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5 Signs A City Will Succeed (And How Jacksonville Scores)

construction site
Modern Cities
Construction was underway on the Lofts at LaVilla apartments in the summer of 2017.

City leaders’ staying out of national politics could help Jacksonville flourish.  That’s one of the tips for successful cities coming out of a recent conference in Georgia.

Ennis Davis with The Jaxson attended a presentation there by Atlantic editor James Fallows, who adapted this piece for the Historic Macon Foundation’s Revolving Fund Summit.

He came back with these five takeaways for city leaders:

  1. Don’t let tribal politics determine your city’s future. Davis said both Burlington, Vermont, and Greenville, South Carolina—representing opposite ends of the political spectrum— have successfully stayed out of partisan politics while visioning their way forward.
  2. Have a clear concept of what your city has been in the past and what you want it be— again, without clinging to politics. Davis said this clear, unified vision is what Jacksonville lacks most.
  3. Make the “American Dream” feel accessible for ALL residents — quite a heavy lift.
  4. Lean on a local research university, or at least a creative state college, to help with development. Davis said Florida State College at Jacksonville has stepped up in this regard. For example, it’s putting dorms downtown where vacant buildings stood before.
  5. Encourage the craft beer industry. Davis said this is one area Jacksonville can cross off its list.

Read the whole piece by James Fallows here.

Ennis Davis is cofounder of Modern Cities.

Contact Jessica Palombo at 904-358-6315, jpalombo@wjct.org or on Twitter at @JessicaPubRadio.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP