As the 2012 election cycle begins in earnest, it is not a minute too early to begin gauging candidates' interest in cities and metropolitan areas. After years of disinvestment on the federal side and too much political wrangling at all levels of government, we need a clear-eyed vision for cities. That vision should position cities as engines of growth and innovation for our role in the global world, not a comglomeration of problems and deficits to be addressed. Cities from around the world are showing us how it is done. Parag Khanna's article in Foreign Policy puts eyes squarely on cities. It is time that Americans put our brand on globalization as actors not reactors.
Over the next few months, students from my Housing and Community Development class at the University of Virginia will be posting several times a week on topics that we believe all of us should be paying attention to as we think about sustainable communities. I will be doing some blogging as well particularly as the platforms for cities are unveiled. We have one time to hold politicians' collective feet to the fire on issues we care about--before their elected!
Let's be clear ourselves about our vision for communities and how we can get there.