Tag Archives: Economic Development

Integrating Sustainability and Economic Development

17 Apr

Promoting environmental sustainability and pursuing economic development strategies have typically been considered two separate and (often) competing goals. But times are changing, and a growing body of evidence supports the notion that sustainability typically delivers more enduring and broad-based economic returns. Cities across the continent are beginning to wed environmental sustainability to economic development, looking at investments in a sustainable economy as one tool to build broad-based prosperity. Continue reading

Living Up to the Potential of Clean Transportation

17 Apr

Transportation accounts for a sizable share of our carbon output. In 2006 almost a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions came from the movement of goods and people. As we continue to tackle the task of curbing emissions from this unwieldy and varied sector of the economy, local governments and policymakers are devising techniques to integrate clean transportation investment into larger sustainability and economic development goals. Everyone seems to agree that we need to invest in improved (and more sustainable) transportation infrastructure, but a coherent transportation investment strategy that serves as a driver for economic development still seems to allude us. Continue reading

Revitalization Bills Roundup

20 Mar

While California, as a whole, may be on the path to economic recovery, certain regions of the State look to be in for a much longer and difficult road. Take Imperial County, which has the State’s highest unemployment rate [PDF] at 25% and a poverty rate [PDF] of 23%; or the counties of Merced, Fresno, Madera, Tulare, Kings, and Stanislaus, each of which have unemployment rates higher than the state average and poverty rates between 20-25%.  What new tools can be created at the state level to spur equitable economic development to some of our hardest hit communities? Continue reading

Brooklyn Navy Yard

19 Mar

Revitalizing the manufacturing sector in the U.S. is an important economic development strategy to create well-paying middle class jobs.  Cities throughout the United States are piloting ways to advance this goal.  New York City is developing this strategy through the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a 300 acre, city-owned industrial park along the Brooklyn waterfront.  At its peak, the Brooklyn Navy Yard produced warships for the U.S. Navy. Today, it houses 330 businesses in film, media, design, and cleantech sectors, and employs about 5,800 people. Continue reading

New Study on Affordable Housing Benefit Fee

14 Nov

The Economic Roundtable has released a new study documenting “the connection between property development and demand for affordable housing.” The study notes that if an affordable housing benefit fee had been in place from 1997 to 2007, “it could have generated an average of $35 to $110 million a year in revenue.” Download the report here.

Governor Brown Puts a Hold on Redevelopment Redo

17 Oct

The Governor has put the brakes on the Legislature’s attempts to develop new economic development tools in the wake of redevelopment’s dissolution. Continue reading

Redevelopment Redo

17 Sep

The State Legislature recently passed SB 1156, “a bill that would allow cities and counties to create Sustainable Communities Investment Authorities.” The bill now awaits the Governor’s signature at the end of the month. As we’ve noted, SB 1156 attempts to resuscitate elements of redevelopment after all of the state’s redevelopment agencies were shuttered last year. Hopes are high that Governor Brown will sign the new legislation. But is he likely to sign off on this redevelopment redo? Continue reading

Cluster Science: New Approaches

14 Sep

So what can Los Angeles do to better nurture emerging industry sectors? Entrepreneur and investor Richard Hull offers some solutions that may be applicable. First, he suggests that LA appoint a “performance director” that would be responsible for coordination, communication, and making timely connections to accelerate the startup process. This would connect startups to “local incubators, experienced local entrepreneurs, investors and other local business startup resources.” Continue reading

Water Politics and the Art of Legacy-Making

20 Aug

A few months back, we noted that California was a state in serious need of a vision. Considered ungovernable by some, the Golden State has no shortage of problems. Governor Jerry Brown is weathering a slow recovery from a severe economic downturn, and a policymaking system that is often beholden to the whims of a disjointed electorate. These significant hurdles tend to complicate the task of legacy-making. In spite of this, Governor Brown has decided to stake his gubernatorial claim to fame on the promise of two massive infrastructure projects. Continue reading

New Directions in Stormwater Management

15 Jul

In Los Angeles County, the finger pointing about who is responsible for cleaning up polluted stormwater has bubbled up to the United States Supreme Court.

In 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court found that the County and its Flood Control District were in violation of the Clean Water Act by allowing the release of untreated water into the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers. The Flood Control District claims that it cannot be held responsible for the polluted waterways, since it is not the source of the pollution. The County is hoping that the Supreme Court agrees, and finds that the County’s Flood Control District is not responsible for mitigating pollution from urban runoff that ends up in local waterways.

The battle in Los Angeles County represents a national trend of cash-poor localities scrambling to comply with the regulations of the Clean Water Act.  Cities are predictably looking to other entities to foot the bill. Continue reading