I've been writing this week about The Public Wealth of Cities, a book that argues we can unlock great value from government-owned assets, enabling us to fund much-needed infrastructure and other public priorities without lurching from one budget crisis to another.
The author is Dag Detter, a Swiss economist, and his idea of an 'urban wealth fund' has been happening outside the U.S. And you can see it in the quality of infrastructure in other countries compared to most of the U.S. So, I wanted to share this article written by Detter for the Japan Times so you can read his summary of the concept and see who's interested in it. Do you think we can take on this idea across the U.S?
Unlocking the public value of poorly utilized real estate, for example, or monetizing transportation and utility assets, could and should become core urban strategies. This does not require privatization, but rather that assets could yield a reasonable return, freeing more resources than most cities currently have on hand. In fact, through smarter asset management, cities could more than double their investments without having to raise taxes or cut spending.