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Economic Development

The Unlikely Urbanism of a Flea Market

The Unlikely Urbanism of a Flea Market

This place is a work horse. It grows small businesses from scratch without recourse to bank loans or government subsidies. It provides products and experiences that are genuinely needed in the community. And it costs almost nothing to create.

How Does Your (Economic) Garden Grow?

How Does Your (Economic) Garden Grow?

We conclude our podcast greatest-hits series by revisiting a 2013 conversation with Chris Gibbons, the originator of Economic Gardening. Helping home-grown companies expand—rather than importing jobs from elsewhere—Economic Gardening is the essence of a Strong Towns approach to economic development.

When Local "Growth" is Really Just Redistribution

When Local "Growth" is Really Just Redistribution

When a new brewpub, restaurant, or entertainment venue opens in your town, is this a sign of growth, or merely a shift in where patrons spend their dollars? And what does that imply about cities that subsidize such things?

Would You Move to a New City for $10,000?

Would You Move to a New City for $10,000?

Tulsa, OK is the latest city to offer remote workers some tempting incentives if they’ll move there for only a year. Is this a smarter approach to economic development, or do our cities need to #dothemath?

Amazon HQ2: Really, New York?

Amazon HQ2: Really, New York?

A few weeks ago, Amazon announced major new operations in not one, but three locations: Queens, NYC; Crystal City, near Washington, DC; and Nashville. Our biggest question is not for Amazon but for the cities and states that offered them massive subsidy packages: Why?!

Everyone Loses in Missouri's Tax-Subsidy Wars

Everyone Loses in Missouri's Tax-Subsidy Wars

Using tax incentives to subsidize retail is a lose-lose game that St. Louis's suburbs, desperate for short-term revenue, have been playing for too long. University City is mortgaging its future and selling out its small businesses with a $70 million subsidy for big-box development.

Crony Capitalism

Crony Capitalism

If we want to fix crony capitalism, what we really need is to localize capital.

Why Is That House or Storefront Vacant?

Why Is That House or Storefront Vacant?

In an area where the population is growing, one question often vexes neighbors: why is that house or storefront vacant? It just doesn’t seem to make sense. Why do landlords leave properties empty when they could be getting rent?

IoT: The Irrelevance of Thingies

IoT: The Irrelevance of Thingies

As technology becomes cheaper and more commonplace, it’s not driving us away from cities. Rather, it’s making the other attributes of place—especially human capital, social interaction and quality of life—more valuable.