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The City Café

Stay up to date on important information for local government leaders.


Cities are at the center of the great 21st century political and social policy related questions. At least according to Dr. Neil Bradford author of the research study Why Cities Matter. His report focuses on Canadian cities, but I think much of his study applies to municipal government worldwide, or at least also to America.

Bradford writes, “All the great policy questions of our day – economic, social, cultural and environmental – have now become urban questions. And that means that cities will have to become the innovation engines of the 21st century. They will have to become the locus of great creativity and bold problem-solving capacity. While continuing to manage the business of the day-to-day, they will have to get a lot more serious about the business of tomorrow. They will have to be capable of making imaginative leaps – and mobilizing pattern-shifting change.

“That will require more than just a few individual heroes with big ideas and big wills – though God knows we need them too. Rather, it will require a culture of creativity. A civic culture that is responsive to bold ideas, open to risk, and, most important, hopeful. A civic culture of creativity is the essential pre-condition to the transformative work ahead.”

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