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In ‘Unlocking the Potential of Post-Industrial Cities’ a big future challenge is met Head On



Above: Photo Collage / Lynxotic / Johns Hopkins University Press

There’s a massive migration coming as the physical and political landscape changes

A gradual, subtle, yet immensely important shift is underway across the planet. That shift is the change in thinking that will be required to accompany the changes that we now know, for a fact, are coming. Global warming, sea level rise, mass decentralization and migration and many more macro trends that are no longer in doubt but will be a reality to cope with.

Taking the positive approach to this – searching for solutions to the many huge geopolitical and technological issues that we face, is a trend that must come to the front and center of our dialog about the future.

Above: ‘Climatopolis‘ a prior work from author E. Kahn

Although, it is a book more thought of as a guide for city planners and other professionals, Unlocking the Potential of Post-Industrial Cities is fascinating evidence of where these forced changes could lead, and what potentials can be unlocked by the opportunities that will inevitably arise from the extreme, changing circumstances.

A great step in the right direction, we’ve provided a look at Unlocking the Potential of Post-Industrial Cities, by Matthew E. Kahn and Mac McComas, below, along with a description, provided courtesy of the Bookshop (and the publisher), along with some links for a variety of options where to purchase.

Unlocking the Potential of Post-Industrial

The urban centers of New York City, Seattle, and San Francisco have enjoyed tremendous economic success and population growth in recent years. At the same time, cities like Baltimore and Detroit have experienced population loss and economic decline. People living in these cities are not enjoying the American Dream of upward mobility.

How can post-industrial cities struggling with crime, pollution, poverty, and economic decline make a comeback? In Unlocking the Potential of Post-Industrial Cities, Matthew E. Kahn and Mac McComas explore why some people and places thrive during a time of growing economic inequality and polarization–and some don’t.

They examine six underperforming cities–Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis–that have struggled from 1970 to present. Drawing from the field of urban economics, Kahn and McComas ask how the public and private sectors can craft policies and make investments that create safe, green cities where young people reach their full potential. The authors analyze long-run economic and demographic trends.

They also highlight recent lessons from urban economics in labor market demand and supply, neighborhood quality of life, and local governance while scrutinizing strategies to lift people out of poverty. These cities are all at a fork in the road.

Depending on choices made today, they could enjoy a significant comeback–but only if local leaders are open to experimentation and innovation while being honest about failure and constructive evaluation. 

Unlocking the Potential of Post-Industrial Cities provides a roadmap for how urban policy makers, community members, and practitioners in the public and private sector can work together with researchers to discover how all cities can solve the most pressing modern urban challenges.

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