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Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Introduction. Why Should You Care about Getting Sh*t Done in Cities?

Abstract
Today's city leaders and managers face a complex web of regulatory hurdles, struggles for disparate stakeholder buy-in, risk- averse management (or politics), and funding shortages. Local governments often get the short end of the stick when budgets are slashed, even as they bear the brunt of the blame when local constituents see their services cut and their infrastructure crumble. More than ever, cities are charged with carrying out national-level policies and are expected to be at the forefront of our response to climate change, housing inequality, and public health. At the same time, most city government agencies are perennially understaffed and impeded by cumbersome, often counterproductive regulations. Seemingly insurmountable frustrations are everywhere, but you can make change in spite of these realities. If you are willing to go against the tide and follow some basic lessons in goal setting, experimentation, change management, financial innovation, and communication, you can get sh*t done in cities. Whether in a startup or a complex government agency, the same basic rules of management and communication apply.
Gabe Klein

Lesson #1. Don’t Be Afraid to Screw Up and Learn

Abstract
When I was announced as director early on New Year’s Eve at the DDOT headquarters with the mayor and D.C. press present, it seemed as if the whole of the agency was standing on the balconies overlooking the atrium. Even as I gave my opening speech, I could sense the skepticism amongst some in the crowd of transportation employees. Who was this smart aleck from the private sector they’d brought in to shake things up? Why did things need to change?
Gabe Klein

Lesson #2. Manage S.M.A.R.T.

Abstract
In my twenties, when I was a manager at Bikes USA, one of the nation’s largest bike retailers, I had a great mentor named Casey Willson. Casey was vice president for human resources and, by all accounts, he was a fascinating character. He had an MBA and had worked in the Republican Party while teaching business classes in the early 1980s. But he was also a daily tai chi practitioner who had lived in Asia and rode his bike everyday to our offices in Alexandria from his condo in Washington, D.C.
Gabe Klein

Lesson #3. Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

Abstract
Thus far, we have talked about the building blocks of good management, those challenges of working in cities, and how to begin to overcome the challenges. Now comes the most strategic bit: How do you come into a complex environment and set up the pins quickly to bowl a strike almost every time? To illustrate how to come into a new role, quickly assess your budget and stakeholders, and find opportunities where others saw red tape, I want to share the story of Chicago’s Riverwalk.
Gabe Klein

Lesson #4. Sell Your City

Abstract
As a kid and then as a young adult working in my dad's retail bicycle stores, I was obsessed with the front window displays. Every week, I went out of my way to reorganize the layout of our stores to ensure that regular customers were greeted with novel product lines and new merchandise that we were ordering to keep the experience of visiting fresh. I started assembling group rides for enthusiasts and even sponsored a race team to deepen our ties to the weekend warriors who regularly patronized the shops. From a young age, I found a creative niche in business by linking great products and services with a sensitivity to our customers' lifestyle ideals and preferences.
Gabe Klein

Lesson #5. Fund Creatively

Abstract
You can have the best ideas, the most beautiful plans, and your stakeholder buy-in all lined up, but if you can't figure out a way ultimately to fund your ambitious projects, then it's all for naught in my book. Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying that you have to know your funding source for every project when you start out—quite the opposite. Almost no businesses would get off the ground if this were the case. The Chicago Riverwalk project is a great example of this. We had a vision, and we knew that we could find the money if the conceptual design grabbed and excited our stakeholders, but we didn't have our funding figured out at the start. To be honest, we really didn't have a funding plan at all. But our team within CDOT, our CFO's office, and our federal government relations team in D.C. worked together and figured out an innovative public-private financing scheme to make the project happen. I have never had to stop an initiative (that I can remember) because of a dead end on funding—from my food truck company, to car leases at Zipcar, to Chicago's $365-million 11th Street bridges, two bike-share programs, the Bloomingdale Trail, one hundred miles of bike lanes, and on and on. There is a way to go about assessing your financial levers once you enter an organization, then creatively figuring out how to fund your initiatives.
Gabe Klein

Lesson #6. Bridge the Public-Private Divide

Abstract
On August 13, 2014, the City of Boston held a public hearing on a controversial new mobile application called Haystack. Haystack, an on-demand parking application modeled on Uber, had launched in Boston only twelve days before at a lavish party described by one journalist as something out of the HBO sitcom Silicon Valley. The twenty-four-year-old CEO Eric Meyer found himself at odds over the app with City of Boston legislators within a matter of days. He struggled to refute accusations that the app was profiting off public space, as opposed to selling “information” about parking space availability. At the hearing for legislation banning the app, Meyer warned the city that “to prohibit the app would be a signal from the city against innovation,” calling the decision “ominous” for young entrepreneurs such as himself involved in the city’s nascent tech scene.
Gabe Klein

Lesson #7. Prepare for Disruption

Abstract
Over the past decade, smartphones and Internet services have enabled the reinvention of old-line businesses and made them comprehensively more efficient and frictionless for consumers, as well as more profitable. The mobile phone has completely revolutionized our way of life by allowing us to cut the cord, and in the process has generated new business models that are transforming the economy of our cities. In Washington, D.C., for instance, you can now pay for parking via the ParkMobile smartphone application, rather than by putting quarters in a too-often malfunctioning mechanical meter. Residents can apply for any city public-space permit to occupy the curbside using the new TOPS online system, as opposed to spending hours in line in a dreary waiting room. New services such as these offer both cities and their citizens some basic solutions to problems that have long seemed intractable.
Gabe Klein

Lesson #8. Drive Change

Abstract
In the beginning of this book, I discussed my reasons for wanting to undertake this work and the imperative for public and private interests to find common ground for the sake of a better future. Much of the discussion that followed has focused on my own personal anecdotes from experience on both sides of this divide. In the last section of the book, I want to shift gears and look forward to talk about the immense changes that are coming, and how you can apply what we have discussed thus far to an unpredictable and fast-moving future. Let's start by looking at what is perhaps the greatest challenge and most exciting innovation that cities will face in the coming decades: the advent of self-driving and connected vehicles.
Gabe Klein

Backmatter

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