How to make a city great
Comment of the Day

September 12 2013

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

How to make a city great

Thanks to a subscriber for this report from McKinsey which may be of interest to subscribers. The full report is posted in the Subscriber's Area without further comment but here is a section
No city vision is likely to be realized without a culture of accountability that holds individuals responsible for progress toward it. First cities need plans that map the way forward, with metrics to gauge progress. After the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Tokyo revised a previous ten-year plan with new objectives to improve disaster management and international competitiveness. To meet these objectives it set quantifiable goals such as completing seismic assessments of all elementary and middle schools, developing 741 more acres (300 hectares) of green space, and using business incentives to attract 500 additional foreign companies to Tokyo by 2016.

Performance management systems help achieve such goals and can bring about a culture of accountability at all levels. Minneapolis has developed a progress called Results Minneapolis, whereby each department head is assigned a series of metrics and targets he or she is responsible for achieving. A senior team then meets with a different department head each week to track progress, discuss strategies, and identify areas where the city is performing well and where there are opportunities for improvement. The information is also published online, allowing residents to track performance.
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