Sunday, July 26, 2009

What New Roles for the Economic Development Agency?

Hello members of APA’s Economic Development Division (EDD), including the new members of the Resort and Tourism Division who just joined EDD as a Section. This is the first of what we hope is a continual line of discussion, debate, and exchange of ideas for our Division. We realize that our quarterly newsletter, News & Views, while informative, is not an interactive medium for communication. Our members have questions, solutions, and want to talk with each other across the country. As members of EDD, presumably we value the importance of City and Regional Planning’s role in economic development, and vice-versa. This new blog provides a vehicle through which we can learn from one another. Thank you to Shana Johnson for setting this up.

So, let’s start a discussion. APA has asked us a timely question for our inaugural blog. The Economic Development Agency (EDA) is approaching their re-appropriation this coming session. National APA is already meeting with EDA and is an active participant in thinking about EDA’s future role. The questions APA and we have for our members is the following:

  1. What do you think EDA should do in the future as it relates to economic development and planning?
  2. What should APA persuade Congress and the Administration to consider regarding EDA’s function and appropriation? What programs should they continue? What should they modify? What should they introduce and fund?

One thing is clear. Economic development and planning issues around the country have some common themes, but many of the specific problems and opportunities are regional. We look forward to providing APA with our diverse input. Just add your comments and respond to others. We will pass them along to APA.

Finally, APA is already planning for the annual conference next year in New Orleans. Our Division has at least two or three “by-right” sessions, including the new Resort and Tourism section. We will send out a notice soon for session proposals, most likely due later this summer. Please start thinking of good session ideas.

Thank you,

Bill Anderson, FAICP

Chair, EDD

Director, City Planning & Community Investment Department, City of San Diego