The Metropolitan Revolution

How Cities and Metros Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy

Bruce Katz, Jennifer Bradley
Release Date: December 11, 2014

Across the US, cities and metropolitan areas are facing huge economic and competitive challenges that Washington won’t, or can’t, solve.  The good news is that networks of metropolitan leaders –...

Across the US, cities and metropolitan areas are facing huge economic and competitive challenges that Washington won’t, or can’t, solve.  The good news is that networks of metropolitan leaders – mayors, business and labor leaders, educators, and philanthropists – are stepping up and powering the nation forward. These state and local leaders are doing the hard work to grow more jobs and make their communities more prosperous, and they’re investing in infrastructure, making manufacturing a priority, and equipping workers with the skills they need.

In The Metropolitan Revolution, Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley highlight success stories and the people behind them.

  • New York City: Efforts are under way to diversify the city’s vast economy
  • Portland: Is selling the  “sustainability” solutions it has perfected to other cities around the world
  • Northeast Ohio: Groups are using industrial-age skills to invent new twenty-first-century materials, tools, and processes
  • Houston: Modern settlement house helps immigrants climb the employment ladder
  • Miami: Innovators are forging strong ties with Brazil and other nations
  • Denver and Los Angeles: Leaders are breaking political barriers and building world-class metropolises
  • Boston and Detroit: Innovation districts are hatching ideas to power these economies for the next century

The lessons in this book can help other cities meet their challenges. Change is happening, and every community in the country can benefit. Change happens where we live, and if leaders won’t do it, citizens should demand it.

The Metropolitan Revolution was named the 2014 Bronze Winner in Political Science from Foreword Review‘s IndieFab Awards.

Praise for The Metropolitan Revolution

“The Metropolitan Revolution upends conventional wisdom and makes the case for how our cities and metros are leading American change and progress: they are transforming our national economy, political conversation, and collective destiny from the bottom up like never before. A must-read for anyone working toward a brighter future for our cities and our nation.”
Mayor Cory Booker 

“The Metropolitan Revolution builds on twenty years of studying metropolitan areas and hundreds of thousands of miles traveling to them around the globe, and the result is an exciting guide to the new world economy – urban, networked, innovative, collaborative, and driven by human potential.”
—Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Henry G. Cisneros

“Being mayor of Chicago is the best job I’ve ever had in public life. Katz and Bradley totally get it: the real power to change America lies in our cities and metros.”
—Mayor Rahm Emanuel

“With paralysis in Washington, public policy solutions will come from successful metropolitan regions, the clinical trials of our future. We are well into this journey, but never has it been explained with such insight and analysis until The Metropolitan Revolution.”
—Governor Jon Huntsman

“Just when ‘by the people, for the people’ seems like an anachronism, cities are giving it new meaning, fueled by twenty-first century technology. Every citizen needs to understand the metropolitan revolution. If we change cities, we change the country.”
—Jennifer Pahlka, Founder and Executive Director, Code for America

“This book captures the energy and excitement bubbling up in cities across America. This is ‘do it yourself’ urbanism of the highest order, and it is altering our landscape and our country.”
—Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner, New York City Department of Transportation

“Through real-world examples, The Metropolitan Revolution brings to life how America’s cities and suburbs drive innovation to solve problems and seize opportunities.  This book is a call to action beyond Washington, where metro leaders join together and simply get stuff done.”
—Mayor Scott Smith  

“The Metropolitan Revolution is compelling reading on how our federal system is a powerful advantage in global competitiveness. This book is indispensable for business and elected leaders on realizing the economic potential of metropolitan areas for their citizens and the country.”
—Treasury Secretary, Robert E. Rubin


Bruce J. Katz is a vice president at the Brookings Institution and founding director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program.

Jennifer Bradley is a fellow at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. She has written for The New Republic, the Atlantic Monthly, Democracy, and The American Prospect.

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