Urbama Admin? Prez-Elect ‘The Real Deal’ Says Metro Policy Guru

If Barack Obama’s soft spot for Detroit has you doubting his urban policy bona fides, Bruce Katz offers a few words of reassurance. The Stamford Advocate reports from Katz’s recent appearance before a Connecticut smart-growth group:

Katz
is vice president and founding director of the Washington, D.C.-based
Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy, an
organization whose ideas are part of Obama’s urban agenda.

"This
is the real deal," Katz said of Obama, hailing his plans for cities and
metropolitan areas at Thursday night’s meeting of the 1,000 Friends of
Connecticut in Norwalk.

Katz praised Obama’s June speech to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, while coyly turning aside speculation that he will head the new Urban Policy Office in the White House.

Speaking
of which, we’re getting some intel on how that part of the executive
will function. David Goldberg of Transportation for America informs us
that "the office is conceived as something of a supercabinet position
that potentially could coordinate policy among the Department of
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, environment, public
health and other arenas."

The folks behind WalkScore have launched a new web site to collect ideas for the Urban Policy Office. Voting up your favorite ideas is pretty addictive.

  • Obama is the first urban president since FDR (he from NYC). Obama was born in Hawaii’s largest city, lives in America’s 3rd largest, and also spent his college days in NYC (Columbia) and here in Los Angeles (Oxy). In other words, he gets it.

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