Redefining Rust Belt: An Exchange of Strategies by the Cities of Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, and Philadelphia
I recently attended two workshops, the first being “Redefining Rust Belt: An Exchange of Strategies by the Cities of Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, and Philadelphia” hosted by the Baltimore office of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Local leaders discussed Baltimore’s need to redefine itself in the wake of a recovering recession to attract new residents and investment. Strategies to increase competitiveness by strengthening economic, social and land use policies, leveraging and attracting a high quality labor force to existing assets such as major commercial and institutional anchors, and capturing baby-boomers and their spending through the provision of better housing and transportation options will drive the City’s transformation.
Baltimore Data Day
Building on that momentum, I joined in a conversation at “Baltimore Data Day,” hosted by the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicator Alliance-Jacob France Institute, to discuss uses for open source data. Open data, according to the Open Data Handbook, “is data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone,” without restrictions. This is particularly powerful for municipal data, which can include anything from parking violations and potholes to vacant properties and crime data. OpenBaltimore is the pilot program undertaken by the City to provide access to such data that supports government transparency and nurtures innovative use to improve the lives of Baltimore residents, visitors and businesses.
How is RESI Utilizing Economic Development Principles from These Workshops?
Baltimore is an exciting place for economic development, and RESI is equipped to position the region to capture that growth. RESI’s suite of expert economic development services has recently been expanded to include land use planning, sustainability, and spatial analysis. Tools employed by staff include zoning code analyses, comprehensive planning, sustainability planning, financial feasibility analyses, as well as urban revitalization strategies and GIS analyses. As an urban planner and economic developer, I’m pleased to blend solutions-oriented strategies to tackle some of Baltimore’s biggest urban problems.