Each year, Fast Company magazine selects a “Fast City” of the year and it usually comes out in the May edition. Last year’s “Fast City” was London because it found a new sense of itself. This year’s city is Seattle, Wa.

According to the article, “In a year like this, we need a city upon a hill. Seattle, Fast Company’s City of the Year, not only sprawls across seven hills but also boasts the ingredients that we believe will bring our communities — and country — back to prosperity: smarts, foresight, social consciousness, creative ferment.

I think that a number of Michigan cities can learn something from the policies that make Seattle (and the other cities on their Top Twelve list) work.

For example, the article points out that in 1991 the city started transforming the South Lake Union (or SLU) from a dilapidated area into a new redevelopment. It was done with a cooperative effort between the city and a private developer who actually loaned the city money to do it. Years later it has become “… a buzzing neighborhood and a center of the biotech industry.

Municipalities and private developers working together to improve the city … what an amazing concept!