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 Vicky Stavropoulos

Developing Protections for Climate Change’s Forced Migrants: Creating a Legal Definition and Framework for Action

The international community should create a legal definition for migrants who are forced to flee their homes due to climate change and consistent guidelines for assessing the severity of their case to better protect populations vulnerable to climate change. Along with this category of climate migrants, a framework should be created to guide support and mobilize resources for these populations. Although it is not a panacea, a solid legal definition of climate migrants would create the foundation to develop solutions for climate change related displacement.





| By Michael Tiboris, Colette Copic

Testing the Waters for Environmental Accountability

Reflection on water contamination cases indicates a wide gap between local knowledge of environmental hazards and those charged with monitoring and enacting environmental regulation that could be improved by massively expanding the role of citizen data collection.  








| By Brian Hanson, Cécile Shea, Karl Friedhoff

Deep Dish: Trump's Trip to Asia

President Trump is preparing to visit China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Hawaii from Nov. 3 - 13. In the latest Deep Dish, we gathered a group of Asia experts to dissect the potential pitfalls and opportunities that await in each leg of his journey, as well as what to watch for during the trip.