(Image source: Wikimedia Commons / JeCCo)

 

 

BY ZACH TOOMBS

 

 

Cities can move quicker and are more adaptable than national governments — so some urban areas are taking more economic planning into their own hands.

 

This week’s National Journal Magazine cover story examines the rise of modern-day city-states — urban centers working with their surrounding suburbs to draw in new business. Michael Hirsh wrote the article.

 

HIRSH: “Rather than national economies, we’re devolving down to the city-state concept that dates back to ancient days — Sparta and Athens.”

 

When a city isolates itself from surrounding suburbs, a lack of economic diversity can spell trouble. Detroit tied its fate solely to the auto industry. This summer, it became the largest city to ever file for bankruptcy. (Via Voice of America)

 

Singapore provides a counterexample of what a metropolitan region can accomplish — touting a broad tax base and not just one, but several, economic specialties. And as urban populations climb, cities themselves have gained more power over economic planning. City government moves quicker and is more adaptable than a national government — just look at the gridlock in Washington and Europe for evidence. (Via CNN, EurActiv)

 

America’s top 100 metro areas now hold two-thirds of the U.S. population. Since 1950, the proportion of Americans living in cities has increased by 17 percent. And that mirrors urbanization worldwide.

 

HIRSH: “The metropolitan area is the focus of investment, and it should be in the future. Now, a city by itself is usually too small to lure large-scale investment … Multinational companies, sovereign funds, governments look more to invest in a metropolitan region where you can reach millions of people.”

 

America’s mayors are taking even international business into their own hands. Mike Bell of Toledo, Ohio, brought his city from a $48 million deficit to a $5 million surplus partly by bringing in business from China. (Via WUPW, The New York Times)

 

Pitching to foreign investors, Bell would draw a circle out from his city 500 miles in every direction — showing its proximity to more than half of the Midwest’s population. If Toledo itself couldn’t draw new business, its economic region could. 

 

 

The Rise of Modern 'City-States'

by Zach Toombs
1
Transcript
Aug 29, 2013

The Rise of Modern 'City-States'

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons / JeCCo)

 

 

BY ZACH TOOMBS

 

 

Cities can move quicker and are more adaptable than national governments — so some urban areas are taking more economic planning into their own hands.

 

This week’s National Journal Magazine cover story examines the rise of modern-day city-states — urban centers working with their surrounding suburbs to draw in new business. Michael Hirsh wrote the article.

 

HIRSH: “Rather than national economies, we’re devolving down to the city-state concept that dates back to ancient days — Sparta and Athens.”

 

When a city isolates itself from surrounding suburbs, a lack of economic diversity can spell trouble. Detroit tied its fate solely to the auto industry. This summer, it became the largest city to ever file for bankruptcy. (Via Voice of America)

 

Singapore provides a counterexample of what a metropolitan region can accomplish — touting a broad tax base and not just one, but several, economic specialties. And as urban populations climb, cities themselves have gained more power over economic planning. City government moves quicker and is more adaptable than a national government — just look at the gridlock in Washington and Europe for evidence. (Via CNN, EurActiv)

 

America’s top 100 metro areas now hold two-thirds of the U.S. population. Since 1950, the proportion of Americans living in cities has increased by 17 percent. And that mirrors urbanization worldwide.

 

HIRSH: “The metropolitan area is the focus of investment, and it should be in the future. Now, a city by itself is usually too small to lure large-scale investment … Multinational companies, sovereign funds, governments look more to invest in a metropolitan region where you can reach millions of people.”

 

America’s mayors are taking even international business into their own hands. Mike Bell of Toledo, Ohio, brought his city from a $48 million deficit to a $5 million surplus partly by bringing in business from China. (Via WUPW, The New York Times)

 

Pitching to foreign investors, Bell would draw a circle out from his city 500 miles in every direction — showing its proximity to more than half of the Midwest’s population. If Toledo itself couldn’t draw new business, its economic region could. 

 

 

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