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Archive: Maria Saporta

Sharing Discussion, Discoveries at Citistates Convergence

Maria Saporta / Jul 26 2013

For Release Friday, July 26, 2013
Originally Posted at

Maria SaportaThe offer was too good to refuse. Come spend a couple of days by a beautiful lake in cool New Hampshire during the hottest days of summer to talk about the future of cities and regions in North America and the world, with some of the most engaged experts in the country.

The offer came from Neal Peirce, a respected veteran journalist who’s been writing about metro areas for decades.

Every couple of years, Peirce and a core group of “Citistates associates” have been getting together for a Citistates Convergence – a casual yet in-depth exchange of ideas and observations on what is happening in urbanism and regionalism.

A couple dozen of us gathered in mid-July in an idyllic setting – just as Peirce had promised, with the exception of temperature, as New England sweltered in a heat wave, significantly warmer than Atlanta.

Peirce had invited a variety of his associates with the newsletter – a resource of columns about political and economic issues affecting regions and urban trends.

Monday morning, Peirce opened the conversation by stating that metro areas are the economic engines for nations and states, yet there often are several barriers to regionalism. Immediately he was challenged by Alex Marshall, a journalist and author of The Surprising Design of Market Economies.

Neal Peirce, (right) with journalist and author Alex Marshall. Source: Maria Saporta of

Marshall told Peirce he does “not believe that cities and metro areas are where the action is.” Instead, he said, it is the nation states such as Korea and China that are “growing very, very quickly.” And they are doing it as nations. “You can argue that it’s national policies that are having the major impact, and that the nation-state is still extremely important,” Marshall said.
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To the Rescue — City of Atlanta Takes the Lead in Georgia

Maria Saporta / Mar 23 2013

For Release Saturday, March 23, 2013

Maria SaportaOnce again, the City of Atlanta is defying its relatively small population base and its own economic challenges to invest in Georgia’s future – a new, state-owned stadium for the Atlanta Falcons football team.

The agreement between the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Falcons holds great significance – far beyond the building of a new home for one of the state’s top professional sports teams.

The agreement is one more example that without Atlanta’s leadership, Georgia would have been stuck in reverse.

There are too many examples to name. But here are a few.

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, arguably the most important economic engine for the whole state, was and is a creature of the City of Atlanta. Virtually every company that locates in Gwinnett or Cobb or North Fulton or any other suburban county in the metro region mentions the airport as a major reason.

But none of those governments contribute to the City of Atlanta and the airport in a tangible way.

For decades, a three-party alliance among the City of Atlanta, Fulton County and DeKalb County has moved the entire region forward.
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