Who has influenced cities and their economic development approaches the most? Some people on my list might surprise you!

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

I love cities. I love innovation. I love entrepreneurs. I love economics. I love collaboration & bringing ideas to life. I love music, art, design, architecture, placemaking, creativity and bohemian & cultural diversity. When you combine all these things together you get the dynamic and endlessly fascinating field of metropolitan and city-level economic development.

In this post I pay tribute to the thinkers around these topics that have shaped the economic development profession and whose ideas continue to inspire cities and their economies around the world. I wrote this as a self-reflection of the type of thought-leadership and ideas that…


As Jane Jacobs said, “cities are, by their definition, full of strangers”. That’s actually one of the attributes that makes them so attractive to many of us. But it’s also a topic that we rarely talk about yet alone have strategies to pursue.

image from Gerd Altman at pixabay

My point around this is quite simple: diversity makes cities better. There’s a ton of evidence to support why all of us city-builders, economic developers and community leaders should be working to make our cities more welcoming of people from diverse backgrounds.

Here are three specific areas that show how increased diversity will benefit your city:

Benefits to the economy

Diverse cities are more innovative and productive

Dr. Richard Florida, in his book The Rise the Creative Class, introduced three ingredients for vibrant city economies in the 21st century: Technology, Talent and Tolerance. The first two are obvious. Cities that are attractive places to…

Dallas Gislason

Write about how to make metropolitan-level economies more sustainable, inclusive, diverse and prosperous in the 21st century. Based in Victoria, Canada.

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