By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Jun 23, 2007 at 5:00 AM

Thanks to local developer Sean Phelan for passing along an amazing piece from last month's The Economist.  Titled, "The World goes to town," it's an insightful report that looks at the power, progress and people of cities.

"After this year," the article opens, "the majority of people will live in cities."  

It's a long read, but well worth your time.  And, unlike a few weeks ago, the entire story is now available online (access link below).  

I urge you to not only read this report, but also use it to better our Milwaukee.  Before you dive in, I've pulled a few interesting items:

"People prefer urban squalor to rural hopelessness."

Modern, thriving cities "need good public transportation."  

"Not all happy cities resemble one another, but each unhappy city is at least partly unhappy for a single reason: mis-government."

"What are the characteristics of a successful city? The short answer is good government and a flourishing economy. But such attributes may come and go in the life of a metropolis. In order to be continuously successful, a city has to be able to reinvent itself, perhaps several times."

Design matters, take one. "People want all sorts of things from their neighborhood. As the urban iconoclast Jane Jacobs said, they want the untidiness that comes with having houses close to workplaces, shops next to flats, and rich next to poor. They also want a balance between privacy and the opportunity of chance, or planned, encounter. But none of that need mean ugliness. Cities, after all, still have spiritual needs to satisfy."

Design matters, take two.  And, in our wonderful city's case you cannot under estimate the power of the Milwaukee Art Museum. Again, friendly readers, it's not "the Calatrava," but props to the man for helping to put us on the map.  The magazine says it like this:  "Milwaukee, another depressed city, has likewise cheered itself up with a showy art gallery, this one designed by a Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Seattle commissioned Rem Koolhaas, a Dutch architect, to design an eye-catching library, and Fort Worth secured a prize-winning Japanese, Tadao Ando, for its new museum." (FYI, David Gordon, before he started at the Milwaueke Art Museum in October 2002, had served as secretary (director) of the Royal Academy of Arts in London for six years, and as chief executive of The Economist newspaper before that.)

Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.

He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.

Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.  He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.  

He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.

He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.