Top 5 Reasons to Know Your City!
Who will you meet?
Cities are innovating, companies are pivoting, and start-ups are growing. Like you, every urban practitioner has a remarkable story of insight and challenge from the past year.
Meet these peers and discuss the future of cities in the new Meeting of the Minds Executive Cohort Program. Replace boring virtual summits with facilitated, online, small-group discussions where you can make real connections with extraordinary, like-minded people.
Cities of all sizes are growing and transforming; in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia alone, the urban populations are expected to double over the next 20 years.
Despite major advances in technology, there is little reliable data and recognition on how these urban areas are growing and changing — who lives in the city, where they came from, where they live, and how they earn a living.
This is especially true for informal neighbourhoods, where the vast majority of urban growth is taking place, and which are often completely off the grid of formal planning and governance processes.
A better knowledge of cities can help bridge the engagement, information and accountability gaps between city governments and their citizens. It can also support good governance and inclusive planning. Here are some of the ways cities and citizens can benefit from Knowing Their City:
- More effective city planning. Without knowing how many people live in a city and where, it is very difficult for a city to provide services or plan for future growth. Once mayors or city officials have accurate data on the entire city – not just the formal areas – they can make more informed policy choices, such as where to provide services, housing and infrastructure so that residents benefit most.
- A more inclusive city. Because the urban poor generally live in informal areas, they are often excluded from the formal governance and planning process and effectively locked out of the city’s economic growth. Once the poor are counted and acknowledged by city officials, a debate can take place about the city’s future involving all residents so that everyone can benefit from the city’s growth.
- Better governance and accountability. When residents are counted and recognised as part of the city and as citizens, they can have a voice and participate to the future of their city. They also have the capacity to hold city officials accountable for the progress in their neighbourhoods and push for more transparent and participatory decision making and planning.
- Dialogue between city officials and residents. When communities of the urban poor collect data about their own neighbourhoods in partnership with their local and national governments, they develop a constructive dialogue based on collaboration that allows both parties to work together to develop the city. City authorities begin to learn what their residents’ priorities are, and the citizens learn how to work with city officials to improve their communities.
- Empowered urban poor. The process of collecting information on their own communities helps the poor mobilise and obtain the necessary tools to interact effectively with local authorities. Once they have acquired the data on their neighbourhoods, residents can create forums to discuss the issues affecting them, develop a community participatory plan for resolving those issues, and how to obtain funding for their community projects.
The Cities Alliance is a global partnership for urban poverty reduction and the promotion of the role of cities in sustainable development. Learn more about us at www.citiesalliance.org.
Leave your comment below, or reply to others.
Please note that this comment section is for thoughtful, on-topic discussions. Admin approval is required for all comments. Your comment may be edited if it contains grammatical errors. Low effort, self-promotional, or impolite comments will be deleted.
Read more from MeetingoftheMinds.org
Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology
Following such a tumultuous school year where change was the only constant, perhaps there is no greater opportunity for colleges and universities to reimagine their campuses than there is today. To stay relevant in today’s increasingly competitive educational marketplace, schools must embrace the smart technologies that will enhance the collegiate experience and ensure seamless operations regardless of the next crises. By being proactive and planning now, schools can install the robust communications backbone and agile infrastructure necessary to support emerging technologies and create the connected campus of the future.
Small-scale manufacturers are locally owned businesses that produce anything from hats to hardware to distilled spirits to coffee and more. Unlike large manufacturers, they fit into relatively small commercial spaces and are clean, quiet neighbors. Your city might be home to some of these kinds of businesses already.
Given the rapidly changing “future of work” space and the impact on our cities over the last 15 months, I decided to catch up with Robert Hoyle Brown to get the latest trends and insights on where we are now and where we are headed next.
Their new report “21 Places of the Future” touches on the key drivers for the creation of jobs in relation to place. We discussed how architectural heritage is tied to jobs and place. We also discussed how people matter and the future role of philosophers and ethicists in our data-driven world. Given the recent cyber attacks on US companies, we discussed the role of cybersecurity as a driver for the creation of jobs, including the jobs of cyber attack agent and cyber calamity forecaster. And we discussed the future of virtual workplaces. Here to stay, go, or evolve? Take a look.