2016 Research Conference - Opening Session : Creating Sustainable, Livable, Forward-Compatible Cities for Economic Resilience

Keynote Speaker:

Gabe Klein, author, "Start-up City: Inspiring Private and Public Entrepreneurship, Getting Projects Done, and Having Fun" (2015)


  • Mayor Ardell Brede, City of Rochester
  • Mayor Chris Coleman, City of St. Paul
  • Anu Ramaswami, Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

Cities at different stages of development all grapple with managing the traditional challenges of transportation, infrastructure financing, housing, and environmental sustainability. These complexities are further compounded by rapidly changing modes of operation, new and disruptive technologies, and changing expectations and demands from citizens and business. What innovations are taking place in cities these days, and how can government, business, and nonprofit leaders utilize this wave of change to shape a quality of life that is improved and not compromised? How can they work together—instead of at cross-purposes?

Gabe Klein discussed the larger macro trends in society and address process innovation and governance. He also shared how city leaders are reorganizing their urban systems to be synergistic rather than at odds with one another and the cities’ goals. High-return public-private partnerships, active transportation, and enhanced public space projects all play a role in the ideal city of the future.

Following Klein’s presentation, a panel of experts shared perspectives on the implications for the future of transportation systems in Minnesota cities.

About the Speaker

Gabe Klein
Gabe Klein

Gabe Klein is the author of Start-Up City: Inspiring Private and Public Entrepreneurship, Getting Projects Done, and Having Fun (2015, Island Press). In previous positions, Klein led the Chicago and Washington, DC, transportation departments and served as vice president of Zipcar.