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Moving Beyond Conventional Economic Development Practice

An Asset-Based Framework for Sustainable Communities

Haegi Kwon, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

Enero 2024, inglés

Many factors contribute to growing inequalities in the United States. This report focuses on how economic development policies and practices may contribute to more equitable cities and regions. It identifies three common assumptions about economic development in the United States: first, economic growth may act as the tide that lifts all boats; second, the answers to current economic challenges can often be found outside of a community, city, or region; and third, all cities and regions can engage equally in conventional economic development practices. The study explores why these assumptions may exacerbate inequalities within and between cities and regions and offers an alternative framework for economic development: looking in, leveraging, and locking.

Looking in refers to a process whereby city leaders assess existing formal and informal assets to address a locale’s economic concerns. Leveraging refers to the ways various city leaders collectively draw from existing assets to garner resources to achieve shared priorities. Finally, locking refers to creating virtuous cycles of local economic activity that benefits residents and generates community well-being and wealth building. This framework synthesizes the plethora of research and work done to promote more equitable economic development processes and outcomes, and it ultimately aims to expand the concept of economic development so that it includes ways to boost residents’ quality of life and social conditions, rather than just activities that promote fiscal, demographic, and physical improvements.


desarrollo comunitario, desarrollo, desarrollo económico, economía, vivienda, inequidad, infraestructura, gobierno local, planificación, pobreza, políticas públicas