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Welcome - Issue 19

Welcome to the EconomicDevelopment.org newsletter! As we wrap up another year, we'd like to thank you all for being a part of the EconomicDevelopment.org community. We hope you have a safe and happy holiday season.

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A Partridge in a Pear Tree? How much it will cost to buy the “12 Days of Christmas”

Snowy street at Christmas

By Luke McKee

is often the case in December, people’s minds tend to stress over that perfect gift.  ”What do I get for that special someone?” is the struggle for many right up until December 25th.  Of course every year we all say that we will get all of our shopping done well in advance, and there may be some who do, but I am of the mindset that I do my best shopping when the pressure is on, thus waiting until the last minute to venture out into the shopping world.  The blueprint for Christmas shopping has already been provided though, through the classic Christmas carol, “The 12 Days of Christmas.”  Perhaps the most iconic holiday wish list of all time, the PNC Bank has released its annual Christmas Price Index which shows the cost of each of the carol’s gifts if they were purchased today.

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A tale of two cities: Choosing economic development for the Internet Age

By Robert Bell

In 1969, Chattanooga, Tennessee was declared the city with the worst air pollution in America – a legacy of the success of its industrial foundries. In 2012, Chattanooga declared itself a Gig City on the strength of a massive fiber-to-the-premise network built by its municipal electric utility. (They cleaned the air as well along the way.) Today, Chattanooga is home to the University of Tennessee and a vital community college, and has launched “Gig Tank,” a business plan competition that is bringing innovators to the city to find out how to build a business that makes good use of so much bandwidth.

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Riding elephants: Availability cascades in your town

By Clark Hoskin

We have all seen it happen. A developer brings a proposal to a community. It is leading edge and promising. Local council loves the concept – so the proponent believes the community is a willing host. The developer beavers away on due diligence and approvals for a year or two, then returns to council for a zoning amendment. Council refuses it, due to negative community comments typically received hours before the meeting. The developer, their agent and the various government offices that recommended approval, are all in shock. Why did this happen?

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Innovation districts: Simple guidelines to make them real

By Ed Morrison

For those of us who have been around a while, the new push to regenerate cities with innovation districts appears like yet another fad sweeping the field of economic development. But is it? Clearly, Brookings, the major proponent of the shift doesn’t think so.

Veterans in economic development have a right to be skeptical. After all, we’ve seen metropolitan business plans. Before that, it was the clean economy. Before that “Eds and Meds“. Before that, Richard Florida and his Creative Class. All along, real estate developers have promised us that big ticket development would do the trick: convention centers, sports stadiums and casinos. (“Build it. We assure you they will come.”) If you stretch back to the 1980s, it was festival marketplaces. A decade earlier, pedestrian malls were thought to be the magic.

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The arts and culture as economic drivers: Ideas and US best practices

By Greg Baeker

A series of reports have focused on the role of cultural resources in advancing economic and broader community development agendas. Rust Belt to Artists Belt: Challenges and Opportunities in Rust Belt Cities addresses the challenges associated with the transition from industrial to creative economies and the role of artists and creators in supporting this economic restructuring. The report examines the issue from two perspectives – what artists offer rust belt cities and what rust belt cities offer artists.

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