Allow Myself to Introduce Myself….Lisa Nisenson, Greater Places and Cards Against Urbanity

Posted on November 12, 2014

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Cards Against Urbanity: Getting Snarky About Cities

Welcome to the new and (somewhat) improved version of our member introductions. If you are puzzled by the column name, take a minute to watch the above scene from Austin Powers.

Background Check

036cb78Lisa Nisenson (LinkedIn and Twitter)  is co-founder of GreaterPlaces, a tech start-up devoted to urban and community design. GreaterPlaces is a crowdsourced “How To” manual for cities and towns, covering all community planning topics and community advocates under one digital roof. She has over 19 years experience in smart growth, with unique experience as citizen planner, federal policy analyst, researcher and writer. Current work (for a portfolio, see focuses on visioning, density and redevelopment, and user centered design techniques for planning and civic engagement.

Q & A


Your hometown? What is it best known for?

Concord N.C. – the real home of the Charlotte Motor Speedway

Describe the state of local government in your area.

Technically good, but PR-wise, horrible.  Arlington VA is still running off of its highly regarded metro-corridor development vision, but needs to stop and ponder what is up for the next 50 years. Finally, there are some powerful but under the radar demographic changes underway.  The once-liberal retirees are now voting down bonds and investment.   The assumed-to-be liberal Millenials are not so excited about big organizations and institutions.  Something is afoot.

What topics or practitioners would you like to see ELGL profile?

I want to see how emerging leaders are getting things done, particularly with sclerotic regulatory and procurement systems.

(Complete these phrases) Best thing about the….download (4)

  • 80’s was……. music
  • 90’s was…… prosperity
  • 00’s was….. challenges
  • Last year was….. my startup
  • Today is…. Putting together APA’s smart cities social media strategy.

If you could interview any three people (dead or alive), who would it be?

  • Jesus (as in what were you really thinking?)
  • Pope Francis
  • Charlie Rose (I love his show but too ADHD to watch)

(Complete this sentence) I feel old when I…….. walk into a tech event.

What are the best things about the internet? Fast answers

Parent(s) can be influential in career choices of their kids. What was the career path of your parent(s)? Doctors

(Complete the sentence) ELGL is…… on the cusp of great things

Where do you hear about ELGL? Twitter

Give us two ideas for attracting and retaining talented individuals to the public sector.images (2)

(1) Getting stuff done and (2) everybody wants you.

What’s one question that we should ask the next person who completes this profile?

The difference between ELGL and the American Planning Association (or ICMA or NaCO) is……

Answer (from ELGL staff) – We are a big tent organization, and we encourage the work of existing professional associations that are focused on specific areas of local government.  Our main purpose is to meet the diverse needs of people working in local government with a mission to connect, communicate and educate about the work we do.

We have informal partnerships with 3CMA, Center for Priority Based Budgeting, Colorado City & County Management Association, Ohio City & County Management Association, Springbrook Oregon City/County Managers Association, American Planning Association, Cal City News, Association of Washington Cities, MRSC of Washington, Strategic Government Resources and Oregon Municipal Finance Officers Association.

(Complete the sentence) Tomorrow is……. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Supplemental Reading1743599_702350033183895_6522769845529163986_n

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