Brooks Rainwater, Director, National League of Cities Center for City Solutions
From research into how the latest mobility and technology trends will impact life and leadership in cities to advancing meaningful public policy, Brooks Rainwater and the National League of Cities’ Center for City Solutions are invested in making American cities work better. And their work is having an impact.
“I definitely believe that my primary goal is to figure out how to make cities better places and how to help city leaders lead,” he said.
The self-described urbanist leads a team of 25 experts focused on the evolving issues facing cities on a daily basis. Rainwater regularly delves into emerging technologies like blockchain and the Internet of Things, helping cities identify their potential to more efficiently deliver services to citizens. This work, in addition to providing actionable insights to mayors and council members, provides the basis for ongoing education and collaboration.
“We oftentimes are connecting our research directly to technical assistance that we might do, so then we are going directly into cities, having cross-site visits, making sure that they are learning from peers, and then to be able to educate them through our NLC University is another pathway where we can bring out those learnings and really share them with cities large and small,” he said.
While keeping a finger on the pulse of evolving issues and trends may take up most of his time, Rainwater said for him the job is all about the people — city leaders, mayors and the residents they work for.
“Part of why I do this job and what drives me is working with mayors and council members. [It] is just such a joy because they got into these roles because they simply care. They care a lot about the cities where they live, the people in these cities and they want to make a difference,” Rainwater said.