Over the past three years, it has become rejuvenating to see the Milwaukee skyline filled with cranes, newly developed high-rise buildings and even a new sports/entertainment arena (Go Bucks!). This representation of growth and development provides Milwaukeeans a sense of confidence that our city is moving in the right direction.
Granted, I love sharing the experience of witnessing all of the property transformation. In parallel, I reminisce about the classic movie “Field of Dreams,” which included the themed philosophy of “If you build it, they will come.” This provokes me to rhetorically ask “Who will be a part of Milwaukee’s ‘they,’ and subsequently, will ‘they’ actually come?”
I believe that the same influencers, power brokers and developers that spearheaded this much-needed makeover could also combine their innovative minds with the unsung heroes of Milwaukee to develop a resident attraction plan.
This would result in Milwaukee becoming the new go-to city for anyone who wants to eat, live, work, play and raise a family throughout their trajectory in one city: Milwaukee. Residents will not even consider moving into a suburb or out of Milwaukee in order to align with their current family status. Milwaukee will become the most desired “go-to city” in the Midwest, bringing about national recognition of being one of the top five cities in the United States to reside. Milwaukee will be on the receiving end of diverse people packing their possessions and eagerly relocating to Milwaukee to experience thriving lifestyles. Milwaukee will no longer be a hidden secret but a city that ensures existing and new residents feel connected and valued to everything the city has built over the past three years and beyond. We as Milwaukeeans have the awareness and ability to add an additional focus of building human connectivity, embracing our differences and using this as a force towards inclusivity and innovation.
Obtaining this outcome would have a momentous impact on how people experience Milwaukee and how the city benefits from the stimulation of our economy due to thriving residents, existing and new.
This column is part of “25 big ideas for Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin’s future,” a feature included in the BizTimes Milwaukee 25th anniversary issue. To read other contributions, visit biztimes.com/bigideas