invigorating communities

The best plans identify strategic public improvements that help make private investment possible, increase economic activity and ensure an adequate return for all. The result: better day-to-day experiences for residents, the workforce and visitors.

point of view

Community and economic development issues faced by many jurisdictions today include:

  1. Enhancing the central business district's competitiveness, including staunching leakage elsewhere;
  2. Improving market position vis-a-vis regional economic growth in both traditional and emerging sectors;
  3. Maintaining readiness for desirable economic expansion, including capital and human infrastructure ranging from prepared sites to flexible workforce training programs.

Any strategic approach to community and economic development entails implementing a host of public investment and policy decisions, along with key programmatic initiatives.

All this, however, depends on establishing what mix of uses (e.g. office, retail, housing, lodging, public assembly, etc.) are feasible and appropriate and determining how to sequence economic activity to benefit both the public and private sector developers.

The key? Integrating the technical elements - from market and financial analysis to public participation to impact analysis - with thoughtful civic engagement practices that allow meaningful contributions by lay audiences and modern communication tactics. Then, and only then, will the resulting economic or community development plan be useful to all: elected public officials, citizens, business interests and the private development community alike.

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