It's time to think out-of-the-box, to reimagine a place where everyone feels safe. Your city can become that place--a "City of the Future," that is attractive, vibrant and alive. Can you imagine that city? It is inhabited by talented people, thriving schools, and plenty of opportunity for entrepreneurs and innovators.

City and business leaders must come together to drive the strategic planning efforts that are needed to become the cities that they want them to become. It starts with a Vision Story. That story must describe a city in vivid detail and discuss what it looks like, how it feels to be there and what makes it so captivating. Working together, city and business leaders can develop and put a plan in motion to get their cities on the "right" track for the future--enabling them to better attract and welcome new businesses and residents, improve schools, enhance public safety, and beautify their cities.

Here is a glimpse of what it can look like:

Your City has enhanced public transportation services, reduced gridlock, and improved infrastructure using state-of-the art solutions. You've expanded the bus fleet, redesigned the roads, and implemented smart traffic lights, which has led to smoother traffic flows and minimal congestion. You know the most popular travel destinations in your city and incorporated them into your transportation plan. Residents and visitors are now able to easily travel around the city. In turn, people are getting out more and truly enjoying all that your city has to offer.

You've leveraged modern public safety science to become a "safety hub" in the region where all people feel secure to live, work, and visit. You have utilized modern technologies and data capture systems to become a City that coordinates, manages, and enables public safety among its citizenry. Police, Fire, and EMS all embrace preventive measures as tactical elements in avoiding unsafe events. Your public safety departments have become major resources for residents, and as a result, are highly trusted among their stakeholders. Crime is down, and your city's systems have become a model for surrounding communities.

Your city has become a place where people are proud to live, work, and play. With top ranked schools, thriving businesses, and a diverse culture your city is a coveted place to be. You've used the Internet and social media as tools to bring your citizens together, encourage dialogue, and build a strong sense of community. Your city's vibrant downtown, sprawling parks, and green spaces all contribute to its charismatic charm.

Going through the process of re-imagining the quality of life that a city can deliver provides unimaginable opportunities for city and business leaders to devise new ways of attracting and delighting the people who live, work and shop in their Cities of the Future. The changes begin with a compelling Vision and is told through a vibrant story.

This article completes my series on the City of the Future. Please be sure to keep our dialogue alive by connecting with me and sharing these articles with interested friends and colleagues. We will see you in the City of the Future!


This 8-part series of articles, called the City of the Future, is intended to explore some of the fundamental areas of change that must be addressed to position our municipalities for the challenges that lie ahead in the early 21st Century. I invite you all to participate in the conversation. Together, we can effect change--if in no other way than at a grass roots level by helping our communities, where we live, to evolve.

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Published on: Dec 11, 2014