Improved metropolitan performance brings important gains for cities
Mayors and other civic leaders have grown to understand that improving their city’s educational attainment, reducing vehicle miles traveled and reducing poverty are important to regional success and economic prosperity. And while these strategies contribute to the general good, the payback from investments in these areas often seems distant and uncertain. However, a close examination by 'CEOs for cities' of actual urban performance across the United States reveals that stronger metro areas reap real, tangible and calculable economic benefits.
The objective of the report 'City Dividens: Gains from Improving Metropolitan Performance', published by CEOs for Cities, is to provide quantitative estimates of the economic gains that metropolitan areas and cities could achieve by improving their performance in talent, sustainability and opportunity. According to CEOs for Cities, there are three components to this work:
- The Talent Dividend: Increasing the four-year college attainment rate in each of the 51 largest metropolitan areas in the United States by one percentage point would be associated with a $124 billion increase in aggregate annual personal income.
- The Green Dividend: Reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per person by one mile per day in each of the 51 largest metro areas would produce an aggregate annual household savings of $29 billion annually.
- The Opportunity Dividend: Reducing poverty rates in metropolitan areas by one percentage point would decrease public sector outlays for family assistance, Medicaid and food stamps by about $13 billion annually.
In the United States' metropolitan areas, there is a critical accelerator for making progress in these areas: core vitality. Vital urban cores, defined as the central business district and the close-in neighborhoods of each metropolitan area, play a key role in realizing each of these three dividends. Metro areas with vital urban cores attract and develop talented workers, help reduce the need for car travel, and can lessen the effects of concentrated poverty.
CEOs for Cities
Bridget Marquis tel. +1-312 553 4630
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Report | City Dividens: Gains from Improving Metropolitan Performance
18 Aug 2009, pdf, 846KB