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Thread: Public policy priority: economic, community, or sustainable development?

  1. #1
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    Public policy priority: economic, community, or sustainable development?

    I was wondering which of these forms of development should be the policy priority for any city: economic development/community development/sustainable development. And why should they be?

    Moderator note:
    Modified the thread title. Please, provide descriptive titles outside the Friday Afternoon Club.

    Thanks,
    mendelman
    Last edited by mendelman; 02 Aug 2007 at 3:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by satyasubha View post
    I was wondering which of these forms of development should be the policy priority for any city: economic development/community development/sustainable development. And why should they be?
    So when is your term paper due?

    Personally this sounds like a textbook question that really can't be answered, especially with only three options all of which have something to do with economic development. I know communities where the number one policy priority is to keep their damn mayor in office after the election. Some communities scratch their heads when you hear the phrase sustainable development (HUH?!!!).

    You need to tell us what is YOUR definition of economic development, community development, and suistanable development. Those are ten cent words and each person will have their own interpretation of them. Personally, I like to focus on what HAS BEEN DONE versus what SHOULD BE DONE.

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    No papers due for that. it is just for general information and was interested to know.

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    Cyburbian KSharpe's avatar
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    the question is kind of a charade because it assumes that you must select one to the neglect of the others. They are all important!
    Do you want to pet my monkey?

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    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
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    Whichever the elected officials decide is the priority, as representatives of the constituency.

    Or...

    I am visualizing a grizzled, bearded planner making awkward hand gestures at the podium and solemnly intoning: "They are like a three-legged stool, removal of any one element fatally weakens the other". Then the council votes in the Wal-Mart.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I agree that all of these are important - they operate as a system that impacts many corners of a city's functioning and I don't think it is necessary for a city to focus on one to the exclusion of another. Why not all of them?

    That being said, the term "sustainable development" has come, in some circles, to embrace all of the other topics. That is, a sustainable economy is one that can continue to exist and be successful through time (ie. be sustained for the long haul). It might be built on local resources, be they natural (which may or may not be sustainable, depending on what it is) or man-made such as research and technology centers, universities or other local knowledge bases.

    The same can be said of community development. A "sustainable" approach implements strategies and programs that can be maintained and grown over a long period of time (such as Community Land Trusts that ensure affordable housing in perpetuity).

    Lastly, I expect you were thinking of environmental sustainability in your question and this is certainly another area of "sustainability." How does a city get its energy, how is it used, and how is waste dealt with? How does the city interact with and live within its natural context of plant, animals and topography? And so on.

    No strategy for any of these is probably truly and 100 percent "sustainable" and so the term can be misleading. But if the approach is to create systems that can be maintained over long trajectories, fine adjustments can be made along the way and the community comes to be more stable for its residents (no major layoffs, minimized crime problems, and a healthy natural environment).
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  7. #7
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    I agree with you. It is pretty complicated to decide upon one of these. I am eager to know how would a policy maker react when it comes to cities like Cincinnati and especially Cleveland where poverty is a burning issue.

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