From the Good Ideas file: Louisville’s Lots of Possibility

Sometimes the Good Ideas file throws me a surprise.  Today's Good Idea is a great follow-on to the challenge to magic -bullet thinking around vacant lots that dominated yesterday's post.  According to this article, Louisville, Kentucky, is trying to figure out the vacant lot question themselves -- and they're doing it in a way that both …

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From the Good Ideas File: You Tear Down the Blight, But then what?

In this opinion piece from the Detroit Free Press, John Gallagher identifies the next challenge, and the unpleasant reality, of our current strategies for dealing with the massive numbers of vacant buildings we have in cities: The simplistic, ipso-facto hope that often rears its head: if we just clear it, "the market" will take care …

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Random Excerpt: How to Fix Incentives

Note: this is a random selection from The Local Economy Revolution: What's Changed and How You Can Help.  Like what you see?  Check out the book for print or e-reader.  You'll be glad you did.    We've been talking (or, well, not talking) about incentives in economic development in the US a lot lately. They work, …

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From the Good Ideas file: Politicians are from Alpha, Geeks are from Beta

OK, this is less a good idea than a good and useful analysis of why adapting any kind of transparency-based, fail-forward-fast, take risks, little bets approaches, of the type that are being advocated by new businesses and civic hackers and loudmouths like me, are so darn hard for governments of any stripe.  If you cannot get …

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From the Good Ideas file: the Tiny WPA

This is all kinds of awesome.  Young people gaining skills and confidence, communities getting the kind of personal-scale improvements that change people's everyday relationships with their communities, breaking through suspicions and helplessness to re-knit people's relationship with their community and each other... your community probably needs this.  So go do it! http://www.fastcoexist.com/3023330/how-the-tiny-wpa-is-transforming-neighborhoods-with-help-from-teenage-girls

From the Good Ideas file: Why not incentivize every business?

I'm not sure this is a good idea...it's probably a devil-in-the-details situation... but it's certainly an interesting idea.  This opinion piece from Matt Reed at Florida Today does a nice job of outlining the picking-favorites, what-about-me spiral that incentives programs fall into if they aren't backed by a very careful, very prudent strategy for clearly targeting incentives …

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More kind words about The Local Economy Revolution

One of the neat things about writing a book is that sometimes you discover that your message resonates with people that you didn't necessarily think would be all that excited about it.  People in the online public engagement world are sometimes pretty tightly focused on technology, so it was a real delight to get this …

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