The Urban Innovation Model

Originally published by The Boston Globe

January 10, 2013
Edward Glaeser (Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard University)

Last week,Avis announced that it was buying Zipcar for $12.25 a share, a 49 percent premium over Zipcar’s price at the time. For Avis, it’s a bet that short-term car rentals — or car sharing, as Zipcar likes to call it — will continue to grow in cities worldwide. For cities, the deal points to an even broader trend: It’s a reminder that technological change, which favored suburbs throughout much of the 20th century, is now clearing away obstacles to a satisfying urban life and amplifying the benefits of urban density. MORE >(Need Boston Globesubscription)