Planning magazine recently (December 2009) published a story on the benefits of economic impact studies for planners. Most professional planners have run across them at one point or another: they are used to evaluate economic impact and the effectives of various types of programs on job creation. Unfortunately, the article did little to also illuminate the pitfalls and weaknesses of these studies.
As the Empire Zones (EZ) program sunsets in New York State, there is an opportunity to learn from past mistakes to devise a more functioning economic development strategy.
Last week I posted a blog, “Win-Win Transportation Emission Reduction Strategies: Good News for Copenhagen” which described emission reduction strategies that also help achieve economic and social objectives. I’ve continued doing research on the subject and made some additonal discoveries that I can report on now.
In times past, industrial use was often a form of pride. Many of the hulking, multi-story industrial buildings in older cities are (still) beautiful additions to our cityscapes. In some cities, those that went vacant have spawned a new form of urban scavenge hunting by those seeking to fuel their appreciation for our industrial past through photography and exploration. Think as well of the WPA posters, many of which used stylized industrial themes to promote our “American” identity.
Automobile industry subsidies are an inefficient way to support economic development. Even worse, policies intended to support automobile manufacturers and recover loans can be economically harmful.
I never put much thought into the term “post-industrial.” In my college and grad years, the phrase seemed to be used like candy – a ubiquitous summary of the current state of cities in the US. The phrase implies a kind of death in our cities, an inability to retain the industries that spurred their very growth.
Is a $50,000 annual income wealth or poverty in North America? By historical or international standards such an income should be considered wealthy and luxurious, but most people I know consider it poverty because of the high cost of living.