Study: Indiana Regional Planning Project Pays Off

The Regional Cities Initiative funded economic development projects and capacity building to help local agencies collaborate more effectively to promote growth.

1 minute read

May 30, 2024, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Aerial view of downtown Auburn, Indiana on a clear, sunny day.

Auburn, Indiana. | Nicholas J. Klein / Adobe Stock

A study from Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) shows that Indiana’s Regional Cities Initiative (RCI), a state program launched in 2015 designed to boost economic development and improve quality of life through regional planning, spurred close to $1.6 billion in economic activity in areas where the program was deployed. 

“The RCI regions experienced boosts in GDP, population, and employment, with an estimated average of 1,088 additional jobs and $37 million in GDP per year,” the study found. “In Northeast Indiana, for example, investments in infrastructure and urban development have revitalized downtown areas and bolstered local economies.”

The initiative funded projects such as recreational facilities, housing developments, and broadband. It also provided capacity building and promoted collaboration between local agencies and regional planning, and provided key funding for projects to get off the ground.

The study concluded that “Well-targeted, place-based programs with substantial local involvement have proven instrumental in driving substantial economic outcomes, as evidenced by the initiative's success.”

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 in Ball State University

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