The Center for an Urban Future is a New York city-based non-profit. It's recently released a couple of reports that are worth attention. The authors of the reports have spent time looking at some innovative policy initiatives that are being tried out in cities across the U.S. and overseas. There is also a first part to the report that you can view here.
The ideas are intended to stimulate conversations amongst stakeholders in local and regional government. Many of them are highly relevant to the issues facing upstate: addressing neglected infrastructure and falling city revenues, developing strategies for social intervention, ways to contract the timelines associated with delivering innovation and empowering community involvement.
Adam Forman is a co-author of the report and spoke with the Innovation Trail about some of the programs that they came across. A few of the ideas have had some try-outs in upstate communities but maybe its time to seriously examine some of the policy innovations being used by cities facing similar challenges. These include changes to the way vacant land is taxed, how financing for infrastructure is sourced and how budget allocations are decided.