Brookings' Bruce Katz pitches smart metro growth in Charlotte, NC

Bruce Katz, Brookings Institution VP and founder of the Metropolitan Policy Program, traveled to Charlotte, NC this month to meet with local leaders in a series of public events meant to spur smart, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth in the region. Below are highlights from his trip:


  1. While in Charlotte Bruce spoke at the "Global Competitiveness: event at Central Piedmont Community College', Rethink, RethinkCLT's Speaker Series, and the "Leading Opportunity: Our Next Challenge" panel sponsored by Foundation for the Carolinas.
  2. A common theme was how Bruce's book The Metropolitan Revolution, a manifesto for metropolitan areas seeking to reshape and grow their economies, can apply in Charlotte.
  3. Unlike the federal government, metro areas are networks of local civic, public, and private sector leaders. Much of their power derives from the informal ability to work together for causes that immediately affect their communities. Cities can get things done while Washington gets things gridlocked.
  4. "Figure out who you are and do it on purpose": Assess your regional assets and build upon them to create a distinctive economy with a competitive advantage you can grow and trade with worldwide.
  5. Charlotte, and all of the United States, needs to shift from an economic growth model focused on real estate, consumption and debt (as Bruce calls it, a plan of "Starbucks, Stadia, and stealing businesses") to one dedicated to skilled production and innovation, the launch of new businesses, and the growth of existing ones.
  6. This smart economic development should add up to an economy that can support (and train) more and better jobs. At Foundation for the Carolinas, Bruce spoke about why Charlotte should feel empowered to tackle these challenges head-on:
  7. Check out more of Bruce Katz's ideas on the future of smart locally-led economic and community development at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program or in his 2013 book, The Metropolitan Revolution