Friday, March 06, 2009

Forget Tax Cuts and Tax Incentives, Invest in People, Neighborhoods, and Small Businesses

Chicago Neighborhoods and SkylineImage by Antre via Flickr

In the down economy it is now important to invest in people, in neighborhoods, and in small businesses instead of promoting tax cuts for the wealthy and handing out tax incentives to corporations.

By fostering a community of entrepreneurship and promoting creativity, economic development can occur from within a community.

The Project for Public Spaces ran a story about the top 10 trends of 2008.

Placemaking puts people first. It is a holistic approach based on public involvement, on citizens working to make things better. Capitalizing on communities' often overlooked assets and can-do spirit, placemaking shows how we can advance everyone's health and happiness without spending huge amounts of money.

We now see the limitation of the privatized pursuits that flourished in recent years, and are rediscovering the importance of truly public spots—parks, markets, waterfronts and downtowns, to name a few—where we can come together to meet our needs and solve problems.

Taking stock of our work over the past year, we noticed 10 significant trends that are redefining the world as we know it, even in a down economy. What stood out in looking over all that we accomplished in 2008 was how people can still make big changes in their community if they have the right tools.

  1. Placemaking gains ground around the globe
  2. Collaboration is the key to making change
  3. Greenplace: How community revitalization fights climate change
  4. Placemaking is essential to vibrant travel destinations
  5. Libraries emerge as new town squares
  6. How cities stay lively 12 months a year
  7. The Power of 10 leverages community assets
  8. Public markets provide a leg up in a down economy
  9. The rise of community-based transportation planning
  10. New developments create innovative models for destinations

For more in-depth information about PPS and Placemaking, check out two recent articles from Convene Magazine and the Urban Land Institute.

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