Cities For and By Everyone

December 3, 2018

Tami Door, President and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership serves as Chair of the International Downtown Association’s (IDA) Board of Directors. Tami offers her expertise in city building to members of IDA in her monthly News from the Top column.

Jane Jacobs once said, “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” It’s a quote we’ve all likely heard before; but today, perhaps more than ever, it is important that we are not only taking its meaning to heart but acting consciously on its sentiment.

Building inclusive, equitable cities is vital—and we, as city builders, have the unique platform to do just that. So how do we build cities for and by everyone?

As leaders of our organizations and in our cities, it is our responsibility to ensure that we are giving everyone the opportunity to have a voice in the conversation. To take our cities to the next level, we must convene a wide array of groups and people in thoughtful ways. We need to convene our neighboring districts and regional partners; minds from both public and private sectors; and community groups big and small to share ideas, develop plans and strengthen initiatives.

We need to challenge one another to be thoughtful about each and every move we make, from the bold plans to the small steps. It is our responsibility to work with our partners to find innovative solutions that address inclusivity: from attainable housing to transit-oriented development.

Access allows for opportunity. How are we providing accessible resources and opportunities that our underserved entrepreneurs and business owners need? Providing access to tools and mentorship helps us move our cities towards more diverse and equitable economies.

We need to ensure our cities are providing something for everybody. Let’s work together with our partners throughout our respective communities to ensure that we are all being thoughtful about inclusivity every step of the way.