Newsletters

Newsletter
by Bruce Katz, Colin Higgins and Karyn Bruggeman · January 21
Unpacking the Nation’s Capacity Challenge

As the euphoria of enacting the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act fades, the challenges facing implementation of this complex and sprawling legislation have come into sharp relief. First among them is the lack of sufficient capacity among many cities and counties to design and deliver projects that have the transformative impact that has been promised by bipartisan Congressional sponsors.

Newsletter
by Bruce Katz · January 13
The Choices We Make

In the mid-1930s, Charles de Gaulle, then a French Army colonel, went to visit Leon Blum, the French Prime Minister. The future leader of France reproached Blum about the state of the country’s defenses.

Blum was taken aback, declaring “But we are spending more for defense than the previous Government!” “It is what you are spending it on,’ de Gaulle said, “that I want to discuss.”
What they were spending it on was bigness. The French had the largest — and by most accounts, finest — army in the world. They underwrote huge military budgets. They constructed the most massive defense installation since the Great Wall of China — the Maginot Line.

Newsletter
By Bruce Katz · January 6
A Roadmap to Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Join us, Monday, Jan. 10, 1pm ET for a virtual launch event
A Roadmap to Inclusive Entrepreneurship: Presentation, Panel & Discussion
Register here

2022 marks what could be a new era for inclusive entrepreneurship and broad-based, dynamic growth.

Newsletter
By Bruce Katz · December 23
In Memoriam: Reflections on Lives Lost

My professional life has been indelibly shaped by a remarkable group of individuals over the past several decades. These people have played multiple roles in my career. Some have been true mentors, acting as objective sounding boards on decisions large and small and selflessly opening up their rolodexes, virtual and otherwise, to help widen my circle of innovative thinkers and doers. Some have acted as private tutors, passing on their wealth of substantive knowledge and sharing their disparate approaches to solving problems and driving impact. Some have served as close colleagues and collaborators, co-writing or co-editing books and articles and helping me move projects from concept to execution. All have given their time generously and offered their advice freely and in confidence.

As this difficult year comes to a difficult close, I wanted to pay homage to six exceptional people who are no longer with us. They shaped not only what I have done but who I am. In the order of when we met…

Newsletter
By Bruce Katz · December 16
The Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act: A Guide for Local Leaders

With the signing of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the playing field now shifts quickly from members of Congress to networks of public, private and civic leaders in communities across the country. Passing laws is one thing. Deploying federal resources in ways that actually drive systemic and transformative change is another.

The hidden story, unreported to date, is that the US faces a major delivery crisis. After years of federal scarcity and unreliability, most communities haven’t planned or prepared for the prospect of abundant investments in economy shaping, energy shifting, climate solving, place making and the like. Most communities, simply put, are not ready for what’s coming.

Newsletter
By Bruce Katz · December 9
The US Delivery Crisis

With the signing of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the playing field now shifts quickly from members of Congress to networks of public, private and civic leaders in communities across the country. Passing laws is one thing. Deploying federal resources in ways that actually drive systemic and transformative change is another.

The hidden story, unreported to date, is that the US faces a major delivery crisis. After years of federal scarcity and unreliability, most communities haven’t planned or prepared for the prospect of abundant investments in economy shaping, energy shifting, climate solving, place making and the like. Most communities, simply put, are not ready for what’s coming.

Newsletter
By Ian O’Grady, Mary Jean Ryan, Bruce Katz, Ross Baird, and Colin Higgins · December 2
SSBCI 2.0: Big capital for small business — can the nation deliver?

In the six months since we launched the Innovative Finance project a central theme has emerged: delivering capital to where it’s needed most — namely, to millions of underserved entrepreneurs — is a central challenge for an inclusive economic recovery.

Somewhat unexpectedly, the large sums of federal and private capital currently available for investment have illustrated a more fundamental truth in our country’s small business finance system. Capital is not the problem, delivery is.

Newsletter
By Bruce Katz, Victoria Orozco, and Avanti Krovi · November 18
Unlocking Potential in El Paso: An Investment Playbook

For the past six months, the Nowak Lab has worked to launch ACCELERATE El Paso, an initiative intended to spur an inclusive recovery by building a structured ecosystem of coaching and capital for Latino businesses. Developed in collaboration with the Aspen Institute Latinos & Society Program (AILAS)Christopher Gergen of Forward Impact, and economic development leaders in El Paso, we created an investment playbook for a major health corridor which (1) identifies opportunities for equitable economic growth, (2) strategically prioritizes shovel-ready and shovel-worthy investments, and (3) blends philanthropic and private capital with federal funding to fully launch large-scale projects.

Newsletter
By Bruce Katz, Karyn Bruggeman and Colin Higgins · October 28
From City Hall to City Networks: Advice to New York City’s Next Mayor on How to Organize for Success

As Congress continues to deliberate over the size and scope of the reconciliation bill and the timing of the infrastructure and innovation bills, it is clear that implementation of whatever passes will devolve down to networks of public, private, civic and community leaders and institutions in cities and metros across the country. The federal government is about to invest trillions of dollars through hundreds of programs across dozens of agencies. These programs will run through different distribution channels at different times and in accordance with different rules. Some funding will be allocated via block grants, others through competitions, still others through financial products and tax incentives.

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).