Unknown Origins

Steven W. Pedigo on Urban Development & City Strategy

January 25, 2022 Steven W. Pedigo Season 1 Episode 107
Unknown Origins
Steven W. Pedigo on Urban Development & City Strategy
Show Notes Transcript

Steven W. Pedigo is Professor of Practice, Director of the LBJ Urban Lab at the University of Texas in Austin. An expert in economic and urban development, city strategy, anchor engagement, and placemaking. Steven has advised and collaborated with more than 50 cities, universities, developers, nonprofits, and Fortune 500 companies across the globe to build more creative, innovative, and inclusive communities. 

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Roy Sharples:

Hello, I'm Roy Sharples, welcome to the unknown origins podcast. Why are you listening to this podcast? Are you seeking inspiration? an industry expert, looking for insights, or growing your career? I created the unknown origins podcast to provide access to insights and content from creators worldwide with inspirational conversations and storytelling, about art, architecture, design, entrepreneurship, fashion, film, music and pop culture. Stephen W. pedicle, is an expert in economic and Urban Development, city strategy on current arrangement, and placemaking. Stephen has advised and collaborated with more than 50 cities, universities, developers, nonprofits and fortune 500 companies across the globe to build more creative, innovative and inclusive communities. Hello, and welcome, Steven. So what inspired and attracted you to economics, urban development, and city strategy in the first place,

Steven W. Pedigo:

My road to city and Urban Development Strategy is is like everyone's kind of this winding path. And so I think probably just to tell you a little bit about my history and how I, who I came across the types of communities I've worked with, and the types of, you know, networks I've failed to get here, it's probably a good way to start. Interesting enough, I actually did not grow up in a big city, I actually grew up in a very small town in dBs, Texas. I think the reason that I may have been always appealed to cities is that you know, when you grew up in a small town in East Texas, particularly very conservative place plays, you know, cities always presented presented that sort of platform to be yourself, right to be someone that you're not, and as you know, as a gay man that was growing up, you know, in the early 90s. And, and looking for a way to sort of, to have a community in an environment around you, that was supportive cities, were always sort of that platform for that. And so, you know, move to Austin, Texas, went to University of Texas at Austin, was actually not even thinking about economics at all. It was a city city guy, excuse me, I was a communication guy was kind of a storyteller, I was very much interested in thought that I would actually go to graduate school and think about rhetorical history. And in fact, that's kind of what I did. I actually went to the University of Illinois, spent two years after there. It was a great experience. It was a time just kind of look back on my horrible history, I was particularly interested in rhetoric as it was tied to you LGBTQ communities, on call for equity and all those types of things. But kind of had a little bit of a gut check that it didn't want to be a ironically didn't want to be a college professor. But that's kind of where I am today. We'll talk about a second but and so I was very much always interested in this idea of public policy and in cities and continue to sort of read and think about cities, obviously, the work of Jane Jacobs and others, became kind of a hobby hobby for me, and inadvertently ended up going to Carnegie Mellon University, and was at the high school for public public affairs. And actually probably thought I would probably do what most public policy folks would do, which would be go, you know, work at the federal government level, do policy analytics and those types of things. But when I was at the University, when I was at Carnegie Mellon, I met this, I met this young scholar, how many of your listeners will know by the name of Richard Florida? Yeah, I'm Rich Florida, and I became rich Florida, I tell people all the time, changed my life, I met him and I fell in love with cities and the work that he was doing around the rise of the creative class. Everything that I was interested in terms of building more inclusive communities, helping to think about building more innovative communities, he was teaching at Carnegie Mellon and so have built built a really strong relationship with rich and for nearly 20 years work with rich Florida to do economic development strategy work across across the across the world, you know, everyone everywhere from Jerusalem, to Brisbane, Australia, over, you know, multiple multiple cities across North America, North America and other places across Europe as well and have been doing that work for a long, a long time. And interesting enough, you know, I think, you know, the types of work that I've done in economic development in cities has changed over time. You know, I think when when I first started, I was very much interested in creative city work, you know, thinking about how you take creative class, creative class ideas, the ideas that Richard which was sort of talking about and diffused those into your into, you know, so interviews those across cities and think about how cities can embrace those. But then, you know, I think over time became pretty, pretty aware that that those that that type of approach creates equity challenges in communities all over the world, and really became passionate about focused on distressed urban communities, sort of the Forgotten communities or forgotten cities, you know, the New York's the Detroit and other places. I spent about a decade of my career working in those communities. For an organization called IC IC, which was the initiative for competitive inner city, it was formulated by this forum by bounded by Mike Porter, another Harvard business professor, and did that for many years, and then had an opportunity to go to take my work, I moved my platform to NYU, after having built some pretty strong success in that space, spent about seven years at New York, New York University's really between looking at that time at the intersection of city development, particularly place based development at the intersection of real estate and cities and storytelling. And then, you know, as as all of our careers do, you had an opportunity to return home and that the dean of the LBJ School at the time was a woman by the name of Angela Evans, she became supportive of my work and had an opportunity to come back to the University of Texas. And so you know, what was interesting about that opportunity was to pitch her on an idea that Texas cities, particularly here, Austin, and Dallas, and Houston and other places, provide a really interesting laboratory for understanding urbanism, and particularly the future of urbanism. And so have been now at the LBJ School for for nearly four years, and have really used this as, as an opportunity and a platform to talk about what the future of urbanism looks like, across the US, and particularly with a look as it relates to southern cities. And, you know, Texas is a really interesting place to study because of the, you know, crazy politics and policies and the focus on the private sector in the way we think about, you know, addressing some of the challenges here. And so that's been the place where much of my work has been recently. And, you know, I get to wake up every day and not only sort of think about strategies and advice of eyes, and it's continued to advise cities all over the world. But a great part of my role now is actually teaching sort of that next generation of city builders, and particularly, you know, at the undergraduate and graduate level here at UT Austin, there's a lot of passionate students who, you know, maybe 10 years ago when I was kind of 1015 years ago, when I was a graduate student, there wasn't a huge focus on city development as a career path. And now, you see a lot of a lot of entrepreneurs, business tides, policy types, looking to cities and city building as a career path. And it's, it's fun to work with them because you know, the way we think about cities has changed dramatically. Over time.

