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March 02, 2008

« Obama and the Creative Class | Main | Music Biz »

Ed Glaesar nails it (via Mark Thoma):

From Athenian philosophers to Florentine painters to Chicago architects, cities have long been wellsprings of collaborative invention. In the past, urban creativity was an interesting sideshow, not the main economic event, but today, the rebirth of Boston and New York and London has been built on the increasingly important urban edge in connecting innovative people. The same economic forces that did so much to harm industrial cities in the 1970s - globalization and technological progress - also increased the returns to being smart and you become smart by being around other smart people. We are in a great urban age, because urban connections forge human capital and create innovation.

Does the special role that cities play in the economy and society mean that cities need special treatment from state and national governments? No. ... However, cities shouldn't have to face a policy deck stacked against urban living. Urban firms and residents shouldn't have to pay a disproportionate share of the taxes needed to care for disadvantaged Americans. Suburbanites shouldn't get a free pass on the environmental damage created by a car-based lifestyle.

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