Wednesday, December 22, 2010

GET RECOGNIZED! EDD's Annual Awards/Scholarship


Deadline: Friday, February 11, 2011

The annual Donald E. Hunter Excellence in Economic Development Planning Award from the APA Economic Development Division is awarded to a community that shows innovation and success with an economic development plan or project. Award winners receive a plaque and a monetary award of $1,000 as well as recognition at the annual Division business meeting at the APA National Planning Conference and a featured article in the Division's newsletter, News & Views.

Any economic development plan implemented in the United States or Canada within the last 10 years is eligible. Any member of the American Planning Association may make a nomination (except for the members of the Economic Development Division Executive Committee and Awards Committee, APA Board Members, and AICP Commissioners).

Submission Information
Please submit to the Chair of the Award Committee:
Julie Herlands
4701 Sangamore Road, Suite S240
Bethesda, MD 20816
Phone: (301) 320-6900, ext. 15

Applications can be submitted by email or hard copy:
  • Email to: Please indicate in the subject line: "[Your Jurisdiction] EDD Award Application."
  • Mail hard copies to the above address: Please send three copies of everything for distribution to the committee.
For more information:



Deadline: Friday, February 11, 2011

Master's level students from PAB-accredited planning departments across the U.S. may apply. The $1,000 scholarship is awarded on the basis of a letter of recommendation from a full-time faculty member and an original paper or work having to do with a substantive and relevant topic related to economic development and planning. We prefer an article length or shorter paper submitted (not a thesis, although a shorter paper developed from the thesis is acceptable) of 2,000 to 2,500 words. The scholarship will be presented at the APA Conference in Boston, MA in April 2011 and the paper will be published in EDD's News & Views publication.

Submission Information
Please submit the application to:
John Provo, Ph.D., Associate Director
Office of Economic Development (0373)
Outreach and International Affairs
Virginia Tech
702 University City Blvd.
Blacksburg, VA 24061

For more information:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Connecting Livability and Economic Development in Dubuque, Iowa

Welcome back to the APA Economic Development Division (EDD) Blog! EDD took a bit of a break from our blog in August, since many of our contributors were on vacation or just extra-busy with work. Please be assured that EDD is now back with many great posts planned for this Fall. We've recently had two new bloggers join our team, Della Rucker of Jacobs and Joy McGee. You'll be hearing from both of them over the next several weeks, and I'll let them both introduce themselves in their next posts. As always, please feel free to contact us if you're interested in contributing to the blog!

Our first Fall blog post also features the first video that we've posted to the EDD blog. Earlier this year the ongoing PBS series on American infrastructure, Blueprint America, featured Dubuque, Iowa. The former factory town has bet its economic future on sustainable development and smart growth. The city's sustainable development plan is a national model. Dubuque is pursuing all of the hallmarks of smart growth, including complete streets and sustainable transportation, energy efficiency and a riverfront revitalization strategy. The redevelopment of a historic warehouse district is intended to attract young professionals and create affordable, workforce housing to reinvigorate the downtown. Dubuque was named a National Resources Defense Council's 2010 Smarter City for Energy. Late last year IBM announced that Dubuque would serve as the model for its Smarter Cities initiative and that the firm would relocate 1,300 employees to a technology support center in the city by the end of 2010. However, Dubuque's reputation as a green city wasn't the only thing that attracted IBM, but $50 million in state and local incentives also played a role.

However, as you'll see in the video some in Dubuque question whether the IBM move and the investments in creating a livable community alone can generate long term economic growth
. Are sustainability and livablity linked with economic growth in the 21st century, or are they just planning fads? Can downtown redevelopment aid in the retention of educated young people even in a mid-sized Midwestern city like Dubuque? Will the IBM move to Dubuque generate long-term growth? Was the $50 million incentive package given to IBM worth the $100 million IBM investment and 1,300 jobs? The blog team looks forward to reading your thoughts in the comments!

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Role of Economic Developers in Creating Quality Jobs (New IEDC Report)

This week's guest post was authored by Louise Anderson, Senior Associate at the International Economic Development Council.

Job creation remains a key measure of success for economic development efforts. But the era in
which nearly any job was a “good job,” to a certain extent, is over. Growth in the economy is becoming increasingly bifurcated, with high-tech, high-wage jobs on one hand and low-wage, largely service-sector jobs on the other. Economic developers find it increasingly challenging to create jobs that deliver the kinds of wages and benefits that were standard in the industrial era.

A recent report from the International Economic Development Council,
Creating Quality Jobs – Transforming the Economic Development Landscape, shows how economic development is transforming in response to a changing economy. Creating quality jobs and rebuild the middle class in a global, knowledge-driven economy requires new strategies, new partners, new goals and new metrics of success.

Creating Quality Jobs – Transforming the Economic Development Landscape, is based on in-depth case studies of seven communities: Ponca City, Okla.; San Jose; Newton, Iowa; Albuquerque, N.M.; Tupelo, Miss.; Pittsburgh and Akron. The cases reveal an emerging framework for economic development, one aimed at creating broad-based prosperity through the transformation of both the regional economy and the institutions that support it. The framework has seven components:
  • Alignment in a Regional Context
  • Engaged Local Leadership
  • Incorporating Inclusion
  • Building Capacity
  • Building on Existing Assets
  • Basing Plans on Solid Research
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
While each case represents a different variant of this new framework, their common goal is a more systemic approach to job creation, with the objective of creating sustainable, quality jobs in a more resilient, more diverse economy. You can access a PDF of the Creating Quality Jobs – Transforming the Economic Development Landscape on IEDC’s website:

Monday, July 19, 2010

Economic Inclusion in City Awarded Contracts

This post was authored by D. Joy McGee, EDD's newest division volunteer blogger!

Small business enterprises (SBE) are critical to our economy, they create employment
opportunities, and help the United States compete in today’s global market. Government at all levels is heavily invested in making sure SBEs succeed. Yet, even in the current recession there are prime government contracting opportunities for which minority- and women-owned businesses often are not utilized. Acknowledging the disparity of city contracts awarded to minority- and women-owned businesses, some cities have created task forces, city departments and programs to foster minority economic inclusion. To create this economy of inclusion, a procurement plan must include goals to expand the number of small- minority- and women-business enterprises (SBE/ MBE/WBE) to do business with the city by removing obstacles.

