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One of the most significant transformations in economic development strategy today is the emphasis on quality of life—the tangibles and intangibles that make a community a great place to live. Cities and regions that once focused solely on traditional business attraction are also pushing to create places where people want to live and work. They are thinking more comprehensively than perhaps any time in their histories.

Local decision-makers by no means have stopped competing for big jobs announcements. They recognize, however, that healthy, growing communities are magnets for economic vibrancy.

What creates quality of life? Resilience is crucial. Communities with hardy, nimble attitudes conquer housing crises, labor constraints and sustainability concerns before the challenges overwhelm them. Compare resilient places and you will find:

  • Economic diversity. They do not depend on a narrow base of companies or industries. They resist disruption.

  • Deep human capital. An economy is only as good as the talent it creates, the entrepreneurs it encourages and the inclusion it fosters. Resilient communities collaborate across sectors toward common goals.

  • Community vitality. Attractive places offer many amenities and respond to human needs.

  • Agile infrastructure. Housing, roads and utilities, including broadband service, are created, updated and maintained using sustainable practices.

  • Environmental preparedness. Communities take advantage of natural resources available for economic development while preserving them for the future, whether preparing for recovery plans for natural disasters, protecting recreational areas for tourism or other uses.

Communities can become resilient by diversifying their economic bases, creating better places to live, predicting repairs and updating infrastructure, and assessing local environmental opportunities.

Thomas P. Miller & Associates has expanded its economic development consulting to include resilience. Globalization, climate change, urban migration and technological change are challenging local and regional leaders to think differently. Taking a complete, long-term view of imbalances and competitive threats, and aligning the economic diversity, resources and vibrancy of a community, can position communities to thrive.

Learn more about making communities resilient by contacting Mike Higbee at mhigbee@tpma-inc.com