TIP Strategies is a privately held Austin-based economic development consulting firm committed to providing quality solutions for public and private‑sector clients.
This blog is dedicated to exploring new data and trends in economic development.
By: Richard Florida
Via: The Atlantic Cities
It’s now conventional wisdom that human capital (what economists call educated people) is a key factor in the growth of cities and metro regions. Cities are engines of economic development, and the skilled people are the high-powered fuel that drives them.
Most studies of the role of human capital in regional economic growth track its effects on and across metro regions. But metros vary widely in size, shape, and spatial and demographic compositions; human capital doesn’t always cluster in the same places at the same densities. The revitalization of the urban center in cities like New York, San Francisco, Boston, and others has fueled in-migrations of more skilled and affluent people. Other cities, like Los Angeles and Detroit, still suffer from the proverbial “hole in the donut” effect, with their more educated, higher income populations spread out across their suburbs while their urban centers lag.
“Human Capital in Cities and Suburbs” [PDF] a study I co-authored with my Martin Prosperity Institute colleagues Charlotta Mellander and Kevin Stolarick, looks at the distribution of human capital between the center cities and suburbs of United States metros and the effects this has on their economic performance.
To get at this, we used data from the 2000 Census to identify the percent shares of human capital (measured as adults with bachelor’s degrees or above) in both the central city and the suburbs of 331 Metropolitan Statistical Areas.
Read More . . .
By Alex Cooke
In recent years, TIP has assisted in developing EDA-funded Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS) for a number of large metropolitan areas. The main challenge to regional planning is designing economic strategies that satisfy the needs of different communities within the region. TIP is committed to engaging stakeholders at the local level in order to drill down into the specific challenges and opportunities of each community. Specific projects we have worked on in recent years are profiled below:
TIP assisted the Partnership to design an update to the four-county Regional Economic Strategy. Completed in 2012, the strategy addressed the key economic issues facing the Puget Sound region’s 3.7 million residents and its main industry clusters. A brochure published by the Prosperity Partnership summarizing the 2012 strategy can also be found here.
Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG):
In 2012, TIP was engaged by the four-county ACOG to assist in crafting a CEDS for the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, allowing the region to be designated an Economic Development District for the first time by the EDA. Using a collaborative approach and working closely with multiple jurisdictions and the University of Oklahoma, TIP structured a plan around the region’s significant opportunities. The plan also identified and prioritized specific projects with an eye toward eligibility for future EDA funding.
City of Richmond:
TIP worked with the City of Richmond to create a CEDS that identified, prioritized, and presented Richmond’s key development opportunities, especially those projects eligible for EDA financial assistance.
Las Vegas Valley:
We are currently working with the City of Las Vegas and the Regional Development Authority to develop the first regional economic development plan for the communities within Clark County. The plan is scheduled to be completed in March.
By: Joshua Marston
Via: Planet Money
Williston, North Dakota is in the middle of an oil boom. Thousands of workers have flooded into the town, but they’re reluctant to call it home. Instead, they live in bleak rentals, often sleeping in dorm-like trailers known as “man camps.”
Local officials are trying to turn Williston into a real town, where people want to bring their families. But it’s a tough sell.
On today’s show, we visit Williston, and we learn why one guy endures a thousand-mile commute, why a one-bedroom apartment costs $2100 a month, and why the town is building an indoor lazy river.
[click the image below for the full story]
By: Bobby Allyn
Via: The New York Times
MEMPHIS — John Jordan, a 64-year-old condo appraiser here, has been pedaling his cruiser bicycle around town nearly every day, tooling about at lunchtime or zipping to downtown appointments.
“It’s my cholesterol-lowering device,” said Mr. Jordan, clad in a leather vest and wearing a bright white beard. “The problem is, the city needs to educate motorists to not run over” the bicyclists.
Bike-friendly behavior has never come naturally to Memphis, which has long been among the country’s most perilous places for cyclists. In recent years, though, riders have taken to the streets like never before, spurred by a mayor who has worked to change the way residents think about commuting.
Mayor A. C. Wharton Jr., elected in 2009, assumed office a year after Bicycling magazine named Memphis one of the worst cities in America for cyclists, not the first time the city had received such a biking dishonor. But Mr. Wharton spied an opportunity.
