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Welcome - Issue 29

Welcome to the EconomicDevelopment.org newsletter! 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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How Berlin Partner is driving economic development in the city

Pop up lab Berlin

By City Nation Place

City Nation Place interviewed Andrea Joras, Managing Director, Berlin Partner, the public-private partnership that provides business and technology support for companies, investors and scientific institutions in Berlin. What strategies is she pursuing to drive economic development in Berlin?  How does Berlin Partners collaborate with other organisations across Germany with a shared mission to promote the country and its cities to attract tourism and investment? Andrea will be speaking at the City Nation Place conference on 10 November in London.

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The Higher ED Blog: Who are commercial counterurbanites, and what brought them to your community?

Woman in a farm field

By Michelle Madden

Every year, many people move from rural areas to cities, a process called urbanization. This is the common direction of migration, but there are always some people who buck the trend and move from cities to rural areas. These people are known as counterurbanites in the academic literature. When those migrants subsequently open a business in their new rural community, they’re called commercial counterurbanites. Lindsay Leung, a recent graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Local Economic Development master’s program, wondered what motivates commercial counterurbanites to leave the city and start a business?

For her major research paper, Identifying Commercial Counterurbanites as lifestyle-oriented vs economic-oriented entrepreneurs, supervised by Clare Mitchell, she sought to answer the question by surveying and interviewing commercial counterurbanites in Mount Albert, Ontario.

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Are university degrees still useful?

University graduates

By Sarah Stenabaugh

The idea that a university degree in Canada will automatically get you a prestigious and high paying job has arguably been debunked – leading many youth to question whether they should enroll in university, college or just join the working world. It makes sense, given that on average a student pays $6, 191 in tuition fees per year for an undergraduate degree and will graduate $28,000 in debt.

There are a number of reasons why the value of a university degree has been decreasing, one being the surge of degree holders. From 1991 to 2011, the number of employed people with a degree rose from 18 percent to 33 percent. Secondly, the lack of demand in specific fields. In 2011, Stats Can reported that one third of people aged 25 to 34 with a humanities degree had jobs that only needed a high-school diploma.

But one point that may be overlooked is how well universities are preparing students for the real world.

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The Higher ED Blog: Heritage properties are better economic assets than you think

Toronto Distillery District

By Michelle Madden

Economic development is about progress. It’s right there in the title: economic development. In a field that is forward-looking by definition, it can be difficult to sell the idea of heritage preservation.  The designation of heritage properties—and the restrictions imposed by those designations—are often perceived as anti-progress, standing in the way of newer and more exciting building projects. In the words of the Heritage Canada Foundation’s former executive director Brian Anthony, ‘Conventional wisdom sees the conversion of heritage property as a frill, or worse, a net cost without economic benefit’.

In a paper for the University of Waterloo’s Year 3 program for economic developers, Something old is something new: The role of heritage preservation in economic development, Rebecca Goddard-Bowman challenges this perception and makes the case that heritage preservation both has many economic benefits and has a role to play in economic development . She found compelling evidence of preservation’s ability to generate direct economic benefits, spur community revitalization, and bolster tourism. She also has advice for communities reconsidering their heritage policies.

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How vexillology can aid in your economic development initiatives

Flags outside the United Nations

By David Clark

Close your eyes. Scan your mind. What does your city flag look like? Have you ever noticed it, or ever seen it?

The flag of the city I live in is pretty standard, I thought, and typical of city and county flags. It is brightly coloured, includes the name of the city, its shield or seal, and includes the words “Ontario” and “Canada”. A decent flag as city flags go.

Turns out I am wrong. It is a bad flag, apparently an SOB.

Many city (and town) flags are poorly designed, cluttered, busy, and hard to recognise from a distance according to Roman Mars. Some city flags he says are SOBs – Seals On Bedsheets. City flags “may be the worst-designed thing you’ve never noticed” (TED Talk, March 2015).

So how does this link with economic development?

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