Thursday, June 09, 2011

Big problem and big idea

Making poor places less poor is one of the biggest and toughest challenges.  Many smart people have been grappling with the problem for many years.  It is interesting that most of these discussions have said little about the role of cities.  Development economists recognize the importance of organization, but usually do not go the next step and recognize spatial organization.  Once you think about it, it is hard to imagine a plausible model of development that is not also an urban model.  Cities are where ideas incubate.

How do we get new cities that might be auspicious in making poor places less poor?  Paul Romer has recognized that it is all about instiutions and cities.  This is how he has promoted his Charter Cities idea.  Here is a TED talk in which he makes his case.