Urban Landscape shoot with Sony HX9V (4 of 6), a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from soelin’s photostream

Better! Cities & Towns takes note of an article in the Financial Times by Bruce Katz of Brookings Institution. Katz finds a bright spot in the economic landscape — not in any policy trends coming out of Washington — but in the way that cities and metro areas are building on their distinctive strengths to provide innovation and leadership. US metropolitan areas have found that the old consumption model of “Starbucks and stadiums” not only haven’t led to prosperity, they’ve also created “eerily similar urban landscapes across the nation.” What’s working is a three-prong approach.

First, cities need to capitalize on their most productive sectors — something which varies widely from place to place. Second, cities are finding success by broadening their outlook and taking a global approach. They’re building direct trading relationships and bypassing national governments. Lastly, success is being found through a bottom-up strategy wherein states are recognizing cities as driving forces and rewarding their performance.

You can read the entire opinion piece by Bruce Katz “God bless the United City States of America!” at the Financial Times on their website here. (Registration is required, but you can sign up for free for a limited monthly view of articles.)

The Night Lights of the United States (as seen from space), a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image

from woodleywonderworks’ photostream