Why is minority inclusion a challenge? Some of the challenges that SBEs, MBEs and WBEs face include, but are not limited to, marketplace discrimination, obtaining certifications, bonding and insurance, technical expertise and capacity, and believing that opportunities are tangible. What can be done to close the gap and to make sure that significant disparities don’t continue to persist? Best practices include but are not limited to:
  • executive buy-in;
  • streamlining the process of certifications;
  • technology used to promote outreach and diversity;
  • training and promoting staff;
  • building partnerships among the public and private sector and outreach;
  • strategic use of under threshold contracts, and;
  • preparing minority and women-owned businesses to bid for large contracts.
Should cities adopt a race based or a race neutral program or a combination of both? In 2009, Cincinnati, OH and San Antonio, TX made commitments to improve their current procurement policies and SBE programs.

The City of Cincinnati
has a race neutral SBE program. The task force, Open Cincinnati Action Team, was commissioned by Mayor Mark Mallory to make recommendations aimed at accelerating minority firms doing business with the City. If economic inclusion has not improved within 18 months of implementing the 27 task force recommendations, the Action Team recommends that the City commission a disparity study to examine if a race based program with goals and/or set asides will work in its jurisdiction.

The City of San Antonio
commissioned a study in 2006 to determine what, if any, evidence of disparities exist in procurement practices related to the ethnicity, race, or gender of the business owner. As a result of MGT of America, Inc. findings and recommendations, City Council determined that a combination of race- and gender-neutral and race- and gender-conscious remedies and programs will aid in the effort to remedy past marketplace discrimination. City government’s economic power can be employed to create an economic inclusion program that is committed to breaking down barriers. A disparity study can be conducted to analyze procurement practices and to determine which economic inclusion program should be utilized.

City government’s economic power can be employed to create an economic inclusion program that is committed to breaking down barriers. A disparity study can be conducted to analyze procurement practices and to determine which economic inclusion program should be utilized.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Economic Development in a Transforming Energy Economy - New IEDC Report Available to the Public

Today's guest blog is authored by Elizabeth Thorstensen, Senior Associate at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), and a primary author of the IEDC publication Getting Prepared: Economic Development in a Transforming Energy Economy.

While the specifics of the transition to a low-carbon economy are still being debated, it appears likely that some
type of cap and trade or carbon pricing will emerge. Any effort to price carbon will hold significant implications for U.S. industries, regions and the nation. The International Economic Development Counicl (IEDC) recently published a report, Getting Prepared: Economic Development in a Transforming Energy Economy, designed to aid economic developers and others in related fields in positioning their economies to benefit from the transition. While IEDC does not specifically promote a cap and trade policy, we recognize that this is an important emerging issue that those in the economic development and allied professions need to be aware of and to understand.

To understand how states are preparing for this changing policy paradigm, IEDC convened a
group of state economic development leaders in the fall of 2009. The meeting was intended to explore the opportunities and challenges presented by a regional or economy-wide move toward carbon pricing. The states represented diverse geographies and economic circumstances.

Following this meeting, IEDC selected nine states to profile in the Getting Prepared report to better understand how states are already transitioning to the low-carbon economy and working to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Across the majority of states examined for this report, we found a significant amount of GHG mitigation activity, much of which is linked to economic development or is in the process of developing such linkages. Policies such as renewable energy standards, state and local energy efficiency strategies, new building codes, as well as clean tech development and deployment have tremendous implications for economic development.

If national and local economies are to maintain and increase their competitiveness, reduction of GHGs must be understood as beneficial to the future health of the economy, not just the environment. Almost all states are now taking steps toward changing their energy profiles and incorporating sustainability into their economies. The challenge of transitioning to a clean energy economy will be to employ and connect all of these pieces in a synergistic way. Given that cap and trade, or carbon pricing may relatively soon become a reality of the American economy, changes and preparation are needed if it’s going to be a smooth transition. How economic developers build systems that will aid the transition and tap into its potential is of critical importance.

Despite the diversity of their assets all of the states featured in Getting Prepared indicated some movement toward greater preparedness in light of a shifting energy economy. That preparedness emerged in four areas detailed in the report:

  • Policy drivers;
  • Investments in innovation;
  • Transition assistance, and;
  • New partnership development.
While some policies stand alone, others are part of a set of complementary policies that are capable of transitioning economies over the long term. The integration of the business community, government, workforce intermediaries, utilities, and entrepreneurs will all be vital for the transition to grow organically rather than reactively or behind the curve.

Unlike the biotech sector, in which only a few regions were favored by sustained federal R&D funding, all communities can stand to benefit from the transition to a lower-carbon economy. Therefore, the real story is that preparedness is an economic driver in and of itself. The more you invest, the more prepared you are, but you’re also starting to drive your economy into more dynamic areas of growth. The key will lie in balancing acceptable climate change policies with economic assets in a way that advances GHG mitigation while driving growth.

To find out more and to read the full report, please go to:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

NADO Webinar: Recovering from the BP Gulf Oil Disaster - Lessons Learned from Exxon Valdez

The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) asked us to pass along this upcoming webinar information.

Recovering from the BP Gulf Oil Disaster - Lessons Learned from Exxon Valdez

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

3:00 PM - 4:30 PM EDT

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

The BP oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico has already surpassed Exxon Valdez as the worst oil-related disaster in U.S. history. 

As concerns continue to grow about the long-term impact on the businesses and livelihoods in the Gulf Coast region, people are searching for ideas on how to be proactive in the recovery process. What is the role of local government? Should businesses expect to relocate? How do we best manage public and mental health issues? How can we diversify our workforce? 

Drawing on their experience in the Exxon Valdez recovery process, NADO is honored to have two presenters share their thoughts on the obstacles to oil spill recovery:

- Molly McCammon, Executive Director of the Alaska Ocean Observing System and former Executive Director of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council 

- Dave Cobb, Business Manager of the Valdez Fisheries, former Mayor of Valdez, AK, former member of Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council 

The purpose of this broadcast is gather insight from one historically significant disaster to assist in the recovery process of another.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Communities become entrepreneurs

This week's post is by guest contributor Joshua Bloom, Principal of Arlington, VA-based Community Land Use and Economics Group, LLC.

