"Cities In Challenging Times"

"Cities In Challenging Times"

September 30, 2009
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I just heard the On Point Radio show on how some cities are dealing with the recession. Newark, NJ mayor Cory Booker and Washington, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty both discussed their administrations approaches to problems unique to deep recessions such as this. Additionally both cities face what might be seen as “common” urban problems: crime and education gaps.

What was remarkable about the narratives that both men brought out were their refusal to let the circumstances of the day – be it economic downturns, thinly veiled corruption or entrenched bureaucracies – obstruct the outcomes of creating wonderful places to live. While I will not make this blog political by saying I do or don’t agree with their politics, I will say this: both men deserve a lot of credit for envisioning a better future and energizing members of their communities to constructively engage in the creation of great places to live.

Only time will tell if they are successful in the communities they are working in. And if they are smart, they will not take credit. What they will do is be witnesses for the power of out of the box thinking, healthy skepticism of the pat answer, not accepting poor behavior and nurturing and encouraging us to do and live better. These are all principles that create positive outcomes for any community at any scale. They are skills that should be lauded in public officials.

This is how landwaves work. Improbable to small thinking, deeply resonant to all involved, energized by hope, directed by steadfast attention to details and transformational to all.

Cheers to all of you who inspired me today by starting the day with, ” how can I make this better?”

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