Harvard’s Effort to Make Cities Matter

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Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative has recently launched an interesting academic exercise of a virtual think tank at the Harvard Business Review website HBR.org on the topic of revitalizing cities.

The series of thought pieces serve as the appetizers for an upcoming multi-day conference feast at Harvard Law School on the same topic. Thursday, April 28-Saturday, April 30.

Globally, 2008 marked the first time that a majority of citizens would reside in cities. Locally, the most recent census data showed significant growth in many smaller cities in Massachusetts.

While large cities like Boston garner significant attention and resources as they adapt to population growth, the new growth in these smaller cities is more significant since they often have fewer resources to respond to the magnitude of the change.

For this reason, Pioneer has been working with 14 “middle cities” to help them make this transition by utilizing data to measure performance and make management decisions. You can see one aspect of this effort at masscitystats.org. Or check out some of our research on the issue. Here, here, or here.