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Discussion guide on "smart growth" opportunities for localities produced by the SGPB.

Discussion guide on "smart growth" opportunities for localities produced by the SGPB.

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    Pathways guide Pathways guide Document Transcript

    • Pathways to Prosperity: Choosing a Future for Your Community SOUTHERN GROWTH POLICIES BOARD
    • PATHWAYS TO PROSPERITY: Choosing a Future for Your Community
    • ABOUT THIS DISCUSSION GUIDE ith this discussion guide, the Southern Growth Policies Board is embarking on a new process to engage Southerners in dialogue about important regional issues. The guide has its foundation in the National Issues Forums process, a process that has been used for nearly 20 years by thousands of groups throughout the country to deliberate about national issues ranging from Social Security to child care. W Unlike many other Southern Growth publications, this guide does not put forward a set of recommendations or advocate a specific solution or point of view. Instead, it outlines an issue of importance to the region, along with several approaches for dealing with it. These alternatives reflect different points of view that have been heard in discussions around the region. Each approach has its own priorities and agenda, as well as its own trade-offs and consequences. The goal of this guide is not to offer a solution to the issue, but rather to encourage Southerners to listen to one another and to explore areas of agreement and disagreement among diverse interests. At first glance, some readers may conclude that some of the approaches presented are simply bad ideas. WV MO OK VA KY NC TN AR MS AL SC GA LA FL PR Other ideas may, at first reading, seem to be the obvious “right” answer. But the point of these discussions is not to jump to conclusions too quickly. This guide is meant to inspire thoughtful examination of differing points of view, not debate. Once people understand why some groups hold differing views, they are often able to find common ground around which a solution can be crafted. The common ground may be one of the outlined approaches, some combination of them, or a completely new alternative. The Southern Growth Policies Board hopes that, like the National Issues Forums, this guidebook will be used to stimulate discussion among a wide variety of groups, from leadership groups to religious organizations, from economic development organizations to service clubs. Reports on the outcomes of the forums will be shared with Southern leaders, including Southern Growth Policies Board members, to give them insight into what the public is thinking about important issues in the region.
    • PATHWAYS TO PROSPERITY: Choosing a Future for Your Community By Tony Wharton and Linda Hoke I N T R O D U C T I O N 4 Rapid growth has transformed the South from the poorest region in the nation to the world’s third-largest economy in the span of a single lifetime. But even as many communities prosper, continued commercial and population growth raise troubling questions. What of those who are left behind? Does our enthusiasm for economic progress endanger a distinctive and valued way of life? How do we convert growth into prosperity? It is important to give serious thought to these questions while there are still choices to be made. ONE TWO THREE Create Jobs In this view, the best way to achieve prosperity for all is to create more well-paying jobs. Paychecks are the remedy for small cities and rural areas that have been left to decline by changing economic trends. This approach calls for providing incentives to attract businesses, easing government regulations that tend to stifle the development of business and industry, and investing in infrastructure to support existing businesses and attract new ones. 7 12 Develop Human and Community Resources First Although considerable progress has been made, many Southerners lack the education and skills needed to keep up in today’s changing workplace. Proponents of Approach Two maintain that this and other social problems, such as poverty and poor health, are the true roadblocks to prosperity. Remedies include spending more money on education and worker training, ensuring easy access to health care, creating programs to help bridge racial and cultural divides, and developing community-leadership skills. Manage Growth Supporters of this approach are not opposed to growth. They are opposed to uncontrolled growth, which is swallowing up farms and small towns, driving up smog to unacceptable levels, and overcrowding schools. They fear that this type of growth will choke the region’s future prosperity. Planning is the answer, in this view. Both professionals and citizens should be involved in making deliberate and rational choices about whether, where, and how a community should grow. Leaving those choices to larger economic forces is a poor way to build the future. 18 Comparing the Approaches 24 S U M M A RY QUESTIONNAIRES 27
    • CORBIS/Philip Gould Once-tranquil countryside is increasingly covered by highways clogged with traffic. he American South has been transformed in the space of a single lifetime. Just over 60 years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt called the South “the nation’s number one economic problem.” Today, the South’s economy is the world’s third largest, and it generates new jobs faster than any other part of the United States. It has helped shift the balance of the national economy from manufacturing to service industries. Home to such companies as America Online and WorldCom, it has made great strides in becoming a leader in the telecommunications revolution. And, with states like Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana leading the way, the South is an international tourist magnet. T But as people and wealth have transformed the South, new questions have cropped up. Even while many cities and towns work to encourage growth, others wonder how to cope with its consequences. 4 The sleepy countryside and wandering roads that inspired writers and poets from William Faulkner to Zora Neale Hurston are disappearing under miles of pavement and acres of new subdivisions. Traffic has become so heavy in some places it’s a deterrent to new businesses and home buyers. Once the South struggled to move beyond its historic tradition of farming; now farms disappear under the builders’ bulldozers. Is the South, as a place with its own rhythms and culture, slipping away? At the same time, old problems persist. Inner-city neighborhoods sagged into poverty and many still languish there, often visible from the gleaming interstates rushing workers from suburbs to downtown towers. In some rural areas, too, poverty is deep and persistent. And many small towns, once a hallmark of the South, find themselves declining as people and businesses are drawn to the cities.
    • “Beauty is our money crop,” the 1986 Commission on the Future of the South concluded. The rivers, forests, and swamps help bring businesses, residents, and tourists to the region. How, then, do we deal with development encroaching on the Everglades in Florida and ozone warnings in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Growth — meaning more people, new houses, and new roads — is everywhere. But how do communities convert growth into prosperity, meaning a good quality of life for the whole community? Job and Population Growth South and Non-South, 1979-1998 People’s responses to that question are shaped by many factors — how long they’ve lived in the South, what they do for a living, what they think the future ought to look like. 20% South Non-South 60% 50% 40% 38% 25% 19% 0% Several ways of thinking about that future have emerged over the years. For some, the answer is simple: We need to keep creating jobs. These are good times for the South, and we should make sure nothing interferes with that. As long as jobs are available for everyone, we’re on the right track. Not everyone agrees. Some say that the region’s economic success has been uneven, leaving behind people, and sometimes entire communities. In many of these areas, problems are too deep to be solved merely by trying to bring in jobs. Unless we share the South’s newfound wealth more equitably, focus on deep-rooted problems of poverty, education, and infrastructure, and give people the tools they need to compete, long-term prosperity is likely to remain elusive. Others argue that we’ve lost control of residential growth and the accompanying commercial development. If we don’t do a better job of managing this growth, we will destroy the quality of life that makes our communities attractive to citizens and businesses. We also need to plan better for the transition of farmland to development, and protect the natural resources of which the South is justly proud. Jobs Source: BEA Regional Economic Information System, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1998 All of these approaches represent values most Southerners hold in common — opportunity, equality, self-reliance, community, selfdetermination, stewardship. But while we share these values, we often interpret them differently and give some higher priority than others. We all have a different perspective on the choices outlined in this discussion guide. Oxford, Mississippi, where Faulkner lived, is one place beginning to face those choices. The picturesque town, complete with courthouse and town square, was a wellkept secret for decades. But in recent years, national magazines have noticed its qualities and begun to cite it as a good place to live. Now, subdivisions are appearing outside of town and real estate prices in the city are shooting up. Now, the people of Oxford are talking about more than writers and football. Some welcome growth, and note that some of the town’s worst neighborhoods are being spruced up. Others mourn the loss of old oak trees and a change in the city’s character. 5 Population
    • Pictor The Everglades and other natural treasures of the South are already endangered by unwanted side effects of rapid growth. “We know we’re going to grow, and we don’t want to be perceived as ‘no-growth,’ ” Mayor Pat Lamar told the Atlanta Constitution. “But we’d like to see the ambience and history of Oxford duplicated as we grow, rather than have miles and miles of asphalt and subdivisions.” History suggests that Oxford will continue to grow, but how much and how fast? Many of the newcomers probably will be among those speaking out for a slower pace, while some of those who have lived in town the longest will welcome the changes. Oxford is struggling, too, with what limits should be drawn around its new popularity. People want to choose where they live, but they also want controls on where things should be built. It’s hard to have both. Those individual experiences and perceptions shape the conversation. 6 People need to talk with each other about what they want their community to look like. What do they care about? How far should people have to drive to work? How many parks should there be? This kind of conversation can go on continuously, bringing in new residents, including the many immigrants the South is already attracting, and adjusting to new circumstances. What matters is that we keep talking with one another and take actions together in our communities.
    • ONE Courtesy of the Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center Create Jobs he I-85 corridor between RaleighDurham and Atlanta has been dubbed the South’s “road to prosperity.” More jobs have been created along this 400-mile stretch of highway than in any comparable place in the country. And these are good jobs, paying good wages. In North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park, more than 40,000 workers are employed in researchbased businesses such as IBM, Glaxo SmithKline, and Cisco Systems. In Greenville, South Carolina, BMW recently expanded its car assembly plant, nearly doubling its work force; and in the Atlanta, Georgia, metropolitan area, more than half-a-million jobs have been added since 1990, many in fast-growing industries like communications. T Contrast this to the scene in South Norfolk. Once a proud city on its own, South Norfolk is now a part of Chesapeake, Virginia. South Norfolk is lined with turn-of-thecentury houses with hardwood floors, overlooking broad avenues. In the 1950s and 1960s, the town also had theaters, shops, and businesses lining its streets. Not anymore. The elegant houses are still there, but many are deteriorating, too often used as rentals instead of as single-family homes. There are too few businesses, and the ones left don’t employ many people. Unemployment and crime are higher there than in other parts of the city. In other words, growth is not an issue in South Norfolk. “Spend a couple of weeks in South Norfolk on this block and you won’t worry about growth and traffic,” Terry Scott told the Virginian-Pilot newspaper. Thieves broke into his home three times in five years, and he doesn’t feel safe going out after dark to bring the cat in. 7 The Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center has spurred biotechnology activity in rural Stuttgart, Arkansas.
    • ONE Create Jobs Supporters of Approach One believe that creating jobs is our “road to prosperity.” If we create jobs, everything else will follow, they say. People will have the money they need to buy good houses and send their children to good schools. In time, crime will go down. This approach, more than any other, has made the South what it is today. Why change what’s already working? and Heflin,” he told the Anniston Star. “It’s about the tax base, future income, and keeping young folks at home.” Let’s not worry so much about controlling growth, says Bill Goode, president of the Business and Industrial Development Corporation in Charleston, West Virginia. “Economic developers worry ‘smart growth’ can mean ‘no growth,’ ” he recently told the West Virginia Gazette. “We’ve been focused on job development. More and better jobs are a more immediate need.” Each community should put its best foot forward and show it is business-friendly, say supporters of Approach One. Like Heflin, states and communities may choose to pursue new industry with incentives. A little boost to give a company an edge up in today’s competitive market is worth it in the long run in terms of jobs and taxes. Bring in Jobs Jobs are what make a community prosper; without them, it stagnates and dies. When you’re adding jobs, you’re strengthening the community and its social fabric, advocates of Approach One say. Eddy Dryden, a funeral home director in Heflin, Alabama, appears to agree with this philosophy. He personally raised more than $90,000 from fellow business owners and neighbors to help bring in a new wire manufacturing plant. “This is about the future of Cleburne County Index of Employment Growth, 1970-2010 U.S. employment growth Southern employment growth (1970=100) 250 200 150 100 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 Source: Morrison/Dodd Group, L.L.C., U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Regional Economic Information System 8 The community put together a total of $2.6 million in incentives to bring in the new plant, and it’s been worth it. The company, which originally planned to hire 120 people, now employs 200. Well-placed incentives can also trigger additional investment by related businesses. “It’s like a new subdivision,” Gregory Wingfield, president of a Richmond, Virginia, economic development organization, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “The first lot is discounted to attract a buyer.” Like computer