Front Cover, Front Flap

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Half Title, Title Page, Copyright

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Table of Contents

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pp. v-viii

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Foreword

Dan Doctoroff

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pp. ix-x

There is much rumbling about federal cutbacks to cash-strapped cities. Overlay that with a clarion call to invest in crumbling infrastructure before the underpinnings of our great urban centers give way. The Public Wealth of Cities offers a solution for city leaders to amass the capital they need to balance municipal budgets, ...

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Preface

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pp. xi-xii

Many cities in the United States and around the world are in a state of disrepair, some of them to the extent that their inhabitants are actually fleeing. Others cities do exceptionally well in nearly all respects, attracting jobs, pressing back social ills, and developing more pleasing and greener surroundings. ...

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Chapter 1: The Investment Trap

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pp. 1-24

Many Cities in the United States and other countries face an impending investment disaster. Promising plans for city development and infrastructure are put aside for lack of funds. Often even the most necessary maintenance lacks funding. Public resources for investments in infrastructure and services are deeply constrained for reasons originating at the national, state, and local level. ...

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Chapter 2: Why Some Cities Fail

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pp. 25-54

Cities in decline have let their assets go to waste for decades. True, Detroit, Michigan, and Athens, Greece, were both hit by external shocks, but this alone is not what felled them. Mostly cities in decline could not weather the shocks because of a history of poor asset management, often coupled with few social investments, ...

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Chapter 3: Turbo Cities

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pp. 55-86

Hundreds of scientists and journalists have written thousands of articles trying to identify what makes a successful city. Although it is easy to rank cities in different dimensions, the sad truth seems to be that how cities became successful has largely eluded researchers. We have already argued that the time lags involved, ...

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Chapter 4: Taking Control of a City's Balance Sheet

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pp. 87-120

Detroit might have been able to avoid bankruptcy if it had been better at managing its balance sheet.1 The Detroit bankruptcy alerted U.S. municipalities to the liability side of the balance sheet in its entirety, including pensions. Yet, many cities (and states) still do not have a complete handle on their liabilities, owing to fragmented balance sheet management,...

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Chapter 5: The Urban Wealth Fund: A Conduit for Maximizing Value

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pp. 121-146

Even poor cities own large swaths of commercial assets. Most of these cities could be well served by more professional governance of these portfolios of assets. “Commercial assets” means mainly operational and real estate assets. The most visible part of the portfolio consist of operational assets including incorporated or non-incorporated activities such as electricity and water utilities, ...

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Chapter 6: Succeeding with Urban Wealth Funds: Some Case Studies

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pp. 147-178

Many cities are moving in the right direction to improve transparency, with the local governments in New Zealand perhaps still being the most advanced, and Australia and U.K. close behind. Cities from Sweden to the Persian Gulf have used the holding company model for decades, with varying results and effects to society. ...

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Chapter 7: Shrinking the Social Debt of Cities

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pp. 179-198

Consider the story of Lester. He sleeps rough, mostly under a bridgehead. During the days he walks the streets of Chicago, trying to pick up bottles, begging, sometimes stealing when there is an opportunity. When luck is with him, he scrounges enough to buy a bottle of booze or what ever drugs are available at the moment among his fellow homeless. ...

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Chapter 8: Boosting the Value of Human Assets

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pp. 199-210

While having a large share of college graduates on average appears to be a good thing for growth, a surprising number of towns with few college-educated residents do better than cities that are populated by creative and intellectual people. The dividing line between successful and failing cities seems to hinge crucially on the ability to supply intellectual capital in the form of entrepreneurial skill ...

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Chapter 9: Reinventing City Democracy

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pp. 211-222

Around the turn of the millennium a series of protests, among them the “Occupy” movement, erupted in many Western cities; protesters claimed community owner ship of public spaces and resistance to corporations, globalization, cars, and a diverse basket of other perceived threats. Underlying these protests was also a feeling that many cities do not live up to their task of enabling their inhabitants ...

Notes

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pp. 223-244

Index

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pp. 245-259

Back Flap, Back Cover

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