Leading Cities is a global review of the state of city leadership and urban governance today. Drawing on research into 202 cities in 100 countries, the book provides a broad, international evidence base grounded in the experiences of all types of cities. It offers a scholarly but also practical assessment of how cities are led, what challenges their leaders face, and the ways in which this leadership is increasingly connected to global affairs.
Arguing that effective leadership is not just something created by an individual, Elizabeth Rapoport, Michele Acuto and Leonora Grcheva focus on three elements of city leadership: leaders, the structures and institutions that underpin them, and the tools used to drive change. Each of these elements are examined in turn, as are the major urban policy issues that leaders confront today on the ground. The book also takes a deep dive into one particular example of tool or instrument of city leadership – the strategic urban plan.
Municipal leadership in Kansas City centers on the nonpartisan principle & the council-manager plan. Unlike many other cities with nonpartisan requirements, Kansas City has produced a nonpartisan system that has proved workable over a 20-yr period. But continuance depends on the viability of the Citizens Assoc, a nonpartisan - or bipartisan - group which has dominated Kansas City pot from its inception in 1941 to the present time, with a 4-yr break from 1959-1963. The Assoc has experienced some difficulty in keeping its leadership vital & in maintaining a sufficiently broad base to permit participation by the diverse elements of the community. The leadership responsibility of the Assoc, resumed in 1963, is of major importance in maintaining a stable source of power. Also, relations between the mayor & the manager are crucial, as experiences in the immediate past have shown. Under present arrangements, official & private groups are co-operating in achieving public objectives. A new sophistication is now being demanded of those to whom the manager is accountable. AA.