Economic Development: Your Role as a Local Councillor

Local governments play an important role in the local economy. While professional staff can guide and advise councils, elected representatives make the final decisions. How can local councillors support the development of the local economy? Publicus has produced a short guide for local councillors on supporting local economic development. Please contact us for a copy.…

Economic Development in Practice: Are you a planner, a gardener or a searcher?

Economic development is a complex, multifaceted process. There is no solver bullet. While it is important avoid oversimplifying the approach governments take to developing the economy, often these activities fall into a few broad camps. First, there are the planners: this is a very common approach, focussing on the coordination of the key ingredients to…

Twitter as a marker of regional economic vitality

New research methods using big data and artificial intelligence present findings that connect economic vitality with ‘regional personalities’. Associate Professor Martin Obschonka from the Queensland University of Technology and Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research along with researchers from the London School of Economics and Political Science (including Andrés Rodríguez-Pose), the University of Pennsylvania and the…

Australia and the new municipalism

Beset by recent political and economic disruptions, many local governments in Europe and North America are adopting new approaches to governance and economic development. While Australia has a different model to local government, how can movements such as the ‘new municipalism’ and ‘community wealth building’ influence Australian local governments? Australia has famously benefited from almost…

Does increasing urban density lead to economic growth?

Many cities across Australia are planning for increased urban density. This, we are told, will make infrastructure more feasible and improve the quality of life our urban centres have to offer. But will it? Does an increase in urban density lead to economic growth? More people are living in cities than ever before Around the…

The Local Business Environment and Decentralised Cooperation

PLATFORMA, the pan-European coalition of local and regional governments engaged in international cooperation for sustainable development, has just published my report on the Local business Environment and Decentralised Cooperation. This report shows how improving the local business requires capacity development for local governments and decentralisation reforms. Through decentralised cooperation, local and regional governments can lead reforms that…

New video: business environment reform

I am pleased to be able to share this video I worked on for the Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sS_fgLT-Mh0 I have been working with the DCED for a number of years and, in particular, providing support to its Business Environment Working Group. The DCED has some great resources available on business environment…

Strengthening regional innovation systems

In early March 2018, the Western Australian Government launched its New Industries Fund to ‘support venture creation and accelerate business growth to diversify the Western Australian (WA) economy and create new jobs’. A part of this fund is allocated to regional communities. I have been commissioned to assist in working with the regions to identify how…

Creating a better local business environment (Part 3): Options for reform

Local governments are at the frontline of the economic growth agenda. While national and state governments set the broader conditions, it is at the local level where many of the practical challenges of the business sector are faced. There is an expanding body of national and international best practice that councils can draw from to…