Roy Sharples:

Creative societies are spaces for social integration, dreaming, making and doing, where people can create without fear, solve problems, innovate openly, and live more fulfilled. Lives. Cities have been catalysts for influential art and socio cultural movements from ancient Egyptian Memphis to revolutionary Paris to Post War, Berlin and London. industrial cities like Glasgow and Manchester have an ingrained maker and Doer ethos as those Detroit port towns, such as New York City, and Tokyo thrive on constant exchange through international trade. And contrast, places like Dubai and Singapore, enjoy high affluence, but conservative politics and strict laws that result in a lack of diversity of thought, freedom of expression, and creativity. Successful creative societies all have their unique quirks and flaws. But the common thread is that they put people and culture first people can take ownership of what they make and feel free and safe to be themselves.

Steven W. Pedigo:

A couple thoughts on that, just to build off that point. I mean, I think the thing that's always been attractive about cities for me is that, you know, cities are really kind of just just physical manifestation of networks, right? You and I can connect and share ideas. And I think one of the things that I've always the reason I've always cared about urban development and the work of urban development is because, you know, cities offer that opportunity, you try to build an opportunity to try to build a strategic idea and a strategic, you know, path forward, that allows people to sort of tap into that and sort of seek their own sort of self actualization and their own their own creativity, right. I mean, that's what makes I mean, to be great to Jacob says, What makes cities you know, the great cities sort of separate separate out from the ones that are just as you maybe just described, yeah, is the mixing and mingling of different ideas and different people. Right. And so, you know, I think that is become so, so important even today, as we think about development strategy today, you know, particularly, you know, with the death of George George Floyd, the call for social justice. Now I think there's an even greater emphasis to think about not just economic strategies, which what you described, right? The Dubai's of the worlds and Singapore's of the world do great on that. But it's as people culture in this climate culture that supports entrepreneurship and creativity. That's, that's super, super important. And, you know, I was teaching last night, I teach on Monday nights, and I, my urban development strategy class, and we were talking about this very issue here in our hometown of Austin, Texas, as you note in Austin is, you know, Keep Austin weird, you know, when I was here as an undergraduate was a very different place than where it is today, right, where we now have seen the highest real estate appreciation of any city in the country in the last in the last year, you know, in the last 10 years, you've added about, you know, I think 560,000 new residents to the Austin Metro. So that's about you know, to give your listeners context, that would be like taking the entire district of Columbia, the capital of the United States and putting it in the Austin Metro over 10 years. And so, and then you've got all the things that are happening with California migration to tech migration. And so you've got this super hot economy that's really running on a treadmill. And it is all the things that you know, that rich Florida and others and Mike Porter, about the folks in the sort of city strategy world talk about innovation, you know, you know, economic powerful economies, etc, etc. But the challenge, I think that we face in a place like Austin is exactly what you described is, how do you keep a place like Austin? How do you create policies? How do you think about strategic work, that's going to allow Austin to keep its identity, which is, you know, about its weirdness, it's about its music, it's about the people, it's about the creativity. And if you think about that ROI, that's really at the intersection of where a lot of us in the city strategy space are, right, we know the recipe for how you build innovative and entrepreneurial economies, right? That that recipe we know it you can we can bake those cakes across across the world, right? Um, some easier than others. But the real challenge, I think the thing where we all were having to sort of dig deeper now is to say, what if you want to build these innovative economies like Austin and San Francisco and Seattle, and Sydney and London, and all these wonderful places? How do you maintain the identity and the character and the soul of these cities in a way that you're able to still have, you know, that mixing and mingling of different people, because we know at the end of the day, you know, that's the foundation for really what drives you know, creativity and innovation forward?

Roy Sharples:

So what is your creative process in terms of? How do you make the invisible visible by creaming up ideas, developing them into concepts, and then bringing them to actualizations?

Steven W. Pedigo:

