Jetsetting

The month of March has been busy one for us at Strategic Economics. We kicked things off with a staff retreat, started several new projects and our principals Dena, Nadine and Sujata traversed the country for convenings and project work in Boston, New Orleans, Washington DC and beyond!

Earlier this week, Nadine traveled to Boston, MA to speak at the Value Capture Forum: Innovative Strategies to Fund 21st Century Transportation. This forum, hosted by HNTB Corporation and Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) provided a space for attendees to develop and explore ideas related to value capture concepts. Specifically, it addressed how Value Capture can fund capital needs for new transportation and/or provide support for ongoing operations and maintenance. Nadine’s overview of Value Capture laid the groundwork for the day’s subsequent presentations on Value Capture in practice and the development of innovative funding and financing strategies. Looking forward, MAPC hopes to see forum attendees use their newly acquired Value Capture knowledge to garner greater public and political support for their projects and related economic strategies. MAPC’s forthcoming whitepaper will synthesize forum topics and present the ways value capture concepts can be used to help the region meet its transportation needs. Keep your eyes out for this resource, as it is sure to be a good one.

On the same day, just a few states Westward, Dena presented on Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) and economic development to planners, policy makers and developers in the Lansing, MI region. Her speech was part of a longer-term effort led by the National Charrette Institute to help develop a unified vision for the Michigan/Grand River transit Corridor. Located in the Greater Lansing / Mid-Michigan region, the 19-mile corridor is a major artery through the region with great economic and revitalization potential.  The Corridor connects the State Capitol in Downtown Lansing with Sparrow Hospital, Michigan State University, and several key retail destinations.  In fact, jobs in this corridor comprise almost 40 percent of the region’s total jobs and closer to 50 percent of the region’s transit supportive jobs. Dena’s presentation included an introduction to TOD, a discussion of the relationship between transit and economic development, and a Q&A session (link to the video coming soon). Central to her overview were descriptions of how employment conditions in the Michigan/Grand River corridor make this an important employment spine for the region and an opportune place for enhanced transit.  The presentation set the stage for a more comprehensive charrette that will be happening in two parts.  The first part will take place in early May, and the second part will be in the fall.  This work is being funded by the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission as part of their Sustainable Communities grant from HUD. Additional support comes from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.  For more information about the project go to http://migrand-charrette.com/

Future travel destinations for StratEconers include Anchorage, Alaska and Lakeworth, Florida. Until then, we are happy to have the office full and are enjoying the longer days.

Happy Spring everyone!

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