There has been little discussion of urban and metropolitan policy since the White House Urban and Metropolitan Policy Roundtable on July 13, 2009. This event may be remembered more for the crashing teleprompter than anything else (see crashing teleprompter event). Since then, Bill Barnes, Director for Emerging Issues at the National League of Cities wrote a piece for Nation's Cities Weekly entitled Obama Urban Policy Ideas Likely to Have Consequences that offers a somewhat optimistic perspective on the Obama Administration's evolving approach to this topic. As Mr. Barnes suggests " . . . thoughtful conversations about where we are headed are surely warranted."
On January 12, 2007, there was a brief report on American Public Media's radio show "Marketplace" suggesting that problems associated with rapid urbanization could be an opportunity in disguise. Worldwatch Institute President Christopher Flavin was quoted as saying that cities hold the keys to attacking both poverty and climate change. "Increasingly, cities are the source of many of the world's problems — whether those be social problems or environmental problems — but are also the areas where problems can be solved and increasingly are being solved. " In other words, since the problems are concentrated in urban areas, a targeted solution is possible. Worldwatch recently published a report, "State of the World 2007: Our Urban Future" (available for $18.95 at http://www.worldwatch.org/node/4752.)