Why Economic Development Matters

Words like “growth” and “economic development” have somehow turned into scary things for some people.

And yet people love to talk about the low unemployment rate Omaha has, or the latest company coming to town, or the new restaurant that opened down the street, or the hottest concert tour stopping by. These things improve our economy. They’re also a resulting aspect of economic development.

We don’t get these things by just passively waiting for them, though. We have to purposefully act on opportunities. We have to study the environment and make calculated decisions.

We’ve learned that successful cities carefully and efficiently maximize the use of their land by growing up (and not out). They encourage infill development, they revitalize older neighborhoods and invest in the urban core. One of these investments is in transit.

Streetcars act as economic engines and are an important addition to the public transportation mix in big, vibrant cities.

As Smart Cities Dive recently reported, “Streetcar lines provide ‘economic benefits and placemaking, creating that sense of vitality in your community.’”

We would say that streetcars don’t just create a sense of vitality, streetcars create actual vitality.

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