|Cities on the Rebound: A Vision for Urban America
by William H. Hudnut III
A Book Review
This book is William Hudnuts vision for cities of the future. Describing himself as "practitioner of the game of politics and the art of "cityship" - that is, partnership with stewardship of, citizenship in, the city," the former mayor of Indianapolis explores six challenges that face cities as they cope with a variety of changes: technological, economic, environmental, social, and political.
To achieve Hudnuts vision cities must: 1)have vigorous, visionary civic and political leadership 2) welcome the information age while providing ways for people to come together 3) develop collaborative strategies so as to find strength in diversity, partnership and citizen participation in the community-building process 4) think and act globally, regionally and locally 5) deliver services efficiently and cope effectively with urban problems such as security, education, housing, transportation, infrastructure, and environmental degradation 6) limit "bad" sprawl, create vibrant central city, and promote smart growth.
Hudnut provides a description of where cities are in his vision, while also providing specific policy directions cities can adopt to become more vibrant and dynamic places. In meeting the challenges, Hudnut says that there already exists examples of vigorous and visionary leaders, both civic and political. These leaders (several mayors are cited) are making a difference by creating positive change. With respect to the challenge of the information age, Hudnut says that cities must find ways to keep people connected. This is important, the author says, because people are socially disconnected while being electronically connected in the information age. One way to connect people, Hudnut explains, is to make use of urban entertainment districts (large-scale urban redevelopment projects, shopping centers, residential towers, cultural facilities, and resorts). The book covers a number of other issue areas of interest to mayors, including Brownfields,which he says can be cleaned up and recycled.
This is a wonderful book that mayors and civic leaders will use as a guide for thinking about and developing their cities for the future. Hudnut has thought deeply and created a vision for Urban America that will serve the nation well into the 21st century.