Small Cities Looking to the Future

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When you think of the word “city”, what do you picture?

Is it skyscrapers rising over the horizon? Or is it industry — people in suits pouring over state-of-the-art laptops? Maybe it’s billboards glittering with the latest advertisement and lights that just don’t seem to turn off.

So often when we think of cities, we picture those soaring skyscrapers that come with America’s largest cities. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago — these are the places that we associate with innovation, that we identify as the changemakers in our country.

During Small Cities Month 2018, NLC wants to change that perception. With more than 1200 small city, town and village members, we’re proud to lift up the technical and social innovations small cities are tackling around the country.

Mooresville, North Carolina, established high-speed internet as a basic utility for all residents. With this infrastructure, the city can better equip its students, citizens and businesses with the tools necessary to compete in a global market.

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The city of Dublin, California, rebuilt its public housing on a limited budget. To meet the goal of transforming this low-density, deteriorating property into a mixed-use and mixed-income complex offering several housing types in a geographically hot housing market, Dublin engaged with partners from both the private and nonprofit sector.

In Dubuque, Iowa, a growing population was putting a strain on resources. In response, the city used data to help residents better understand and streamline how they used utilities like water and electricity.

These are just some of the examples of how these tight-knit communities breed creativity and resourcefulness. That’s why this month’s theme is Small Cities Looking to the Future. Throughout the month of June, we’ll be highlighting examples of how small cities are thinking about and planning for the future on NLC’s Facebook and Twitter platforms.

Want to join the conversation? Like us on Facebook to follow and share in your colleagues’ stories of success and pride, and share your small cities experience with us on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #SmallCities18. You can also connect with other small city leaders on NLC’s Small Cities Council.

Share best-practices with colleagues who understand the demands of small city government best and who can give you real time advice and encouragement.

Sarah_Lindsay_readyAbout the author: Sarah Lindsay is the program manager for member services and engagement (Midwest region).