So I would say, one, in terms of ideas and concepts, right, a lot of is it sort of being a man on the street? I guess you could say it a bit, right. I mean, one of the things that I've always have positioned myself here, you know, even as an as an academic here at UT Austin, or even when I was at NYU, was that, to really understand cities, you have to spend a lot of time in a lot of different cities, you have to spend time working with cities. And so for me, that on the ground on the street experience is super, super important, right, that's in terms of understanding, you know, the challenges that cities and communities and particularly your different types of stakeholders face. And that's everything from equity challenges to thinking about, you know, the ideas of how climate is going to impact urban development going forward, the idea of, you know, how do you think about now, the role of public health, I mean, if I could have told you, you know, three years before the pandemic, that we'll be talking about the role of public health as an economic development driver, as a city strategy driver, you know, a lot of strategists would have looked at you kind of blue in the face, right. So a lot of things I think of that is a lot of generating of new ideas is really about spending time on community spending time out in space, talking to community leader, you know, presenting ideas, engaging with stakeholders, and using that work for ideation a lot. You know, and for me, that, that, that's always, I think, been the way that, you know, ideas have populated up for me in terms of thinking through new products or new things that I'm interested in interested in working on. You know, I think in terms of and so, you know, and so, again, you know, examples of that is, you know, recently, you know, I've become really interested in this idea of, of you look across the earth, the idea of urban and city strategy, you know, you've got economic development plans or urban strategy plans, job creation plans, you've got public health plans, but you in and then you've got climate resiliency plans, you know, the thing that I'm really now interested in and what were a lot of my new work is kind of kind of going to this position and sort of looking towards is where do you sort of see the intersection of those right and so and a lot of that, I think, is actually come from the idea of again, being out on the street, you know, talking about, you know, those issues and those types of things. I think that's one. The second thing I think, you know, as you know, trained as an economist, right, a training strategist for me, the other the other piece that I think is super important, and I guess this comes back in is just is data and research, right, I tend to be a research factor of strategist. And so you know, as, as I'm thinking through the work we're doing, I think the thing that my team and the folks that are here, you know, at the university, but also my my advising team that I do a lot of work with, we're always trying to think about how do we how can we get better data, more efficient data, more real time data? Right. And I think that's been that's been the fun, that's been some of the fun things about about city development over time, is that, as we think about collecting and thinking about the use of data and the use of research in the space, you know, we now don't have to wait on government data reports, we now can use pure, you know, pure provided data, you know, data that's coming from the way that we're interacting with our communities in terms of, you know, everything from a, you know, a TripAdvisor review to a Yelp review to the way that we think about transactions and the way we connect with our, our colleagues digitally. So I think that data, data analytics is super, super important, as well, in terms of thinking about how that really brings to light sort of new trends and new ideas. And then finally, I think the last thing I would say, and I think and this is this is I think one of the things that has made me my work pretty successful in their urban space, is that, you know, traditionally, this the space of urban development teams to be fairly conservative, it's tried and true practices, there's not a lot of outside of the box thinking. But one of the things that, you know, our team at rez, you know, my team, that my advising team that I work with it residents and other places have done has has been to test new ideas to push the envelope, right to think about how you can prototype new approaches to development and do those in places where you can start to see, you know, interesting and start to see some results of that. So, you know, I think that that idea of, you know, thinking about on the street, keeping in engaging, I think this is why networking is so important. It's why, you know, you spend so many time on Pro on social platforms, sharing ideas, reading in, you know, thinking about the role of research, but also this idea of lab testing and sharing. I think it's something that, that we a lot of times as is maybe municipal and urban policy leaders don't do enough of you see much more of that in the private sector.

