Category Archives: economic development

The State-Based Crowdfunding Movement Gets its Own Conference

When it comes to investment crowdfunding, the spotlight has been on the federal JOBS Act. But that overlooks the flurry of innovation and experimentation happening at the local level, where 30 states (and counting) have passed their own mini-JOBS Acts that allow local investment within their own borders. Now, the state crowdfunding movement has its […]

BDCs: An Untapped Tool for Local Investing?

Take a look at this Presidential signing statement: “This new law will facilitate the financing of small businesses by providing needed reform of the Federal securities laws. Small businesses are essential to economic growth and to innovation. No effort is more difficult for small businesses or more crucial to their success than raising investment capital. This […]

Placemaking and the Battle For Human Scale Cities

The way we build matters. Sterile megastructures stress people out, and the domineering ‘architecture of doom’ favored by Hitler is still casting dark shadows across the globe. Contrast that to a streetscape that invites people to linger, sit and interact—a street with a human scale environment. In this piece, Stephen Burke of the nonprofit Project […]

Michael Shuman on Pollinators, Social Enterprise and Remaking Economic Development

Michael H. Shuman is an economist, attorney, author, entrepreneur, and one of the world’s leading experts on community economics. (He is not, however, a famous rock drummer).  His eighth book, (we think, we’ve lost count) The Local Economy Solution: How Innovative Self-Financing “Pollinator” Enterprises Can Grow Jobs and Prosperity, takes on the economic development profession […]

A Michigan Program Combines Crowdfunding And Grants to Fund Civic Projects

The Midtown Green Alley is more than a 415-foot stretch of green space connecting Alexandrine and Selden Streets in Midtown Detroit. It’s a symbol of the community’s hopes for the area. The newly renovated alley features native landscaping, an edible garden, permeable paving stones and art installations created by local artists. And it will serve […]

Kauffman Foundation: Six Strategies for Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

How do you create an entrepreneurial ecosystem? It’s the question that launched a thousand programs. We know that new business creation is a driver of economic growth and vitality. So, naturally, a lot of effort has been invested in trying to spur entrepreneurship. Over the past several years, the focus has shifted from narrowly-focused programs […]

Build It So They Will Come: 11 Principles For Creating Great Public Spaces

How do you create an effective public space? It’s not as easy as you might think. As the urbanist (and PPS mentor) William “Holly” Whyte said, “It’s hard to design a space that will not attract people. What is remarkable is how often this has been accomplished.” At the Project for Public Spaces, we have […]

Los Angeles Taps Community and Crowdfunding to Transform its Streets

Think of Los Angeles and traffic-congested streets may come to mind. Taking up 15% of the city’s land, L.A.’s streets make up, by many measures, its largest public asset. So how could this resource be transformed from a gauntlet of gridlock into a network of safe public venues where communities, culture, and greenery can flourish? […]

The New Economic Development: Tackling Inequality by Building Community Wealth

Inequality is one of the defining issues of our times, and many economic development efforts aim to address that challenge. Yet, too often, these top-down efforts fall short of truly lifting up and empowering disenfranchised communities.  And many communities don’t have the necessary capacity to create change on their own. How do you go about […]

The New Economic Development: Tackling Inequality by Building Community Wealth

Inequality is one of the defining issues of our times, and many economic development efforts aim to address that challenge. Yet, too often, these top-down efforts fall short of truly lifting up and empowering disenfranchised communities.  And many communities don’t have the necessary capacity to create change on their own. How do you go about […]