Today, cities around the world are seen as the engines for sustainable economic growth. And more than ever before the growth that cities can achieve is strongly linked to their power to address social, environmental and economic issues in a holistic manner, whilst making the most of future opportunities. But the most pressing challenge for most cities, which we address in our "Making it happen" report, is how to make this happen and turn city visions into reality.
Our survey reveals that whilst most local governments would claim to have a reasonable knowledge and awareness of the issues and trends in their communities, in practice this may be more anecdotal than evidence based. Developing a clear vision and internal management capabilities allows a city to prioritise, invest in and strategically manage the building blocks or 'capitals' needed by any city for long-term prosperity - social, environmental, cultural, intellectual, infrastructural, ICT and political participation.
Behaviour is key to making a strategy happen. Leadership is the stand-out feature but leadership on its own is not enough. The delivery of positive outcomes from strategies can also only happen if employees and external stakeholders are engaged and if everyone knows their respective roles and responsibilities for implementing the strategy (documented in a comprehensive implementation plan).
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