Roy Sharples:

What are the key skills needed to survive and thrive as a city strategist.

Steven W. Pedigo:

For me, the thing that's has set me apart from a lot of different strategists, and it may I think, makes me successful in my work is that, yes, I believe in data. And yes, I believe in research. But I also understand the importance of consultation, I understand the importance of communication and the importance of storytelling. And as you know, when you're working, particularly in the public sphere in the public arena, there's so many different types of stakeholders that you work with in a city strategy, right? It could be everything from a real estate developer to a young creative, to a mayor to a council member, and then it could be across the political spectrum, right. And in an urban issue that doesn't sort of split out as totally traditional liberal conservative ideas. A lot of times it could be you, you build those interesting coalition's and so all of that said, I think, you know, if I'm thinking about, if I'm thinking about skills that matter, one is obviously you got to be a student data and be a student research and understand how to think about research. And a lot of times, you know, I think a lot of us now and you know, particularly in my world, you know, what I love about that is I'm getting to work with urban economists who now are even smarter than me who have got better data skills than me. But I think one of the things to be successful is not be able just to have the data skills, but to understand and be able to interpret data and research. So being able to use research, I think is key. I think secondly, being able to think about in the city, city development space, coalition building is so so important, in particularly because cities are so divided now, right, between rich and poor business and in business and community based organizations, you know, you know, different types of city council members or mayors or officials are perspectives on things and so any any good city strategist has to be a coalition builder and has to be able to think about how you can see different points of views and try to build shared value between those between those coalition's that is, for me, probably one of probably the most one of the most important skills, it's probably more for me, actually more important than sort of the research skills. I think coalition building is super, super important. Again, extremely now because we're such living in a charge time. You know, more importantly, now, you know, I think you've got an more educated public who wants to understand changes to theirs. Cities and may have differing opinions. And so you as a strategist have to be able to pull those folks together to get to some shared value. And then the final thing I think, is that any city strategist or any good city strategist has to be a really good storyteller. You have to be able to create, you have to be able to create a narrative, you have to be able to create a voice behind the work that you're doing, where, again, individuals and representatives of the community can start to see themselves within that strategy. So you know, storytelling in the way we communicate ideas, is super important. And that's communicating from the work that you're doing and how you're doing it to also sort of the impact that you're having. So you know, so to summarize that, that you got to be, you know, smart data and smart research and be able to take the data and research and turn that to strategy. That's key coalition building and building out those relationships and thinking about how you can get people around this table, to see, you know, to see the common good between each other. And then finally, once you've been able to do those two things, being able to communicate that that message effectively, is, is so important. And I think that's one of the things that a lot of times even as entrepreneurs or academics or as business leaders, we don't do, we don't spend enough time thinking about the product of the end. And the product of the and a lot of times has to have a good story and a good message to it to make sure that it resonates and gets the buy in and impact that it's going to have.

