What can small cities learn from each other?
This was the question Andy Cutler answered when he created the Smaller Cities Unite program. Cutler is the driving force behind a movement to connect smaller cities throughout the world.
Thomas Buell, director of marketing at Global Pittsburgh, believes that Cutler’s program can also improve the sister city program that Pittsburgh has with several cities.
One way that the Smaller Cities Unite program can help Pittsburgh, Providence, and other smaller cities is by helping these cities focus on their strengths.
“If you look at a city like Pittsburgh there’s a tremendous amount of work being done in the area of robotics. If you look at a city like Providence there’s a tremendous amount of work being done in the area of design. That makes them world leaders respectively, regardless of their size; Pittsburgh being about 300,000 people and Providence being about 178,000 people. I think a big part of Smaller Cities Unite is really about emphasizing the fact that great things can happen in smaller places, not everything has to happen in New York, San Francisco, London or Tokyo.”
- Cities with complementary resources, assets, experiences, challenges and opportunities
- Cities that view what they DO well as “exportable”
- Cities with an underlying environment that fosters a desire to learn, teach and mentor
- Cities that seek substantive partnerships/relationships
- Cities that seek out active engagement by (and for) its citizenry
- Cities that are capable of leveraging closely-knit networks
- Cities that believe their platforms (and environments) for ideation and change can serve to help other locales (while nurturing new global ties)