موانع توسعه اقتصادی پایدار: تجربه ارزش دالاس، فورت
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|6977||2011||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8570 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Cities, Volume 28, Issue 4, August 2011, Pages 300–309
This article examines the scope of existing economic development activity and the motivations and perceptions of practitioners to shed light on the barriers to sustainable practice. In contrast to related fields like urban planning, the economic development literature has minimally examined how practitioners think about sustainable development and the extent to which sustainable development principles are adopted in practice. This omission is significant because economic development policies can have a notable impact on the sustainable development goals of environmental protection and social equity alongside economic growth. To capture the extent to which economic developers engage in sustainable development and the barriers that practitioners face, we study fifteen cities in the Dallas–Fort Worth region. We find that six key barriers – a conventional economic development mindset, incentive-based practice, a lack of resources, ad hoc planning, inter-regional competition, and a lack of coordinated regional planning – impede sustainable economic development in the region.
Since the 1990s, state and local governments have taken significant steps to address land use, transportation, and environmental issues with an eye on more sustainable planning and development (Birch and Wachter, 2008 and Portney, 2003). In comparison, economic development has largely been overlooked as a component of sustainable planning efforts in the US. Sustainable economic development focuses not simply on increasing jobs and tax revenues, but on the creation and implementation of programs and strategies that attempt to balance concerns for social equity and environmental preservation alongside economic growth (Blakely and Green Leigh, 2010, Campbell, 1996 and Newby, 1999). The failure to incorporate economic development in sustainable planning efforts is a problem for at least three reasons. First, economic development in the US is rarely conducted at the regional level although employment and business activity extend across municipal boundaries and, therefore, impact regional development patterns and the location of future growth. As a result, economic development activity is often uncoordinated and can intensify uneven investment in neighborhoods, encourage the creation of major job centers far from affordable housing, and contribute to traffic congestion, loss of open space, and other environmental problems. Second, economic development practice in many US cities is localized, competitive, and reactive. In other words, municipalities compete for investment both within and between regions by advertising a good business climate and offering tax incentives on a firm-by-firm basis (Bartik, 2005, Bartik et al., 2003 and Markusen and Nesse, 2007). This condition tends to favor short-term goals over comprehensive planning, loose private sector regulation, and inattention to distributional issues. Further, evidence suggests that tax incentives often fail to produce the intended benefits (Peters & Fisher, 2004). Finally, economic developers in the US often fail to develop human capital, which a significant body of literature emphasizes is a central factor for regional economic growth and well-being (e.g. Clarke and Gaile, 1998, Markusen, 2004 and Mathur, 1999). As capital and labor have become more mobile, a significant, albeit controversial, body of research finds that firms and people often seek out places that provide and protect environmental assets and possess high levels of amenities rather than seeking the lowest cost region (Clark, 2004, Florida, 2002 and Glaeser and Saiz, 2003). As such, the ability to develop human capital may be enhanced through sustainable development efforts. Moreover, human capital strategies can directly tackle socioeconomic inequality through occupational training, entrepreneurship, and other employment programs for marginalized populations. Despite these conditions, sustainable development has not been a focus of attention in economic development literature as it has in fields such as urban planning. While the planning literature contains a body of case study and survey research that examines the meaning of sustainable development to practitioners and the extent to which sustainable planning principles are adopted in practice (Berke and Conroy, 2000, Campbell, 1996, Conroy, 2006, Conroy and Beatley, 2007, Jepson, 2003, Jepson, 2004, Jepson, 2007, Lubell et al., 2009 and Saha and Paterson, 2008), the study of economic development in this regard has been minimal. Given this gap, this article addresses the following question: What are the barriers to more sustainable economic development practice? To address this question, we examine the scope of economic development activity and the motivations and perceptions of economic development officials in fifteen cities in the Dallas–Fort Worth region (DFW). A better understanding of the motivations and perceptions of economic development officials can enhance our ability to identify and deal with barriers to adopting strategies that balance growth, equity, and environmental concerns. We analyze Dallas–Fort Worth because, as Graff (2008, p. xxii) emphasizes, “what is most striking about Dallas is not its difference from other US megalopolises, but rather its