Roy Sharples:

Yeah, never underestimate the importance of a good story. And that storytelling is the language that unites the world. It brings us together, it helps us understand our past and reach the future. And a well told story engages the mind, heart and soul. So as you reflect upon your career to date, what are your lessons learned in terms of the pitfalls to avoid, and the keys to success that you can share with existing, but also aspiring city strategists?

Steven W. Pedigo:

I think the first thing because being a city strategist for me is that you have to be somewhat flexible, right there. This is not a direct linear career path by any means, right. And as I tell students, a lot of times when you think about cities, cities, you know, in the issues that cities face, and the roles that cities face, you kind of think about it, as you know, is a buffet of ideas out there and a buffet of opportunities out there, you have to pick and choose and try a lot of different things on to find out the issue, to find out what you're interested in what your passion is, right. So that could be maybe you're very passionate about climate, or you're passionate about transit, or you're passionate about housing, or just, you know, job creation, you know, I think it's important to try a lot of different ideas on to understand to really find your passion, because the field of city strategy is really, really quite large. You know, and I think then once you find that passion, you know, you know, becoming even more skilled and more X, you know, even more skills and building a deeper expertise in that area is central, super, super important. This is this base that like a lot of places have changed over time, right in terms of in terms of in terms of what the work looks like. So that that constant learning is an important piece of that. And I think that's a pitfall that a lot of city strategist or urban strategist do is that it's been a long time in one community are longtime on one roll, they don't sort of improve skills they don't pursue, they don't think about perspective, in terms of how that how the field has changed around them. And so being aware of how the how the roles and the cont, how the roles are changing around you, but also how the issues are changing around you. It's super, super important. So that to me, is I think that that's one is that sort of, you know, try a lot of ideas out, figure out the right one, once you've got that expertise and interest, but being able to, to evolve with it over time as important. You know, for me, like, I would say one of the things that that that has always been really well, I think the thing that's been the most consequential thing for me in my life, you know, in my life, my professional career is just mentorship. You know, I think having good mentors from you know, it's not about the degrees that you get at universities or the client, the types of clients you work with, but it's it that mentorship that you build along the way. And so for me, I've been lucky enough to have really great mentors in my life, you know, rich Porter and Mike Porter, you know, other folks that I've worked with, that have been able to, you know, not only sort of provide different perspective and expertise and challenge my ideas, but offer some advice to me along the way. And so I think that mentorship is important, and then also just being able to provide that mentor chip back. So the thing that I think has made my career Enriching is that is is being able to coach and work with other young strategist or folks that are really cares about cities. That to me is provided a richness and in fact, I probably get as much out of that as my mentees do in terms of that work today. That constant, that constant mentorship is really important. And then the other thing I would say about mentorship, which I think a lot of times that we don't think enough about is understanding when it's time to you know, in a sense, divorce a mentor move on to another mentor I don't I think divorce is probably a bad but a lot of times right. You know and I just recently went through this my own self right. As you know, not that I divorced my mentor, but understand, you know, I've had an mentor who, again was really, really influential in my life continuing to do work with was doing work with him and his company and decided that, you know, it was probably time for me to kind of take a break and since it's not that it was bad, bad advice, but it was advice where it's time just to sort of seek some fresh air and a different perspective. And so you know, I think a lot of times we build these mentorships and we keep them and we nurture them, but we don't also a lot of times evaluate them to say Are we still getting the right types of experiences out of them and is it time for a different to bring different perspectives in there so you know, for me like I that is that is the thing that for that I continually am always doing is thinking about that mentor ship and then finally, man, I mean, network building. I think the thing that for me and Roy you probably noticed this when you were asked me to do this podcast I am Mister yes to everything that served me well. It's also can be detrimental to a lot of things I do as well. But generally speaking, like I try to be Mr. Yes, I try to say yes to as much as I can. Just to bring different different opportunities, my way meet different people do me different strangers, you know, go different places. And so, you know, saying, you know, being, you know, not so having some flex in my schedule, have you so flex in my week where I know, I'm going to do things like this and other things that are going to push me a little bit there, maybe outside my traditional work, you know, traditional work banner, my traditional comfort zone, super important. So, you know, again, I you know, so I think you know, having a passion, mentorship and constant evaluation of that understanding when you gotta find someone else and bring someone else in and then finally just, you know, say yes, right. I think that's, that's really up to us. I think too much of us now we've become so damn focused on, you know, our time and thinking that we're so important to the world, we say no to anything. So, so do more and say, Yes!

