Welcome to this week's issue of What Economic Developers Need to Know This Week, where we explore the evolving dynamics of our economy.
This week we have 33 tools, stories, graphics, charts and videos that I think you'll find informative, useful, inspiring, and perhaps even humorous. Some are economic development related directly, and some only indirectly. 🤔
If you're wondering what to do with the info in this newsletter, send something to your board members. It will make you look good!
As always, if you find something interesting, please send it to me.
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1) Maybe we should stop eating ice cream:
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example." – Mark Twain
4) Economic development and tropical fish:
Jon Maynard is an economic developer in Oxford, Mississippi. His work has lead him to some striking revelations about Mississippi's economy, as well as innovative ideas on how to navigate out of the problems that he discovered. His thoughts about making a change for the better could not come at a more opportune time.
5) Stop uzoning your major streets: Urbanist Alfred Twu makes a powerful argument for why upzoning only along major streets is a big mistake:
In many North American cities, as more housing is built, it's limited to a few places: downtown and along busy streets. This is known as Corridor Zoning…[Corridor Zoning] has downsides:Lots of people end up living on the noisiest, most polluted streets.Local businesses, historic buildings, and existing low-rent apartment buildings are at risk of demolition.Storefronts on the main street are replaced by garages, exit doors, private lobbies, utility rooms and other uninviting spaces.Limited number of sites causes land to be expensive.Narrow canyon of tall buildings creates a wind tunnel, makes being outside on the main street unpleasant.
Twu instead recommends something called Second Street Housing:
Second Street Housing…puts the biggest new apartment buildings behind, not on top of, the main commercial strip, separated by an alley for deliveries. Further back, still within a five-minute walk, are mid-rise apartments, and beyond that, a mix of houses, duplexes, fourplexes and courtyard apartments…In most places, Second Street housing can be implemented by rezoning the land closest to commercial zones.
He illustrates the difference with a pair of drawings:
As companies weigh the benefits and challenges of increasing automation, local leaders must also evolve their incentives programs.