City Observatory: A new forum for what matters for successful cities

communities / Article

Joe Cortright is an economist and director of City Observatory, a virtual urban policy think tank that receives support from Knight Foundation. 

Last week we launched City Observatory, a new data-driven platform for sharing, analyzing and discussing the success of cities. The site’s original analysis and in-depth research on cities and urban issues is designed to inform community leaders, policymakers, policy wonks and the rest of us.

Related Link 

"‘Knight Cities’: Plain talk with economist Joe Cortright on the success of cities" - by Carol Coletta on Knight Blog

Today we released “The Young and Restless and the Nation’s Cities,” a new CityReport that analyzes the choices young, educated professionals are making about where they live and how those choices are reshaping the economic development process. Future reports will address topics such as city job growth, neighborhood change, and the ways we create, use and interact with public spaces in cities.

Once you poke around the site, you’ll notice that we’re powered by Knight Foundation. That means our mission is independent; we don’t answer to a corporate board and you won’t be bombarded with sponsors or advertisements.

We’re unabashedly pro-city: We think the urban renaissance underway throughout the nation represents a fundamental cultural and economic movement that will make life better for everyone. Cities hold the key to tackling many of the nation’s greatest challenges: economic prosperity, social justice and environmental sustainability.

On the site, we’ll dig into the social and economic trends that are driving the revitalization of urban neighborhoods and help you sort through the data to see what’s really happening in our communities.

We’ll explore how the combination of generational trends, the Great Recession and the example of pioneering cities has permanently changed the marketplace.

We’ll take careful, critical looks at the lingering myths that are holding cities back, such as the distorted view that most “cost-of-living” indexes portray of city living.

We’ll talk about the vital role that policy can play in realizing the opportunities for building stronger cities.

Thanks for joining us as we explore what makes successful cities. Along the way, we invite you to participate in the discussion and share your perspective on the site and on social media. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Together, we’ll elevate the level of discussion about the policy decisions that shape our communities and build support for ideas that will make our cities even stronger.

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