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Amazon's Second HQ Poised for Smart Growth

With a second headquarters, Amazon is poised to expand its preference for walkable places into a new city. However, maybe the company should take the high road and not beg for subsidies.
September 12, 2017, 9am PDT | Michael Rodriguez | @transpoplanner
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Amazon Fulfillment Center
By Ken Wolter

Amazon dropped a bombshell earlier last week when it announced that it's going to expand beyond Seattle, building a brand new second headquarters in another city. Based on the qualifications in Amazon's RFP, like on-site access to transit and connectivity options like sidewalks and bike lanes to “foster connectivity between buildings/facilities,” this is another example of how companies are increasingly seeking out vibrant, walkable, connected urban places as they try to attract and retain talent.

Here, Michael Rodriguez, Director of Research at Smart Growth America, discusses why many corporations are moving to vibrant urban locations, and why corporations need those environments to compete. Rodriguez argues that the best model of economic development forgoes tax breaks and subsidies in favor of supportive policy and infrastructure that enables companies to attract talent.

"Instead of subsidies, Amazon should insist on supportive zoning, transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, in keeping with its reputation as Fortune's 2nd Most Admired Company," Rodriguez writes.

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Published on Friday, September 8, 2017 in Smart Growth America
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