Drexel LeBow’s School of Economics partnered with Econsult Solutions for the first annual joint conference on urban economic policy on Thursday, May 21. The conference, entitled “City and the Environment: Topics in Urban Economic Policy” brought together experts in the field to discuss issues facing cities locally and globally. During his introduction to attendees, Econsult President Richard Voith shared his hope that these conferences would become a regular source of ideas, discussion and inspiration in the field of urban economics.
The keynote address by Matthew Kahn, a professor of economics at UCLA, set the tone for much of the subsequent discussion with a focus on how major northeast U.S. cities can improve their environment, economy and equity for all residents. While acknowledging that cities in warmer parts of the country are growing faster, he shared evidence that all cities can make progress by focusing on increasing quality of life and improving access to education. Thoughtful responses and questions from the audience set the stage for the two panel discussions that followed.
“The panel discussions focused on climate change and urban transportation and brought together experts from academia, industry and government,” explains Vibhas Madan, director of LeBow’s School of Economics. The exchanges between experts included many proactive suggestions for approaching the challenges cities are likely to face as the climate changes and transportation infrastructure ages.
Looking to the future, Vibhas says, “This conference, our partnership with Econsult and future planned conferences on urban economic policy are significant parts of the School of Economics’ goal to participate in and inform the public discourse on economic policy.”