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A researcher with the Brookings Institution says the federal government needs to play a more active role in helping the country’s metropolitan areas prosper.Bruce Katz, a vice-president of the Washington-based think tank,  has authored a new report on the strengths and weaknesses of U.S. metro areas.He says in order for Louisville and other cities to grow responsibly and excel, they need a strong partnership with Washington, which he says hasn’t existed in decades.Katz says the federal government has been content for the most part to deal with state governments when it comes to matters such as education and infrastructure.

But he says the two presumptive nominees for president are sending some optimistic signals.

“I do find John McCain and Barack Obama to be two of the biggest reformers in the United states on these issues,”  Katz said.

He  spoke during a public presentation of the report in downtown  Louisville.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."