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.

Article
Cities Today · May 23
Harnessing private wealth for public good

Faced with supersized economic, social and environmental challenges over which the US federal government and several states have long abdicated responsibility, new models of local governance are now crucial. This is the core contention addressed in our recent book, The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the New Age of Populism.

Newsletter
Bruce Katz & Jeremy Nowak · June 19
Opportunity Zones and Institutional Reform

The two of us have been spending the bulk of our time in hyper-invention mode. To maximize the potential economic and social impact of recently enacted federal tax incentives, Mayor Garcetti’s Accelerator for America has engaged us to create a new tool — an Investment Prospectus — to enable cities, counties and states to identify concrete investable projects and propositions in designated Opportunity Zones. We are using Louisville, Oklahoma City and South Bend as our test cases and we are grateful to Mayors Greg Fischer, David Holt and Pete Buttigieg and their teams for being co-creators.

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.