Book

What’s Holding Your City Back?

Why do some cities turn blight around while others continue to languish? Reinvention requires a proven strategy. In this book, we have designed a step-by-step plan and offer detailed success stories showing exactly how to move from inertia to greatness.
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Key Excerpts

Prologue
What do you see when you drive around your city or walk your main street? Do you see abandoned buildings, shabby streetscapes and little or no pedestrian activity? Are you perplexed by what you see? Do you compare your city to other cities you have visited that have a thriving downtown, filled with restaurants and shops, and beautiful, walkable streets?
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Isolate the Team from Bureaucracy (Ch. 3)
How many times have you heard the comment…“We tried that in the past, but it did not work,” or “You can never get that passed by city council,” or “The neighborhood will never accept that idea”? Bureaucrats run cities, but great leaders reinvent great cities. The enemy is the attitude that change cannot happen or that change cannot accomplish anything.
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Build Your Own Team, Not Someone Else’s (Ch. 3)
As the core team members are selected, there will be many political activists on the sidelines who will try to influence the team composition. A word of advice to the leader and the executive implementer: build your own team, and not someone else’s.
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Master Plans versus Redevelopment Plans (Ch. 4)
There is a difference between a “master plan” and a “redevelopment implementation plan.” The problem is that very few of these master plans include a meaningful real estate or market perspective, and more importantly, often lack innovation.
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Attracting New Businesses (Ch. 6)
So where do you find these business owners? They may be in the same city and want a second location. They may be in the next city over, or they may be far away. If the area is positioned as up-and-coming, area investors will start to look for buildings to buy and renovate. The city should establish a system where potential investors can be taken into a “war room” that has maps and pictures and clearly shows the vision for the area.
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Financing Redevelopment and No Funding Source in Place (Ch. 7)
We could write an entire book on the seventh step—financing the plan. Each and every city “reinvention” needs its own personalized finance plan. Without exception, there must be some sort of coherent financial strategy in place, because the absence of a workable finance plan will doom any effort no matter how well planned otherwise.
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