Cooperatives have been around almost forever. But the movement has seen new growth and creativity, especially now, when retail revitalization requires new approaches to traditional business recruitment. As an alternative to recruiting businesses, many communities are actually becoming entrepreneurs and developing businesses themselves. In Clare, MI, for example, a 100-year-old downtown bakery was about to close. But the Clare police department put a stop to it: rather than letting the store become vacant, the entire police department organized themselves (as private citizens) to become an investor group and buy the bakery. They renamed it "Cops & Doughnuts". They now have 18 employees and the bakery has already doubled its retail space in the first twelve months of operation.

The March/April issue of Main Street Now, a publication of the National Trust Main Street Center, explores the wide range of community-owned businesses -- including Cops & Doughnuts.

Community-owned retail businesses typically use one of four models:
  • Cooperative. A communally owned and managed business, open to anyone, and operated for the benefit of its members. In a cooperative, each member owns an equal share.
  • Community-owned corporation. A traditional for-profit corporation that integrates social enterprise principles. Investors may make different equity investments and own differing numbers of shares.
  • Small ownership group. A small, ad hoc investor group that capitalizes and/or operates a business as a partnership or a closely-held corporation.
  • Investment fund. A community-based fund that invests debt or equity in local business ventures. Typically, the community investment fund finances a local entrepreneur as the owner/operator of the business.
For resources and examples, see To read the original article, visit (membership required).

Joshua Bloom, principal
Community Land Use and Economics Group, LLC | 202.427.4722

Friday, May 28, 2010

3 Questions With Peter Lowitt: Advice for Job Seekers

It's graduation season, and many urban planning students have recently completed their graduate work and are looking for jobs. Recently I got the opportunity to ask some advice from the APA's former EDD chair, Peter Lowitt about advice for those looking for their first economic development position. Here Peter Lowitt shares insight into how the field fares in times of economic hardship and strategies for job hunters.

Alison: Do you find that economic development planning is any more or less recession proof than other areas of planning?

Peter: Economic developers tend to be hired in periods of recession because communities seem interested in attracting jobs-but the position is very political. Economic developers can be seen as the scapegoats if a particular project goes wrong. There’s a saying for economic developers that ‘if it moves shoot it, and if it falls, claim a victory.’

Alison: What should students be looking for if they want to find a job in their area?

Peter: Look at regional planning agencies. Communities are always going to be preparing plans. Look into Chambers of Commerce. A good idea is to look into the International Economic Development Council, which has regional components. For instance, the Northeastern Economic Developers Association, or the Maryland Economic Developers Association.

Alison: What is one thing that you wish all people entering the field knew on day one of their new job?

Peter: Any background that you have in business will help. That is the language that many people you will be working with are used to, and so being able to speak their language is very important.

Peter Lowitt is a Director at Devens Enterprise Commission in the Greater Boston Area, and is the Chair of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Economic Properity Elements - Resource List

Late last year, the blog reviewed Economic Prosperity Elements, and how they differ from typical economic elements of general or comprehensive plans, and invited EDD members to submit links to their Economic Prosperity Elements to EDD. This post provides a listing of Economic Prosperity Elements that were submitted, with some context provided by William Anderson, FAICP, EDD Immediate Past Chair and Director, City Planning & Community Investment Department at the City of San Diego.

Many cities and counties are adding Economic Prosperity or similar elements to their General Plans. These elements help strengthen the link between a jurisdiction’s comprehensive plan and economic development. While most factors that influence economic development are beyond a local area’s control – macro-economic trends, international competition, interest rates, financial markets, etc. – local jurisdictions do have control of factors that can make them more or less competitive in the region, nation, or world. Some of these local factors are traditionally addressed in General Plans, such as land use capacity for industries and targeted sectors, infrastructure efficiency and cost, quality-of-life, housing affordability for the workforce, and environmental quality. Other local factors are not as directly related to land use policies, such as workforce training, education, and access to capital, factors which may be the purview of other organizations and agencies, but are also critical. An Economic Prosperity Element, especially one tied to a regional economic development strategy, can bridge and coordinate these factors and take the General Plan beyond the role of just land use policy. It can also serve as the element that connects a region’s economic development strategy focused on the needs of export-oriented base sectors, to the opportunities for community-level economic development.

This blog provides examples of Economic Prosperity or Economic Development elements from general plans around the country, from small towns to large cities. We hope you can find something useful for your own needs.

EDD is interested in expanding the list provided below, please feel free to submit a link to any Economic Prosperity or Economic Development element that you know of in the comments section of this post.

Thank you,
William Anderson, FAICP
Director, City Planning & Community Investment Department
City of San Diego

Economic Development/Economic Prosperity Elements/Plans Submitted to-date

City of Entiat, WA Comprehensive Plan, Economic Element

Monroe County, Michigan Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

City of San Diego, CA Economic Prosperity Element

Arlington, VA Economic Development Strategic Plan

Monday, May 10, 2010

Upcoming Course: Cultural Community Development

Former EDD Chair Rhonda Phillips is teaching a Rutgers PDI course, Cultural Community Development, beginning late this month that offers 14 AICP credits! The class will be working with Bisbee, AZ as our project for the studio, have some neat speakers from LISC and other organizations. Find out more on the Rutgers PDI website:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Determining the Fiscal Need for Public Intervention in Redevelopment

This week's post is authored by the Bob Lewis, AICP, CEcD, Principal at Development Strategies and the new Economic Development Division Chair. The premise of this post is drawn from a panel session on Spatial Economics at the 2009 national conference of the American Planning Association. Panelists were Steven Shwiff, who heads the Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance at Texas A&M University; Robin McCaffrey, who is a principal with Mesa Design Group in Dallas; and Carissa Cox, an associate with Mesa Design Group. Interpretations of the panel’s presentation in this essay are entirely the author’s, however.

Communities are often barraged with requests for “development incentives” when proposed projects just do not seem to earn a sufficient rate of return. How do public officials figure out which projects deserve incentives?

Any site can be placed on a continuum that indicates the relative balance between the value of the land (i.e., ignoring improvements on the land) and the value of the improvements (i.e., ignoring the land). Almost all property taxing jurisdictions distinguish between the two—land is valued separately from what’s on the land. It’s possible to use the ratio of land-to-improvements value in evaluating incentive requests.

Ideally, the relationship between land value and improvements value will be balanced in a fully thriving community. As the economy is manipulated by the invisible hand toward equilibrium, so says the theory, all real estate values will achieve an appropriate balance. This doesn’t mean that land value is equal to building value, but that there is an appropriate balance that is effectively expressed in the “rents” that the property generates—sufficient income to pay all operating and maintenance expenses, debt service, and a competitive rate of return to the owners.

