Introducing MyPlaceMatters

MyPlaceMatters: A One-Stop Resource for Place-Based Economic Development I am thrilled to announce the launch of a new website. MyPlaceMatters is a resource for anyone working in local and regional areas to develop the economy, create jobs and improve the quality of life. Where we live, work, invest, and grow affects who we are. It…

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…

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…

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…