Recent US economic history is rife with examples of cities and regions that have experienced significant decline. Many of those localities began to slide after decades, even generations, of feeling immune to economic disaster. Boeing and Kodak, the steel industry in Pittsburg, and the automotive industry in Detroit all expected to make it golden into the distant future. Tapping into the available body of knowledge as well as- through nearly 70 interviews—the experiences of those who lived and worked in those times in cities around the United States—to identify the most effective strategies, Reinventing Local and Regional Economies delineates the dos and don’ts to observe in order to sustain economic vitality in any community.
Written by Dr. Gerald Gordon, president and chief executive officer of the Economic Development Authority in Fairfax County, Virginia, the book explores lessons learned and examines the messages communities must be mindful of in order to ensure future economic stability. Drawing on more than 30 years of experience, Gordon identifies a set of foundational lessons that, while they are not guarantees of success, certainly portend failure if ignored by local planners. Each chapter explores a different prerequisite and then applies it to several case studies of the reinvention of local and regional economies. Each of these basic components of economic growth will then be examined against the backgrounds of the many communities studied, thus permitting comparisons and contrasts to be drawn.
A comparative analysis of results from one community to another across a wide range of case studies, this book puts into clear context the observations about what works not only in one locale but in communities with common features facing common issues and getting similar results. Using case studies and real world examples of successes and failures, Dr. Gordon provides the tools to develop a proactive strategy that positions your community for surviving and thriving regardless of external stresses and adverse economic conditions that may be out of your control.
Table of Contents
Political Foundations for Economic Reinvention
Is There Such a Thing as a Static Local Economy?
Taking the Long-Term View and Managing Expectations: The Time Horizon for Elected Officials
Economic Development Seen as an Investment
Community Development as a Precursor to Economic Reinvention
Building Bridges between the Public and Private Sectors
Creating Support Systems and Clusters
Enhancing a Community’s Assets for Business Attraction: Tending to the Product
Basic Strategic Foundations for Economic Growth and Economic Development
Distinguishing between Economic Growth and Economic Development
Stabilizing Economies through Diversification
Coordinating Land Use and Other Local and Regional Planning
Target Industries and Community Assets
Encouraging Technology Transfer from Colleges and Universities to Stimulate Economic Development
Marketing for Business Relocation and Expansion
Reality versus Perceptions and Truth in Advertising
The Growth of Entrepreneurial Businesses as a Complement to Business Attraction and Retention
Best (and Worst) Practices in the Use of Incentives for Business Attraction
Dr. Gerald L. Gordon is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Development Authority in Fairfax County, Virginia, one of the largest office space markets in the United States. He has been with the FCEDA since late 1983.