Friedman on Cities, Univ.’s & Economic Success

The best of these ecosystems will be cities and towns that combine a university, an educated populace, a dynamic business community and the fastest broadband connections on earth. These will be the job factories of the future. The countries that thrive will be those that build more of these towns that make possible “high-performance knowledge exchange and generation,” explains Blair Levin, who runs the Aspen Institute’s Gig.U project, a consortium of 37 university communities working to promote private investment in next-generation ecosystems.

It’s been a while since I’ve dragged Thomas Friedman of the NYTimes over to, but this morning’s paper has a column worth reading for what we can see of Lowell now and future in his description of “university towns.” Read the column here, and get the NYT on your porch or online if you want more.


3 Responses to Friedman on Cities, Univ.’s & Economic Success

  1. jdayne says:

    This discussion is going to take place in LA in mid Jan,

    Can Universities Save Cities?

    Description of the event gets one thinking about the great value of UML to Lowell.

    This is that description:

    To build a world-class city, build a great university and wait 200 years. This, at least, was the wry prescription offered by the late Senator Pat Moynihan. If the advice wasn’t failsafe (neither Ithaca nor New Haven is really on track to become the next Manhattan), it nevertheless underscored the importance of institutions of higher learning to the vitality and cultural health of their proximate communities. Today, in the midst of economic crisis, American cities are increasingly turning to nearby universities for support in creating new sources of economic growth. These can take the form of full-scale research parks, such as the University of Pittsburgh Applied Research Center. Or they can take the form of smaller efforts, such as the new symphony orchestra that Syracuse University helped to establish after the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra went bankrupt. What untapped potential exists within current university walls? Can the ivory tower save a city like Cleveland, or even Detroit? University of Southern California President C. L. Max Nikias; Rice University President David Leebron; University of California, Los Angeles Chancellor Gene Block; and Arizona State University President Michael Crow visit Zócalo to discuss what our universities have in store for our cities.

  2. PaulM says:

    We need to tap in to that discussion with some very impressive leaders. There’s always something else to learn.