We all know, however, that a perfect balance for all properties all the time never happens.

To one side of the equilibrium continuum, therefore, would be sites where the ratio of improvement value to land value is too high. To the other side would be sites where the ratio of improvement value to land value is too low.

Properties that have perfect balance do not need public intervention because the economy is operating as it should. Likewise, properties on the “stimulative” side of the continuum do not need public intervention because the underlying value of the land is a strong enough incentive for property owners to develop or redevelop in order to “capture” that value through higher economic rents. That is, if the land value is so strong, then high paying tenants will want to occupy the location, so the property owner needs no economic incentives to, say, build a bigger or better building and attract such tenants.

Where intervention might be necessary is on the “blight” side of the continuum. This is where the value of the improvements is high, but the location value is relatively low. For example, there might be a very expensive building on the site, but the site is too poorly located to attract tenants willing to pay rents that reflect the value of the building. So the building remains underutilized, probably with poor maintenance, and can become a blight in the community.

All cities have experienced varying degrees of these conditions. The corner of “Main and Main” in a vibrant downtown, for example, represents a site either in balance or in a stimulative condition. But a formerly successful shopping center on a major arterial road might no longer be well located because major retailing has moved to the interstate highway interchange. Demographic and household income shifts also change the location value of shopping centers.

‘Blighted” might be too strong a word in some cases, but there are properties that are clearly blighted while others we tend to call “marginal” because they show early signs of imbalance favoring the value of the improvements. For whatever reasons, the value of the land is diminishing relative to the operating costs and value of the building. In such cases, there is technically no economic incentive for the property owner to improve the property to a higher value. Stronger rents cannot be achieved at that location. Thus, the building is effectively allowed to deteriorate to a value more in balance with the value of the land—and rents will inevitably decline.

Ridding that blight requires improving the value of the land and/or reducing operating costs. A city government might work harder to reduce crime, increase the quality of the utilities, or re-pave the street to increase the site’s location value. Indeed, these are useful intervention techniques for properties just beginning to go out of balance on the blight side of the continuum.

More drastic measures, however, are required for more advanced stages of blight. Thus, cities often offer to buy the land and turn it over to a developer at no cost, thus reducing the new property owner’s exposure to the rate-of-return imbalance. Or substantial public infrastructure investments might be made to increase the location value. Tax increment financing is often an appropriate tool in this case because higher values, triggered by the “new” infrastructure, should generate “new” taxes, some of which can be siphoned off to pay for the needed improvements. Tax abatements, tax credits, direct payments, etc., may also reduce the property owner’s exposure to the improvement/land imbalance and/or to increase the location value of the site.

What defines “balance,” however? In most communities, a simple indicator could be the aggregate value of all land divided by the aggregate value of all improvements (or vice versa). This is, in effect, the average for the entire community. Individual property ratios that significantly deviate from this ratio can be identified as opportunities for higher value development (stimulative) or opportunities for public intervention (blighted). Multi-year measures of this aggregate balance can be utilized to minimize statistical variations year-to-year.

Perhaps even better is to determine the equilibrium ratio using a much larger geographic area, say a county-wide or metropolitan-wide measure. A central city might have its own balance, but that ratio might not be the same as, say, the adjacent suburban county. Thus, a metro average might be a more appropriate “goal” though it could mean that a disproportionately high number of central city properties fall into the blighted end of the continuum while the suburban properties are more weighted in the other direction.

In any event, this equilibrium concept can be an effective indicator of properties needing public incentives and those that shouldn’t need such incentives. Public officials need to marshal resources as carefully as the private sector, so the use of such statistics can guide better decision-making.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Economic Development Division Activities in New Orleans

We look forward to seeing members of the APA Economic Development Division at our Division-related activities and sessions in New Orleans! Events include:

ANNUAL MEETING AND RECEPTION Economic Development Division Annual Meeting & Reception (X018) Monday, 6:30-8:00 pm (Scheduled location is Hilton Hotel, Marlborough A)

• Enjoy free drinks and hors d’oeuvres
• Network with fellow division members
• Discuss the upcoming year’s work plan

Earn CM credits and sharpen skills at the following sessions:

“Measuring Economic Impacts of Scenic Byways” (S411) Sunday, 7:30-8:30 am CM 1.00

Test drive a user-friendly tool that helps local groups measure and communicate the economic impacts generated by their byways. Developed by America’s Byways Resource Center, which supports the 125 National Scenic Byways, this tool is a valuable resource for those fighting to maintain federal, state and local funding support of byways.

“Planning for the Bottom Line” (S414) Sunday, 5:30-6:45 pm CM 1.00

In an economic downturn, improving the financial management of local government is every department’s responsibility. Learn to improve the financial management of the planning department and gain an understanding of how land-use decisions impact a community's overall fiscal condition. Take a leadership role in your community's financial management.

“Riding Out the Recession” (S543)* Monday, 4:00-5:15 pm*EDD-Sponsored SessionCM 1.25

Stagnant housing market. Declining tax base. Shrinking municipal budgets. Rising unemployment. It’s scary. But cities, even those experiencing structural upheaval, have weathered past recessions. And it’s normal for municipal revenues to lag behind. Hear from veteran planners who’ve suffered through this before and learn what to expect in the public and private sectors.

“Social Media in Planning” (S809) Monday, 5:30-6:45 pmCM 1.25

If your agency or firm doesn’t Twitter, blog, or have a Facebook page, it may be missing the boat. Learn to use Internet technologies for public outreach and education. Discuss ways APA members can use these tools for professional networking and education.

“Looking Past Market Cycle Pressures” (S594) Tuesday, 10:30-11:45 amCM 1.25

Market cycles create short-term pressures that need to be reconciled with long-term planning needs. Discuss strategies for looking past market cycles to pragmatically achieve planning goals and a long-range vision. Lessons from San Diego and Aurora, Colorado, illustrate how keeping a planning project steady can push it toward successful completion.

We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What Do You Wish Your Elected Officials Knew About Economic Development?

