Sky Lifts: The Future of Tampa Transportation?

Why could an urban gondola system be the solution to our transportation woes?  Well, I’ve said before that transportation isn’t our #1 problem in Tampa; it’s the #1 effect of our #1 problem.  Our #1 problem, put quite simply, is that we don’t know what we want to be as a city when we grow up.  We don’t have an identity or a sole reputation that is recognized worldwide.  In fact, it’s not even known inside of our city! But every city of influence – every city with a powerful economy – is known for something.  And it’s usually one thing.

The Rooftop City

If you try to be all things to all people, you will end up being nothing to anyone. While grammatically questionable, the message is dead on. If you think of successful brands, they don’t try to appeal to everyone in the world, yet they have world-wide success. A city is no different. In fact, if you look at every city of influence you’ll discover that they are each typically known for one powerful concept.

Issue: Public Safety

The single highest priority of the Mayor is ensuring the safety of his or her citizens. This starts with first-class police, fire, & rescue. Check! That doesn’t mean we can’t do better, and we will. And it can start by taking active steps to improve the relations between our police force and minorities. We shouldn’t settle for anything less than a 100% approval rating from the citizens of our great city. Impossible? Maybe. But worthy of pursuit? Definitely. Community outreach, subconscious bias sensitivity training, de-escalation training, and more police on feet and bikes over squad cars.

Issue: Innovation

Innovation isn’t a box you check off and say, “Done!” And too many people confuse innovation with technology, thinking that if they focus on the latest gadgets that means they are innovative. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, new technologies are developed every day that aren’t particularly innovative. They are just copies of old tech with shinier boxes.

Innovation is about making things better. And in the process, if you can use technology to enhance that innovation, then all the better for you. It’s important that we have a Mayor who understands this subtle distinction otherwise you will have someone in office who simply throws money toward hi-tech systems and gadgets without analyzing whether or not the technology will make the current system function better. A truly innovative Mayor will first seek to make something better, before throwing money toward building a brand new technology.