This fall, two major American cities -- Boston and New York -- will elect new mayors. The pending leadership changes for these different but dynamic cities will be watched closely. Can the next mayors continue the success brought by the long-term administrations of Boston's Tom Menino and New York's Michael Bloomberg?
Nobody really expects the next mayors to outshine their illustrious predecessors. But whoever ends up running these cities will be part of a new generation of city leaders that have growing political clout, and will be governing economic regions that outpace the nation's economy. As Bruce Katz points out in his new book, The Metropolitan Revolution, several key factors have opened the door to cities. For one, he writes, the Great Recession has disrupted national economies while partisan gridlock has stymied national politics. At the same time, states that are heavily dependent on federal grants to run programs are struggling with decisions of what to keep and what not to. But, he writes, "cities and metros ... are responding with pragmatism, energy and ambition to get things done."