In 2008, Memphis had a mile and a half of bike lanes. There are now about 50 miles of dedicated lanes, and about 160 miles when trails and shared roads are included. The bulk of the nearly $1 million investment came from stimulus money and other federal sources, and Shelby County, which includes Memphis, was recently awarded an additional $4.7 million for bike projects.
In June, federal officials awarded Memphis $15 million to turn part of the steel truss Harahan Bridge, which spans the Mississippi River, into a bike and pedestrian crossing. Scheduled to open in about two years, the $30 million project will link downtown Memphis with West Memphis, Ark.
“We need to make biking part of our DNA,” Mr. Wharton said. “I’m trying to build a city for the people who will be running it 5, 10, 15 years from now. And in a region known to some for rigid thinking, the receptivity has been remarkable.”
City planners are using bike lanes as an economic development tool, setting the stage for new stores and enhanced urban vibrancy, said Kyle Wagenschutz, the city’s bike-pedestrian coordinator, a position the mayor created.
“The cycling advocates have been vocal the past 10 years, but nothing ever happened,” Mr. Wagenschutz said. “It took a change of political will to catalyze the movement.”
Memphis, with a population of 650,000, is often cited among the unhealthiest, most crime-ridden and most auto-centric cities in the country. Investments in bicycling are being viewed here as a way to promote healthy habits, community bonds and greater environmental stewardship.
But as city leaders struggle with a sprawling landscape — Memphis covers about the same amount of land as Dallas, yet has half the population — their persistence has run up against another bedeviling factor: merchants and others who are disgruntled about the lanes.
A clash between merchants and bike advocates flared last year after the mayor announced new bike lanes on Madison Avenue, a commercial artery, that would remove two traffic lanes. Many merchants, like Eric Vernon, who runs the Bar-B-Q Shop, feared that removing car lanes would hurt businesses and cause parking confusion. Mr. Vernon said that sales had not fallen significantly since the bike lanes were installed, but that he thought merchants were left out of the process.
On McLean Boulevard, a narrow residential strip where roadside parking was replaced by bike paths, homeowners cried foul. The city reached a compromise with residents in which parking was outlawed during the day but permitted at night, when fewer cyclists were out. Mr. Wagenschutz called the nocturnal arrangement a “Cinderella lane.”
Some residents, however, were not mollified. “I’m not against bike lanes, but we’re isolated because there’s no place to park,” said Carey Potter, 53, a longtime resident who started a petition to reinstate full-time parking.
The changes have been panned by some members of the City Council. Councilman Jim Strickland went as far as to say that the bike signs that dot the streets add “to the blight of our city.”
Tensions aside, the mayor’s office says that the potential economic ripple effect of bike lanes is proof that they are a sound investment.
A study in 2011 by the University of Massachusetts found that building bike lanes created more jobs — about 11 per $1 million spent — than any other type of road project. Several bike shops here have expanded to accommodate new cyclists, including Midtown Bike Company, which recently moved to a location three times the size of its former one. “The new lanes have been great for business,” said the manager, Daniel Duckworth.
Wanda Rushing, a professor at the University of Memphis and an expert on urban change in the South, said bike improvements were of a piece with a development model sweeping the region: bolstering transportation infrastructure and population density in the inner city.
“Memphis is not alone in acknowledging that sprawl is not sustainable,” Dr. Rushing said. “Economic necessity is a pretty good melding substance.”
By: Boyd Cohen
Before you start pushing for smarter cities, it helps to know exactly what you’re advocating for.
Having worked in the smart cities space for several years now, I am encouraged by the growth of the sector and the pace of technological advancements being developed for urban environments. However, I believe that the smart-cities movement is being held back by a lack of clarity and consensus around what a smart city is and what the components of a smart city actually are.
While some people continue to take a narrow view of smart cities by seeing them as places that make better use of information and communication technology (ICT), the cities I work with (and most of the participants in the #smartchat, a monthly Twitterchat about smart cities held on the first Wednesday of each month) all view smart cities as a broad, integrated approach to improving the efficiency of city operations, the quality of life for its citizens, and growing the local economy.
