Economic Place-making: How to Develop a “Neighborhood Business Plan”

Developed as part of a two-day training for planning and implementation grantees from HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods program, this presentation walks through the logic and structure of a new approach to comprehensive neighborhood economic development: “neighborhood business planning.” It begins by describing the changes taking place in the knowledge economy, which present opportunities for metropolitan areas and especially urban neighborhoods, and suggest a new approach: neighborhood business planning. The presentation then offers a framework for understanding neighborhoods as dynamic systems whose economic function is to develop and deploy their assets into larger markets.

An overview of neighborhood types and their functions within regional systems follows, including a description of how different types of neighborhoods change over time. Sections on each of five market levers (human capital, clusters, innovation and entrepreneurship, urban growth form and governance) walk through illustrative neighborhood goals, market analysis, strategies and initiatives to drive neighborhood prosperity in connection with its region. Another module focuses on how local-facing issues like housing, retail and other amenities reflect the neighborhood’s position in the region, but also can shape a neighborhood’s type and trajectory. The presentation concludes with an illustrative, high-level sample business plan that brings together all prior components.

May 15, 2014