Hourglass: Making the Most of Your People
Cities of Opportunity
Cities of Opportunity 2011 makes its fourth analysis of the trajectory of 26 cities, all capitals of finance, commerce and culture - and through their performance, seeks to open a window on what makes cities function best.
The notion of the city has come a long way. But the heart of what a city is remains the same: people drawn together, today in ever-increasing densities and numbers, to work as a community.
Cities of Opportunity is dedicated to understanding what makes urban dynamics work, and communicating what we learn to government officials, policymakers, businesspersons, scholars and citizens mutually invested in the success of their city or cities.
This marks our fourth study. Like cities themselves, we keep evolving. Cities of Opportunity 2011 includes more cities, greater analysis and deeper exploration of core issues. This year, we compare 26 cities - with San Francisco, Berlin, Madrid, Moscow, Istanbul and Abu Dhabi joining and Houston rejoining. We also look closely at a few of the challenges that are most pressing at the moment - regional management, education, sustainability, density, transportation and preservation.
It is not a coincidence that images of innovative and historic libraries (in Seattle and Stockholm) begin and end the interviews in our study. Nor is the focus on transportation, energy, environment, housing and health that weaves throughout. Both tangible and intangible - physical and intellectual capital - have to be in balance for modern cities to enjoy healthy growth. Minds spur innovation; roads, rails, communications networks, schools and hospitals lay the groundwork on which new ideas can grow. In an ideal world, prosperity follows. But, as we all know, progress toward any ideal requires day-to-day work. This study represents our part in the effort.
Yes, Cities of Opportunity is changing. But the heart of what we are doing - trying to shed light on what makes major cities healthy - remains the same. We sincerely hope you find value and interest in the study.