Later this year, I’ll publish my annual rankings of smart cities here on Co.Exist. In order to improve them, I have been working on a new rubric for smart cities, that I call the Smart Cities Wheel.
This model has been inspired by the work of many others, including the Center of Regional Science at Vienna University of Technology, Siemens’ work with the Green City Index, and Buenos Aires’ “Modelo Territorial” among others.
Most cities can agree that there is real value in having a smart economy, smart environmental practices, smart governance, smart living, smart mobility, and smart people. Within each of these aspirational goals, I have included three key drivers to achieving the goal. There are over 100 indicators to help cities track their performance with specific actions developed for specific needs.
Let’s walk through a high-level example of how a real city could use the Smart Cities Wheel to develop and implement a smart cities strategy.
STEP 1: CREATE A VISION WITH CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT
Vancouver’s Mayor Robertson, and many before him, have sought to take leadership in the green cities arena. Mayor Robertson and his Greenest City Action Team engaged 30,000+ citizens in a process designed to establish a 2020 goal for the city. The city used “social media and digital technologies to spark citizen-led public-engagement activities like kitchen table discussions at private homes, online discussion forums and workshops at community centres,” according to Straight.com. I participated in this process, including speaking on the plan’s behalf to the Vancouver City Council.
The result is the Greenest City 2020 Action Plan, which has set a clear goal for the city to become the greenest in the world by 2020. Vancouver aspires to lead the world in at least one of the six aspirational goals of the Smart City Wheel (Smart Enviro).
Smart cities would also make use of the latest technology to acquire citizen input, like CivicPlus, which offers a range of software and mobile tools for cities to communicate and engage citizens in a dialog about city projects (Castle Rock, Colorado used CivicPlus to get input on the plans for a new city park).
STEP 2: DEVELOP BASELINES, SET TARGETS, AND CHOOSE INDICATORS
Before creating numerical targets for achieving a smart city vision, it is helpful to actually benchmark where you are. Let’s take Smart Mobility as an example. The Smart Cities Wheel has three key drivers for Smart Mobility: mixed-modal access; prioritized clean and non-motorized options; and integrated ICT.
Each city has its own mobility needs and challenges based on density, topography, existing infrastructure, etc., and while they can learn from each other, cities must develop their own benchmarks and targets around areas of need and opportunity.
It is impossible to overlook Copenhagen’s efforts to promote and prioritize cycling. In 1981 the city developed its first cycling plan and it has been evolving its cycling and mixed-modal goals since 2002.
Before establishing a forward-looking target, cities must establish the baseline. Copenhagen has been measuring cycling and mixed modal use for decades. Now the city has a target indicator: to achieve 50% of all trips to work or school by bike by 2015. The city has been making significant progress towards this goal, having already achieved 37% in 2009. Copenhagen also recently collaborated with MIT to create The Copenhagen Wheel, a hybrid bike wheel that leverages sensors in a bike wheel to monitor pollution, traffic congestion, and road conditions in real time. This is an example of an action within the other smart mobility driver–integrated ICT.
STEP 3: GO LEAN
In a previous post, I discussed how cities could and should embrace lean startup principles. Once a city has established quantifiable goals and selected the indicators to measure its progress, it needs to snag some early wins while also building plans for longer-term actions.
The journey to becoming a smart city will stall without a major commitment to supporting efficient, multi-modal transit. Electric vehicles and the appropriate infrastructure appear in many smart-city strategies. However, few places have the resources or demand to install EV charging stations throughout the city. It makes sense for a city to start with a pilot project as a way to get feedback on their hypothesis that by putting charging stations in a particular location, the stations will be used and will actually grow the amount of EV vehicle purchases by citizens living or working in the area.
Toronto just announced a pilot charging station program at a cost of $65,000 to the city. Councillor Mike Layton recognizes the benefits of this small-scale action: “We all know that this is the direction that singular vehicle transport is going in,” said Layton in the National Post. “Why we wouldn’t at least try out something at very limited cost to the city, to get ready for the revolution that is going to happen, is beyond me.”
Smart cities are not one size fits all. Yet, the smart-cities movement could benefit from frameworks like the Smart Cities Wheel that allow a common language to develop amongst citizens, city staff, mayors, and the private sector.
