Citizens are increasingly looking for an environment in which they and their families can thrive and live happily, and municipalities are well aware of this.
In fact, elected officials monitor happiness index surveys in their municipalities. These surveys are a source of pride when the rankings are favourable and an asset in attracting new citizens to a municipality’s territory.
There is a trend in municipal and regional circles of promoting the attractiveness of a region in order to create wealth. Additionally, there is definitely a certain competitiveness in order to attract residents, businesses, merchants and tourists and it requires municipalities to reinvent themselves and find innovative ways to develop their service offering and territory.
Here are a few findings about cultural and demographic changes:
- Today’s citizens are complex, varied, changing and in constant movement: demographic changes, fragmented lifestyles and new cultural communities require extensive social cohesion and a diversified service offering.
- Citizens are looking for an environment that will allow them to respect the environment: active mobility and properly developed public transit, respect for green spaces, etc.
- Citizens want to be able to work and have accessible services and businesses nearby.
- Businesses are increasingly sensitive to the quality of the living environment for their employees when they are looking for a new location.
- For both citizens and businesses, it is important to have accessible, efficient and effective services and communications with their municipality and the various stakeholders.
Municipalities must therefore take these factors into consideration when reflecting on urban development and solutions to meet their citizens’ needs.
An environment in line with the new needs
Citizens have a vision that is constantly evolving. New requirements include the environment as a living space, ecological awareness and improved, accessible transportation.
Municipalities need to have a clear vision of the environment they want to offer their citizens in the coming decades. A vision for the environment and transportation, and creating or redesigning neighbourhoods are but some of the many challenges and options to become the city of tomorrow as their citizens envision it.
A lively and interactive public space
Increasingly, citizens want a vibrant public space for community and cultural activities. Living in their city or region must be an enjoyable and dynamic experience that, in turn, tourists can also benefit from.
Infrastructure is a major issue; however, it is important to see its renewal as an opportunity to reinvent the city and create public spaces that are inclusive and unifying, coupled with adequate entertainment, recreational and cultural opportunities in order to build a thriving living environment.
A creative and healthy economy
Although people may find a region and living environment appealing, they will always consider the economic vitality of the municipality and surrounding area when choosing a place to live.
Municipalities need to support local job creation initiatives and innovations. They must be attentive to and anticipate the demand to develop an offering the meets these new needs.
Constant interaction between citizens and elected officials
Today’s citizens want to be involved in their municipality’s development. We are witnessing a lifestyle disruption like never before. Increasingly mobile, they want to be informed at all times.
The municipality must have an attractive brand image and the ability to be accessible through digital communication channels. It must use every means available to reach out to citizens and involve them in decisions.
Synergy among all the stakeholders for the common good
It is essential to work together to meet the needs of citizens who want efforts to be pooled to achieve the same objective. Now, more than ever, consultation and interaction between the various stakeholders (elected officials, partners, citizens, organizations, etc.) are crucial.
It is in a municipality’ interest to adapt to the constant changes in its citizens’ expectations and needs, while combining its efforts to enhance its territory’s attractiveness by implementing the various mechanisms at its disposal. Municipalities that have already taken measures to showcase their attractiveness will most likely be able to reap the benefits of their efforts; for the others, a precise action plan will have to be drawn up in order to meet their objectives and preserve their appeal. Our experts can help you achieve these objectives.
05 Mar 2019 | Written by :