Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2018 - Page 10

Push Smarter, Not Harder According to Katz, it is the cities that drive policy innovation and problem-solving glob- ally. He sees a group of “vanguard cities” that are creating new norms of growth, gov- ernance and finance that are being adapted by other cities around the world. For example in the U.S., Pittsburgh is catalysing innovative growth by using its advanced research universities to invent and deploy new industries and technologies; and Indianapolis is co-governing its city and metropolis through a network of public, pri- vate and civic institutions and leaders.   In Europe, Katz has been impressed by Copenhagen’s use of its publicly owned assets – and a publicly owned, privately managed corporation – to spur the redevel- opment of its waterfront and finance a city- wide transit system. “The 21st century demands new insti- tutions and instruments that are built by and for cities,” he says. Risk & Reward Still, Katz concedes that there are forces out there that could, conceivably, stop or slow down the urban uprising. “The rise of nationalism and populism could undermine the short-term economic performance of cer- tain cities. Witness the impact of Brexit on London and the Catalonian independence crisis on Barcelona,” Katz points out.   “These cities, however, have many assets which enable them to transcend their nations and excel in the long term.” Katz’s newest discovery is Helsinki. Having visited the city for the very first time in September 2017, he recalls the visit fondly – and is planning to become a fre- quent visitor. “Helsinki is a distinctive city with a special culture and innovative focus,” he says. One of the places that Katz visited dur- ing his brief stay was Kalasatama, Helsinki’s “city district for the future” that is currently taking shape by the seaside, just a five-min- ute metro ride from downtown. As Brook- ings Institution has studied waterfront devel- opment around Europe, the visit held spe- cial significance for the scholar. “I am very impressed by the redevelop- ment underway in Kalasatama and its eleva- tion of citizen engagement as a key element of the process,” he says, adding that the rede- velopment of urban waterfronts is a “critical part” of sustainable and inclusive growth. Empowering Citizens Helsinki likes to think of itself as “smart city” with strong community orientation and great public transportation – but how does Katz view the “pocket-sized metropo- lis? – Katz responds by saying that Helsinki has a deserved reputation as a community 10 Nordicum