This week's post is a guest blog from Christy McFarland, Program Director, Finance & Economic Development, Research & Innovation at the National League of Cities. She can be reached at

We at the National League of Cities are producing a guide for local elected officials based on a list of the “10 Things Local Elected Officials Should Know about Economic Development…and if you don’t you should ask.” This list is sort of call to arms about having informed local elected officials who can support and promote thoughtful economic development policies.
To be sure, we are not trying to turn local elected officials into professional economic developers, but to give them the tools and knowledge to be effective leaders and to build mutually-supportive relationships with their economic development staff. We started this conversation with economic development officials at IEDC’s recent conferences and would welcome your input as well. Have additions, subtractions, or comments about our list? Let us know! The “10 Things Local Elected Officials Should Know about Economic Development…and if you don’t you should ask”:

Informed and Strategic Leader

1. Your local economic strengths and weaknesses, including:
  • What are the major sources of jobs in my town?
  • What available sources of worker training are available in my city, like community colleges, and are they connected to the needs to my local business community?
  • What is the high school graduation rate? Drop-out rate?
  • Local unemployment?
  • Am I up to speed on changing economic conditions?
2. Your community’s economic development goals and vision, including:
  • Are goals and vision based on a “fad” or the realities of my community?
  • Is the economic development vision in sync with longer-term community values?
3. Your community’s strategy to attain these goals, including:
  • What are the tangible outcomes of our vision?
  • How can I be part of a “continuum” of leadership for economic development? (i.e. balancing longer-term nature of economic development with short-term political concerns)
4. How your community fit into the broader regional economy, including:
  • What does/could my community offer to enhance the region’s overall economic strength and environment?
  • What regional organizations or partnerships exist? Are we involved?
Policy Maker Who Can “Connect the Dots”

5. Other city activities that support or impede economic development, including:
  • How do transportation, housing, land use and other policies impact economic development? How do these all work together?
6. Your regulatory environment and budget, including:
  • Are we establishing the right conditions to create jobs?
  • How long does the permitting process take?
  • Does the budget support the expectations I have of my economic development team?
  • Do we offer tax incentives, and under what circumstances?
7. Who needs to be at the table to get the job done, including:
  • Who are the key city staff from various departments and outside organizations who work on these issues?
  • Do I talk to them?
  • What do/can they bring to the table to help achieve our economic development goals?
  • Are there communications barriers between stakeholders and what can I do to break them down?
Effective Communicator

8. The needs of your local business community, including:
  • How does my business community perceive local government?
  • How does my city monitor and respond to the needs of our local business community?
  • How do we celebrate and highlight the achievements of local businesses?
9. How to support your economic development staff and they can support you, including:
  • Am I in regular communication with my economic development staff?
  • Do I trust my staff and do they trust me?
  • Do I empower my staff to make decisions?
  • What type of leader do they need me to be in order to be most effective?
  • What information do I need from them in order to communicate to residents how we are addressing their needs?
10. A consistent message and brand about who we are, including:
  • How do I articulate our economic vision to my citizens?
  • Are all city staff and officials on the same page with the goals and are we delivering a consistent message/brand?

Monday, March 22, 2010

A few GREAT Economic Development Blogs

EDD blog is still new and developing – so this week I wanted to highlight a small group of economic development related blogs that I’ve found inspiring and insightful. What economic development blogs would you recommend?

The EDPro Weblog by Ed Morrison (@edmorrison)
Maybe the first blog developed specifically for Economic Development practitionersEDPro Weblog is a rich repository of resources and analysis on local economic and workforce development issues. The blog describes itself as aiding “economic and workforce development professionals—EDPros—keep up with the changes sweeping our professions. Strap on your goggles. It's a whole new game. There are no experts any more. The only place to learn about economic development is from other EDPros who are doing it.” EDPro Weblog is the project of Purdue Center for Regional Development Economic Policy Advisor and consultant Ed Morrison.

Extraordinary Observations by Rob Pitingolo (@robpitingolo)
Authored by John Carroll University Senior economics major Rob Pitingolo, Extraordinary Observations covers topics related to economics, urbanism, transportation, and more. Rob is currently an intern at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, and he is in pre-graduation job search mode -- don't miss his Video Resume!

Richard's Real Estate and Urban Economics Blog by Prof. Richard Green (@keynesianr) of the School of Policy, Planning and Development and the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.
“This blog will feature commentary on the current state of housing, commercial real estate, mortgage finance, and urban development around the world. It may also at times have ruminations about graduate business education.”

Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space by Richard Layman, Washington, DC based urban/commercial district revitalization and transportation/mobility advocate and consultant.
“A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic. This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.”

The Bellows by Ryan Avent (@ryanavent)
The Bellows author Ryan Avent’s day job is writing for The Economist. Anyone interested in the intersections of urbanism, economics, planning and transportation should be a regular reader of The Bellows.

EMSI Resource Library, by Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc.
“The EMSI Resource Library is a source of news, articles, and links for professionals in workforce development, economic development, and workforce education.”

Friday, March 5, 2010

Transportation’s Economic Impact, a more complete picture

This is a cross-post with the Young Professionals in Transportation Blog.

When the economic impact of transportation investment is discussed, the typical focus is on job creation. It is obvious that when roads are repaired or new transit systems built that many jobs are directly created. There are also jobs that are indirectly created through transportation investments. Each new transit agency employee or highway construction worker will generate new spending not only on essentials such as food and housing, but also on non-essentials such as entertainment, and these expenditures will support other jobs in the private sector.

Over the past year we’ve witnessed the power of transportation and infrastructure investments to generate quality jobs that cannot be outsourced for hundreds of thousands of Americans through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). An American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials study reported that in its first year ARRA directly supported 280,000 transit and highway jobs, and that including indirect and induced jobs it supported 890,000 jobs. An October 2009 report evaluating the economic impact of public transportation investment prepared by the consulting firm Economic Development Research Group for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) found that on average for every $1 billion of spending on public transportation operations in the United States, 41,140 jobs are created, and for every $1 billion spent on transit capital expenditures, 23,788 jobs are created. When transit operations and capital expenditures are combined, an estimated average of 36,000 jobs are supported for each $1 billion invested in public transportation.

While the number of jobs supported by investments in transportation infrastructure is a critical indicator of transportation’s economic impact, this indicator alone does not provide a complete picture of how transportation and economic development are linked. Accessibility, the measure of the number of activity sites (school, work, places of worship, retail stores) that an individual can reach within a certain travel time, is and will remain an important determinant of economic opportunity for Americans in every type of occupation.

