Chasing the Past or Investing in Our Future - Full Report

May 20, 2009
by Soji Adelaja, Yohannes Hailu, Majd Abdulla, Chuck McKeown, Benjamin Calnin, Melissa Gibson and Kaitlyn McDonald

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The Land Policy Institute released a national full report in May 2009, titled Chasing the Past or Investing in Our Future: Placemaking for Prosperity in the New Economy. The report provides information on Old versus New Economy growth strategies based on a national county-level economic analysis to identify the drivers of growth in income, population and employment. The analysis is based on the following factors:

  • Demographic (i.e., 25- to 34-year-olds, the 65 and older age group, and foreign born populations),
  • Housing market,
  • Socio-economic,
  • Education and knowledge,
  • Role of government,
  • Gray infrastructure,
  • Green infrastructure (i.e., land and water amenities),
  • Economic structure and legacy,
  • Regional differences, and
  • Other New Economy factors (i.e., innovation, patents, diversity, etc.).

The report offers insights as to the impact these drivers of growth have on metro and non-metro communities and delivers policy and strategy recommendations to increase prosperity in these communities. Michigan lags far behind most other states in attracting and retaining young workers, retirees and well-educated immigrants, which MSU researchers say is critical to restoring Michigan’s prosperity in the new knowledge-based economy.