Citizens and Cities : Citizens and Cities
19 EY and citizen-focused cities | 18 | EY and citizen-focused cities What citizens expect of city decision makers Citizens care about how their city evolves. They are concerned that, as the city grows and adapts to changing demands, it may lose the qualities they hold dear. They want city leaders who understand that and make decisions to uphold city values and qualities — and they want to be part of the decision- making process. 29% Leaders can betrusted to make sound financial decisions 40% City leadership is well considered and in good hands 76% I’minterested in keeping up to date and having an opinion on how my city evolves 31% City leadersare prepared to listen to their citizens 36% Major infrastructure projects are well managed Citizen collaboration Increasingly, citizens want to engage directly in community decision making. Citizens want to be part of the solution. But, they need a forum and the offer has to be presented as sincere. Small, practical measures, such as creating forums at times people can attend or providing online participation options, demonstrate that decision makers are genuinely interested in people’s opinions. Bold vision Despite loving their cities, our research shows that some citizens lack faith in current city leadership. People want leaders with the capacity to make future-focused, bold decisions. Leaders who will inspire and drive progress, who are accountable for investment decisions — and whose actions are not dictated by the short-term political agenda. If decision makers engage with citizens and deliver across the six qualities, cities will evolve and grow in a way that nurtures and supports the well-being of people who live in them. These cities will attract talent and investment that will drive innovation and economic prosperity. In turn, prosperous cities will be better able to look after their citizens, making them even more attractive — a virtuous circle. Citizens can support change, while being passionate about preserving what is best about their city now. They will support large-expenditure projects and are more likely to be tolerant of change and disruption, if they understand the benefits. However, people are equally conscious of the competing demands on funds. They have a low tolerance for wasted funds through ill-conceived or badly managed projects.