8:30 am EST - 12:00 pm EST

Past Event

One-Fifth of the Nation: A Comprehensive Guide to America’s First Suburbs

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

8:30 am - 12:00 pm EST

The Brookings Institution
Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC

Much has been written and discussed about the nation’s newest suburbs, but the “first suburbs” receive little attention–despite the fact that combined they contain 20 percent of the nation’s population. As a result, first suburbs are often caught in a policy blind spot between the attention long directed to central cities and new attention focused on fast-growing exurban areas.

The symposium featured the release of a Brookings report presenting a range of demographic, market, and economic changes in first suburbs over the past 50 years. The report shows that many of these places have tremendous, but under-tapped assets. The report includes key policy recommendations needed to unlock their potential to revitalize, and contribute to the economic growth of their regions.

U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York delivered the morning keynote address. Brookings Senior Fellow E.J. Dionne moderated a panel of diverse first suburbs leaders, who discussed these communities’ assets, and the particular challenges they face. U.S. Rep. Michael Turner of Ohio made the closing address.


Bruce Katz
, Vice President and Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings

Opening Remarks:
The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton, United States Senator, New York

Closing Remarks:
The Honorable Michael Turner, United States Representative, Ohio

Robert Puentes, Fellow, Metropolitan Policy

Panel Discussion:

E.J. Dionne, Senior Fellow, Brookings


The Honorable Margaret Keliher, County Judge, Dallas County, Texas

Dan Onorato, Chief Executive, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

Ron Sims, County Executive, King County, Washington

Thomas Suozzi, County Executive, Nassau County, New York

Christopher Zimmerman, Vice Chairman, Arlington County, Virginia