Citizens helping shape Fargo’s future with GO2030

Thanks to all the folks that have been sharing their ideas and dreams for Fargo’s future in our GO2030 planningto help keep Fargo improving. It’s interesting to see all the energy and thought put into the ideas generated so far.  This editorial is a good synopsis of many of the items that are high priorities to the residents young and old that are weighing in to help make Fargo an even more vibrant, healthy, attractive, efficient and affordable city where people want to live, work, learn and play.

As mid-sized cities go, Fargo is managed very well. It is (as they used to say about Chicago) a city that works. The city’s leadership for the past 25 years or so has been mostly enlightened and visionary in its handling of the city’s steady growth. Rapid and historic changes in both the city’s population mix and economic base have been integrated into Fargo’s overall formula for success. Hardly a month goes by when some national assessment puts Fargo as one of the best places in the nation in which to live and work. As mid-sized cities go, Fargo is managed very well. It is (as they used to say about Chicago) a city that works.

The city’s leadership for the past 25 years or so has been mostly enlightened and visionary in its handling of the city’s steady growth. Rapid and historic changes in both the city’s population mix and economic base have been integrated into Fargo’s overall formula for success. Hardly a month goes by when some national assessment puts Fargo as one of the best places in the nation in which to live and work.

So it is heartening, but no real surprise, that Fargo leaders and planners are building a comprehensive plan that looks to the future – to at least 2030, to be precise. Meetings are under way by which residents can participate in the process. A framework of forward-looking ideas and concepts will be filled in with pragmatic strategies. Realistic goals will be set. Progressive urban planning initiatives will lead Fargo into a future brighter than its clearly bright recent past.

The 2030 outlook comports nicely with the way Fargo’s leaders and involved residents raised the city’s standards. Enhancing “quality of life” encompasses nearly everything a city must do to remain competitive and appealing. Fargo has measured up well and looks to do even better.

For example, Fargo is a national leader in the green revolution. The city, mostly because of the focus of City Commissioner Mike Williams, has quietly and effectively stressed renewable energy in everything from the bus system to the way the landfill is managed.

The city has embraced facilities and activities that promote a healthy lifestyle, and thus a healthy population. Residents want more walking and bicycle trails. They want more access to the natural environments along the urban Red River. Given the weather, they see a need for indoor gathering places, such as a water park or recreation center. While they understand the flooding caused by the Red River, they want to use the river as a resource for festivals, farmers markets and other outdoor events.

Among priorities: finding ways to better manage the city’s growth by blending neighborhoods and filling in already established developments rather than promoting urban sprawl. An urban environment that is people-centered and neighborhood friendly is appealing, not only to homeowners, but also to businesses. A well-managed, safe, (relatively) low-tax city will attract businesses. Fargo has demonstrated that it indeed is a place where businesses and industry of all kinds can thrive.

The ongoing planning process continues the city’s determination to accommodate growth and change before they become unmanageable. No city gets it right all the time. Fargo has made its share of mistakes. But the missteps are the exceptions in a city that knows how to manage growth, serve its people and adopt the newest and best urban practices. ~ End Article~

Avatar of Mike Williams

About Mike Williams

Name: Mike Williams Location: Fargo, North Dakota Website: http://www.electwilliams.com Occupation: Risk Manager Family Mutual Insurance Fargo City Commissioner since 2004, re-elected in 2008 and 2012 About Me: I'm a pragmatic optimist that's grateful for all the wonderful people in my life
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