Edward Glaeser on Cities

Make Entrepreneurship Easy: Regulations are a direct deterrent to new business, and as cities age, they acquire layer after layer of regulation like the grime that can rest on older structures. Like those structures, local restrictions, on everything from construction to taxicabs, need a good cleaning every few years, and I would urge every older city to set up a task force charged with making sure that their town is about the easiest place in the world to open a new start-up. Better rules don’t just empower Detroit’s existing entrepreneurs; they also attract other entrepreneurial people.

That’s Harvard economist Ed Glaeser in an Economix interview with David Leonhardt. He also recommends that cities make it easier for private developers to remake urban spaces, straighten out their books (especially with regards to public sector pensions and health care), and—most importantly, he says—get serious about improving schools. 

His new book, Triumph of the City can be found here.