Cities: Use What You've Got
"Placemaking is central to many of the powerful trends shaping the world today. The stumbling global economy, a vulnerable energy supply, and loss of confidence in far-flung markets are balanced by an upsurge of interest in things local: producing local food; promoting local businesses; preserving local character; protecting local open space and public places; finding meaningful ways to belong to a local community.
New economic theories point out that our city and regional economies may no longer function as they once did, but have been turned upside-down. This research suggests that human and creative capital of our communities are now the catalysts of economic growth rather than mere results of that growth.
According to Soji Adelaja, Director of the Land Policy Institute (LPI) at Michigan State University, keeping and attracting people is the most important strategy in this new economic landscape. Services, which are inherently local and include everything from doctors' visits to construction projects, now account for a larger share of the economy than goods. A Land Policy Institute study shows that half of total economic losses stemming from drops in population are caused by a loss of service jobs and income. That means when people move they take a piece of the economy with them."