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Nowak Lab Newsletters

Below linked are Nowak Metro Finance Lab newsletters, shared biweekly by Bruce Katz.

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On Jane Jacobs and Opportunity Zones - October 2, 2018
I have been thinking a lot about Jane Jacobs recently and how her writing informs our thinking about metropolitan finance in general and Opportunity Zones in particular. One of my favorite chapters in The Death and Life of Great American Cities is chapter 16, where Jacobs spelled out her views on “gradual money and cataclysmic money.” Read more...

Governing Opportunity Zones - September 20, 2018
As Jeremy Nowak and I wrote in a previous newsletter, realizing the full potential of the Opportunity Zone tax incentive will require a broad group of urban institutions to act with purpose and discipline. To that end, we began to ponder a set of steps cities could take to create a suite of modern institutions with the capital resources, public sector relationships, community standing, and private sector credibility to effect change. Here are the steps we were considering: Read more...

Stirring Market Demand - September 5, 2018
As the Opportunity Zones incentive evolves, two dominant, overly simplistic narratives have taken hold. On one hand, there is the view that all cities should merely compile and bundle a list of investable projects and reveal the true strength of the market for some distant investor on Wall Street or in Silicon Valley who have no connection to the city in question. This perspective treats the market failure that Opportunity Zones was intended to resolve as one primarily involving information and marketing rather than underlying business demand and market realities. Read more...

Rethinking Capital and Geography -  August 22, 2018
The enactment of the Investing in Opportunity Act and the designation of Opportunity Zones across the United States compels cities and investors to rethink the interplay between sub-city geographies and private capital.  Consider this: US cities have evolved along distinct demographic, economic and cultural lines but have followed similar development patterns over the past 100 to 150 years. As Chris Leinberger and others have shown, a familiar set of urban archetypes have emerged across cities. Read more...

Remembering Jeremy Nowak - August 7, 2018
As many of you know, my good friend and business partner Jeremy Nowak passed away on July 28th at the age of 66 due to complications from a heart attack. There has been an outpouring of grief and appreciation in Jeremy’s beloved hometown of Philadelphia. And for good reason. Jeremy lived a remarkable life in the service of his city and, more broadly, disadvantaged places and people in the United States and beyond. He had a deep, unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives. Read More...

Read previous newsletters from The New Localism