Josef W. Konvitz
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We are where we are, but how did we get here?
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Cities are the engines of the economy, but the are running low on two key inputs, infrastructure investment and innovation. The image of the engine calls attention to flawed assumptions made about how urban economies function, linked to the dominance of macro-economic and sectoral policies. There are problems related to data which make it difficult for policy makers to anticipate the dynamic effects of urban change; as a result they are not able to enhance the positive effects of density and specialization (agglomeration effects). Governments need policies for cities – forward looking, not remedial. The chapter highlights the costs of the 2008 crisis before ending with a series of 9 questions about the future of economic and political systems and of the role of cities in them.

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