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Guest on The Infra Blog: Richard. M. Daley, Former Mayor of Chicago

Posted by Steve Anderson on Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Richard M. Daley n The Infra BlogRichard M. Daley is currently Chairman of The Sustainability Exchange (TSE). Developed under Daley’s leadership, and informed by discussions with mayors nationwide, TSE unites cities in an innovative partnership for the adoption of best practices in sustainability and the delivery of measurable, data-driven results.

The longest-serving mayor in Chicago’s history, Richard M. Daley has earned an international reputation as a leading innovator in urban development, fiscal policy and government stewardship. Under his tenure, Chicago became a prominent player in the 21st century global economy, now ranking among the top economic centers and most influential cities worldwide. He pioneered a model of successful public-private partnerships that established Chicago as the benchmark for long-term sustainable urban growth and development. Daley also maintained a commitment to unifying mayors across the U.S. and the world to tackle the challenges confronting cities. He served as the 54th president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, organized the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative in 2003, and founded and chaired the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus for the Chicagoland region. Daley also hosted the Sino-U.S. Mayors Summit in 2007 for municipal leaders, the Mayor’s Hemispheric Forum in 2007 for municipal leaders across the Americas and the U.S.-Arab Cities Forum in 2008. 

Getting Together to Talk Sustainability
“I believe in sustainability, and as mayor for 22 years I always thought you lead by example. As a city in building all the projects, schools, parks, anything we did, we started looking at sustainability and we had to lead by example and find out what works and what doesn’t work.”

The Sustainability Exchange: Building United Cities
“It’s better to bring more suburban areas and governments together, and so what we do is we have experts in sustainability, engineering, public affairs, legal, & project financing. How we differ is first we look at all cities. It doesn’t matter what size the city… Secondly we focus on sharing information.” 

Thing Long-Term or Waste Money
“You can’t say ‘Okay, we have X amount of money, go do something. You have to spend it within a year…’ America has to get back because it’s not just the roads, it’s the water systems, it’s the energy systems, it’s transportation, its looking at things and how, with sustainability, we can be more efficient.”  

Mayors Can Learn from Each Other
“From my viewpoint it’s like passion, it isn’t about making money, it’s basically about helping the communities.  That’s what I like about this exchange: that you’re really trying to help communities to deal with some of these issues.”

Download full transcript (PDF): Richard M. Daley on The Infra Blog

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