Monday, April 29, 2013

Nanaimo News Bulletin Guest Comment —VIU VP, Provost David Witty: Nanaimo has
Many Elements of a Successful City

DAVID WITTY There continue to be a number of national and international initiatives focusing upon the well-being of urban citizens and urban environments.

Recently, Canadian Gov. Gen. David Johnston has promoted Smart and Caring Communities. Healthy communities has been a topic on local, national and international agendas for a number of years, and Compassionate Communities has recently emerged as a topic in international conversations.

While each of these movements offers significant insight into the varied aspects that affect the well-being of society in general and cities in particular, there is a parallel concept that captures the collective notions of those initiatives and brings a broader range of factors into the discussion of cities: that emerging global conversation is called Successful Cities.

The planning and creation of a successful city requires unwavering leadership, vision, persistence, determination and flexibility.

The Conference Board of Canada in 2007 noted, “Canada’s prosperity depends on the success of our cities.” But, more recent evidence points to an increased emphasis upon a range of factors that affect the success of a city. Factors influenced by trans disciplinary considerations.

As a result, notions of a successful city are more likely to examine the culture, development, environment, governance and social state of a city as much as its economic health. It is that breadth of factors that have led to a broader concept of Successful Cities.

Charles Landry and Richard Florida found cities that were creative (i.e., knowledge based economies) displayed a high quality of life. Florida in Who’s Your City explored the importance of esthetics, values and leadership as essential differentiators between cities. In short, those cities that displayed concerns for aesthetics (i.e., community design, vibrant attractive public spaces), invested in culture, promoted progressive values (support for their fellow citizens) and displayed supportive leadership (able and willing to make important community-based decisions) were inevitably seen to be more attractive for the new knowledge economy.

Nanaimo is well positioned to become a successful city. The recently formed working relationship between the City of Nanaimo, Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, and Vancouver Island University to promote the following 12 elements of a Successful City bodes well for the future of Nanaimo.

The three partners hope to engage with a large number of Nanaimo organizations to promote the notion that cities need to have strong five pillars: high quality built environment; vibrant cultural sector, strong economy; healthy natural environment; and diverse and healthy social fabric. Read more: Nanaimo News Bulletin - GUEST COMMENT: Nanaimo has many elements of a successful city - Mobile Edition

1 comment:

Dan Appell said...

"The planning and creation of a successful city requires unwavering leadership, vision, persistence, determination and flexibility."
We have none of these things. At best we have a bunch of easily distracted children with an infantile crayon image of what a city should look like.