Roy Sharples:

I think fair point, it's key to remain a hub within the system, where goodness gravitates towards, and that networking is about giving, not taking, and that somewhere across time, goodness boomerangs from the positive karma, and energy you provide to others, you made a salient point about complacency, not staying in the same role and world for too long, and having an antenna to detect what's next. And when to move to avoid diminishing returns. That's a golden rule, to avoid the deadly sin of complacency. And the importance of being able to, to be aware and resilient by constantly keeping perspective evolving, and innovating rather than self destructing through excess and become victims of your success by cultivating destructive habits and complacency or time, and the future will inevitably leave you behind.

Steven W. Pedigo:

Yeah, I mean, that's a tough piece, right? I mean, this, this sort of the idea of knowing when to make an exit is so important, right now, knowing when the lights have went out, and it's time to go do something else. Right. I think that's so super important. In our world today, and particularly, I think, just a route for me, like, you know, it sounds hard. I mean, you kind of get a sense of the way I kind of think about I think about social capitalism, Brian, I mean, social capitalism, for me is evolving. You know, I always think about my husband and I have very different views on social capitalism, right? He is a guy who has three or four deep mentorships relationships that are extremely deep. And I am always I'm sort of a different, I'm sort of what Putman would call a weak ties type of guy, right? In and out of my, you know, in and out, always evaluating relationships, thinking about how they, what am I giving, what are we getting, and how those relationships over evolve over time. For a lot of people. That doesn't work, because it can feel ambiguous, ambiguous, it can feel, you know, sometimes it can feel a little bit lonely, you know, at times, I think, if you're, if you're accustomed to having that sort of comfort blanket around, you have deep relationships. Yeah. But I think for creatives, particularly that that's that, that where ideas are sparked by interactions and ideas are sparked by that sort of, you know, that friction of different people around you, that that approach, that kind of thinking about mentorship in social capitalism, for me has been super important to the work that I've done

Roy Sharples:

Navigating the future, what's your vision for the future of cities and the role of creativity based on social, economic, political, and technological forces that are driving change, such as climate, biodiversity, the ecosystems, artificial intelligence, and creative practice?

Steven W. Pedigo:

The future of cities is dependent upon addressing the challenges in our doorstep now, right. And those are definitely the calls for social justice and equity. But figuring out the right I mean, I say that so that's for me that that's one right figure out your social justice and equity but, but figuring out the right way to do it, and that's to say that when you look at The practice of city development now, you know, there's, there's been a lot of sort of throwing out different ways of doing city building for instead of new sort of, quote, unquote, and I'm putting air quotes around this more sort of inclusive ways to do it. And I'm not sure all that works, right, I think you still have to look to some of the past that you've the way that we approach things in the past and evaluate that as we go along. So the cost of social justice for me, and I say that because as someone that's done urban development for nearly for over 20 years now, I was talking about, you know, telling my students this last night and in class is that when I was a young graduate student, we weren't talking about the role of social equity and inclusion, at the forefront of development. You know, Florida had wrote in the, in the rise of the creative class, we talked, we talked to surface levels, about tolerance and diversity. But now, these issues are very much baked into the way that we think about the future of cities. And so I think that will, that will continue to be forward. And those are real big issues, those are huge issues to solve, right. And you've got to think about upward mobility for all your resonance and all, all your enterprises or the divides and cities gets further and further apart. And what you essentially see is the the tearing of that sort of public sphere in public favour. So you know, fulfilling that promise, I think, are trying to achieve that promise, I think it's important, that's one issue, I think we see going forward, and the cities that do that, right will be the ones that are the most competitive going forward, right, those are the places that will thrive, the other places will essentially, you know, not not be as successful. Secondly, I think climate and climate justice is so super important to the work that that that is going to go forward. And particularly, you know, it will touch everything, by the way that we think about job creation, wealth, creation, city development, the way you and I connect, and community, all that all those types of things. And so I think that that will play a really, really big role. But then finally, you know, I think the other thing I think, is just fundamentally not forgetting the fundamentals of urban development, the fundamentals of cities, and this kind of gets back to the first thing that we said at the beginning of our call, or for our discussion, and that is, you know, a lot of us think that technology is the answer and technologies that, you know, technology's allowing you and I to talk today, and it's the way you know, it's going to be added in the future, you know, you know, you know, AV technology, etc, etc, etc. But the reality is that, at the end of the day, studies are still fitness, physical manifestations of people. And so the future of cities really relies on us trying to make cities as livable and as equitable as possible to bring people together. And so I think going forward, we're really going to have to, you know, it's it may be not throwing out all of the not not all throwing out all the old with all the new, in fact, some of the old ways of thinking about community building development, you know, you know, ways of imagining social capital will be really important to the idea of how cities look in the future.

Roy Sharples:

Which cities should we keep an eye on, as the poster children for modern urban planning, and city strategy?

Steven W. Pedigo:

There's no city across the world that gets it all right, right, their cities, they get pieces of it, right. And are doing, you know, innovative things that are that I think, inspire, you know, creativity. And, you know, I think that the impact of the pandemic has obviously had will shape this, you know, if you and I were listening to this conversation a year from now, you know, everything we talked about today, and there's ones that are doing right or wrong could be completely different given the role of the pandemic, right. But generally speaking, I think I, you know, I continue to be really bullish on some of the second tier cities in the US, I think that the migration of city people out of places like New York and some of the larger California metros are are are happening for lots of reasons, affordability, and etc, etc, etc. And so, I think that, to me, is kind of exciting the rebirth of places, you know, the rebirth of some of our second tier cities and the rebirth of some of not rebirth, but some of the continued growth of some of these, you know, the places like Ryan Airmen, Austin or Tulsa, or Nashville, or some of that, you know, those places where have that ethos of a history of creativity, and now we're sort of seeing a new generation of that, right. I think those are places to think about, you know, I still, I'm still excited about, you know, cities like Mexico City. And when Osiris and others across the global South, I think those places are, will continue to be really innovative in the way that they think about innovation. And in particularly, the thing I love about those those those places, is that there's always been thought to how there's always such a level of creativity and entrepreneurship in those cities that I don't think you see a lot of other places, right. So there's always this idea in my mind in terms of in terms of that. And then look, I think, then, you know, the livability of many of the cities in Europe will continue to be appealing. I think, the dynamics of the way that the way the sort of social compact plays out as we look across Europe is going to be continued interests. You know, the places where the cities of the future like the devise of the world, you know, the cities in Saudi Arabia and other places, those close cities. You know, I think a lot of urbanists, and a lot of sexy urbanists would say, those are the cities of the future. And yes, they're super sexy, right, this stuff, the, you know, the development. But the question, I think it comes back to your point earlier Royer, those two cities that are really allowed, they sort of keep their soul and authenticity. And so, for me, the cities of the future the cities of look at are those places that really considerably put an effort towards in maintaining their character, their heritage, you know, their value, their authenticity, those are the places I think that that are going to be the places that come out on top.

Roy Sharples:

Creativity and innovation are vital for developing breakthrough solutions to the world's problems, and making societies more inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. A society that does not value creativity is closed and oppressed and tolerant of diversity and difference and unwilling to consider different ideas or opinions and solutions. How soon is the future? One thing for sure, is the future is unwritten and everything is possible! Do you want to learn more about how to create by frontiers by unleashing your creative power? Then consider getting CREATIVITY

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