It’s easy for politicians to demonize rich corporate executives and demand they fund solutions. Most of us aren’t rich and thus won’t have to chip in, making for an easy sell. But a lack of money is often not the biggest problem, and solutions that ask more people to contribute force public officials to maintain some fiscal discipline.
But many of the things cities typically do to compete aren’t very effective. While efforts to generate urban development in America’s cities take a variety of forms, many focus on building or renovating things. City officials try to outdo one another by creating the fanciest stadium, downtown park, or convention center with the hope that such investments will spark an urban renewal. However, there is little evidence that these types of projects can turn cities around on their own.