Volume 40 Planning for the New Economy (2015)

As we started recruiting authors for this year’s issue of Carolina Planning, the most common question we heard was “What is the new economy?” To which we would say, “Exactly!” We present this issue of the Carolina Planning Journal as a conversation about what planners need to know about our changing economy and how we can work proactively to prepare communities to be economically sound and prosperous in the new economy.

As a way of starting this conversation, we look to the Brookings Institution’s 2010 “State of Metropolitan America” report, which characterizes the New Economy according to five primary “new realities:” growth and outward expansion, population diversification, aging of the population, uneven higher educational attainment, and income polarization. The authors in this volume of the Carolina Planning Journal are hard at work facing these new realities and working to imagine and re-imagine strategies with which to look forward.

Several key themes emerge from the authors featured in this issue. First, the necessity of long-range planning is echoed again and again. Planning is inherently forward-looking, and economic development planning in particular requires both forethought and flexibility. Planners must not only imagine what the next economy will be and start to prepare for it, but we must also constantly evaluate the changing economic tides and be ready to recalibrate strategies when our forecasts are incorrect.

We also heard many cases of cities and regions stretching the boundaries of traditional jobs- and revenue-focused economic development to include placemaking, transportation, culture, and livability. This growing understanding of what makes a place prosperous is exciting news in the field of planning, and we hope that the articles in this issue encourage readers to think broadly and creatively about the new economic development strategies that might serve their communities.

Finally, readers will notice that many of the authors conceive of equity as a primary goal of economic development, rather than an optional and inferior item on the development checklist. Many of the articles featured talk about sharing prosperity, creating more and better jobs, and building wealth and opportunity across our communities. We are inspired by the work being done to improve quality of life for all, and hope that readers take away some strategies for incorporating equity as a key feature of their own economic development plans.

 

Editors: Cara Wittekind and Julia Barnard

A digital version of this edition will be available late in 2015. Until then, please visit the “Subscriptions” tab to order a copy!

PLANNING FOR INCLUSIVE PROSPERITY: LESSONS FROM THE NORTH CAROLINA EXPERIENCE
Nichola Lowe, Meenu Tewari, & T. William Lester
Professors of Economic Development at the UNC Chapel Hill Department of City and Regional Planning set the stage by presenting the concept of inclusive prosperity as the economic development goal of the new economy.
FROM CONCENTRATED POVERTY TO COMMUNITY WEALTH-BUILDING
Thad Williamson
Lessons from ongoing comprehensive poverty reduction and community wealth building work taking place in Richmond, Va.
BAY AREA BLUEPRINT: WORKER COOPERATIVES AS A COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
Alison Lingane
Continuing the theme of equity and inclusivity, the co-founder of Project Equity in Oakland, Calif. makes an argument for worker cooperatives as a key economic development strategy and offers a case from the Bay Area and an action plan for scaling up worker cooperatives.
PLANNING THE CITY IN THE NEW ECONOMY: COMPREHENSIVE PLANNING IN AUSTIN, TEXAS
Gregory Claxton, Matthew Dugan, & Larry Schooler
The final two features are studies of comprehensive planning taking place in very different contexts. First, the Austin, Texas case discusses the challenges of planning long-term for a booming population and growing economic inequality.
PLANNING THE CITY IN THE NEW ECONOMY: PLAN CINCINNATI
William S. Fischer, Katherine Keough-Jurs, & James Weaver
The Cincinnati case provides a contrasting context of a Rust Belt city’s efforts to re-urbanize using bold economic and community development planning.
 NORTH CAROLINA IN THE NEW ECONOMY
CASE STUDIES FROM APA-NC CONTRIBUTORS
Ben Hitchings; Rodger Lentz; Lance Hight; Jenny Mizelle; with an introduction from John Morck
Carolina Planning regularly publishes a feature highlighting projects from members of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association (NCAPA). This year’s submissions focus on local efforts to meet the challenges of the changing economy, including APA-sponsored statewide research providing insights into Millennials’ preferences; proactive planning for high-speed internet and high-speed rail; using arts as an economic development strategy; and a success story of targeted industrial recruitment.
2014 BEST DCRP MASTER’S PAPER:
INTERMITTENT VS. CONTINUOUS WATER SUPPLY: WHAT BENEFITS DO HOUSEHOLDS ACTUALLY RECEIVE?
Kyle Onda
BOOK REVIEWS
STUDENT CONNECTION
FINAL THOUGHTS
Emil Malizia