companies in Silicon Valley, carpet manufacturers in Dalton, Georgia, and furniture makers in Tupelo, Mississippi, similar businesses are often strongest where they cluster together. This puts them near their suppliers, gives them access to bankers, CPAs, and other service providers who are familiar with the industry, and increases their chances that the local work force is skilled in the industry. While Alabama was criticized for spending $253 million on incentives for a new Mercedes plant, the auto manufacturer brought several supporting companies with it, and the state’s new prestige prompted Honda to open a plant there as well. As a result, many people have seen their incomes rise by $40,000 to $50,000 a year. To top it off, in August 2000, Mercedes announced plans for a $600 million expansion that would add another 2,000 jobs to the local economy. This same approach can work in rural areas, too. In the farming community of
    • Stuttgart, Arkansas, known as the “Rice and Duck Capital of the World,” are the beginnings of what the town hopes will become a capital of biotechnology. Anchored by the new National Rice Research Center, a halfdozen laboratories are using biotechnology to try to improve everything from cotton to catfish. The town’s efforts are buoyed by an Arkansas law that provides tax breaks aimed specifically at the biotechnology industry. The state also is building its capacity to grow new businesses by strengthening its university research base, adopting policies that encourage faculty members to commercialize their inventions, and teaming up with private investors to form a pool of venture capital to finance innovative companies. Growth Needs to Be a Conscious Choice Supporters of Approach One say we need to make a conscious choice to encourage growth. It will not just happen on its own. At the same time, opinions are often divided over how active a role government should play in encouraging growth. Some favor a pro-active role for government, such as in Heflin and Stuttgart, where government has provided tax and other incentives to attract growth. Others think that the best thing that government can do is to provide a healthy climate for business growth, but to otherwise get out of the way. Most agree that government has a key role to play in providing the infrastructure that businesses need to succeed. In the past, this meant roads, water, and sewer. In today’s economy that list has expanded to include telecommunications infrastructure and access to global markets via ports and airports. In this “information age,” telecommunications infrastructure is becoming increasingly critical to business formation and growth. The ability to tap into new markets around the world has spawned many new businesses. Existing businesses are using the Internet for everything from managing their inventories to providing more efficient customer service. The U.S. Government Working Group on ONE South Carolina Employment Security Commission/Rodney Welch Create Jobs Electronic Commerce reports that on-line retail sales could reach $144 billion by 2003, while the value of Internet transactions between businesses could go as high as an astounding $3.9 trillion. The digital revolution has made it possible to do business from anywhere in the world that has access to telecommunications infrastructure. As technology makes trade with other countries easier, exports are accounting for more and more new jobs. In fact, exports account for 40 percent of all new jobs created in the U.S. since 1993. Businesses that export tend to be stronger, paying higher wages, creating more jobs, and having greater chances for long-term survival. Providing efficient transportation systems that connect our businesses to global markets is an important role for government, say supporters of Approach One. Regulations Stifle Growth “Don’t just stand there, undo something,” economist Murray Weidenbaum told a congressional committee on regulations. The former chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers wrote later that new businesses “…need the flexibility to adapt quickly to the rapid changes that occur in the modern global economy. Too many governmental jurisdictions unwittingly place a bureaucratic straitjacket on business.” 9 Supporters of Approach One say that the creation of jobs is the pathway to prosperity.
