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…

Creating a better local business environment (Part 2): What to measure

Make no mistake: economic development is a competition. Local governments need to do whatever they can to create a local business environment that nurtures a competitive business community; one in which local firms successfully compete in local, national and international markets. In the first post in this series I described the role of local government…

Creating a better local business environment (Part 1): The role of local government

Local government is often overlooked as a critical arena for microeconomic reforms designed to influence the decisions of private businesspeople to invest in the local economy and generate the jobs required by a vibrant, sustainable community. While the private sector creates jobs and drives economic growth, governments set the conditions in which this can occur.…

Better business regulations create jobs

The World Bank’s annual Doing Business assessment was released today with some important claims regarding the impact of regulatory reform on job creation. There has been much debate over the years about the significance of the link between good business regulation and economic growth, and this year’s report is a further contribution. This year’s report,…

The failure of community economic development

I began my professional working life in the field of ‘community economic development’ (CED) and ‘local economic development’ (LED). These models of development provide an important contribution to understanding the problems facing local communities, but they are often seen as a poor cousin to ‘real’ economic development. Whilst this is unfair, it is not completely…