CONTEH: How cities can navigate governance

Charles Conteh, an associate professor of public policy and management in Brock’s Department of Political Science, wrote a piece recently published in the St. Catharines Standard about how municipalities can manoeuvre through economic, social and environmental challenges to become smart and resilient communities.

Conteh writes:

Much has been said about the tidal waves of economic, social and environmental challenges sweeping across cities and regions of Canada and much of the post-industrial world. But it is worth noting that on the other side of these waves of change are exciting prospects and opportunities over the next couple of decades.

With every crisis comes an opportunity for self-reinvention and positive adaptation.

A quick overview of some of these challenges is in order. Yes, the quintessential headaches of providing hard and soft services such as public transit, policing, public health programs, social housing, child care, social assistance, water and sewage works are well known. Municipalities and regions have sadly become quite familiar with these challenges, even if they often feel like they are sitting under the sword of Damocles in trying to balance costs with ever increasing demands for state-of-the-art services.

No doubt, a vexing wrinkle in all of this is the undeniable fact that local revenue sources are shrinking and financial support from the federal and provincial governments is insufficient to confront the challenges.

Continue reading the full story here.

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