The Legacy of Place and Economic Development
By Christopher Steele and Adam Ploetz, AICP
Once the economic engine of the nation, the Great Lakes region in America’s Midwest has been grappling with successive shifts in the global economy for the past fifty years. Recently, the global recession, particularly the collapse of the US automobile industry, has exposed the naked weaknesses of the Great Lakes’ economy and its relative inability to adapt to the global marketplace. No American region has been as affected by the challenges of globalization; and – perhaps – no region stands to gain as much from structural economic changes. Past economic inertia in the region has been due to continued adherence to the previous era’s economic models, growth patterns and industrial base.
These older legacies of place must be re-cast to support the region’s resurgence. With these new realities in mind, local governments in the region will need to move beyond their past triumphs and find new ways of engaging with and excelling in the new global economy; this article will examine the critical role local governments must play in reinventing the Great Lakes as an economically vibrant location for business and entrepreneurism. We will view the region through the site selection process to help illustrate how communities can proactively attract new activity.
Yikes, There's a Tourist in Town: Guidance for Local Planners
By Michael E. Kelly, MCIP, AICP
Unless directly engaged in making tourism plans or working in a destination community, local planners tend to give little thought to tourism or to tourists in their day-to-day work. However, many communities across the country attract some share of visitors, and planners should be aware of the possible implications and opportunities that may result.
It can be easy to become swept up in the boosterism that surrounds what is often taken for tourism planning, but really is just tourism marketing and promotion. Local governments have a key role to play in tourism planning and development, but it is not attracting tourists to a community. Marketing and promoting tourism are activities best left to political and business leaders.
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