Bruce injected a breath of fresh air into the debate about how we can recover from one of the most devastating economic crises of our times.
With the deployment of a super slick presentation, he argued optimistically about the way in which the US needed to respond to one of their biggest 'wake-up calls' in history. He argued for a new focus on innovation, increasing exports and shifting to a low-carbon economy.
It is easy to feel depressed when we watch the news and consider the impact and fallout of the global economic crisis. Communities are already struggling and there is a very real danger that the most disadvantaged will get left behind further.
But we should not lose hope. Phoenix Cities details the rebirth of seven European cities that have all suffered post-industrial decline. It describes how they have come up with innovative ways of reinventing themselves over recent decades, having lost many of the key industries that initially made them the great power houses of the economy.
Of course the current crisis threatens the very renaissance of these places. However, as lead author Anne Power and Bruce Katz argued so powerfully: 'necessity is the mother of invention.' New industries and new ways of living will emerge.
The evening ended with an example from Belfast: the crane used to launch the Titanic over 100 years ago has been recently deployed to launch Europe's first sea turbine – a major innovation that will form part of the transition to a low-carbon economy considered vital for cities' futures.
With further innovative thinking and, of course, support, our cities can indeed rise again from the ashes as they have in the past.