September 13, 2018

Wait Just a Minute: Edward Glaeser

Our web series, Wait Just a Minute, asks experts to answer complex questions about global affairs in 60 seconds. In this episode, urban economist and Harvard professor Edward Glaeser shares ideas about the biggest opportunities and challenges facing cities and what cities can do to ensure economic growth and inspire innovation.

Wait Just a Minute: Edward Glaeser

What's one thing cities could do better?

Most of the time, it's true that cities are over-regulating the use of their land. That is really important to build and provide space for people who to come to the city, to provide space for businesses that enable the city to grow.

What's the most functional city?

Singapore is the right answer to this question. Singapore is well-run along any number of dimensions, they've had congestion pricing for 40 years that enables the streets of the second densest country on the planet to move swiftly even during prime hours. They have excellent education, they have excellent safety, all of these things are an example of a city that is unbelievably well-run. Now, personally, I'm a little bit more chaotic, and like a little bit more of a mess in my city.

What are the biggest risks to a city's economy?

They face a risk of becoming an industrial monoculture. Think about the city of Detroit, once probably the most entrepreneurial place on the planet in the 1890s, which got stuck in the rut of a single industry dominated by a big-three set of firms. So, diversity, not monoculture. Entrepreneurship, not a few big industries.

What's the best way to grow a city?

The best economic development strategy is to attract and train smart people, and then get out of their way.

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Archive

Urban Reflections from the 2019 International Student Delegation

Each year approximately 30 students from leading research universities around the world participate in the global student delegation program at the Pritzker Forum on Global Cities. Promising students who have demonstrated a commitment to improving global cities and are enrolled in a master’s or PhD program are nominated by their host universities to attend. The 2019 delegation included 30 students from 20 countries, including China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Germany, Israel, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Their biographies are available here.

The following series of contributions are their reflections and insights inspired by and drawn from their experience attending the 2019 Pritzker Forum.


| By Lille van der Zanden

Social Equity: The Legacy of 100 Resilient Cities

On July 31, 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) officially ceased its operations, marking a turning point in the modern urban resiliency movement to create cities that can bounce back from disaster. In six years, the Rockefeller Foundation-funded initiative brought a standardized urban resilience framework to cities across the globe, facilitating the development of more than 80 resilience plans in the process. As a result of its work, urban resiliency planning has become a common practice for city governments, with many institutionalizing the position of a chief resiliency officer.




| By Ian Klaus

Will Ambassador Subnat Go to Washington?

On June 28, 2019, Congressmen Ted W. Lieu (D-CA33) and Joe Wilson (R-SC02) introduced H.R.3571, the “City and State Diplomacy Act.” The Act seeks to mandate a senior official at the State Department charged with “supervision (including policy oversight of resources) of Federal support for subnational engagements by State and municipal governments with foreign governments.” The position would be at the ambassadorial level, and “Ambassador Subnat” would require the consent of the Senate and oversee a new Office of Subnational Diplomacy.







| By J. Thomas Chapin

J. Thomas Chapin: Batteries as the Base of the City

"It seems as if batteries, more specifically lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, are everywhere," J. Thomas Chapin, vice president of research at UL, explained at the 2019 Pritzker Forum on Global Cities in Chicago



Wait Just a Minute: Jess Fanzo

Jess Fanzo, professor of food policy and ethics and editor-in-chief of Global Food Security Journal, takes a minute to answer questions on why obesity is rising across the globe and what can be done about it.


| By Ian Klaus

Mind the Knowledge Gaps: What Global Conferences Bring to Light

Despite the vast amount of research and data available, it shouldn’t be surprising that large gaps in urban knowledge persist. After all, there are many cities—according to the IPCC and UN data, there are around 1000 urban agglomerations with populations of 500,000 or greater—and cities remain difficult to know.