Your home grown businesses are the ones that are adapted to your community’s social, cultural, and economic environment — and are often in the best position to anticipate and adapt to changes in the world surrounding them.
Della Rucker, AICP, CEcD, is the Principal of Wise Economy Workshop, a consulting firm that assists local governments and nonprofit organizations with the information and processes for making wise planning and economic development decisions. She is also Managing Editor of EngagingCities.
Rucker’s columns for the Planning Commissioners Journal and PlannersWeb have focused on planning and economic development — and on creative ways of actively involving citizens in the local planning process.
During 2014, we’re pleased to be serializing Della Rucker’s excellent new book, The Local Economy Revolution: What’s Changed and How You Can Help. You can access the contents by going to the Introduction to the book — links to chapters of the book, as they are posted, can be found in the left sidebar of that page.
Do you view your local economy as a paper machine — with various lever you can control to generate different outcomes. Or do you view it as a garden — where your job is to nourish the soil?
Della Rucker continues her focus on the issue of talent and local economic development, and then considers what young job seekers are looking for in deciding where to live and work.
Today, Della Rucker looks at the challenges communities face in dealing with talent, and the importance of uniqueness.
What can go wrong when your community turns the wheels of a major project over to a “Grand Architect.”
Della Rucker take a look at the role unintended consequences play, and then asks why we don’t do a better job of evaluating our actions and policies.
Today: a lesson in bad math. Why communities make a mistake in using linear extrapolations to plan for their future.
When it comes to managing and governing our communities, we allow circumstances to make decisions for us more often than any of us want to admit.
Della Rucker starts this section by asking why we still view economic development as a contest. She then takes a look at “magic bullet” thinking, and wraps up by discussing “those pesky unintended consequences.”
Do we in local government question our assumptions? And, what does it mean that we now have lots of 50 and 100 pound gorillas — instead of just a few big 800 pound ones — leading our communities?
We need to recognize that economic vitality depends on the health of a community, and that a community is not a set of separate, unrelated systems — a business district, a school system, a park system, a street system — but an ecosystem.
The first lesson of sailing is: if the wind is coming straight from the direction you want to go, you can wish all you want, but you can’t go directly there. Are there lessons in this for how we manage our communities?
Citizen participation is enough of a challenge in any city — but how do you deal with engaging citizens when 42% of your population is foreign-born, with people speaking many different languages?