The Competitiveness Challenge for Secondary Capitals
Chapter 7: Washington, DC: the capital of the free world
Washington, DC represents a unique case within the US urban system because of its constitutional status and its many capital city specific local autonomy constraints. The District of Columbia is neither a state nor a city within a state, but it bears the responsibilities of a state as well as those of a county, a city, and a school district, yet does not have the authority to raise revenue the way all other states do. The overall aim of the locational policies agenda in DC is to become a competitive international business city. However, DC simultaneously tries to consider the needs of its longstanding residents. Furthermore, DC pushes large-scale development projects. In general, the DC administration faces the challenge of balancing its locational policies agenda and its social agenda. Its ambitions to become a global powerhouse (sometimes) clash with the needs of its poorer residents.
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