I just started reading Greenways by Charles Flink and Robert M. Searns. As the title implies, it is about greenways. As the book defines it: "A greenway is a linear open space established along either a natural corridor, such a s riverfront, stream valley, or ridgeline, or overland along a railroad right-of-way converted to recreational use, a canal, scenic road, or other route. It is any natural or landscaped course for pedestrian or bicycle passage. An open-space connector linking parks, nature reserves, cultural features, or historic sites with each other and with populated areas. Locally, certain strip or linear parks designated as parkway or greenbelt."
Greenways are important to any area's desirability to live and recreate. Greenways make a great combination with walkability. As baby boomers and millenials desire more walkable, pedestrian-friendly communities, greeenways enhance the foot-walking, bike-riding, stroll-pushing infrastructure that these two massive demographics crave. Communities that understand and invest in their walkable infrastructure and greenways immediately put themselves in the hat for this type of citizen attraction. With boomers and millenials comes a wide array of positive economic impacts.
Expect to read more from me on greenways. I have yet to scratch the surface of their value to our communities.
From business dealings earlier today, there are two pointers that pertain specifically to the field of economic development that I must share:
- When offering an incentive, always ask for a business plan. Economic developers are stewards of their respective community's tax revenues. Because many incentives are offered in the form of tax abatements, economic developers should be careful to ensure the dollars foregone can be made up within a specific time frame (2 year, 3 year, etc.). Incentives, no matter how large or small, should derive a profit for the community whether it is tax dollars earned later or by an improved quality of life.
- Business retention should never cease. At any given opportunity, let your existing businesses know you support them and are willing to assist them whenever they need.