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Think Metro for the Road to Recovery

If, as Harvard’s Michael Porter contends (and we concur), there is no U.S. economy but instead a network of linked and interdependent American metropolitan economies, does the same hold true for global metropolitan areas?

Not surprisingly, yes.

So, after last week’s examination of the world’s top 150 metro economies prior to, and over the course of, the Great Recession found an accelerated shift in economic growth toward emerging-market metro economies in Asia and Latin America, we gathered metro experts from around the world at a Chicago meeting to look at what might be the most promising pathways forward to the next economy.

At the event my colleague Bruce Katz offered a powerful vision for a new economic growth model driven by metropolitan areas. Dr. Josef Ackermann, CEO of Deutsche Bank, focused on green economy investment.

The summit--an endeavor of Brookings, LSE, and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society--also included several panels that examined the innovation and leadership that will be required to build the next economy through bottom-up approaches.

To wrap things up, a panel of mayors--Richard M. Daley of Chicago, Michael Nutter of Philadelphia and Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles--probed the idea of cities and regions as innovators during tough fiscal times. (As a side note, Mayor Nutter delivered probably the best defense of the Obama administration’s tax deal I’ve seen to date; watch it here).

With participants from Turin to Cleveland and Seattle to Seoul, it was a powerful testament to the fundamental notion of the global economy as a metropolitan enterprise.