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Prof. Scott Campbell Urban Planning 539 University of Michigan http://www-personal.umich.edu/~sdcamp/ up539/. Overview: What is Economic Development Planning? and is it more than simply smoke-stack chasing?.
Urban Planning 539
University of Michigan
What is Economic
and is it more than simply
Source: Blakely, Edward J and Ted K Bradshaw. 2002. Planning Local Economic Development Theory and Practice: Third Edition. Sage. Page xvi.
Local economic development refers to the process in which local governments or community-based (neighborhood) organizations engage to stimulate or maintain business activity and/or employment. The principal goal of local economic development is to stimulate local employment opportunities in sectors that improve the community using existing human, natural, and institutional resources.
No single definition incorporates all of the different strands of economic development. Typically economic development can be described in terms of objectives. These are most commonly described as the creation of jobs and wealth, and the improvement of quality of life. Economic development can also be described as a process that influences growth and restructuring of an economy to enhance the economic well being of a community. In the broadest sense, economic
development encompasses three major are as:
Policies that government undertakes to meet broad economic objectives including inflation control, high employment and sustainable growth.
Policies and programs to provide services including building highways, managing parks and providing medical access to the disadvantaged.
Policies and programs explicitly directed at improving the business climate through specific efforts, business finance, marketing, neighborhood
development, business retention and expansion, technology transfer, real estate development and others.
The main goal of economic development is improving the economic well being of a community through efforts that entail job creation, job retention, tax base enhancements and quality of life. As there is no single definition for economic development, the re is no single strategy, policy or program for achieving successful economic development. Communities differ in their geographic and political strengths and weaknesses. Each community therefore, will have a unique
set of challenges for economic development.
Defining Economic Development - from the Economic Development Administration (EDA), part of the US Dept. of Commerce
Economic development is fundamentally about enhancing the factors of productive capacity - land, labor, capital, and technology - of a national, state or local economy. By using its resources and powers to reduce the risks and costs which could prohibit investment, the public sector often has been responsible for setting the stage for employment-generating investment by the private sector.
The public sector generally seeks to increase incomes, the number of jobs, and the productivity of resources in regions, states, counties, cities, towns, and neighborhoods. Its tools and strategies have often been effective in enhancing a community's:
labor force (workforce preparation, accessibility, cost);
infrastructure (accessibility, capacity, and service of basic utilities, as well as transportation and telecommunications);
business and community facilities (access, capacity, and service to business incubators, industrial/technology/science parks,
schools/community colleges/universities, sports/tourist facilities);
environment (physical, psychological, cultural, and entrepreneurial);
economic structure (composition); and
institutional capacity (leadership, knowledge, skills) to support economic development and growth.
Finding the balance between the big picture of structural economic change and the idiosyncrasies and minutiae of ED programs.
Flint Sitdown Strike, 1936-37
Related: finding a balance between structure and agency -- between the extremes of belief:
Larger policies matter little: Who wins and who loses in local economies invariably comes down to individual initiative (human agency).
All local economies are simply the by-product of larger, global economic forces that local planners can hardly alter.
Synthesis? Perhaps Anthony Giddens’ “structuration” [link]:
The interaction between social structure and human action.
The Role and Experience of Local Economic Development within the Field of Urban and Regional Planning
2. Understanding this relationship through the history of urban planning as a profession
Twenty Really Useful Concepts in Understanding Local Economic Development
Fitzgerald, Joan and Nancey Green Leigh. 2002. Economic Revitalization: Cases and Strategies for City and Suburb. Sage. pp. 10-26
house - block - neighborhood - city - region - nation-state - continent - globe
Meters (log scale)
None modest significant very strong
7.Please list any other economic development topics (social challenges, policy questions, theoretical questions) that you would like addressed in the course.