Despite repeated predictions, exemplified in the 2001 book Death of Distance by Francis Craincross, that geographic distance would cease to be an inhibiting factor in economic collaboration and trade, the region remains the center of economic activity and collaboration in the United States and around the world. The world economy is essentially a collection of regional economies. The Internet Era has not hastened the demise of geographical proximity as a requisite for individual or firm economic success. While I cannot do justice in this short blog to the all of the literature in geographical economics and economic geography that explore the many reasons for the pre-eminence of regional economies, I would like to touch on a few aspects found in academic research that underscore the importance of place and accessibility for individual, firm and regional economic success.

First, trust is an importation foundation of human economic interaction, and trust is built primarily through repeated face-to-face (F2F) interactions. When you trust someone, you are more willing to exchange information with them, and collaborate on individual projects. While competition and firm rivalry are often cited as an important factor in regional economic dynamism, the reality is that in many sectors of today’s economy a more common paradigm is to find firms that partner on some projects, and compete on others. Trust and F2F interactions also allow for a key type of information exchange, tacit knowledge transfer. Tacit knowledge is knowledge that cannot be codified or exchanged without co-presence, and the exchange of tacit knowledge is often considered to be dependent upon a shared social and cultural space. (For a more in-depth consideration of the importance of these three factors on regional economic success, please see pgs. 30-33 in my paper, Tucson’s Clustered Connections).

F2F, trust and knowledge exchange, tacit and codified, form the foundation of regional networks that support regional economies. For knowledge workers having access to a number of actors within their industry’s regional network and a robust personal network is an important determinant of how successful they may be personally. For firms, the ability to access industry knowledge and talent is critical. If transportation investments increase accessibility and subsequently the ability of knowledge workers to interact, there will be a positive impact on the economy. It is important to note that not all types of transportation investments really do this, some may only increase mobility, or the ability to move between activity sites. (While there is an inherent urban bias to accessibility, it can’t be said that an intensely developed place is required for economic dynamism, Silicon Valley and its suburban office parks are an important example).

Accessibility is also an issue that acutely affects low-income workers. In the second half of the 20th century, entry-level jobs in service industries were increasingly located in the suburbs while many low-skilled workers remained in central cities, creating a spatial mistmatch of jobs opportunities and low-income workers. Accessing job opportunities in the suburbs often requires the use of a private automobile, a mode of transportation too expensive for many low-income workers. As a result many government and non-profit agency programs have sought to provide reliable transportation to low-income workers seeking to travel jobs that are not accessible via public transportation. For some individuals the ability to access these types of programs can mean the difference between being employed and unemployed.

In the first decade of the 21st century the issues presented by the spatial mismatch and access to reliable, low-cost transportation for low-income individuals has been exacerbated by the growth in suburban poverty. The Brookings Institution recently released a report on the suburbanization of poverty that found that between 2000 and 2008, “suburbs in the country’s largest metro areas saw their poor population grow by 25 percent—almost five times faster than primary cities and well ahead of the growth seen in smaller metro areas and non-metropolitan communities.” In the coming years, transportation and economic development professionals will be challenged to work together to create dynamic, accessible and equitable communities that will provide the foundation for continued national economic success.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Economic Development Studio @ Virginia Tech: A Student Experience

Ms. Jones and Dr. John Provo, Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development Associate Director, will lead a FREE webinar on sustainable development, presenting their work commissioned by SustainFloyd as a case study on Friday, March 25th. You can register for the webinar online here.

Top right: In a meeting room at the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development, the Economic Development Studio @ VT meets weekly to work on their project. From left of table; Thomas Moore, Sherman Taylor, Daniel Ling, Courtney Kimmel, Brian McElraft, Ashley DeBiase, Will Drake and Mel Jones work on client presentation.

Top left: Dr. John Provo, instructor of the Economic Development Studio @ VT, and Thomas Moore, Urban Affairs and Planning Student, at presentation to client, SustainFloyd, at the Country Store in Floyd, VA.

Bottom left: Jack Wall, SustainFloyd board member and client contact for the Economic Development Studio @ VT.

Bottom right: Ashley DeBiase presents the opportunity for a micro dairy in Floyd County, VA to SustainFloyd at the Country Store in Floyd, VA.

The Economic Development Studio @ Virginia Tech is an opportunity for students to experience a development project from its commission to completion. The studio experience is complicated and no doubt different for every student involved, depending on his or her role, ambitions, and background. Despite the variety of experiences to be had, I expect that exercise in applying economic development theory, project planning and implementation, group dynamics, consensus building, and time management were felt in everyone’s intellectual muscles.

This year’s project was commissioned by SustainFloyd, a local non-profit devoted to sustainable development in Floyd County, Virginia. SustainFloyd connected with the studio’s instructor, Dr. John Provo, and requested that the class identify sustainable business opportunities in Floyd County. Accepting the request, Dr. Provo assigned the studio project as a preliminary feasibility study to identify a number of sustainable business opportunities. He introduced readings to direct the class to applicable theories and set out deadlines for the project’s progression.

From the beginning, the class unanimously chose to apply the concept of community economic development, likely due to our exposure to academic trends in economic development and our generation’s affinity for community engagement. Adding “asset-based” to community economic development was almost accidental (it seemed to me; perhaps Dr. Provo had it up his sleeve the whole time). Obviously, we had to know what is in Floyd to work with, so we began interviewing members of the community who were already involved in sustainable businesses or already promoting sustainable practices and made a plan to collect data on Floyd’s labor, natural, and infrastructure resource availability. The interviews quickly revealed that Floyd had a wealth of intangible assets rooted in the cultural and social dynamics of the county. Through data collection and analysis we identified Floyd’s general labor advantages and a number of important infrastructure and resource constraints.

Our evaluation of Floyd’s advantages and constraints along with our interpretation SustainFloyd’s sustainability mission led us to sectors in which Floyd County could most effectively contribute to sustainable development. In those sectors (training and education, biomass energy, interior furnishings and food processing) we detected sustainable business opportunities which would both use and bolster Floyd’s assets while contributing to the overall sustainable development of Floyd County. Without ever specifically intending, we were applying concepts of asset based development. Our enterprise recommendations are therefore product of asset-based, sustainable, community economic development ideas. A taste of our results is below, but check out the whole report at on the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development Website!

