Using Information to Drive Change: New Ways of Moving Markets

Unleashing the potential of America's cities depends on developing a systematic view of how information influences market investment decisions, especially as America moves to a more knowledge-based economy. This brief examines the critical role of information in urban markets. It begins by describing the information cycle: how information is created, reported, collected, disseminated, and turned into "actionable knowledge" used to make investment decisions in urban areas. When critical information is not available, not accurate, or not used by market actors, an "information gap" exists. The authors postulate that closing this gap will help markets to function more effectively to build healthy communities, laying the basis for a robust investment climate, a vibrant labor market and residents with strong connections to the economic mainstream. The brief concludes by suggesting actions in three major areas to address the gap and introduces the Urban Markets Initiative program—an initiative to advance thought and practice in the field of urban information.