    • ONE Create Jobs What Can Be Done? Supporters of Approach One generally favor the following measures: . Invest in infrastructure, such as roads and telecommunications, to support industry. . Streamline permit processes to make development easier for businesses. . Provide tax and other incentives to attract industry. . Reduce regulations that inhibit business growth. . Support the development of new, entrepreneurial businesses. . Help identify new domestic and overseas markets for business. Many supporters of Approach One believe that overzealous government regulations stifle job creation and undermine our businesses’ competitiveness in the international marketplace. The regulatory burden is particularly great for small businesses, the type of businesses that are now responsible for most of the job growth in our economy. Figures from the Institute for Policy Innovation put the cost of complying with federal regulations alone at more than $5,500 per employee for small firms. Environmental regulations are often among the most daunting. In 1995, the cost of environmental regulations to American businesses and taxpayers was estimated to be $170 billion, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Yet in looking at a single program, the Superfund cleanup of hazardous waste sites, less than half the money was actually spent on cleaning up waste, and the rest went to administration or lawyers. Regulations all too often have huge costs relative to only marginal benefits, point out supporters of Approach One. It’s not right that boarded-up factories stand vacant in inner-city neighborhoods where jobs are needed, passed up by developers worried about liability concerns and too-stringent clean-up standards. Why require groundwater at an abandoned railway yard to be cleaner than our drinking water? In Support If we create jobs, everything else will follow. People will have the money they need to buy good houses and send their children to good schools. You don’t have a high quality of life if you don’t have a job. Business development generates the tax revenue needed to operate schools, pick up the trash, and fight crime. Residential development rarely pays its own way in terms of taxes. Without business development, home owners would either have to pay more for community amenities or cut back on services. New business development provides alternatives for employment and makes our communities more resilient. Niculae Asciu 10
    • Create Jobs Growth attracts people to our communities and helps keep our property values high. More development means more convenience and more choices. It’s convenient to have a grocery store, gas station, and video rental store down the street. A strong and growing economy generates resources to protect the environment. A look around the world shows that it is poor areas that are most likely to pollute. A growing economy provides the opportunities needed to keep our young people at home. Without growth, our children will need to move away in order to make a living. ONE ✗ Incentives divert money that might otherwise be spent on schools, medical care, and other services that would make our communities more attractive in the long term. ✗ Competition for new business pits one community against another. Those areas with fewer resources (especially rural communities and inner cities) find it difficult to compete with already-thriving communities. ✗ Uncontrolled development can hurt economic development in the long run by making the community less attractive to potential workers and businesses. In Opposition ✗ Business growth doesn’t necessarily reduce unemployment. Faster-growing communities often attract new residents just as quickly as they create new jobs. ✗ Not all jobs are good jobs. While all the talk is about high-paying computer jobs, the reality is that many of the new jobs being created are still in low-paying positions, such as janitors, waiters, and retail sales clerks. ✗ We already have enough jobs. The unemployment rate is at a 30-year low. We should be worrying more about how to help businesses fill the jobs that are going unfilled due to a lack of skilled workers. ✗ Attracting new industry can be expen- For Further Reading/ Create Jobs . Bob Davis and David Wessell, Prosperity: The Coming Twenty-Year Boom and What It Means to You (New York: Random House, 1998). . National Association of Manufacturers, Pro-Growth Agenda. View on-line at www.nam.org . Naomi Lopez, Barriers to Entrepreneurship: How Government Undermines Economic Opportunity, IPI Policy Report #149 (Lewisville, TX: Institute for Policy Innovation, June 15, 1999) and Naomi Lopez, Tom Giovanetti and W. Michael Cox, “Turning Lemonade into Lemons: How Government Puts the Squeeze on Entrepreneurs, IPI Insights (Lewisville, TX: Institute for Policy Innovation, June 1, 1999) both at www.ipi.org . See also the Web sites of the Heritage Foundation at www.heritage.org, the Cato Institute at www.cato.org, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute at www.cei.org sive, both in terms of infrastructure required, as well as an increased need for services by new workers moving to the community. New development often doesn’t pay the full costs of its impact on the community, especially where businesses have been given tax breaks. 11
    • TWO Pictor/Martin Rogers Develop Human and Community Resources First Education is the key to success, Approach Two advocates say. D own along the Mississippi Delta, one of the birthplaces of the blues, you’ll find Jonestown, Mississippi, home to about 1,500 people. Cotton once provided all the work people needed, but that day is past. Now people drive or ride the bus for miles, to towns like Clarksdale or Tunica, to get to their jobs — or they move out of Jonestown. Jonestown used to have businesses, doctors, and schools of its own. Today trash collects in the empty storefronts along Main Street. The old school building has stood vacant for years. It’s said that people 12 have even burned their dilapidated old homes in the hope that Habitat for Humanity would build them new ones. Two-thirds of Jonestown’s people live in poverty and the community is plagued with illiteracy, teen pregnancy, unemployment, and teen violence. “Most people here worked out on the farms at one point,” said Jonestown’s mayor, Joe Phillips. “But not as many people are needed to work the crops as used to be. So they moved to the town. But they really didn’t have the education or the skills to get other jobs. And there wasn’t enough work anyway.”
