Building Cities of Aspiration

THU, AUG 2, 2007 (1:10:18)

Joel Kotkin describes the notion of the City of Aspiration, and the historical roles of cities in nurturing and growing a middle class. In the first decade of the 21st century, the future of American cities is attracting great debates. One notion is that to become a City of Aspiration, urban areas must focus on providing the greatest number of opportunities to the broadest spectrum of residents. Kotkin believes that a city and region’s ability to create jobs, offer affordable housing and generate entrepreneurial openings to a growing and highly diverse population are the surest signs of urban vibrancy. The City of Aspiration embraces the fundamental principle that one of the primary, historical roles of cities has been to nurture and grow a middle class to be an engine of upward mobility.

+ BIO: Joel Kotkin

An internationally-recognized authority on global, economic, political and social trends, Joel Kotkin is the author of the critically acclaimed book, THE CITY: A GLOBAL HISTORY, published by Random House/Modern Library. Kotkin is also the author of THE NEW GEOGRAPHY, How the Digital Revolution is Reshaping the American Landscape (Random House, 2000); and TRIBES: How Race, Religion and Identity Determine Success In the New Global Economy, (Random House, 1993). Currently, he is writing a book on the American future from Penguin Publishing, which will look at how the nation will evolve in the next four decades. Kotkin is Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University in Orange, California. Joel is also a Senior Fellow with the New America Foundation in Washington, DC; a Fellow with the Center for an Urban Future in New York City; and a Senior Consultant with the Praxis Strategy Group. A widely published journalist, Mr. Kotkin writes the weekly “New Geographer” column for He previously wrote the monthly “Grass Roots Business” column in The New York Times’ Sunday Business section for several years. He served as West Coast Editor for Inc. Magazine for five years and continues to contribute to the publication. He was a Business Trends Analyst for KTTV/Fox Television in Los Angeles, where, in 1994, he won the Golden Mike Award for Best Business Reporting on the changing dynamics of the entertainment industry.

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