Climate change and alternative energy is one of SustainFloyd’s top priorities, so wood pellet production is a particularly relevant sustainable business opportunity. Wood pellets can be produced and consumed on a local level, aligning with SustainFloyd’s desire to localize the area’s economy. A micro dairy would allow the county’s existing agricultural and dairy base to enter a thriving, value-added niche market. Manufacturing flooring and countertop materials would leverage the county’s existing manufacturing skill base, creating opportunities for the area’s artisans and craftsmen, while expanding sustainable living options for consumers. A “sustainable living” training and education center could retrain displaced manufacturing workers, empower prospective farmers to enter the agriculture business, and provide additional income streams for professionals in the area.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

HUD Issues Notice for New Sustainability Planning Grants

When Congress approved FY 2010 funding, $150 million was provided to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for a new sustainable communities program. $100 million of that funding was set aside for regional planning grants and $40 million for “challenge grants” designed to provide capital funds to implement regional plans. On February 5, HUD issued an Advance Notice with a description and framework for a new Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program. The Advance Notice process is for the agency to garner feedback from the public, prior to a Notice of Fund Availability (NOFA) release.

HUD is requesting comments on the program and the proposed funding structure. Because the program is for multi-jurisdictional regional planning efforts, HUD is particularly seeking input from local governments, regional bodies, community development entities, and other stakeholders about how best to structure the program in order to have the most meaningful impact in creating “economically competitive, healthy, opportunity-rich communities.”

Three funding categories are being considered. First, support for the preparation of Regional Plans for Sustainable Development that integrate housing, economic development, transportation, and environmental quality where such plans do not currently exist. Second, funds may support the preparation of more detailed execution plans and programs to implement existing regional sustainable development plans. Lastly, implementation funds to support regions that have regional sustainable development plans and implementation strategies in place and need support for a catalytic project or program that demonstrates commitment to and implementation of the broader plan.

The comment period on the Advance Notice is open until March 12, 2010. HUD expects to release the final NOFA on the planning grants by April 12, 2010. Regions would likely have until the end of June to apply, and grant announcements would be made in early August.

APA will be submitting formal comments to HUD. We want your input. If you would like to submit comments or ideas, please contact APA at

The Obama Administration is also asking Congress to approve an additional $150 million for the program in the FY 2011 budget. Additionally, Congress is considering legislation to provide a multiyear authorization for the program. That legislation, the Livable Communities Act (S. 1619) may come before the Senate Banking Committee later this month. A House companion is expected as soon as next week. APA has endorsed the legislation.

More information, including a link to provide comments, can be found on HUD’s sustainability office website.

Jason Jordan
APA, Director of Policy & Government Affairs

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Celtic Tiger Crash: A Visit to Dublin After the Bust

On a trip to Ireland last month I was amazed to see all of the scaffolding hanging from half completed projects, and the plethora of brutalist architecture. I was visiting Dublin to do mini-internship with the Urban Institute; a research organization at University College Dublin, aimed in part at grappling with the newly sprawling pattern of the city, and aiming to inform policy to create a more sustainable Ireland. While there, I spent a lot of time in awe of the devastating crash of the Irish economy.

Dublin is a small city-walkable from the north end to the south end in about ten minutes, which is perhaps why the rampant modernist buildings were all the more noticeable and troubling. During the recent hay day of the Celtic Tiger boom, far too many Georgian buildings were leveled to make way for structures resembling Albany’s Empire State Plaza, or Boston’s City Hall. The economic boom ushered in an era of wasteful spending and dubious banking practices. During the boom, Ireland sent representatives around the globe to teach struggling nations how they too could prosper. Lithuania, Latvia, Uruguay, and Trinidad all become convinced that the Irish Model could work for them. What exactly constituted the ‘Irish Model’ is nebulous, but included low regulation, a ‘business friendly’ attitude, and creative banking-all ingredients with which Americans have recently grown familiar. Also, as noted by Fintan O’Toole in ‘Ship of Fools: How Stupidity and Corruption Sank the Celtic Tiger,’ “Ireland became far more dependent on foreign investment for its manufacturing base than almost any other society. By 1999, half the manufacturing jobs were in foreign-based companies compared to 20 percent for the EU as a whole. But it seemed to work. At the end of the 1990s, Ireland had become the largest exporter of computer software in the work. The overall value of exports more than doubled between 1995 and 2000” (p.13). Housing prices escalated, and many bought homes that they could not afford. Development was in full swing and the old style architecture and way of life was being demolished to make way for a new, modern era, replete with a sprawling development pattern. Other factors of course contributed to the fast increase in wealth, a case is often made that Ireland was merely catching up to the rest of Europe. Since 1922, growth in Ireland lagged significantly behind Europe. Another factor was the successful global economy at the time of the boom. In the late 1990’s, nations the world over were enjoying financial success, and thus investing more heavily abroad.

Ireland is now faced with recovering their image, their economy, and their built environment from the devastation of a hard fall commensurate with a sharp rise. And as Dublin does have much to offer in the way of inviting European streetscapes, the city will likely be frozen in this place for a while-scaffolding and half finished projects sitting side by side brick Georgian buildings as a symbol for what became of this nation for a brief time. While it is enticing to be caught up in the good times of economic success, hopefully we all, Irish and American alike will insist upon economic development strategies rooted in sustainability and endurance going forward.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

EDD Scholarship New Deadline: Feb 18th

NEW DEADLINE: FEB. 18th 2010!

The application deadline for the EDD Scholarship has been extended to Feb. 18th, 2010.

Master's level students from PAB-accredited planning departments across the U.S. may apply. The $1,000 scholarship is awarded on the basis of a letter of recommendation from a full-time faculty member and an original paper or work having to do with a substantive and relevant topic related to economic development and planning. We prefer an article length or shorter paper submitted (not a thesis, although a shorter paper developed from the thesis is acceptable) of 2,000 to 2,500 words.

The application should be addressed to:

John Provo, Ph.D.
Associate Director
Office of Economic Development (0373)
Outreach and International Affairs
Virginia Tech
702 University City Blvd.
Blacksburg, VA 24061

The scholarship will be presented at the APA National Planning Conference in New Orleans in April 2010, and the paper will be published in EDD’s News & Views.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Understanding the Unserviced Workforce

Today's post is a guest post from Stuart Mease, of Connecting People. Stuart will be leading a FREE webinar for the Economic Development Division on Understanding the Unserviced Workforce on June 25th. Visit to register for the webinar.

