From One Municipality to Another...
In my former life as a lawprof and private consultant focused on New Urbanism, I remember many trips to many different cities where I shared my best advice on how to overcome the challenges of sprawl development. During every one of those seminars, speeches, and the like, I offered what I thought were important responses and potential solutions for cities to embrace to counter unsustainable development.
It wasn't until I joined the ranks of the municipal world in 2011 as the Director of City Development for the City of Montgomery that I realized that, no matter how well intended and well conceived, sometimes its really helps a municipality to hear not from a private consultant as much as another city, county, parish, or other local government official.
Again, this is not to de-emphasize the critical importance of private practioners or consultants. Indeed, that is most often where the best and most innovative ideas come from. Instead, this short blog is intended only to share the perspective from someone who has left the private world and joined the public one.
There is a big need for an effective way for municipal leaders to caucus among themselves occasionally to share the challenges and opportunities that they've all experienced in real time.
That's why I jumped at the opportunity to participate in a 14 minute public radio interview last week to discuss Downtown revitalization from a local public official's perspective. At the risk of appearing to self-publicize (which is certainly not my goal), I share a link below to that interview.
My sincere hope is that this extended interview can help my colleagues--both in the private world but especially in the public world--understand and share some of the issues that we as local public officials regularly run across.
p.s. And another thanks to all of the New Urban firms and consultants that have played critical roles in the revitalization of Montgomery...our victories are because of the great battles you fought for us...
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