A beautiful and timely book - clear, visionary, and action-oriented!
I see Bruce and Jeremy’s book as an inspiration for a long overdue Regional Plan for Metropolitan Washington. The new localism ideas and policies, set in a regional context, could benefit this fascinating region, with lots of "hidden assets". The authors rightfully emphasize the critical issue of metropolitan governance – where government fragmentation works against handling the land use issue regionally. The regional plan could apply some of Jeremy's concepts about metropolitan finance, and inject some real problem-solving and a real action plan in it, not just principles, ideas, and blueprints.
The book’s arguments are well buttressed by carefully selected case studies, which illustrate the power of leadership, public-private partnerships, and decisive intentionality and action. I particularly appreciated the Copenhagen smart public-private partnership case study from a country worth getting inspired from. Copenhagen PPP model could inspire a long-term solution to Washington Metrorail funding, along with Japan’s rail/metro example of a PPP transit authority that not only does not rely on any government subsidies, it turns a profit as well.
Chapter TEN – Toward a Nation of Problem-Solvers, of The New Localism is one of my favorites, with its arguments for leaders and leadership, problem-solving and call to action. We need schools and programs for generalists, urban problem-solvers and leaders, and I have no doubt that Bruce’s affiliation with the London School of Economics Cities international education program, and his European experience can make a significant difference in the circuitous trajectory of ideas, and can make a key contribution to a comprehensive, real world, networked and hands-on, project-based curriculum for urban problem-solvers and leaders.
Inspired ideas? Shared ideas? Recycled ideas? No doubt. And hopefully so. After all, what’s the whole idea about ideas? The best a great scholar can do is to be inspired by ideas, select ideas, process and augment them, add more ideas and turn them into a coherent, original, dynamic and inspiring whole, with a vision, a strategy and a call to action. And Bruce is guilty of working with ideas for decades, and of producing seminal books (editor of Reflections on Regionalism, and co-author of The Metropolitan Revolution, with Jennifer Bradley of the Aspen Institute).
Congratulations, Bruce and Jeremy, for this beautiful and timely book! Urban and regional planners and colleagues, I encourage you to keep this book on you when you approach the tough problems of the profession!