Report Studying Regional Cities Growth Strategies
October 27, 2014 –Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith reports.
The findings of Indiana’s regional cities study are available today at IndianaRegionalCities.com.
The study identifies strategies that aim to help cities across Indiana transform into national economic powerhouses.
“If you’re looking for Indiana’s greatest natural resource, look no further than the Hoosiers who call our state home,” said Governor Mike Pence. “By investing in our regional cities and focusing on retaining and attracting the nation’s brightest minds to join our Hoosier ranks, we’ll drive population and economic growth. The next chapter of Indiana’s story is being written right now.”
Following a call from Pence and the passage of House Enrolled Act 1035 earlier this year, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) commissioned a study of 11 peer cities across the nation that have experienced significant economic growth. Working with Fourth Economy Consulting, a national economic development consulting firm, the IEDC identified common themes across the cities that could apply to Indiana, including:
- A bold vision with a market-based and action-oriented plan
- Support across the city’s region
- Strengthening of existing industries
- Investments in quality of place initiatives
- Private sector investment in community growth
- Long-term partnerships with non-partisan thinking
- Engagement with higher education partners
Benchmark cities studied as part of the initiative were Austin, Texas; Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina; Denver, Colorado; Nashville, Tennessee; Fayetteville, Arkansas; Provo, Utah; Boise, Idaho; Waterloo–Cedar Falls, Iowa; Manhattan, Kansas and Brookings, South Dakota.
“The communities we studied this summer are excited for their futures, with a real buzz palpable around every corner. They are busy working together to embrace big ideas,” said Eric Doden, president of the IEDC. “Our next step is to help spark that same enthusiasm into each region of our state, working with community leaders and the guidance of this study to cultivate the next big economic powerhouse community right here at home.”
This week Doden will lead five regional forums across the state to discuss the initiative and key themes and findings from the study, encouraging local leaders to identify ways their communities can embrace transformative change to encourage economic opportunity. For more information about the regional cities forums, including the schedule, locations and RSVP information, visit IndianaRegionalCities.com.
“We believe that Indiana is best poised to start an economic renaissance in the Midwest,” said Doden. “With this in mind, we look forward to creating a new, collaborative economic development partnership with regions in Indiana to create the best possible environment to drive growth in both our urban and rural economies.”
Source: Indiana Economic Development Corp.
[Photo:Main Street in Seymour, IN. Courtesy IEDC]