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…

Supporting city and local government innovation

City and local government authorities can be more innovative in the way they work, share data and stimulate local innovation. Characteristics of innovative local governments While there is no single pathway to success, there are characteristics that high-performing city and local governments share: First, innovative city and local government authorities make sure that very different…

Making places for innovation; lessons from Mexico City

While the national buzz around innovation in Australia appears to have somewhat subsided, there is growing evidence of the role local actors can play in stimulating innovation. Local innovation ecosystems nurture private and public innovation. National policy frameworks are important, but state and local initiatives have a major role to play. Innovation goes beyond the…

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…

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…

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…

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.…