Tom Murphy, the former Mayor of Pittsburgh was faced with a challenge – what to do with a polluted, run-down, economically disadvantaged downtown Pittsburgh. Going from abandoned steel mills to new mixed-use developments and thriving waterfront parks took time, creativity, and a strong private-public partnership.
This is just one example of a city repositioning itself for stronger growth. Murphy believes that cities must demonstrate they are innovating themselves in order to attract growing companies, establish the new employers, and then be able to expand housing, retail, and entertainment options in a way that will be financially viable.
Murphy asserts that the Twin Cities is at a turning point in its growth history, projected to add 400,000 people to the population over the next 10 years. The Twin Cities, Murphy believes, needs increased investment in research and development, specifically via the Mayo Clinic and U of M. According to residents of other US regions, Minnesota, despite having a thriving urban region, is still known as “cold” and for being the “home of the Mayo Clinic.” If the Twin Cities can capitalize on its medical and scientific facilities, this intentional effort could result in more companies springing up around the area, which will lead to increased venture capital investment.