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  • Economic Development

    Published on 16 Dec 2011 7:00 AM
    Categories:
    1. Economic Development
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    TerraSapient writes:

    As planners, we probably see the "economic development" carrot being dangled in the face of our communities to justify community-opposed land development more than most other members of society. This issue has always irked me.

    I am sure we all have examples of this in our hometowns. One current development that is underway locally here in Hawaii that has received monumental community resistance is the development and opening of a 130,000 square foot Target in Kailua. For information, refer to this brief article that adequately explains the situation http://honoluluweekly.com/cover/2011/01/off-target/. What I find particularly interesting about this case is that the community isn't interested in the carrot. They consistently and adamantly reject the carrot and want Target to stay away, but Target just keeps dangling it and using the creation of 250 jobs in the area as justification for going against the community's wishes and has even gone so far as to threaten litigation against the chair of the local neighborhood board for stating that he does not support the development because it goes against the area's sustainable communities plan (which, unfortunately, has no teeth).
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    Published on 13 Dec 2011 7:00 AM
    Categories:
    1. Economic Development
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    Cardinal writes:

    Sears is threatening to leave its headquarters in Hoffman Estates, a suburb of Chicago. At the time it left the Sears Tower, the company received incentives from the state to remain in Illinois, and built a sprawling office complex that was, in suburban fashion, as the iconic tower it abandoned in 1993. Now Sears is playing the "move" game again, seeking generous payouts from states to relocate its operations. ...
    Published on 12 Dec 2011 8:00 AM
    Categories:
    1. Economic Development
    2. Housing

    By Michael Stumpf, AICP, CEcD

    Two homes of a similar size and age, on equally-sized lots in the same neighborhood, should have more or less equal value. On the face of it, this seems like a reliable statement and is the basis for several home value websites such as Realtor.com or Zillow.com. These services rely on such basic assumptions in developing algorithms to calculate expected home values based only on data from sources such as assessment roles (providing information such as lot and building size) and recent home sales in the vicinity. But what about other factors not apparent in the data? What if one home is a beautifully restored 1900’s Craftsman bungalow in a quiet neighborhood across from a park, while the other is a poorly maintained and nondescript ranch house on a four-lane arterial surrounded by industry? While obvious to us, the computer cannot “see” these differences and will suggest similar values for the homes, significantly over- or under-estimating their value. ...
    Published on 01 Dec 2011 8:00 AM
    Categories:
    1. Economic Development

    By Perry Norton FAICP

    This essay is allegorical, and rife with broad sweeping generalities. That said, and humbly begging your pardon, let us proceed.

    All across the country concerned people are experimenting with converting public schools into private schools. Charter schools, magnet schools, vouchers. There is the perception that as public institutions the schools have become so mired in red tape of their own making that they are no longer capable of "teaching".

    In a sense, these efforts are something like taking just the hands of the watch to the watch repair shop, saying that "they don't point to the right time." Read on. ...
    Published on 28 Nov 2011 8:00 AM
    Categories:
    1. Economic Development

    by Fernando Centeno

    “An economic development program does not economic development make.” -- Anonymous

    Over many years in the public arena, much has been said and done relating to our community’s business prosperity, but these activities have been carried out in the name of “economic” or “community” development. Though well-intentioned, this practice has in effect, institutionalized a narrow economic public policy approach at the expense of the broader community, whose basic needs account for the alarming growth in income inequality across our country, unequaled since our last Great Depression.

    From the perspective of local (or regional) economic policy, I find an arena dominated by pundits, press, and politicians, rather than by professional planners, community leaders or those in social science professions, who better understand and deal with the consequences of narrow economic public policy carried out in the public’s name. A major failing in this regard is the fact that “urban” planners, concerned with the built environment and who dominate the planning profession, have chosen to limit their role in the interests of the private sector -- primarily the commercial real estate industry -- at the expense of their natural constituency, the broader public. A major realignment of public resource distribution is in order. ...
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