Chicago Economic Plan Emphasizes Advanced Manufacturing

his week Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel released the first draft of a long-term plan for the city's economic growth and job creation. The plan provides ten over-arching strategies to guide Chicago's economic development efforts, the first of which is a focus on advanced manufacturing. The plan also calls on the city to support entrepreneurship and innovation in emerging technology sectors. Read the full announcement...

Report Finds Innovation and Manufacturing Fueled 2011's Best Performing Cities

A new report from the Milken Institute, Best-Performing Cities 2011, finds cities that saw significant improvements to their economic performance between 2010 and 2011 were able to:

United Kingdom Announces Plan to Unlock Growth in Cities

To rebound from the global recession, the United Kingdom will focus on transforming their cities in to powerful, innovative 21st century cities according to a new economic growth plan from its coalition government. The government already has taken several steps towards making their cities "engines of growth" including:

Three Groups Invest $30M to Launch St. Louis Bioscience Organization

Building on a decade of work by the Coalition for Plant and Life Sciences, BioSTL launched last month to provide funding and support for emerging bioscience companies. The group also will dedicate resources such as training and recruiting entrepreneurs and increasing venture capital investment to collectively benefit partner organizations working to increase bioscience activity in the region. Washington University in St. Louis, BJC HealthCare, and the St. Louis Life Sciences Project each committed $2 million per year for five years, totaling $30 million to launch the effort. A majority of the funds will be dedicated to pre-seed and seed investments to support new company formation.

Talented Young Adults are Choosing to Live Downtown

Since 2000, two-thirds of the nation's 51 largest cities have seen on average a 26 percent increase in the number of young, college-educated adults choosing to live within three miles of the urban center — compared to an average increase of 13 percent in the rest of the metropolitan area. In Young and Restless 2011, a new report by Impresa and CEOs for Cities, researchers utilized 2010 Census data to examine the migration of young individuals (between the ages of 25 to 34 year olds). College-educated, young adults were found to be 94 percent more likely than their less educated counterparts to live in close-in urban neighborhoods — up from 61 percent in 2000. In five metropolitan areas (Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Washington), almost two-thirds of young adults who live in urban centers have at least a four-year degree. Even metropolitan areas experiencing overall population declines (e.g., Cleveland - 17 percent decline; and Detroit - 25 percent decline) saw significant increase in the number of young, college educated adults relocating to their urban centers (e.g., Cleveland - 49 percent increase; and Detroit - 59 percent increase). Read the press release...

Mayor Announces Biomedical Seed Fund in Akron, OH

Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic announced the plans to form the "Akron Development Corporation Seed Fund" in his State of the City address on Tuesday. The fund, with backing from corporate sponsors, aims to attract biomedical companies to the region. Companies receiving investment would locate in the Akron Global Business Accelerator. Read the announcement...

Recent Research: Which Cities Are Poised to Generate New Discoveries?

Metropolitan areas with population densities of about 4,000 people per square mile tend to produce the highest rate of patenting, according to a recent article in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology. In a study of U.S. metro areas over a ten-year period, the authors found that metro population density has a significant positive correlation with patenting rates. At about 4,000 people per square mile, the benefits of agglomeration, such as knowledge spillovers and diverse labor pools, are at their highest, compared to negative effects of congestion, such as increasing costs of real estate and other scarce resources. Few U.S. cities, however, approach this level of population density. The authors advise against taking the averaged optimal density level as a basis for policy, but use their data to suggest that cities play a vital role in the innovation economy and that increasing urban density could lead to higher innovation rates in some U.S. urban areas.

Decline in U.S. Manufacturing: to Cluster or Diversify One's Economy?

A recent Brookings Institution report looks at the nearly 30-year impact of manufacturing's global realignment on US metropolitan areas, finding those with the highest dependence on manufacturing were impacted in several negative ways in addition to the losses in manufacturing. In particular, the resilience of the most manufacturing-centered economies — their ability to transition employment into other sectors — was particularly poor, many experiencing below national average growth in jobs and wages. Brookings reports only 3 of the 114 metro areas in the study exceeded the national averages for both jobs and wages: Charlotte, Manchester and Portland, ME.


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