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.

About

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. We convene leading global voices and conduct independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan organization. All statements of fact and expressions of opinion in blog posts are the sole responsibility of the individual author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Council.

Archive

| By Alexander Hitch, Rob Paral

Workforce Development and Immigrants: The View from Minneapolis

Metro Minneapolis-St. Paul is home to one of the highest percentages of foreign-born residents in the Midwest. Following the Chicago Council’s recent roundtable in Detroit, key stakeholders convened in Minneapolis to discuss the Council’s Ready to Work report and how the foreign-born are incorporated into workforce development plans in Minnesota. 


| By Ivo H. Daalder

This Week's Reads - The Battle for Liberal Democracy Will Be Waged in Cities

The battle between authoritarianism and liberal democracy will be waged in cities. While the stakes remain national, urban areas, where the majority of people live and work, have become the main arenas in which our governance will be decided. The United States and others would do well to start prioritising urban policy as central to their foreign policies.


Issues Illustrated: Global Cities

Wondering what is all this hype about global cities? There are several things you need to know about global cities, starting with the fact that you’re probably living in one.








| By Ivo H. Daalder

This Week's Reads - Water Security Demands Attention

We often overlook water’s global security implications, such as civil unrest or mass migration. With Cape Town's water supplies dwindling, it's time to get serious about preparing for and preventing water-driven conflict around the world.



| By Ivo H. Daalder

This Week's Reads - Foreign Policy Trade-Offs in China

Despite China's unfair trading practices or increasing competitiveness with the United States, key US foreign policy objectives cannot be achieved without China’s active cooperation. The United States must strike a delicate balance for it to hold China accountable while maintaining a strategic partnership.



| By Ivo H. Daalder

This Week's Reads – Walking Away from Iran Deal Won’t Get Trump a Better Deal. With Iran or North Korea

Donald Trump ran for office saying he was the best deal maker for America. Yesterday, he announced that he was walking away from the Iran nuclear agreement arguing he could get a better deal than the one Barack Obama struck in 2015. He may well have been right. A better deal was in the offing, but by withdrawing from the current agreement he made getting it that much more unlikely.


| By Brian Hanson, Karl Friedhoff, Jonathan Cheng

Deep Dish: What's Driving North Korea Negotiations?

President Trump's "Maximum pressure" campaign could be working, or Kim Jong-un's playbook could be running the show. After an historic South-North summit, The Wall Street Journal's bureau chief in Seoul, South Korea, Jonathan Cheng, joins the Council's Karl Friedhoff to examine the drivers and developments leading up to President Trump's meeting with Kim Jong-un.