City Leaders Gather in Beantown

Boston Harbor

The National League of Cities‘ annual Congress of Cities event is taking place this week in Boston. I will be blogging about the events and happenings, with a special emphasis on new ideas that can help make cities of all sizes better places to be. I will be speaking at a session on the importance of placemaking on Friday. Here’s an agenda for the event.

Check back frequently for updates. You can follow along on Twitter, too, at #NLCBOS.

  • Clarence Anthony was just appointed Executive Director of the NLC, replacing Don Borut who announced his retirement earlier this year. Clarence is a personal friend who I have deep admiration for and I believe he will do an outstanding job representing the interests of cities at the federal level.
  • Fiscal cliff, uncertainty about taxes/spending not just hurting individual and corporate pocket books. Pertinent city issues and reforms awaiting action are being held up, too (transportation, Workforce Investment Act, on-line sales tax, etc).
  • If, like me, you sometimes find yourself in the business of putting on large events

    Wes Moore

    do yourself a favor and consider Wes Moore as a keynote. He is the author of “The Other Wes Moore” and ties his own experiences growing up in Baltimore with another man of the same name. It is a powerful and inspirational story and Wes delivers it beautifully.

  • Cleveland’s Gordon Square Arts District is an excellent example of a community seizing on an asset and building something out of it. I was lucky enough to share the stage with Councilman Matt Zone about this great placemaking exercise earlier today.
  • Josh McManus of Little Things Lab again reminds local leaders that when dealing with challenges in their communities they must “fall in love with the problem, not the answer.”  Great advice.
  • So long to Boston. Some quick observations on this, my second trip to town.

    North End Eats

    Amazing open spaces, most put in place generations ago. One-of-a-kind higher education resources appear to be leveraged in every way possible (talent retention, economic development, branding, etc). Be careful in re-imagining Southie- lots of new development and some of “feels” great, other spots not so much. The North End is awesome (my fav eatery). Looking for even greater things in the years to come.