Assignment Four: Policies
Wednesday, November 25, 2015 7:59 AM
Urban Planning 539:
Short Essay/Report. [suggested length: 4 - 5 pages, double-spaced, not counting the bibliography. I would encourage you to use graphics, tables, conceptual maps, etc. where helpful. This need not be just a straight narrative text.]
One observes a wide variety of (sometimes conflicting) elements that may be crucial to creating and sustaining a healthy local economy: a friendly business climate; agglomeration economies; clustering of synergetic firms; a good offering of local amenities to attract a highly educated workforce; low-cost labor and land; a tight network of innovative firms; aggressive economic development tools (e.g., IRBs, TIFs); proximity to universities, research parks, airports, etc.; active neighborhood-based involvement; protectionism; free-trade; to name just a few. (To develop a list of possible ED strategies, scan through the syllabus topics and the list at the bottom of the page.) One might understand these policies in terms of dichotomous alternatives: e.g., top-down vs. bottom-up; supply- vs. demand side; exogenous vs. endogenous; people vs. place vs. firm-based; command-and-control vs. market incentive; neo-liberal vs. social democratic; export-base vs. local-base; human- vs. natural- vs. social- vs. financial-capital based; etc.)
Your task is to survey the local and/or regional economic development policies and programs in your two case study locations. Given the relatively short length of the assignment, do NOT simply create an exhaustive listing of all the policies. Instead, provide the reader with a useful overview of the most important, innovative and/or interesting programs for each city. Help the reader see both the characteristics of the city's ED policy approaches and the major differences or similarities across the two cities. That is, provide a useful mix of description (of individual policies), synthesis (distilling and clustering the major policies by type), analysis (critiquing the goals and priorities of the policies) and comparison (across your two case study cities).
A bit of advice: if a large city has a large and complex array of policies, you might quickly note the range of major programs and then select 1-3 specific programs for deeper elaboration.
A few possible questions/issues to consider (you certainly need not address all of these; they are merely suggestions):
Note: You may find it easier to give an overall summary of a smaller city's economic development strategy (such as for Ypsilanti), but better to focus on a few specific programs in a larger and more complex city (such as Los Angeles).
------As with all assignments, use complete and correct citations (really small footnotes or references fine -- or perhaps use footnotes on one page and have a separate "sources" page). Refer to all sources used (including data, maps, images, tables, graphs, course readings and materials found on the Internet). Please familiarize yourself with standard practice of academic integrity in coursework. --> See this link for complete information.