Curtin Call: February 2024

February 29, 2024
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Economic development involves hard work, the ability to wear multiple hats and an inordinate amount of time. Each day seems to stretch our capacity to get it all done, much less to keep up with all the great content that is published across multiple platforms. 

With that in mind, this month’s Curtin Call puts some of my favorite content center stage one last time, featuring articles, research and resources that captured my personal attention. We’re in a leap year, so even with that extra day this month, I wanted more time to read and digest articles about some of my favorite topics, including best practices in public space use and how AI impacts site selection. I’ve captured a few of my favorites below – have a read!

1. On Creating Urban Public Spaces

An article in Bloomberg this month brought us into a conversation with the architect behind Brooklyn Bridge Park, located along the East River in Brooklyn. It’s a story of controversy that goes beyond the physical landscape to the cultural and social implications of the park, and others like it around the U.S.

Seventy-two-year-old Michael Van Valkenburgh shared his reactions and insight about what makes this piece of public space exemplary. Dive into the story to learn about his ideas on building better public space and the challenges that cities face in developing parks that fulfill a multitude of purposes for communities. I believe city leaders across the country can take a few lessons of both perseverance and inspiration from Mr. Van Valkenburgh.

2. On AI In Site Selection

Artificial Intelligence (AI) isn’t everywhere. Not yet, at least, according to a new white paper published by Site Selectors Guild. With 60% of guild members in the research study reporting that they do not use AI tools for their clients’ site selection projects, it’s clear that this evolving technology hasn’t replaced the need for professional human site selectors.

Download the white paper to dig through the results, which reveal the diverse array of AI tools available to site selectors. Of course, if you prefer to connect with site selection consultants in more traditional ways, you can consider these straightforward strategies for getting on site selectors’ radars.

3. On Big Events Supporting EDO Business Development 

All eyes were on Las Vegas this month as the Super Bowl took over. An article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal shared a fascinating story about LOCATE Las Vegas, a new initiative in the city and surrounding Clark County. Clever economic developers at LOCATE Las Vegas invited sixteen corporate executives to experience the market’s economic advantages and assets—and to attend the Super Bowl itself. 

The article explained how this same concept can apply to other big events—an award show, a political event, maybe even a Taylor Swift concert—to leverage the events for unique experiences. It’s a prime example, both information and inspirational, of the economic and relational impact that major events can have for communities.

4. On Why Site Selection Consultants are Eyeing the Tax Foundation

With the U.S. deadline for taxes coming up in a few weeks, I imagine the task of filing taxes is not everyone’s favorite topic right now – but our DCI team’s conversations with site selection consultants continually point to the importance of tax rankings for your community, so I’d encourage you to be well versed in where you rank, and how to communicate a strong ranking.

Highly visual and engaging reports from the Tax Foundation are some of the most reputable content influencing site selection consultants. The Tax Foundation also recently launched a European version of its website. 

Peruse their content, including important studies like 2024 State Corporate Income Tax Rates & Brackets, published at the end of January, but that continues to be exceedingly relevant for economic developers in February and beyond.

5. On Chasing the Solar Eclipse 

Is site selection a celestial affair? Not quite, but this story on where the solar eclipse will be visible in April certainly caught my attention. While fascinating in its own right—the last total solar eclipse in North America occurred back in 2017—it will be intriguing to read and follow how economic developers and destination marketers across Mexico, the US and Canada seek to attract visitors and attention during this celestial moment in time.  

The article explores how geography and weather predictions both play a role in this largely unpredictable event. Take a break to indulge in some non-economic development reading for a moment and revel in the fact that investment and talent attraction aren’t quite as complicated as the forces controlling the Earth and Sun.

The extra day didn’t make February feel any longer, but there’s still time to bolster your economic development and talent attraction marketing with the latest trends and reports. Reach out to Julie Curtin at [email protected] to learn more about working with DCI to benefit from the agency’s more than 60 years of economic development engagement, advancing communities through investment and talent attraction. 

Written by

Julie Curtin

President, Economic Development Practice