One of the best things that local economic developers, community leaders and public officials can do is visit another city that has a similar demographic and economic profile and learn about how the other city became successful. One of the worst things these same people can do is attempt to replicate what the other city did to become successful. Why? Because even though cities may be alike, they are not identical. Generally speaking, a city must find its own unique path to economic development success. In other words, learn from others, but chart your own course based on your particular situation.
Having issued those words of caution, I now urge you to read the special Economic Development section of today’s Wall Street Journal in today’s (Monday, July 28, 2008) Wall Street Journal It features seven cities that “…took different approaches to economic development – and came out ahead.”