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Welcome - Issue 24

Welcome to the EconomicDevelopment.org newsletter! If you're regular reader, you've probably come across some of our popular Higher ED Blog posts. To celebrate the recent second anniversary of the Higher ED Blog's launch and a new weekly posting schedule, we wanted to take a look back at some of the great Higher ED posts published this year. 

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 - The EconomicDevelopment.org Team

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The Higher ED Blog: What’s new in economic development research (fall 2015 edition, Part II)

Skyline with trees in the fall

By Michelle Madden

Continuing from last week’s Higher ED Blog, this week we summarize interesting articles from the latest issues of Economic Development Quarterly and Regional Studies. These research roundup articles are published every four months or so to keep economic development practitioners on top of what’s happening in the academic world.

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The Higher ED Blog: What’s new in economic development research (fall 2015 edition, Part I)

Fall harvest in a field

By Michelle Madden

Another season, another economic development research roundup. As I pored through the latest issues of Economic Development Quarterly, Regional Studies, and Journal of Rural Studies, I found so many interesting articles that I decided to run this roundup in two parts. Part I includes four original articles from the Journal of Rural Studies. 

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The Higher ED Blog: Downtown revitalization and the ‘taxing’ issue of brownfield redevelopment

By Tara Vinodrai

This article is the third in our Downtowns: Onward and Upward series, which explores downtown revitalization issues and strategies.

In Ontario, Places to Grow has put emphasis on urban intensification and downtown revitalization. Yet, downtowns are not blank canvasses and accompanying the documented decline of many North American downtowns, buildings have fallen into disrepair or sit vacant, relics of a previous era. As such, brownfield redevelopment is one of the critical strategies to promote downtown renewal and revitalization.

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The Higher ED Blog: Reversing the downward spiral of your downtown

Inside of a grocery store

By Michelle Madden

This article is the second in our Downtowns: Onward and Upward series, which explores downtown revitalization issues and strategies.

Municipalities have been working on downtown revitalization strategies for many years, and one of the biggest challenges is reversing the downward spiral that many cores get caught in. Patrick McConnell, a Financial Analyst at the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services, realized that even the hardest hit downtowns have continued to act as employment centres. 

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The Higher ED Blog: Can residential development contribute to downtown revitalization?

Urban lofts

By Tara Vinodrai

This article is the first in our Downtowns: Onward and Upward series, which explores downtown revitalization issues and strategies.

In the urban age, academics, policymakers and practitioners alike have noted the importance of cities – and specifically – the need to rejuvenate and revitalize their core areas. Studies have documented the decades of downtown decline that North American mid-sized cities have experienced, due to changing demographics, out-migration, decentralization of business activity, and the shifting locational preferences of businesses and residents. 

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The Higher ED Blog: Six lessons for improving collaboration across the urban-rural divide

City bordered by countryside

By Danielle Collins

Ontario is a highly urban province.  Since resources and authority tend to concentrate in urban areas, that leaves rural communities to largely fend for themselves. This lack of capacity and resources in many of Ontario’s rural communities presents a real challenge to undertaking economic development. Recognizing this shortfall, Ontario’s policymakers have considered the value in collaborative regional approaches to economic development.

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The Higher ED Blog: Women in economic development can have it all, just not all at once

By Michelle Madden

On June 18th, 21 women (and one man) came to downtown Toronto to meet other women in economic development and to learn strategies for surviving in what was recently a man’s field. The Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO)-hosted event was held on the top floor of the Ontario Investment and Trade Centre, a location perhaps symbolic of the fact that economic development is being performed and led by more women than ever before. Women now account for 47 per cent of the EDCO’s membership, 43 per cent of whom are in management roles.

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The Higher ED Blog: Building a framework for best practices in regional workforce development systems

By Brian Weadick

Workforce development has arguably been an underutilized lens for regional economic development research and strategy. This persists despite the broad and obvious contribution workforce development makes to regional skill development through education and training. This gap had me wondering, how can workforce development be more explicitly linked to regional economic development? What are the best practices of regional workforce development systems?

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How to make community engagement work in your community

By Brittany Bruce, Ryan Lipcsei and Tara Vinodrai

Community engagement is widely accepted as critical for the success of economic development initiatives. Yet, there are often substantial obstacles and barriers to achieving success. How can we achieve high quality community engagement? And, what tactics can we use to overcome these obstacles and barriers?

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The Higher ED Blog: Anatomy of business incubation in Canada

By Tara Vinodrai

How do we help entrepreneurs start new businesses? And how do we improve the chances that these start-up firms will survive? Business incubation has been identified as one of the critical means of assisting entrepreneurs in the venture creation process and holds the promise of being an important economic development tool for job and firm creation, fostering an entrepreneurial culture, accelerating local industry growth, and supporting broader business development. As such, business incubation and acceleration have become hot topics in economic development.

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The Higher ED Blog: Incubators generate results but still might not be worth the investment

By Catherine Oosterbaan

How do you attract and retain the startup or early stage business that is poised for rapid growth, innovation, and job creation? This is a key question on the minds of economic developers across the country. One potential solution that appears to be emerging as a popular tool is the development of business incubators and accelerators.

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