by Bruce Katz, Michael Saadine, Ben Preis and Emily Desmond · June 6
Housing solutions to match our housing crisis

It’s no secret that the country is in the throes of a housing crisis. However, in the desperation to fix it, factions have gotten borderline religious about single, silver-bullet solutions. In reality, the housing crisis is more systemic and complex than ever before. Thus, moving forward will require a myriad of innovative, scalable solutions, elements of which are already being tried and tested at the state and local levels.

by Bruce Katz and Julie Wagner · May 16
The Next Wave of Innovation Districts

It has been ten years since we released The Rise of Innovation Districts and boldly declared that the spatial geography of innovation was shifting in the world towards innovation districts. Our observation was that monoculture science and research parks were no longer aligned with the nature of modern innovation. Rather, innovation districts, which concentrate in small (mostly urban) geographies a broad mix of academic institutions, corporations, researchers, startups, skills providers, and entrepreneurial support entities, were better suited to advance creativity and collaboration by leveraging physical proximity, accessibility, walkability and density.

by Bruce Katz · May 2
A Conversation with Idoia Postigo, Director General, Bilbao Metropoli 30

About a year and a half ago, I had the privilege of visiting Bilbao at the invitation of Bilbao Metropoli 30. Famed for the Frank Gehry designed Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao has been a global inspiration for the regeneration of former industrial cities.

Bilbao is the capital of Biscay, one of the three Historical Territories of the Basque Country. It is located in the Atlantic Arc of Europe, a confluence of two continents and an axis of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

by Bruce Katz and Victoria Orozco · April 19
A Green Business Initiative: How Cities Take Full Advantage of the Energy Transition

The energy transition impacts every aspect of the modern economy, driving transformative changes in the nature and location of economic activities. With recent legislation such as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Inflation Reduction Act (“IRA”), and CHIPS and Science Act, the U.S. government is investing at record levels to expedite the transition to a low-carbon economy. Taken together, these historic federal actions are allocating hundreds of billions of dollars over the next five to ten years, driving an economic restructuring of monumental proportions.

by Bruce Katz, Reverend Luis Cortés, Benjamin Preis, Avanti Krovi and Elijah Davis · April 4
Anti-Displacement Lessons from Eastern North Philadelphia

Where you live is of supreme importance in America. Your address is a factor in what schools your children can attend, the jobs within reach, the value of your home or the price of your rent, the quality of your air, and much more. Your neighborhood is also your social network, your community, and often, part of your identity. Yet not all neighborhoods are equal: some have better or worse schools, higher quality or subpar housing, more or less access to transportation and jobs, and other forms of inequality. These neighborhood divisions are often the result of segregation by race and class, influenced by governmental policies like redlining, mortgage discrimination, and urban renewal.

by Bruce Katz · March 28
Winning the Decade: A Conversation with Jason Hall, CEO Greater St. Louis, Inc.

A consistent focus of this newsletter has been the pandemic and other disruptive forces that have followed in its wake that have the potential to reshuffle the order of successful cities. As I’ve written before: “For cities that are organized, deliberate and purposeful, there is the tantalizing prospect of using this period to leapfrog, diversifying and greening their economies to become more economically resilient, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable.”

by Bruce Katz and Milena Dovali · March 21
Using Defense Spending to Grow Local Businesses: Insights from El Paso

As the United States faces escalating tensions across the globe, the modernization and transformation of our military has become an urgent concern. In response, the Department of Defense’s budget has increased significantly in recent years. In FY 2023, Department of Defense Appropriations totaled $797 billion, marking a nearly 10 percent increase over the previous fiscal year. These appropriations are critical for the United States and our allies to advance critical security objectives; they also have a sizable impact on communities across the nation, given how spending on personnel and contracts is recycled in metropolitan economies. This phenomenon, which we term the Defense Dividend, presents a unique opportunity for local and state leaders to use federal spending to drive economic growth, foster high-quality employment, and accelerate innovation.

by Bruce Katz · March 7
Cities and the National Defense Industrial Strategy

It is a rare occurrence when I bookmark a government white paper as a must read. Such reports tend to be dry, jargon-rich, bureaucracy-deadening affairs, more likely to induce a state of somnolence than impart knowledge or catalyze action.

The National Defense Industrial Strategy is an exception.

by Bruce Katz and Andrew Gibbs · February 23
The Housing Opportunity Hidden in Plain Sight

Note: This newsletter was initially published by Governing Magazine on February 21, 2024

As we start 2024, it won’t come as a surprise that most of the traditional metrics underpinning housing affordability are moving in the wrong direction. Despite improvements in long-term interest rates and a slowdown in multifamily rent growth, rental affordability reached an all-time low in 2022. Based on the U.S. Census, an estimated 22.4 million renters now spend over 30 percent of their income on rent.

by Bruce Katz, Domenika Lynch, Victoria Orozco, Milena Dovali and Benjamin Weiser · February 8
Unlocking the Procurement Economy: Lessons from San Antonio and El Paso

Over the past several years, the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program and the Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University have dedicated countless hours to one central goal: using the expanding Procurement Economy to grow small local businesses, particularly those owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

Our collaborative effort has been driven by the substantial increase in federal spending, spurred by the successive enactment of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act, the $411 billion Inflation Reduction Act and the $800+ billion (and rising) annual Department of Defense appropriations.