Antoine van Agtmael, who co-authored the recently published book The Smartest Places on Earth with Fred Bakker, was at Communitech on Tuesday to tour one of the communities mentioned in his recent book: Waterloo Region. The book investigates how so-called “rust belt” cities, which saw their manufacturing sectors collapse as labour moved to emerging markets overseas, are now reclaiming their prosperity by becoming “brain belts,” and working smarter through innovation.

Anthony Reinhart interviewed van Agtmael about his research, the resilience of post-industrial communities, and how Waterloo Region fits into the “brain belt” phenomenon described in the book.

About The Author

Phil Froklage
Digital Journalist/Multimedia Producer

Phil Froklage is a writer, filmmaker and journalist in Waterloo Region obsessed with the future. Passionate about science and technology — and how it shapes our world — Phil likes nothing more than being surprised by the amazing things human beings can do.