Finding Returns in Lean Times

Connecting existing assets and social networks with very little additional monetary investment can generate returns in lean times, writes Hazel Borys.

According to Borys, "Return on No Investment – my new friend, RONI – is the whole idea of leveraging assets and connections that are already in place, while investing a little more time and energy, to create a significant return. It's a simple concept since lean times make for more careful spending practices in city planning circles. In lean times, RONI is a concept that taps into local volunteerism, existing assets, and social networks to effect change on very skimpy budgets."

"From a planning perspective, not all cities and towns have these great public spaces connected nodally via walkable streets with a value-driving mix of shops, pubs, restaurants, offices, civic amenities, and residences. Or the places that do are finding them marginalized by zoning laws that are out of step with the character of what works best economically."

Borys goes on to offer her own RONI to the reader, an 85 MB PowerPoint presentation that addresses form-based economic development -- where it's being done, some national measures of its returns, and case studies for real ROI. But beware, RONI will get you to paint his fences!

Thanks to Scott Doyon

Full Story: Return on No Investment

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