The GF and I watched Batman begins this past Friday, and I was shocked with Planning in the themes. One of the tasks that Bruce Wane’s dad took on in part to achieve glory, but also as a public benefit project was to create a cheep efficient light sky-rail system in Gotham to encourage economic growth.
It got me thinking about real life examples where large scale private development projects such as a rail system, sports arena, or other similar feature has sparked new economic growth. I know that Van Andel Arena and Devoss Place in Grand Rapids helped spur redevelopment.
I also remember an article in Planning Magazine that talked about how private industry and the creation of a private organization (Downtown Kalamazoo Incorporated) sparked the turnaround in economic growth in Kalamazoo’s center city.
What are some other cases that it has worked in the past, and how would we encourage and give direction to these types of projects?