More than ever, cities are charged with carrying out national-level policies and are expected to be at the forefront of our response to climate change, housing inequality, job-creation and public health. At the same time, most city government agencies are perennially understaffed and impeded by cumbersome, often backward regulations that leave them at odds with the private sector. Seemingly insurmountable frustrations are everywhere. So the big question is: Can meaningful changes get made in spite of these realities?

Change agent Gabe Klein argues yes and proves it with his new book Start-Up City: Inspiring Private & Public Entrepreneurship, Getting Projects Done, and Having Fun. Check out an excerpt below and see why former US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood called it "a must-read for anyone interested in making positive change in our cities."