Pitney Bowes Software’s Data Analytics Says Houston, Atlanta and Washington DC Will Add the Most New Households in Next Five Years
Via: Pitney Bowes Software
STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–
Houston, Atlanta and the Washington D.C. metropolitan areas are projected to add the most households in absolute terms over the next five years, according to new data released today as part of Pitney Bowes Software’s inaugural Metro Magnets Index. Houston will add 141,000 new households between 2012 and 2017, with Atlanta adding 106,000 and D.C. adding 84,000.
In relative terms, the major metropolitan areas (defined for these purposes as having an excess of 100,000 households) projected to see the highest percentage growth rate through 2017 are Provo/Orem (UT), Austin (TX) and Killeen/Fort Hood (TX).
Detroit (MI) and Charleston (WV) are the only major metropolitan areas that can expect to see a decline in the number of households over the next five years, with Cleveland, OH, expecting just a 0.2% increase.
Growth Across the U.S.
The number of households is projected to grow between 2012 and 2017 in 98% of U.S. metropolitan areas, according to the new data.
Of the 384 U.S. metropolitan areas analyzed as part of Pitney Bowes Software’s inaugural Metro Magnets Index, just eight are set to see a decrease in the number of households. While growth remains, to some degree, almost across the board, the average annual growth rate for the next five years is projected to slow in 78 percent of American metropolitan areas when compared to the average annual growth rate for the years between 2000 and 2010.
“Projected household growth is a critical indicator for the economic prospects of a specific geographic area, and this data can help real estate, retail and a range of other businesses, plan their growth strategy scientifically,” said John O’Hara, President of Pitney Bowes Software. “It is no longer acceptable to make strategic business decisions on gut feel alone. Given the plethora of data, and the advanced tools for analyzing it, business leaders can stay ahead of real estate trends for planning.”
Phoenix, AZ and Riverside, CA, were among the top five growers during 2000-2010, but they are projected to slip to sixth and seventh between 2012 and 2017. The Phoenix area is projected to slow its pace of household change from an average annual rate of 2.9 percent to 0.9 percent. The Riverside-San Bernardino area is projected to slow from a 2.5 percent annual pace to a 1.0 percent annual pace.
Washington D.C. and New York, on the other hand, have returned to the top five metropolitan areas for absolute growth.
Household growth rates are slowing in the Lone Star State along with the national projections, yet Texas is still one of the fastest growing areas with five separate metropolitan areas in the Top Ten for projected percentage increase in the number of households. The Austin, Fort Hood, San Antonio, Houston and McAllen/Mission metropolitan areas all have projected household growth rates above 6.6% for the five-year period.
Through its location intelligence software products, Pitney Bowes Software helps organizations to visualize spatial data and understand relationships between specific locations, thus helping them to make more strategic business decisions. The MapInfo Professional® product line provides dynamic and flexible tools to combine location-based data sets with the ability to map and visualise location-based data. The result is actionable intelligence which can benefit organisations in a variety of ways: For example, improving operations (such as site location), improving marketing, understanding risk and strategic planning.
About the Data
Pitney Bowes Software’s demographic projections combine top-down and bottom-up phases. The top-down phase develops national, state, and county projections that become “control totals” for the bottom-up sub-county projections. Detailed national projections by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin complement state and county projections based on county trending from the Census Bureau. Counties are the building blocks for the Census Bureau’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The bottom-up phase of the projection methodology begins with Census 2010 block-group level data. The Pitney Bowes Software data team develops trending models based on historical MicroBuild® household estimates from The Gadberry Group, a PBS data partner based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
About Pitney Bowes Software
Pitney Bowes Software provides multi-channel solutions that leverage data to create relevant dialogue between organizations and their customers. These solutions enable lifetime customer relationships by integrating data management, location intelligence, sophisticated predictive analytics, rules-based decision making and cross-channel customer interaction management to increase the value of every customer communication while also delivering operational efficiencies.
Pitney Bowes Software is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pitney Bowes Inc. (PBI), a customer communications management technology leader. For more information, please visit www.pb.com/software and www.pb.com.