I’ve spent the better part of my career deep within communities, finding out what makes them tick, what their needs are, how they see and experience the world, and what they’d like to achieve for themselves and future generations.

Over decades of community experience – growing up in Buffalo to working in cities around the globe to living in Brooklyn, one of the most diverse counties in the U.S. – I’ve discovered a universal truth: people want to be involved in the development of their communities.

Too often, we see organizations take a reactive approach to crisis management. A scandal occurs, a senior executive is called to testify before Congress, and suddenly, everyone scrambles to respond. Lawyers are called. PR firms are brought in. I’ve seen it up close dozens of times over the years.

Two-thirds of American cities are making big investments in smart city technology – from intelligent street lights and utility meters to next-generation traffic signals and parking solutions – in an effort to increase operational efficiency, maximize limited resources, and improve people’s quality of life.

No one disputes the fact that our nation’s aging infrastructure – everything from power plants, roads and bridges to telecom networks, water systems and public transit – needs a major overhaul. In fact, it’s one of the few things elected officials across the political spectrum can agree on these days.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has taken a page from Donald Trump’s political playbook, tapping into Britons’ economic anxieties, concerns about immigration and growing frustration with political classes to fuel support for a Brexit — and it appears to be working. In early February, support for Brexit rose to 45 percent. If the pro-EU camp expects to defeat the populist campaign waged by Farage and other Brexiteers, its leaders will have to radically improve their pitch and reach well beyond the usual suspects for support.

Every day, whether it’s moving around New York, talking with friends and colleagues, or reading the paper, I’m reminded of the desperate need for further investment in urban communities throughout the U.S. As billions of dollars in global capital continue to flow from east to west, these communities and their leaders have to crack the code to attract a greater share of that capital in order to rebuild housing, schools and hospitals.