This course provides a survey of major theories of urban economic development and current initiatives by federal, state and local governments to improve regional and local economic performance. A special emphasis of this course will be on defining a sustainable path to economic development; one that advances economic growth, improves environmental performance and generates more equitable access to economic opportunities.
In the first part of the course we will define and delineate specific dimensions of sustainable development and briefly review theories concerning the causes of growth and decline of cities and regions. The second part of the class will outline practical techniques for evaluating the structure and economic and environmental performance of regional and local economies. In the third segment, students will investigate various public intervention strategies and tools. Special emphasis will be placed on economic development planning processes, policies and programs focusing on workforce and small business development, development of artistic and cultural activities, “green” industry development and the so called “sharing” economy. In this segment of the class we will analyze and evaluate a variety of "state of the art" economic development programs being implemented by state and local governments and NGOs across the U.S.
1.Students will understand the environmental challenges and problems of equity and inclusion that must be addressed in contemporary economic development policy and planning.
2.Students will understand the economic and social factors shaping private investment patterns and regional growth and development.
3.Students will be able to critically evaluate rationales for public sector policies and actions to promote local sustainable economic development.
4.Students will be able to utilize demographic, economic and environmental data to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of local development processes and develop strategic sustainable economic development plans.
5.Students will understand an array of strategies and tools to advance sustainable local economic development.