New Solutions for a Troubled Age – My Takeaways from The Metropolitan Revolution by Bruce Katz & Jennifer Bradley

megatrends require megachange
The Metropolitan Revolution


There is something wrong.  A pretty big something wrong.
And, we need a fix…
And, that fix does not seem to be coming from the “old sources” of solutions.  The federal government; the state government, for example.
The next “fix’ is going to have to bubble up – maybe, from our cities.  We are in need of a Metropolitan Revolution.

Metropolitan RevolutionThat is the short version of the premise behind the book by the Brooking Institution’s brain trust team of Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley, The Metropolitan Revolution:  How Cities and Metros are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy.

I will present my synopsis of this book today at the Urban Engagement Book Club, sponsored by CitySquare.

Lots of good considerations and “recommendations,” in the book.  For example:

• we need more “innovation districts” – “idea-creating machines, housed in “tight spaces” (close to each other – really, really close) within our cities…

Here are the five essential steps you must take to bring the metropolitan revolution to life in your region, recommended by the authors:

#1 — build your network
#2 — set your vision
#3 – (decide on) your game changer
#4 — bankroll the revolution
#5 — and sustain the gain.

And, here are my takeaways from the book:

1.  There are problems.  Serious problems.  In this country (and beyond).
2.  We cannot expect, and should not rely on, the federal (or state) government to provide the needed fix.
3.  The fix is possible – bubbling up from our Metropolitan Districts – our clusters of cities around “central” cities.
4.  It will be found in a constellation of new answers, based on:  proximity; innovation; genuine changes in behaviors (e.g., smaller families; far fewer drivers/far less driving…)
5.  Connecting is critical to successful innovation.  And, let me repeat – proximity matters!

I think we need good, clear thinking about the problems we face.  This useful, challenging book adds to that good clear thinking that we need.


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