June 27, 2016

Reinventing the city

By the authors of The Public Wealth of Nations 

– Listed on ‘Best Book of the Year 2015’  in both

The Economist – Books of the year 2015

“Governments have trillions of dollars in assets, from companies to forests, but they are often poorly managed. Two investment experts explain how things could be improved by ring-fencing assets from political meddling in independent holding companies. Professional managers could sweat them as if they were privately owned.”

The Financial Times

”The public sector balance sheet does not only have liabilities. It also has assets. Managing those assets well is at least as important as managing liabilities. Here the authors show how big, undervalued and mismanaged public assets generally are.”



Cities are the locomotives of economic progress. But not all cities are successful. This fascinating and important book divided them into the “treadmill towns” that fail and the “turbo-cities” that succeed. The difference, argue the authors, is that successful cities focus intelligently on developing their long-term assets. They build economic, social and human wealth.

Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator at the Financial Times

Read more endorsements here


Innovation requires cities with world-class infrastructure. Instead, most cities face an impending investment disaster. Promising plans for city development and infrastructure are put aside due to fiscal constraints, and even the most basic repairs fall by the wayside. Many cities also underinvest in social development and human capital which creates unnecessary poverty, unemployment, crime, and even falling life expectancy or shrinking populations.

It doesn’t have to be this way.


This forthcoming book describes a new way of boosting cities that have already led to remarkable success in some cities. The key is to unlock a city’s hidden social, human and economic wealth. A focus on public wealth shifts attention and resources from short-term spending to investments that can vastly raise the quality of life in the long run.


Published by Brookings Press 2017