Cities’ Fiscal Cliffhanger

August 25, 2020 | 9am PDT | 12pm EDT

In the early days of COVID-19, city governments all over the world helped bring urban life to a near standstill as part of an effective frontline emergency response. The resulting quiet in public spaces and reduction of traffic gave us pause for a Big Rethink on what cities might look like in the future. Yet this quiet has come at a considerable cost to municipal coffers; city governments derive a significant amount of revenue from property taxes, permit fees, and transit fares – money which helps fund improvements, amenities, repairs, and essential services. 

In this episode of The Big Rethink, we’ll discuss how city governments are planning for economic redevelopment as the spectre of massive financial shortfalls looms. We’ll explore a range of national responses to helping cities stay solvent, why some cities are better positioned to weather the crisis than others, and discuss whether there is a COVID-19 playbook for city government which doesn’t include budget austerity measures.