In their recent book, “The New Localism,” Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak argue that cities and counties will be tested as never before in the coming years. They will need to innovate and reform—to pursue new strategies for growth and finance—in a fiscal environment dominated by rising health-care and pension costs. In these circumstances, the quality of metropolitan governance will matter more than ever.
“We’re at a stage of growth in our country and around the world where cities are the vanguard of problem solving,” said Katz. “The federal government, when it functions, is a health insurance company with an army.”
Mayors must first recognize that we are in the midst of a paradigmatic shift in urban governance and problem solving that is catching up to an established fact on the ground: Cities are networks of public, private, and civic institutions that power the economy and shape critical aspects of urban life. This “new localism” is pragmatic and solution-oriented, and by design includes exemplary leadership across sectors and segments of society.
“I think the leadership of mayors is critically important,” said Reville. “I’m a believer in what Bruce Katz from Brookings calls and others call, the 'new localism.'” New localism dictates that in order to enact real change, the country is going to need to look toward influential urban and regional policies. Only then will the U.S. actually see a difference made in education, inequality, climate change and other essential issues.
Katz believes cities have a unique ability to galvanize action inside and outside of government at the grass roots level. In the absence of federal or state leadership on education, “new localism” is the most promising path forward.
Katz argues in his forthcoming book, the new localism, Barcelona and Madrid are called to counteract the external loss of prestige of the Catalonia and Spain brands. With mayors of the same political sensitivity in front, the two capitals should increase their collaboration, especially in the cultural section.
In their book The New Localism, Bruce Katz, the Centennial scholar at the Brookings Institution, and Philadelphia’s Jeremy Nowak, who created the Reinvestment Fund and is a fellow at Drexel, argue that the power to change resides in cities that are stepping up as the state and federal governments step back.