Wednesday, 23 March 2011

A serious discussion about urban policy ....

.... didn't happen in Winnipeg yesterday (though kudos to Wyatt for getting it some attention) but it did on Charlie Rose last night.

The show which aired March 22 was entitled Michael Bloomberg & other Mayors. (At time of writing the video does not seem to be uploaded yet but will be soon at the link above). The panel included NYC's Bloomberg, Philadelphia's Michael Nutter, Former Mayor of Houston Bill White, Minneapolis' R.T. Rybak.

It was a frank discussion about the state of U.S. cities and the problems that they as administrators have faced in the past few years trying to keep the wheels on.

The topics ranged from taxation policy, retired workers, attracting immigrants and foreign students, crime and federal funding mechanisms.T
he panel was quite candid about what they got right and, in some cases, got wrong during the downturn.

An interesting insight into not only the problems of these mega-metropolises but how they've had to do a lot of retooling in order to survive.

They also spoke about where they are going. What they and other American cities need to do not just to rebound but to ensure their success in the decades ahead. As one mayor put it: the reason people want to live in cities is innovation. If any of their cities stop being innovators, whether it be in economic opportunities, providing improved infrastructure or civic services, there are plenty of others who will step in and woo the best and brightest from them.

A side note: the (just) slightly lesser panel of Winnipeg Internet Pundits takes to the airwaves at 5 pm to chat about freeways, Shoppers Drug Mart's expansion, the Avenue Building and CentrePort.

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