From Seattle to Huntsville, Ala., five cities are poised to prosper in the New Economy because of exports, innovation, clean technology, and healthcare.
Mary Knox Merrill/The Christian Science Monitor
Fort Collins, Colo.
In Houston, the Texas Medical Center is expanding so quickly that it will soon become the seventh largest downtown in the US. By itself. The hospital complex brims with restaurants, shops, and hotels, and employs 100,000 people – the population of Billings, Mont.
In Seattle, the erector-set cranes along the waterfront and big forklifts at the airport are loading exports into containers with the constancy of a piston: plywood to Beijing, halibut and crab to Tokyo, Granny Smith apples to Moscow. Last year, Washington was the only state to ship more goods to China than it receives.
In Fort Collins, Colo., town fathers are aggressively transforming the heart of the city into a zone that generates as much electricity as it consumes – making it a showcase for the city’s quest to become the Silicon Valley of clean energy.
As the United States emerges from the worst recession in 80 years, a new economy is taking root that will help create the next tier of powerhouse cities in America. Just as the Industrial Revolution of the late 1800s and the Information Age of the past 40 years helped shift the urban and regional balance of power in the US, forces are now at work that will shape who prospers in the economy of tomorrow.
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