It’s Milwaukee Time

SEPTEMBER 16, 2011 12:09 AM| no comments

So as you know we’re in Milwaukee this week for the ICMA’s  97th Annual Conference. I’ve never been to the city before so thought I’d do my homework. I knew it was the home to Harley Davidson and some great breweries but that was about it. Turns out it’s the US’s 28th largest city by population and has one of the highest per capita student populations in the country.

Now clearly Milwaukee has a proud industrial heritage. And walking through the city a lot of its history is very much in tact. But as with any industrial city it’s had its challenges as manufacturing takes up a smaller proportion of our GDP. But Milwaukee has also seen a cultural renaissance with the building of the new conference centre and the Riverwalk.

So what better place then to hold the conference?  All of the city managers gathering here this week have faced challenges over the past few years. And let’s be honest – continue to face them. Every community is focused on jobs and providing better services to its citizens against a backdrop of continuing economic uncertainty.

But don’t mistake that for doom and gloom. If you look around you’ll find a lot of innovative approaches to these issues that people in central government right around the world would do well to take notice of. So I’m really looking forward to the week. Time to interview lots of really interesting people, talk to old friends and meet some new ones. Not to mention the trip to the brewery! But what I’m looking forward to the most is the opportunity to witness this pioneering approach first hand.

Watch all our conference interviews and reports on www.icmatv.com.

Follow us on twitter @ICMATV and the conference using #icma11

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