Next Economy

City of Mesa

How One Conservative Mayor Sold His Suburban Community on a More Urban Future

The GOP leader of Mesa, Arizona, championed a new property tax; loves mass transit; and lured liberal-arts colleges to his city. Can these moves propel him to higher office in a red state?

Shutterstock

The Library of the Future Is Here

It's got 3-D printers, laser cutters, sewing machines, and its own roast coffee, named "shush."

The Steel Yard

The Case for Trash Cans as Art

When there's no other arts funding in sight, there's always the municipal waste budget.

An Uneasy Peace for a Cash-Strapped City and Its Prestigious Nonprofits

Nearly 40 percent of Providence's land is occupied by institutions that do not pay taxes. That worked fine until the city needed cash.

Reuters

Can We Disrupt Poverty by Changing How Poor Parents Talk to Their Kids?

Young children who hear fewer words do worse in school. Providence wants to close the gap.

Flickr

How One Mayor Pulled His City Back From the Brink of Bankruptcy

Providence's mayor tamed his city's money problems in just one term. Will that propel him to statewide office?

Reuters

Does Paying Food-Stamp Recipients to Eat Healthier Fare Work?

People in underserved communities want better food. They just can't afford it.

Reuters

Are Boomtown D.C.'s Days Numbered?

It's one of the few cities to emerge from the recession unscathed. But for its economy to keep growing, Washington must wean itself from the government.

Shutterstock

What We Get Wrong About Small Business

How, exactly, do they create jobs? We're not really sure.

Sophie Quinton

How Gentrification Is Reshaping Oakland's Schools

The city's incoming middle- and upper-class families are rallying around public schools.

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Could Free Rent Bring Oakland's Downtown to Life?

The city's commercial center still feels depressingly lifeless. "Popuphood" wants to change that, fast.

Shutterstock

Oakland's Bid to Become a Solar-Power Hub

The rise of solar-power companies and other solar innovators has created a future-oriented economic sector for the city.

Reuters

Austin's Weird Festival-Based Economy

How does the home of SXSW deal with the challenges of loud music venues and constantly exploding tourist populations? By recognizing these are good problems to have.

Associated Press

There's an Obvious Way to Make Community Colleges Better: Let's Rank Them

A relatively pain-free way to make these schools accountable to their students.

Facebook

What Happens When a City Becomes Too Popular?

Raleigh regularly tops "Best City" lists. Mayor Nancy McFarlane explains why that can be a challenge.

James Oliphant

The GOP Plan to Sabotage Raleigh's Successful Growth

The area attracts more young families than any other. But conservative attacks on public education could change that.

Nancy Cook

Why Chattanooga Doesn't Need Facebook

The city isn't looking for the next big thing. Instead, its cultivated a pipeline of small companies and innovative manufacturers.

Nancy Cook

The Dark Side of Chattanooga's Tech Revolution

Companies like Amazon and Volkswagen have flocked to the city. But many working class residents still can't find a good job.

Nancy Cook

The Secret to Chattanooga's Downtown Revival Was There All Along

How the city turned the Tennessee River into one of its biggest selling points.