City Indicator Challenge


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The City Indicator Challenge asks participants: What do Millennials and Generation Z want in a city?

City Indicator Challenge ReportThe City Indicator Challenge leverages resources from the Richmond Indicators Project, an effort to measure progress on economic and social goals related to the Richmond region’s priorities. The CSEI participants work in teams to make fictional planning decisions designed to attract millennials to their assigned city – Austin, TX; Hartford, CT; Jacksonville, FL; Louisville, KY; Memphis, TN; Raleigh, NC; or Richmond, VA.

The goal of the challenge is to move one or more indicators in a positive direction to increase the odds of attracting more millennials to each city. The challenge is a success if ALL cities are incrementally better by being a member of this collection of cites. Research shows that, among developed countries, the healthiest and happiest aren’t those with the highest incomes but those with the most equality. Epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson discusses why.

Key takeaways from the CSEI 2018 students participating in the City Indicator Challenge include:

  • Mind the law of unintended consequences.
  • Cities are complex and there are many variables that make a city healthy.
  • Solutions to real world problems can be abstract.
  • Even if a project doesn’t make money, it can still have a positive impact on the community.