Brookings Institution: the economics of older industrial cities

The Brookings Institution issued a Renewing America’s Economic Promise in Older Industrial Cities Report and provides an interactive dashboard on the following indicators for industrial cities. Brookings’ work on this topic was covered in this NY Time article.

The Brookings report executive summary highlights:

  • Economic performance indicators – 2000 through 2016 growth
  • Assets and challenges – technological change, prosperity, urbanization, inclusion and demographic transformation
  • Responses – how can cities achieve inclusive growth and seize opportunities

The report offers a framework for state and local leaders to achieve inclusive economic growth, including:

  1. Identifying and investing in key technological capabilities
  2. Spurring strategic urbanization
  3. Preparing a diverse workforce for current and future opportunities
  4. Stewarding inclusive growth at the regional scale

Local stakeholders should collaborate and share responsibility to create living wage jobs, prepare the workforce and provide access to training in order to overcome the stark legacies of out-migration and racial/economic segregation. Older industrial cities house one-fifth of the nation’s black working class, so it is essential to focus on expanding economic opportunity for people and neighborhoods of color, and establish new metrics and frameworks for inclusive success.

The economic strength of cities overall, and the economic resiliency of their racial and ethnic minority populations, are closely related.