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Making Historic Preservation Economically Viable: Heritage Tourism


Photo from Historic Fresno

One potential way to make historic preservation more economically viable is through a heritage tourism platform.  This can be an attractive economic revitalization strategy, providing a larger source of sustained revenue for a community, creating new businesses, increasing tax revenues, and fostering job growth.  Together, historic preservation and heritage tourism have the potential to generate greater civic pride and promote a community’s unique character. Read more.

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Celebrating a Year’s Work in Akron’s University Park

University Park Alliance recently celebrated their one year anniversary of integrating University of Akron with the downtown community surrounding it. The celebration hosted Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup polling organization and author of The Coming Jobs War, who discussed his prediction that cities, universities, and local leaders will need to work together to achieve the next economic breakthrough. An Akron Beacon Journal article details early studies conducted in Akron show a direct yearly total impact of $2.5 billion within the area by the major institutions in the redevelopment area. Henry Cisneros, former Secretary of HUD and current member of CEOs for Cities Board of Directors, “cited Akron and UPA's efforts as an example of building on a university and city's strenghts.”

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White House “Strong Cities, Strong Communities” Pilot Cities Announced

Three CEOs for Cities partner cities, Cleveland, Detroit, and Memphis, will be placing a renewed emphasis on economic development in the coming months. Each one of only six pilot cities, they will be participating in The White House's Strong Cities, Strong Communities initiative, an interagency program that aims to strengthen communities, neighborhoods, towns, and cities by strengthening the capacity of local governments to develop and execute economic visions and strategies. Through public-private partnerships and federal assistance, the cities will build comprehensive community plans that encourage economic growth and job creation.

In Cleveland, the program will focus on enhancing workforce development to maximize economic potential. Partners in Detroit will work to leverage High Speed Rail investment to spur economic revitalization in the downtown corridor. In Memphis, the program will focus on strengthening education and attracting new industry. Strong Cities, Strong Communities hopes to help cities throughout the nation by providing the resources necessary to bolster local economies.

For more information, read the release here.

 

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Stopping Subsidized Sprawl

"Paid to Sprawl: Subsidized Job Flight from Cleveland and Cincinnati," a recently released study by Good Jobs and funded by the Ford Foundation, revealed some unsettling truths about the implications of business relocation subsidies in Ohio. The study shows that property tax breaks given to companies to relocate within Cleveland and Cincinnati are encouraging suburban sprawl. By dispersing jobs away from the urban core, the subsidies are, in effect, worsening wealth inequalities and decreasing employment opportunities. The study suggests that a combination of cooperation between local officials, anti-poaching policies, and regional transparency should be used to combat subsidized sprawl and to encourage economic development within the urban core.

Read the article in Crain's Cleveland here for more information.

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Obama Emphasizes Small Business Incubation

Cleveland State University, a CEOs for Cities partner, hosted President Obama and members of his cabinet for a forum on small business growth. The President chose Cleveland for its outstanding work in transitioning from a rust-belt economy to a tech-belt economy. The Winning the Future Forum on Small Business focused on the need to “out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build our competitors in order to sustain [American] leadership and secure prosperity for all Americans.” The forum highlighted small business growth as an important component of reinvigorating the economy and making the US a strong global competitor for the future. 

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New Report Released on Livability and Economic Growth

Philips recently released Liveanomics: Urban Liveability and Economic Growth, the second of two Economic Intelligence Reports on urbanism. The report examines the importance of livability and the role of business in a successful urban area. While every city is different, FedEx CEO Fred Smith believes that to have any prosperous city, “you have to have both good economies and good quality of life-they feed each other.” The report also finds that city livability is a very important part of forming an attractive economic place. Ultimately, livability and economic development are inextricably tied: livability draws business and “businesses play a central part in developing a city’s quality of life—by investing in the built environment, by funding cultural venues and events and by engaging in other forms of corporate philanthropy.”  The report further supports the importance of both quality of place and quality of opportunity in building a successful urban space. 

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CEOs for Cities Launches the Talent Dividend Prize

CEOs for Cities opened registration for the Talent Dividend Prize, a three-year competition to increase college attainment in major cities. CEOs for Cities’ research shows that 58 percent of a city’s success, as measured by per capita income, can be attributed to post-secondary degree attainment. Thus, the Talent Dividend Prize, which aims to foster economic development, will award a $1 million prize to the city with the largest increase in post-secondary degree attainment per one thousand people. The competition, which is supported by the Kresge Foundation and the Lumina Foundation, is open to all cities with a metropolitan population of 500,000 or the largest metropolitan areas in a state. The prize will be used to launch a national promotional campaign for the winning city. 

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Governor Cuomo Calls on SUNY?s Economic Development Leadership

Newly elected New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to support economic development through higher education. SUNY Chancellor and CEOs for Cities board member Nancy L. Zimpher, the visionary behind The Power of SUNY, a strategic plan that focuses on the role of higher education in fostering a better economy, is on board. In a speech at Fulton-Montgomery Community College, Zimpher emphasized that she hopes to “mobilize these institutions to have a coherent economic development plan." Zimpher believes that SUNY’s large research institutions are an important catalyst for future state economic growth. Zimpher, newly enlisted by Cuomo, is working towards “revenue-generating capacity” for SUNY in order to relieve budget concerns. Cuomo’s recognition of Zimpher’s work is yet another example of how she continues to shine for her leadership in anchor institution building. 

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Talent Dividend Tour Update No. 3

CEOs for Cities national Talent Dividend Tour has traveled to 22 cities since its kick off in Memphis on March 31.  The latest update includes a note from CEOs for Cities President and CEO Carol Coletta on the need to speed the change needed to achieve the Talent Dividend and includes links to download the presentations from our Urban Leaders Summit Talent Dividend meeting as well as links to recent media related to the Talent Dividend.

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Kids in Center City

Philadelphia's Center City District continues to innovate when it comes to retaining the young talent the city has worked so hard to attract by making the core appealing to that same talent once they couple and have kids.  Today the Center City District launched a new website, KidsinCenterCity.com, which serves as an online hub for information for parents about neighborhood and recreational activities, summer camps, museums, doctors, retailers, exhibits, sports leagues, after-school classes and many more useful listings. 

The site comes in response to the growing number of familes with kids living in the center city,

An earlier study by CEOs for Cities, City Talent: How to Keep Young Professionals (and their kids) in Cities, looked at this growing trend and found that parents from both urban and suburban neighborhoods expressed three key concerns of safety, space and schools, developing concepts to counter them through density, public space and using the city as a classroom. Download it here.

Philadelphia appears to be taking the lead in this innovation space. Here's hoping other cities take notice.