By Jamie Merisotis. In urban planning circles, smart growth refers to the infrastructure development strategies cities employ in hopes of creating more sustainable and successful communities. But, what about the other smart growth -- the approach that involves investing in the development of our citizens, our human capital? 
In his book Triumph of the City, economist Edward Glaeser said, "Human capital, far more than physical infrastructure, explains which cities succeed. The share of the population with a college degree is used to estimate the skill level of a place, and no other measure does better in explaining recent urban prosperity. As the share of the population with college degrees increases by 10 percent, per capita gross metropolitan product rises by 22 percent." 
That's a powerful indicator to city leaders on where they should invest, and research has shown time and time again that there is a direct correlation between thriving cities and postsecondary education. More...