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Perspective

6 Rules for Better, More Inclusive Economic Development in Cities

Urban leaders need to kick the incentive habit and take a more inclusive approach to growing local economies.
Miami has become one of the top 10 startup clusters in the U.S.
Miami has become one of the top 10 startup clusters in the U.S.Joe Skipper/Reuters

Until recently, there was a growing understanding among city-builders and economic developers that handing over taxpayer-funded incentives to large corporations is wasteful and ineffective. That is, until Amazon’s HQ2 search threw a wrench in that, bringing real pressure from business and political leaders to compete for the big prize.

In more than three decades, I have never seen a setback for economic development like HQ2. I have heard from dozens of professionals in the field who feel the HQ2 debacle knocked it badly off course.