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Aaron M. Renn


Aaron M. Renn is an opinion-leading urban analyst, consultant, speaker and writer on a mission to help America’s cities and people thrive and find real success in the 21st century. He focuses on urban, economic development and infrastructure policy in the greater American Midwest. He also regularly contributes to and is cited by national and global media outlets, and his work has appeared in many publications, including the The Guardian, The New York Times and The Washington Post.

He can be reached at or on Twitter at @aaron_renn.

The country needs a lot of new infrastructure. But we keep putting it in the wrong places.
Downtowns were all the rage for most of this century. There’s still a market for density, but many people want it to be carefully managed.
Merging cities with their suburbs is sometimes seen as inspired urbanism. But it doesn’t always benefit everyone.
Many of life’s little enjoyments used to be concentrated in university communities. Now they are turning up almost everywhere.
Tight labor markets can be hard on corporations. But they can help marginal workers find jobs.
People in struggling communities can benefit from the work-from-home phenomenon. But they need some mentoring to do it. Some innovative startups are getting them there.
Cash grants to get remote workers to relocate may sound like desperation. But they can actually work, generating a buzz and bringing in new blood.
The local figures who used to move their communities forward are in painfully short supply.
Future prosperity depends not only on local resources, but on size. Academic centers that don’t lure new residents are apt to fall behind.
Taking downtown residential is an attractive idea. But it’s not the ultimate solution to central city decline.