In my first few months at Fourth Economy Consulting, I have been pulled into a variety of projects, from planning for smart cities, to neighborhood-level Main Street development, to measuring city-wide placemaking impacts, to community-scale, long-term vision planning.
The common thread that these projects share is the blending of economic and community development efforts, two notions that can sometimes feel very separate.
The communities that these projects represent and where we often find ourselves working tend to be smaller cities seeking economic resiliency or renewal strategies that match the priorities and goals of the residents and business owners who call that region home.
This starts with getting everyone, from major employers to community groups, from public officials to residents, to the table, and listening to identify common goals in order to benchmark around outcomes.
Generally, the people who live, work, and play in a region care most about the things that affect them and their families - do we have access to a diversity of jobs that pay a living wage or higher; are we connected to transit, training, and other resources that allow us to take advantage of those opportunities; do we live in vibrant places that are safe, healthy, and affordable; are we proud to be from where we live?
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