'Small bets' can keep a city healthy, expert says


Staff member
By Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Building small incremental projects in a city that is guided by grassroots needs rather than big projects built all at once can help a community maintain a good balance sheet, says a municipal expert.
Daniel Herriges, a senior editor for Strong Towns, a non-profit group that advocates for more sustainable development, said cities need to build incrementally to fund their needs without falling into a situation where they can’t afford to maintain their infrastructure.
“You adopt a strategy of incrementalism, where instead of doing things at a huge scale to a finished state, you look for what is the next best thing that we can do to meet a need to improve the quality of life in the community to respond to our residents' urgent struggles,” Herriges said.
“What is the next smallest thing we can do?”
Needs must bubble up from the bottom and a city must to listen to its residents, Herriges said, instead of the municipality acting as the implementation arm of the provincial or federal government.
Many municipalities across North America are facing a financing gap. Many can't afford their repair, maintenance, and...continued.

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