Greg Lindsay, World Policy Institute; co-author, “Aerotropolis”

It’s no secret that our cities are growing – fast. The World Health Organization reports that today more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in our urban centers. By 2050, it will be 70 percent. As countries and cities globally consider their next stages of economic growth, more and more it seems that future may tied to one area in particular: Transportation. As our urban centers grow, how do we rethink what urban mobility means? What does the next age look like? Greg Lindsay is a senior fellow of the World Policy Institute and co-author of “Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next.”

Bruce Katz, Brookings Institution: “The Metropolitan Revolution”

Much of the innovation in America today comes not from federal or state governments, but from our metropolitan areas. With Washington stuck in budget standoffs, sequestration and political gridlock, cities from New York to Portland are driving real progress in areas from cross-town transportation to international trade. Bruce Katz is Director of the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. He is also co-author of “The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros
Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy.”

Michael O’Hanlon, Brookings Institution

With another round of sequester cuts pending, tensions over military budget cuts continue to grow. US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlined a stark choice: Maintain a high-tech force that may not have enough troops to deal with major conflicts or keep a larger but less well-equipped force that could leave troops’ lives in danger. Is there a way out? Michael O’Hanlon is Senior fellow with the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence and director of research for the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution. He’s also author, most recently, of “Healing the Wounded Giant: Maintaining Military Preeminence while Cutting the Defense Budget.”