4 Names to Know

overmoyer-main-blog_image2At Fourth Economy, our team has consistently looked ahead to see what will impact our clients in the coming years and made sure that we have the right set of capabilities and partners to help mind our clients’ needs. While many of our clients have expressed a great deal of uncertainty, we believe that we are well equipped to handle whatever is sent our way. Continue reading “4 Names to Know”

Preparing your Local Economy for Climate Change

Climate-Change-&-Economic-DevelopmentMany state governments have devoted a great deal of resources over the past decade to mitigating and responding to climate change through energy and urban planning related efforts. Planners and energy experts are fluent in the language of sustainability, adaptation, resiliency, and mitigation. But ask an economic development official what climate change means to them and it’s possible that they can barely utter the word. Many in the business community have feared that climate change will simply mean more costly equipment upgrades to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In too many communities, time is still spent debating the veracity of climate science instead of recognizing the impacts already occurring. Economic development officials have a responsibility to help businesses understand the greater implications of climate change – how they can protect themselves from the effects of climate change; how they could develop new products or services in response to climate change; and how they should prepare themselves to recover from climate-related events. Continue reading “Preparing your Local Economy for Climate Change”

Economic Development: What I Didn’t Learn in Planning School

131114-Teaching-PlanningI received my Master’s in Urban Planning with a focus on Community Development. I learned a lot about how to design “great places” as the American Planning Association calls them. Characteristics of a Great Neighborhood include… Continue reading “Economic Development: What I Didn’t Learn in Planning School”

Planning: a Futile Exercise or a Critical Tool for Community Development?

131023-Community-PlanningAs an urban planner and a former finance consultant, I am always on the look-out for good planning advice. It seems that a lot of planning guidance is inspiring, but rather inconsistent. Burnham’s famous “Make no small plans,” is often cited during this period of recovery to encourage big ideas. In a session at the April 2013 American Planning Association (APA) conference, however, Joe Nickol of Urban Design Associates recommended that communities “Make no many small plans,” to take advantage of localized, innovative and incremental opportunities for community development. Both approaches are reasonable and valuable, but I am left wondering how communities negotiate between the two, particularly when it comes to aligning with the broader community vision, adapting to market changes, collaborating with stakeholders, and delivering results. Continue reading “Planning: a Futile Exercise or a Critical Tool for Community Development?”