Good state and local governments thrive on fresh ideas, and it is ideas that are the future of our cities. At least, that's what a diverse collection of urban leaders -- from urban planners to mayors -- found at a CEOs for Cities event this September in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The group spent the better part of three days trying to figure out what makes cities great, and how to make them better. They came up with ideas that include talent districts, where cities would convert some neighborhoods into learning districts for personal, professional and entrepreneurial development; and tech missions, where technologists would function as a mobile "genius bar," going out to every neighborhood to train and offer tech support. These ideas and more are being showcased on the Web site as part of a series called Ideas for Cities. The ideas are rough, but are meant as a starting point more than an end point. It is the hope of GOOD and CEOs for Cities that sharing these ideas will inspire cities to experiment with them, and inspire officials to come up with even better ones. Photo illustration from