Bright Ideas, Big Cities

gotham-04-2008.jpgIn the new issue of Metropolis, Karrie Jacobs pens an interesting piece about how big-city mayors in the U.S. “have emerged as a sort of government in exile, putting forth a remarkably progressive, and occasionally visionary, domestic agenda while the federal government has been AWOL.” Here in New York we know all about having a mayor who thinks big, but Jacobs hardly mentions Bloomberg. She concentrates, instead, on Martin O’Malley, the former mayor of Baltimore, who spoke about how forming a response network to address emergencies like terrorist attacks or natural disasters was a job best handled close to home, since Washington “will be thirty to forty years catching up with this reality,” and San Francisco’s Gavin Newsom, who talks about green initiatives for his city and says, When you’re going to get serious about addressing the issues of global climate change, it will be happening, by definition, in urban cores…We’re basically following these UN environmental accords and doing it in the absence of leadership from our states and respective federal governments. As we look forward to a new administration, Jacobs concludes, our future president should take note that cities are no longer something to be fixed, but should be acknowledged as planning leaders, “not only to give them the succor they’ve been denied in the past eight years but also to learn from them how this country can once again move forward.” Isn’t it pretty to think so?
Like Urban Renewal, Only Backward [Metropolis]
Photo by Just-Us-3.

0 Comment

  • Summary:

    Bush is bad. Local government has the answers, but Washington has the money. Local governments want money from Washington. Once Bush is out, Mayors might be able to hang out in the White House and get the President to “feel their pain”

    Yeah, that sounds like a magazine I want to read. Yawn.

  • This is exactly why I’m a Republican! The federal government is too large and bureaucratic to be efficient at anything (except defense). More power to the state and local governments, where results are possible!

  • Theoretically your “small government” Republicans would also be in office at the state and local level too, right?

    Your argument, if you can call it that, is feeble.

  • Defense department is efficient ? That was irony, right?
    Republicans believe in small gov’t? I think that was proven wrong

  • Sure #2 – the problem is the Feds will get involved on the local level when it serves them in some political purpose. What a conumdrum the Republicans have got themselves into.

  • Everyone cries about the federal gov’t yet hail universal, run by the gov’t, health care. They can’t do anything less expensively or right. Only the number of people of fed and state pensions will grow.