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Sidebar: G.B. Arrington’s Top 5 Tips for Smart Cities

September 22, 2009

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    G.B. Arrington B.A. ’72

Create a vision and stick with it. “If you think about Portland, you’ll find this is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the city’s success.”

Trend is not destiny (a phrase borrowed from iconic urban historian Lewis Mumford). “There are lots of broken places. Just because your place doesn’t work today doesn’t mean you can’t work to make it better tomorrow.”

Leverage the power of partnerships. “No single individual or agency has the sole power to make transformative change happen. The most successful places are the ones with lots of partnerships.”

Do demonstration projects. By taking smaller steps, cities can learn from their mistakes and avoid bigger ones. “You can change the world, but not all at once; you have to take the time. A string of small successes can add up.”

Design for the pedestrian. “All cities have pedestrians. If we want to wean our cities from their overdependence on the automobile–even if a great transit system is planned or in place–we need to design on the scale of walking.”

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