems, the collapse of highways, roads and other infrastructures, the contamination of scarce drinking water and the surface overflow of sewer systems).

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

Podcast
Harvard Kennedy School PolicyCast · March 19
The Network Effects that Make Cities Better Problem Solvers
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Bruce Katz explains why cities have avoided populism and partisan bickering to become hubs of policy innovation.