How Do Economic Developers See the World? Some Thoughts for Planners

Posted on: August 14th, 2013 by Brett Schwartz

On August 8-9, 2013, the NADO Research Foundation hosted a New England Peer Exchange in Portsmouth, New Hampshire which brought together around 30 participants from HUD Sustainable Communities grants and EPA technical assistance projects in a collaborative and interactive setting to discuss their projects and learn from one another.

Over the two days, participants had the opportunity to share the successes and challenges of their projects, interact with federal representatives from HUD, DOT, and EPA, learn about regional economic development efforts, tour Portsmouth to learn about the city’s coastal resiliency and economic development initiatives, and discuss ideas in small breakout sessions about funding opportunities and plans for maintaining a strong consortium in the post-grant period.

On August 9, Erik Pages, President of EntreWorks Consulting (http://www NULL.entreworks, delivered an engaging and timely presentation, “How Do Economic Developers See the World?  Some Thoughts for Planners.” During his presentation, Pages explained the shift from the “buffalo hunt” approach to economic development (seeking out businesses and opportunities from elsewhere at any cost) to “economic gardening” (engaging in place-based efforts that build off a community or region’s local assets).  He also discussed ways in which planners can best engage with economic developers to better promote regionalism, entrepreneurship, and greater wealth creation by building partnerships and working across sectors.

Click here to download the presentation slides (PDF).

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