With the start to any new year, resolutions are made and are either kept or broken. Many will make resolutions to find a new job or become employed again. As one starts their job search process, ask yourself which one of the three segments of the workforce fits you – white collar, blue collar, or are you like me, a member of the unserviced workforce? Let’s define each segment.

White collar professional workers are being serviced by private third-party groups (headhunters). Typically their skill sets are in high demand and companies are paying a premium for their services. Professions such as health care, engineering, information technology, accounting, architecture are all in high demand, regardless of region. These workers are coveted because they will most likely drive the regional economy forward.

The blue collar skilled workers are being serviced by public third-party agencies (community colleges, workforce investment boards, employment commissions, etc.). Typically their skill sets are in high demand and companies try to create a pool of candidates to become trained to perform these jobs. Professions such as manufacturing, trades, technicians are all in high demand. These workers are coveted because they can stall the regional economy from moving forward.

The unserviced workforce is caught in the middle. Neither the public nor private sector is serving this group. This segment of the workforce can be characterized as: younger with potential or upside; has some form of higher education; has good skill sets, but not billable skill sets, which are in demand; and are looking for a “professional” job paying a salary between $30-$60k. This is the critical mass of knowledge workers who are underemployed, overeducated and are job hunting.

Members of the unserviced workforce will be forced to do one of these seven things:
1. Acquire new skills through formal education and move up in the workforce ladder
2. Humble themselves and take a job or jobs lower in the workforce ladder
3. Start a business
4. Continue to stay in the unserviced workforce by looking and finding lateral jobs
5. Remain unemployed for an extended amount of time
6. Leave the region for opportunities in others areas
7. Retire, if able

Those who complete their job resolutions in 2010 will pick options 1, 2 or 3. Those who come short will pick options 4 thru 7. Our region and economy need these job seekers to successfully achieve their resolutions. Get out of the unserviced workforce in 2010. For more help getting out of the unserviced workforce, go to

Friday, January 15, 2010

Member Profie: Dr. Terry Holzheimer, FAICP

Our inaugural member profile features, Dr. Terry Holzehimer, FAICP, Director of Arlington Economic Development and former Chair of EDD and current chair of the American Planning Association's Division's Council. Dr. Holzheimer also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Virginia Tech's graduate program in Urban Affairs and Planning where he teaches Urban Economy and Public Policy and Economic Analysis Methods.

To visit the website of Arlington Economic Development click here. To read Dr. Holzheimer's Virginia Tech biography click here.

What attracted you to the field of economic development planning?

I worked my way through college as a draftsman in the Highway Design Section of a public works department while majoring in economics. I was destined to put economics and city building together as a career. I don’t see how the two can be separated.

What do you do in your job? What aspects of your job are the most meaningful and exciting? What aspects of your job do you enjoy the least?
I head an economic development program with a very broad mandate. We do the traditional recruitment/retention/small business activities, but also run the tourism program and we operate as a quasi-redevelopment authority. I love it all! Nothing gets the blood flowing like competition for a major employer; it may be old fashioned, but elephant hunting is alive and well in economic development. Building cities is a passion of our staff, and turning obsolete sites into exciting projects is incredibly rewarding. We are also heavily involved in the planning process where development economics is a fundamental part of our plans. So, there is the instantaneous gratification of winning a deal; the three to five year effort of developing a great project; and the 30 year horizon of good planning – what’s not to like? I am a planner but not a regulator and I tend to see rules and regulations as obstacles. My favorite book is First Break All the Rules. No one will ever think of me as planning director material, I have found my calling.

You are currently Chair of APA’s Division’s Council. What other APA leadership roles have you held in the past, and how have you seen APA grow over the years?
I really became active in APA about 15 years ago, presenting at conferences and doing various tasks for the Economic Development Division. I ran for Chair-elect and lost and then was nominated again two years later and was elected. The leadership track does keep you involved for awhile: two years as Chair-Elect, two years as Chair, and then two years on the Executive Committee as Past Chair. I then served as Vice Chair of the Divisions Council and now Chair. I believe that the Divisions are a great way to build both knowledge and a network in a specialty like economic development. We have worked hard to create opportunities for greater member participation in a way that is relevant and adds value to the membership. This blog is a great example.

In your role as an adjunct faculty member of Virginia Tech’s graduate program in Urban and Regional Planning you play a role in educating future planners. Is there anything you wish was incorporated in planning education that currently is not?
Putting my bias to the fore, I do not think that planners have enough grounding in development economics. I am not sure that planning students also get enough training in basic land use and plans review. There is a tendency to promote topics that are engaging at the expense of the basics. After all, graduates need to be able to get jobs as planners when they leave school. The current recession has had a severe impact on the capacity of state and local governments.

How do you see the economic development planners aiding jurisdictions in riding out the recession? Are there any other current or future challenges that should be of particular importance to economic development planners?

Planners can play an essential role in providing for the economic sustainability of their communities. Good plans beget great communities. Short term actions guided by a long term plan and strategy are the best bet for building a city.

Do you have any after hours hobbies that you want to share?
After my job in economic development, my teaching, and my work with APA, I try to find time for an occasional dinner with my wife and an even more occasional hockey game with my daughter. Go CAP

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Donald Hunter Economic Development Planning Award

Economic Development Planning pioneer, EDD volunteer and founder of Hunter Interests, Don E. Hunter, died peacefully December 30, 2009, in Annapolis, Md., after losing a valiant battle with a rare form of leukemia. Don was president of Hunter Interests Inc., an award-winning real estate development and consulting firm based in Annapolis, whose clients included local governments, public development organizations and large and small developers. Formerly co-owner of Zuchelli, Hunter & Associates Inc., Don founded Hunter Interests in 1986 and conducted independent consulting assignments nationwide for over 38 years. His firm' s combined experience as developer and economic consultant was unique in business and commanded respect from development companies and financial institutions throughout the country. Active for two decades in several national professional organizations. You can read his full obituary here.

The Economic Development Division has named our Economic Development Planning Award after Don Hunter to honor him for his long career in economic development planning. Don served as our Chair and was a great friend and colleague to many of us over many years. He will be fondly remembered.

The deadline for award nomination submissions is February 12, 2010. For more information the award visit the Division's website.