As research by our Fund and others indicates, we’re using more land today than two decades ago with no net increase in population or jobs. This no-growth sprawl results in longer and more costly commutes for residents; diminishing air quality from those longer commutes; shrinking talent pool of reliable on-time workers for employers; and overly-strained municipal budgets.
Our land use trends result from a series of individual decisions, but they are not merely the consequences of a free market. Strategic investments in transportation, site improvement and agricultural preservation, and incentives to businesses can encourage development patterns that improve the long-term connectivity of people and jobs.
For too long, economic development, land use and transportation planning at the local and regional levels have been uncoordinated. A shared definition of job hubs — specific places of concentrated economic activity in a region — provides an opportunity to align infrastructure and economic development investments and incentives to encourage industrial redevelopment in ways that use and build upon existing strengths, while preserving and protecting valuable agricultural and environmental assets.
Over the course of 2017, our Fund worked closely with transportation planning organizations and business development entities across the region to develop such a shared definition and a preliminary map of our region’s job hubs, above right. Advancing this frame is a major initiative for our Fund and we are working to connect with partners around the region to prioritize job hubs and help shape how resources are directed toward transportation infrastructure, site inventory and improvement, and economic development incentives.
MORE INFORMATION ON JOB HUBS and a full report with detailed maps and analysis for the major metros of our region are available at www.jobhubsneo.org.
SEE BELOW FOR TESTIMONIALS from leaders around the region about the potential of job hubs.