Innovation Urbanization and the Metropolitan Revolution | City of Ideas

Posted 10/14/2016 by James Burnett

This afternoon and evening event, which will feature a keynote speech by Bruce Katz, Centennial Scholar, Vice President, and Founding Director, Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, will also include presentations and a panel discussion by Thomas Alperin, President and Founding Partner, National Development; Renée Lewis Glover, Founder and Managing Member, The Catalyst Group; Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO, The Boston Foundation (Moderator); and David P. Manfredi, Principal, Elkus Manfredi Architects.

“For this event, we have brought together national leading experts in economic development, public policy, real estate, housing, and philanthropy to present how local government and the innovation economy are the engines of progress,” said Neil McCullagh, Director, Joseph E. Corcoran Center for Real Estate and Urban Action.

 McCullagh said that he hopes attendees come in the frame of mind that thoughtful economic development and thoughtful policies and nimble government have the potential to create access to opportunity for everyone.

“Boston is a growing city in a growing region with innovation districts at the global center of their fields. This extraordinary circumstance can benefit the entire region and people of all income levels,” McCullagh added. "I hope that, through this forum, guests are able to see the connection between metropolitan trends and efforts in the Greater Boston Area and how they mirror those occurring in other states and around the world.

"Boston is unique in many ways, and we strive to be an example to other cities that may benefit from replicating industry practices we employ. I hope we continue to learn what more we can do throughout Massachusetts to ensure that the success in Kendall Square and the Seaport District is felt across the region.”

Katz, the Brookings scholar, agreed that the stakes are high in the quest for urban development solutions.

"I think that trying to convey two weeks before a presidential election what happens at the city level or metro level really matters will be important to this event," Katz said. "Everyday we're bombarded with questions of what the President or the federal government will do. And it's my view that cities and localities are actually the vanguard of problem solving when it comes to development.

"So I would urge the students, the young people in attendance to think about how much change is happening in the cores of cities and regions, usually these days in proximity to major research universities. I would remind them that this is a far cry from the science parks we built at the periphery of our metro areas 30 and 40 years ago. And I would encourage them to think about how we can share the benefits of an advanced economy. The key will be linking innovation and inclusion more tightly." 


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