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Welcome - Issue 27

Welcome to the EconomicDevelopment.org newsletter! This issue looks at how your local library can support economic development, the opportunities and challenges for green economies, and two tales of local economic delivery models. Have comments or questions about EconomicDevelopment.org? Send us an email. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google+ and Pinterest.

Happy reading!

 - The EconomicDevelopment.org Team

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The Higher ED Blog: How your local library can support economic development

Student walking through library.

By Michelle Madden

A last month’s Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) Conference, I had the pleasure of arranging and attending a field trip to the Toronto Public Library (TPL). You might be wondering why a group of economic developers would go to a place full of dusty books and oppressive silence. The thing is, libraries are modernizing faster than you think, evolving from places where books are freely available to places where knowledge is freely available.

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The Higher ED Blog: What’s new in economic development research (spring 2016 edition)

Quarterly economic development research shares new and useful informtation

By Michelle Madden

The Higher ED Blog publishes a quarterly economic development research roundup that shares new research practitioners might find useful. The series usually draws from Economic Development Quarterly‚Äč, Regional Studies, and the Journal of Rural Studies, all reputable peer-reviewed academic journals.

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When single industry communities lose their anchor business

Row of car doors.

By James Umpherson

When single industry communities lose their anchor business, there is a kaleidoscope of reactions from other businesses, residents, and local government officials. Once the decision, finger-pointing, anger, and other immediate responses subside, inevitably, a laundry list of programs, project, and potential ideas is formulated. Unfortunately, providing a laundry list of potential ideas and opportunities does not address the inherent challenges addressing the local economy dynamics in the midst of a boom-bust cycle of single industry communities. Lists provide a opportunity to review ideas but small municipalities, in particular, do not have the financial flexibility, professional staff, and other key ingredients to be exploring, willy-nilly, a variety of potential projects for development. It is imperative for communities to place the next steps within an integrated framework of the broader developmental criteria to determine reasonable expectations and viability.

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The Higher ED Blog: What are the opportunities and challenges for a green economy?

Solar panel installation.

By Tara Vinodrai

In late 2014, ahead of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21), we launched an on-going series on sustainability, economic development and the green economy. The deliberations at COP 21 and elsewhere open debate about how communities should respond to the challenges of climate change and other grand environmental challenges. Within this debate, many have pointed to the potential of the green economy and green economic development, based on clean technologies, renewable energy and a low carbon future. As the number of initiatives and interest in the green economy continues to grow, the green economy debate brings together questions of economics, politics, jobs and employment, supply and demand, as well as ethics. There are questions around the optimal ways to channel this momentum and build effective and resilient strategies for future development. But for local actors, what kinds of assets need to be in place to support green economic development strategies? What are the opportunities and challenges?

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As goes the province, so goes the local community


By David Clark

I live and work in an area of Ontario which is perceived to be struggling economically. Major manufacturing left the area many years ago. The senior population is growing. Many are working multiple part-time jobs at minimum wage. The local “living wage” has been determined to be about $15 per hour, for full-time employment. There have been a few studies recently looking at poverty, acknowledging the dire situation of many people, especially children under the age of 18. 

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The Higher ED Blog: A tale of two local economic development delivery models

City view.

By Michelle Madden

Economic development is a relatively new field compared to other municipal functions like planning and engineering. As a result, economic development is still evolving in certain ways. I’m sure many of you have dealt with changing governance structures, tweaked job descriptions, and explaining to outsiders what it is you do.  As the profession continues to grow, it becomes more and more important to establish what economic development is, and how it is delivered.

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