Category: Smart Cities

Eds & Meds in the Transformation of Industrial Cities

By: Marian Kansas, Consultant

Alan Mallach’s book The Divided City: Poverty and Prosperity in Urban America explores the rise and fall of America’s industrial cities. For us, it was an illuminating read on economic development, especially as Avalanche is advising communities across the Rust Belt.

We were especially interested in the chapter “From Factories to Eds and Meds.” Cities with rich histories like Baltimore, Cleveland and Pittsburgh have been able to weather the difficult transition in part because of their strong higher education and healthcare sectors (“eds and meds”).

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Making Metro-to-Metro Partnerships Work

Creating a global partnership in name can be easy – two cities from different countries have photo ops with leaders shaking hands or news stories touting the new alliance – but making those partnerships produce real economic benefits can be difficult.

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New Nonprofit Uses Popup Public Spaces to Revitalize Dead Downtowns

A Boston nonprofit is trying to bring back energy and life to empty downtowns by transforming vacant storefronts into public spaces. 

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Communities (and Their Businesses) are Going Global

Cities all over the country are working to make their local economy more global by promoting exports, which helps diversify the economy, expand local business operations, and create jobs.

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Research Finds Startups Cluster Around Transit

New research examines five startup hubs, two without many transitoptions, two with decent transit, and one with extensive transit, and find that public transit stops are not only useful for moving people around, but also promote job creation.

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Who Should Fix Rural Economies, State or Local Government? (Both!)

Governors are seeking to revitalize the rural areas in their states, but the differences in rural areas, from different target industries, population sizes, amenities, and more, it’s hard for states to formulate one solution.

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Why Economic Developers Should Defend Real Estate Developers

Economic developers need to teach communities the value of high-quality development and stress that new development is more cost-effective and equitable for residents in the long-term.

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Communities are Combating Climate Change and Joblessness at the Same Time

Besides the obvious danger climate change poses to our environment, it’s also dangerous for our economy. But more communities are striving to address both climate change and workforce development by supporting industries that are beneficial for the environment.

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City Leadership Should Beware Transportation FOMO

City leaders are increasingly trying untested transportation technology or wacky transit stunts to attract attention and supposedly improve the transit system, but usually these stunts are just for publicity, costly for residents, and ultimately don’t improve (or even affect) the existing transit system.

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