Cities all over the world are in a state of rapid change. And so, too, is Future Cities.
Before we dive into those details, I'd like to give a brief bit of history: When UBM set out to launch Future Cities in late 2012, it did so with the goal of creating a global community for city decision makers to discuss myriad issues affecting the future of urban development. We saw an opportunity to create a space for business and city leaders spanning numerous industries to come together in pursuit of a better, more liveable, and more sustainable urban future.
I'm happy to say that, from a content and engagement perspective, Future Cities has been a great success. In fewer than 17 months, we've had participation on this site from such urban rockstars as Jan Gehl and Janette Sadik-Khan; and the mayors of great cities like Tel Aviv, Miami, Perth, Bridgeport, Asheville, Atlanta, and beyond.
We've registered more than 14,000 users in 122 countries (as you can see from our little ticker at the top of the home page). We've had discussions about everything imaginable -- from what to do with the dead to underground cities to insect eating, "fatbergs," and more. We have won more than13 industry awards. And we've even done a bit of singing (terrifying reminder of that below).
I am grateful to have had the chance to launch and run this community; to have worked alongside Mary, Rich, and our amazing contributors; and to have interacted with you all each day on the message boards.
However, after working at UBM for nearly eight years -- since two days after
escaping graduating from Fordham University -- I've decided to accept another role outside of the organization. Today is my last day here, and I will be handing off the daily duty of managing Future Cities to my wonderful and talented UBM colleague, Kim Davis.
Now, if you're a regular visit to Future Cities, you may be asking: Wait, but what happened to Mary Jander? And if you're a regular visitor to Future Cities who just woke up from a month-long nap, you may also be asking: Wait, where did that crazy Brit Rich Heap go?
Just to catch you up to speed: Rich left us last month to take a job in his home city of Oxford, and Mary will be pursuing other opportunities outside of UBM as well.
That brings us back to Kim, who is hardly a stranger to Future Cities. Indeed, you've likely read some of his City Diaries, like As Time Goes By, A Friend of Larry's, A South Bronx Mugging, and Knock Knock Knockin' on Eric's Door -- to name a few (this guy has a lot of stories!).
Starting on Monday, Kim will take the helm here and will continue to post blog content from our regular contributors. That said, as we know too well, businesses everywhere are facing hard times, budget-wise, and Future Cities is no exception. That's why we'll be moving to a lighter posting schedule for a little while as the business finds new ways to support this great community. We ask that you bear with us during this time, and continue to participate on the boards and spread the word about this site. And if you have any questions about Future Cities, or are interested in contributing content, don't hesitate to drop Kim an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As for me, I want to thank you all sincerely for giving Future Cities such a warm welcome and for being an incredibly supportive and engaged community. It's been a true pleasure to get to work with, and -- more importantly -- learn from so many people who are doing inspiring work in support of the future of our planet. Please keep it up! And please do keep the conversation going here on Future Cities.
— Nicole Ferraro, Editor in Chief, UBM's Future Cities