Our post-recession economy will be different from history.

Richard Florida provides a convincing argument that the new economy, now in the making, will change not only what we do and how we do it but where we do it.

Community and economic developers, take note, the “Great Reset” will be characterized by the new technology and new patterns of land use.

How we react today will either hasten or hinder the eventual change separating growing from declining communities.

Florida summarizes two historic resets, the (1st)   rural to urban the farm to city movement of the late 1800’s and the (2nd) urban to suburban movements of late 1940-50’s.  Florida notes that in each, the change “gave rise to new district geography” for the pattern of development.

He opines that the current “Great Reset” will likewise take shape around a new economic landscape and a whole new way of life that is in line with the emerging social and economic realities of our times – less orientation around cars, houses and suburbs…being concentrations of population within urban centers.

Florida bases his theory on the notion that an economic crisis ultimately helps economic growth and this growth is inevitable as documented by history.

He supports the theory that concentration of urban humanity creates “long term innovation” a necessary ingredient that keeps cities vital and forms a catalyst for change.

As the subsequent recovery plays-out, Florida believes “we will see the rise of certain cities and regions, within the US and the decline of others”.

Cities that fail to keep up will be trapped when they depend on one or two backward-looking industries deflated entrepreneurial spirit or by high cost and outmoded organizational social structures.

So what’s to be done by local governments to enable and nurture growth?

Florida’s answers include –

1. Support innovation

2. Install new systems of technology and infrastructure

3.  Create new living and working environments

4.  Remold the economic landscape and pattern of current living environments

5.  Breed tolerance – cultural, sexual, religious, social and personal economic stature

Government’s role is to enable and accelerate these changes by creating the fertile environment where they can grow and develop.

The challenge before community and economic developer’s is how to identify the creative and special features of every single person in their community and organize these into a program of community economic development that creates jobs that increase individual productivity and wages.

This is most aptly done by:

1.  Individual educational improvements

2.  Municipal infrastructure investment to create new technologies and living environments

3. Increasing concentration of urban population thus increasing innovation

The end product is a new lifestyle and new economic landscape that can power new kinds of development and serve as the foundation for new economic growth.

These changes will increase what is termed “urban metabolism” which, as the urban population grows faster, more frequent innovation leading to faster growth.

Economic developer’s now have their assignment according to Florida……..making the Great Reset work to their communities advantage!

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