ULI Rose Fellowship Mayors Discuss How to Build 21st Century Cities

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America’s central cities are using land use planning and economic development initiatives to improve the quality of life that cities can offer residents and businesses and to be more competitive in the 21st Century, according to a panel of five current and alumni ULI Daniel Rose Fellowship mayors at the ULI Fall Meeting in Los Angeles on October 27, 2011.

The panel included new Rose Fellows Bob Buckhorn, mayor of Tampa; Angel Taveras, mayor of Providence; and Sly James, mayor of Kansas City (all in their first year in office); and alumni Rose Fellows Dave Bing, mayor of Detroit; and Karl Dean, mayor of Nashville. It was moderated by Rose Center Advisory Board member Glenda Hood, formerly mayor of Orlando and Florida’s secretary of state. Other key priorities identified by the mayors included public safety, public education, and using preservation to maintain their unique urban fabric and market identity.

Mayor Buckhorn talked about how Tampa has had to adjust to the fiscal challenges posed by the foreclosure crisis in Florida , which has traditionally depended on residential growth to fuel its economy, and is now focused on attracting growth to its urban core. Mayor Taveras talked about how Providence works with its impressive array of educational and healthcare anchor institutions to drive its economy. Mayor James talked about Kansas City’s unique challenge of being on a state border with fierce competition for business, and how he is already engaging neighboring communities on the Kansas side to think regionally about economic development.

Mayor Dean talked about how Nashville’s recovery from the devastating Cumberland River flood of May 2010 has fast-tracked implementation of its open space program and changed public thinking about riparian parkland. And Mayor Bing talked about Detroit’s recent successes in reversing its decades-long economic decline, and the opportunities and challenges posed by the intense media focus on his city. Other topics discussed included city relationships with the development community, the role of transit in city building, and outsourcing of municipal services.

View the entire two-hour forum, which includes an audience Q&A, above.  Learn more about the ULI Daniel Rose Center For Public Leadership in Land Use.

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