exaggeration of features that many contemporary cities share.” Like many US regions, urban development in DFW since World War II has been built on a foundation of low-density suburban expansion on cheap and abundant land, low housing prices, and the growth of new economy sectors particularly aerospace and electronics manufacturing, telecommunications, and financial services (Graff, 2008, Hanson, 2003, Hazel, 1997 and Walz and Wilson, 2007). While urban growth has historically been governed by business elites with little concern for the environment and social equity and the region continues to promote its “business climate” as its “strongest asset in global competition,” there is increasing discussion of the negative consequences of this legacy and a consideration of alternative development scenarios (Dallas Regional Chamber, 2009, Elkin, 1987, Graff, 2008 and Vision North Texas, 2006). While we recognize that each region presents a unique social, economic, and political context, because DFW is emblematic of many other US regions, this case study may serve to draw out important factors that account for (a lack of) sustainable economic development activity in other similar places. Below, we review the literature in planning and economic development on sustainable development practice. The following section describes the study area and methodology. The remainder of the article concentrates on the organizations, programs, resources, and perceptions that shape economic development activity in Dallas–Fort Worth and the barriers to sustainable economic development in the region.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This article studied the motivations, perceptions, and practices of economic development officials in the Dallas–Fort Worth region in order to identify if and how they engage in sustainable development activity and the barriers they face in adopting more sustainable economic development policies. In terms of sustainable economic development, our research shows that while economic developers are concerned with negative environmental impacts in relation to their work, they perceive environmental issues as beyond their influence and not directly related to economic development decisions. Further, equity concerns, particularly in relation to workforce development and place-based development, are a low priority and largely not viewed as related immediately to the core mission of attracting businesses and jobs to a locality. As such, similar to Zeemering’s (2008) study of the Bay Area, officials do not avidly pursue environmental initiatives, yet unlike many of the Bay Area cities, neither are they directly concerned with equity issues. We find that the lack of sustainable development activity in the region occurs due to at least six barriers. First, a conventional economic development mindset, which emphasizes attention to economic growth over social equity and environmental protection or considers the latter as beyond the scope of their mandate, pervades economic development practice in the region. Second, and associated with this, is the emphasis on incentive-based strategies to lower business costs. Most prominent in this regard is the 4A/B economic development sales tax, which officials consider to drive industry toward lower density, peripheral areas and away from inner-city redevelopment sites while pressuring other cities to boost their incentive packages. Additionally, cities incentivize unsustainable development through, for example, reduced utility contracts for high energy consuming industries more often than rewarding projects that do not have a harmful effect on the region’s environment or that provide local hiring and other community benefits. A third barrier is that economic development entities are poorly resourced and, partly as a result, tend to focus on marketing and information provision rather than pursuing new and innovative sustainable development strategies. Fourth, economic development tends to be ad hoc and pursued in isolation from other associated agents. Not only are human capital and workforce development issues often treated as separate from economic development, but also it is rare for the multiple bodies charged with redevelopment to work cooperatively. A fifth barrier to sustainable economic development is the high level of inter-regional competition between the cities for jobs and investment. This condition prioritizes isolated strategies for growth without attention to the regional impacts on land use, environment, transportation, and social issues. Finally, the lack of coordinated regional planning makes it difficult to incorporate economic development into the consideration of regional level land use, transportation, and environmental planning and, similarly, to tackle common challenges and pool resources to address sustainability issues that all cities in the region face. Studying the motivations and perceptions of economic development officials and identifying the barriers to sustainable economic development that officials face are important first steps toward building strategies that simultaneously address environmental, equity, and growth issues. Although these barriers appear in the context of DFW, many are common to varying degrees in other regions and, therefore, may provide targets for future policy. Future research can build on and go beyond this work by measuring the actual impact of these barriers in different places as well as studying the implementation of new economic development programs that seek to address them.