Duluth Life Duluth Life Spring 2017 : Page 3

Letter from the MAYOR past the age of 65 and experience several careers during their lifetime. Interestingly the Millennial and Generation X workforce is now the largest number of employees working in the United States. This group of young professionals bring new ideas and trends to the work place placing new demands on the professional culture. The current “ on demand” approach to retail and professional services require specific skills in todays working class. Technological efficiency is making the average labor job a memory, replacing it with the need to hire talent that can adapt and learn new skills quickly. The typical 9 -5 jobs are slowly declining in favor of contract jobs that allow anyone to work anywhere in the world. The National Association of Realtors says an increase in “live-work-play” lifestyle is a trend that will continue to demand a walkable lifestyle allowing people to work at nearby coffee shops, home offices and shared work spaces. Are We Winning THE FUTURE? For some people, talking about the future brings visualizations of space ships, storm troopers and galaxy travel. No doubt this type of exploration is part of our future, but let’s focus on the future of a mid-sized city, like Duluth, Georgia. The future of Duluth is important to all of us, so in order to “win the future” we must be aware of the key trends and possible disrupters that could effect the quest to keep Duluth a strong and vibrant city. If we are really going to look into the future we need to leave our comfort zone and be very knowledgable about new trends that are being ushered in by Millennials and the Generation X working class. During this age of disruptions, city leaders need to be nimble and ready to make quick decisions using intelligent technology. We don’t know what is coming, but we need to be prepared to react with confidence. Let’s take a look at three trends that are disrupting our thinking patterns and forcing progressive leaders to leave their comfort zone. TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS Another trend that is disrupting the typical city planners’ ideas of transportation projects is the painfully strong demand to provide multimodal access for everyone -all ages -24/7 -365 days a year. In the future the responsibility of transportation will be partnerships between private and public governments and will refocus bus systems to be more useful, attractive and accessible to all types of people. Did you know the average person’s car is unused 80% of the time? The idea of autonomous vehicles is already happening. The future promises to show us publicly accessible autonomous vehicle fleets making these new mobility models drive down the demand for private vehicle ownership while improving “last mile” connectivity to transit companies. Ride sharing becomes car sharing. Some futurists predict there is a really good chance that kids born today may never drive a car. CHANGES IN THE WORKFORCE The demographic face of the working class is changing and taking on several arms of identity. First, the aging population of baby boomers is growing and people are working longer than ever in history. With a long life expectancy, it is a common trend for adults to work 3

From The Mayor

Nancy Harris

Are We Winning THE FUTURE?

For some people, talking about the future brings visualizations of space ships, storm troopers and galaxy travel. No doubt this type of exploration is part of our future, but let’s focus on the future of a midsized city, like Duluth, Georgia. The future of Duluth is important to all of us, so in order to “win the future” we must be aware of the key trends and possible disrupters that could effect the quest to keep Duluth a strong and vibrant city.

If we are really going to look into the future we need to leave our comfort zone and be very knowledgable about new trends that are being ushered in by Millennials and the Generation X working class. During this age of disruptions, city leaders need to be nimble and ready to make quick decisions using intelligent technology. We don’t know what is coming, but we need to be prepared to react with confidence. Let’s take a look at three trends that are disrupting our thinking patterns and forcing progressive leaders to leave their comfort zone.

CHANGES IN THE WORKFORCE

The demographic face of the working class is changing and taking on several arms of identity. First, the aging population of baby boomers is growing and people are working longer than ever in history. With a long life expectancy, it is a common trend for adults to work past the age of 65 and experience several careers during their lifetime. Interestingly the Millennial and Generation X workforce is now the largest number of employees working in the United States. This group of young professionals bring new ideas and trends to the work place placing new demands on the professional culture.

The current “ on demand” approach to retail and professional services require specific skills in todays working class. Technological efficiency is making the average labor job a memory, replacing it with the need to hire talent that can adapt and learn new skills quickly. The typical 9 - 5 jobs are slowly declining in favor of contract jobs that allow anyone to work anywhere in the world. The National Association of Realtors says an increase in “live-work-play” lifestyle is a trend that will continue to demand a walkable lifestyle allowing people to work at nearby coffee shops, home offices and shared work spaces.

TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS

Another trend that is disrupting the typical city planners’ ideas of transportation projects is the painfully strong demand to provide multimodal access for everyone - all ages - 24/7 - 365 days a year. In the future the responsibility of transportation will be partnerships between private and public governments and will refocus bus systems to be more useful, attractive and accessible to all types of people.

Did you know the average person’s car is unused 80% of the time? The idea of autonomous vehicles is already happening. The future promises to show us publicly accessible autonomous vehicle fleets making these new mobility models drive down the demand for private vehicle ownership while improving “last mile” connectivity to transit companies. Ride sharing becomes car sharing. Some futurists predict there is a really good chance that kids born today may never drive a car.

SMART TECHNOLOGY

Roadway expansion will not be a focus of the near future because funding will be directed to improving quality of existing roads to accommodate the driverless cars. Funds will be directed towards transit services and expanding walking and bicycle options. All of these will be operated with smart technology that can adapt to peak use, weather conditions and any other spontaneous demands.

Fiber optic capabilities will be necessary to operate autonomous cars therefore the infrastructure to support this technology must be available. Traffic signals will need to communicate with autonomous vehicles. Will we need parking decks?

People can work anywhere in the world and people can live anywhere in the world. Duluth must be an attractive place that the talented and creative class will value as a city of their future. Feeling a little uncomfortable with these trends is forcing us to step out of our comfort zone in order to “win the future”.

Keep in Touch,
Nancy Harris

Read the full article at http://www.bluetoad.com/article/From+The+Mayor/2736940/392081/article.html.

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