Nothing could have prepared us for 2020, a year perhaps best characterized by feelings of oppressive nimiety or too-muchness: too much uncertainty, too much polarization, too much politicization, too much devastating loss. It was an unrelenting year that revealed the best and the worst of us. As we look toward the future with all of the hopeful optimism that a new year brings, we have to ask ourselves: what will be different in 2021? How will cities, towns, and villages respond to the monumental social, political, and racial reckoning that lies ahead?
At CityHealth, we believe local leadership will help to pave the way. In a year that saw the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic, an economic downturn, business closures, job losses, and calls for racial justice, local leaders were steady, decisive, and innovative. These leaders demonstrated remarkable resilience and were called to do more with less.
The past year has accelerated much-needed debates on critical issues and shifting public opinion has created new pathways for policy change. There is much to do in the year ahead, and we believe local leadership and action will model progress. The list below includes predictions where we believe cities will make needed investments across five key areas.