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Apr 11

Past Event

Metropolitan Business Plans: A New Approach to Economic Growth



  • Commercializing Energy Tech

    Eric Schinfeld, Puget Sound Regional Council: Commercializing new energy efficiency technology is the right idea at the right time and we’re the right region to do it.

  • Associating New Industries

    Brad Whitehead, Northeast Ohio Pilot Program: Connecting Youngstown, Akron and Cleveland means that we can take a Rolls Royce facility in fuel cells and connect it with Case Western and more.

  • Emulating Entrepreneurs

    Chris Coleman, Mayor, St. Paul, Minn.: Entrepreneurs follow a path to commercialize their product for market, a path that regions must also take.

  • Regional Economic Entity

    R.T. Rybak, Mayor, Minneapolis, Minn.: With innovation lagging, we needed to bring together a regional economic entity with the help of Brookings.

  • Human Rights Issues will not Trump U.S.-China Dialogue

    Kenneth Lieberthal: These talks are critical to the U.S.-China relationship, and the matter of Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng will not trump the range of issues that must be addressed in order for the relationship to move forward.

    Kenneth G. Lieberthal

  • Metro Regions are the Solution

    Robert Weissbourd: Thinking that metropolitan regions are the solution, not the problem, and that they drive the economy, the regional prospectuses present business opportunities to investors.

    Robert Weissbourd

  • Students Lack Appropriate Skills

    Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.): While China is building billions of solar panels a year, we are still not up to speed of where we should be on graduating students with the right skills in science and math.


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In the face of serious fiscal stress, U.S. cities and metropolitan areas face major economic challenges that demand innovative solutions. Metropolitan business planning—which adapts the discipline of private-sector business planning to the task of sharpening regional strategy setting—seeks to address these issues and offer pragmatic and catalytic solutions in a time of austerity.

For more than a year, the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings has been working to pilot the concept with leadership consortia in three diverse metro areas, each pursuing a bold economic strategy to jumpstart their regional economies: Northeast Ohio to transition its manufacturers into the next economy, Minneapolis Saint Paul to stimulate entrepreneurship, and Puget Sound to carve a niche in energy efficiency technologies.

On April 11, Brookings hosted a forum to introduce the metropolitan business planning concept and unveil the economic visions and strategies from these three regions. Bruce Katz, vice president and director of the Metropolitan Policy Program, offered opening remarks on the value of business planning, followed by speakers from each pilot region. Federal, regional, and private sector leaders anchored the implementation session.

Following each panel, the participants took questions from the audience.

Event Agenda

  • Welcome

  • Metropolitan Business Planning: Introducing the Concept

  • Panel Discussion: Piloting the Concept

    • Moderator

      Portrait: Mark Muro

      Mark Muro

      Senior Fellow and Policy Director, Metropolitan Policy Program

    • The Honorable Chris Coleman

      Mayor, City of St. Paul

    • The Honorable R.T. Rybak

      Mayor, City of Minneapolis

    • Eric Schinfeld

      Project Manager for Economic Development

      Puget Sound Regional Council

    • Brad Whitehead

      President, Fund for Our Economic Future

      Northeast Ohio Pilot Program

  • Panel Discussion: Reorienting Federalism for Implementation

    • Moderator

      Portait: Bruce Katz

      Bruce Katz

      Vice President and Director, Metropolitan Policy Program

      The Adeline M. and Alfred I. Johnson Chair in Urban and Metropolitan Policy

    • Derek Douglas

      Special Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs, Domestic Policy Council

    • Daniel Malarkey

      Deputy Director, Washington State Department of Commerce

    • Kim Nelson

      Executive Director, eGovernment and Director, U.S. Public Sector’s State and Local Government Solutions


    • The Honorable Ray Stephanson

      Mayor, City of Everett

      President, Puget Sound Regional Council

  • Keynote Address

    • The Honorable Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)

      U.S. Senate


April 11, 2011

9:30 AM - 12:30 PM EDT

The Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105

SERIES: Metropolitan Recovery and Spending Priorities | Number 83