Motivated by a lengthy article written by Aparna Piramal Raje on ‘Cities and business development,’ where s/he interviews Greg Clark, the founder of The Business of Cities consultancy, I have decided to share some issues that I have been puzzled with for a while. As a local development consultant, I am trying to find my focus within the urbanization field and where exactly I fit in. I am not an urban planner nor a geographer by definition. Instead, I have been trained in multi-disciplinary fields such as public policy, international business and local development with the focus on Central and Eastern European countries. Having lived in different countries and continents, I have experienced different cities being able to determine what is essential for a good urban feel. On the other hand, my work has also taken me through various industries ranging from private sector to diplomacy and international development. I know how to conduct quality research on diverse topics; I know how to effectively present my research in presentations and documents; I know how to conduct various feasibility studies and SWOT analyses for my clients; the list goes on. Basically, I do many things well – not knowing what I do the best, and I like to do many things – not knowing what I like the most.
This is exactly why I decided that I need to focus on an area where I can make a difference. Somehow, working as an advisor for local economic development, I have started noticing that there are unlimited and untapped ways of improving quality of life on the ground. I am exploring: urban regeneration, city branding, and urban tourism.