Our Towns, A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America
|Our Towns, A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America (2019)
|James & Deborah Fallows
Visiting towns across America by plane, the Fallows found communities confronting local problems head-on with hope, candor, compromise, pragmatism & determination, a story of regions, cities & towns transforming themselves in spite of toxic national politics.
Traditionally, federal government offered the best vehicle for solving intractable challenges (e.g., civil rights, public education, health care, clean air & water & interstate highways). However, the growing gap between federal dysfunction & faith in local governance is causing local leaders & governments to seize the initiative in confronting civic problems.
Shows, sports, tragedies & tweets have masked exciting progress in unexpected places. Like Louis Brandeis’ “laboratories of American democracy,” local governments have long served as civic labs for testing ideas, reforming institutions & achieving tangible civic progress (e.g., Cleveland’s Mayor Johnson in the early 20th Century). Localism offers real hope for overcoming national inertia on many issues (e.g., as demagogues fuel national divisions over immigration, many communities quietly welcome immigrants as assets).
|Criteria for success:
|Sample success stories:
With this book, the Fallows have given us a powerful antidote to our national dysfunction & an important contribution to civic progress. It not only chronicles the oft-unheralded efforts of optimistic local leaders driven to improve their communities, but demonstrates the exciting promise of local leadership, cooperation & action. Shifting our focus to local issues will free us to tackle problems & attain progress in more civilized, pragmatic ways.
The New Localism, How Cities can Thrive in the Age of Populism
|The New Localism, How Cities can Thrive in the Age of Populism (2018)
|Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak, The Brookings Institution
|Defining features of new localism:
|Relevant historical trends:
|Factors creating fertile conditions for New Localism:
|Sample New Localism success stories:
Copenhagen – created publicly-owned, privately-managed public asset corporation to acquire urban core area, update zoning, borrow funds, build transit line & other infrastructure & raise funds for future phases (e.g., harbor renewal & transit expansion)
|Outlook for New Localism:
|New Localism best practices:
For anyone who cares about government & community progress, we urge you to read this important & timely book. It provides a great foundation for understanding the forces contributing to New Localism as well as best practices & proven strategies for implementing New Localism as a governing philosophy in your state, region or community.
Since 2016, conservatives and liberals alike have championed the promise of “New Localism” or “Localism.” David Brooks, Stephen Goldsmith, Richard Florida, Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak, to name a few, have extolled its virtues. What is it? The New Localism (also Localism) is a practical data-driven strategy for solving civic problems from the ground up.…