We see it in the news all the time – cities and towns in decline or distress. Whether it’s Detroit being discussed on Nightly News, or Scranton, Reading, and Harrisburg closer to home here in Pennsylvania, it’s clear that it’s not easy being a small, medium, or even large city these days. So the question is – why?
Think tanks are studying this question and offering theories every day. Just yesterday, I received an email from McKinsey and Company announcing a new report titled “How to Make A City Great”.
The report opines that smart growth, doing more with less, and leading with vision are key elements of transformation to greatness. The report also goes on to discuss six diverse initiatives in Singapore, Vancouver, Boston, Bogata, Dukar, and Dubai that demonstrate these elements. The McKinsey report is an interesting read, but given its focus on what I’d call mega-cities, it leaves me wondering how the dialog and recommendations might play out for rural cities and towns like those we hear about on our local news each day.
To begin to explore a more local view on what makes cities great and to continue our commitment to sustainability and community stewardship, LDG has commissioned Chuck Marohn from an organization called Strong Towns to take part in community dialog in Williamsport on Wednesday, October 2nd at Lycoming College. The mission of Strong Towns is to support a model for growth that allows America’s towns to become financially strong and resilient. At an afternoon session consisting of presentations, panel discussions, and plenty of time for open discourse, we are engaging our community to consider what it means and what it might entail to become a Strong Town.
So rather than sitting back and watching the news for your city or town to show up on a distressed list, I encourage you join us for what I am sure will be an interesting and enlightening event. I hope to see you there.
More details and registration information can be found at here.