    • TWO Develop Human and Community Resources First In communities such as Jonestown, problems often are so ingrained they can’t be fixed simply by bringing in a shiny new manufacturing plant, even if one could be convinced to locate there. Approach Two argues that communities need to develop their personal and economic capacities before they can participate in the opportunities of today’s economy. Those who advocate Approach Two believe true prosperity will be elusive or incomplete until a community makes the development of its people and its resources the first priority. Only then can a community develop its economy from a position of strength rather than weakness. Build Self-Sufficiency Towns and small cities across the South, far outside the booming cities, are in a predicament similar to Jonestown’s. Often, they relied on a single industry, such as cotton, or textiles, or tobacco, and when those jobs disappeared through uncontrollable shifts in the national or international economy, people were left with few prospects. Even some of those living in the Sunbelt’s booming cities do not have the education or the resources to take advantage of the good times. Vance County, North Carolina, wants some of the prosperity that has transformed the Triangle region of that state. Instead, Vance County is full of empty tobacco warehouses and textile mills; it has one of the state’s highest unemployment rates and workers who don’t have the skills or the education that employers need. It’s a potentially devastating combination that could not only endan- Percentages of U.S. Growth Company CEOs Reporting Skilled-Worker Shortages as Top Barrier to Growth 70 60 50 Percent % Education and retraining are particularly important. Too often, we have left some people, particularly minorities, in low-paying, dead-end jobs that require few skills. We must also pay attention to deep-seated issues, such as race relations, that we often put off in favor of easier, but potentially less lasting, solutions to community problems. America’s CEOs Say That Skill Shortages Are the Number One Barrier to Growth 40 30 20 10 0 1993 1994 1995 1996 Source: Winning the Skills Race, Council on Competitiveness, 1998 (from Coopers & Lybrand data) ger the county’s future but become a costly burden for state and federal taxpayers. “Most people aren’t taking applications,” said Patricia Williams, age 41.“There’s just so many people out there out of a job.” She used to make less than $9 an hour at Burlington Industries and thought she would always work there. But Burlington closed the plant and Williams realized her 18 years there hadn’t prepared her for any other job. Recently, Williams started taking classes in early childhood education at a community college, planning to become a teacher’s aide or day care worker. In the old economy, it was traditional and safe to rely on one source of jobs. Not anymore. When a company leaves or an industry collapses, the upper-level executives and managers can find new jobs or move. But low-paid employees, frequently minorities and usually poor, never learned other skills and must scramble to find a new living. Such is the legacy of the coal industry in Letcher County, Kentucky. “They took the raw materials, the resources, and the man13 1997
    • Develop Human and Community Resources First NYT Pictures/Bruce Berman TWO When factories close and businesses move out, they leave behind workers without needed skills to pursue other economic opportunities. power that was available and used them to make their millions of dollars,” Charles Hawkins, a longtime resident, told the Southern Rural Development Initiative. “When they got all they wanted, they sold out to somebody else — and then they came in and got all they wanted.” Many in the community are understandably wary of pinning their hopes for the future on bringing in another big business. Instead, Letcher County residents are looking to build their future on the strengths of their community, including strong family relationships and rich cultural traditions. Creating programs to teach parenting and life skills, promoting community schools, and further developing the community’s arts and crafts traditions are among the ideas that have emerged from Sowing the Seeds, a citizen-initiated planning process. Educate and Retrain Despite significant progress, citizens of many Southern states lag in math, science, and reading achievement; high school dropout rates are higher than average; and there is a lower rate of adult literacy than in other parts of the 14 country. Other factors such as poverty, teenage pregnancy, and lack of prenatal care also put our children at risk for failure in the future. Supporters of Approach Two believe these are the true roadblocks to prosperity in the region. Investment in quality education, skills training, and health care is essential not only for individual success, but for community success. If we develop healthy, educated citizens, well-paying jobs will follow — the kind that will sustain our families and communities in the long term. Investing in education, research shows, provides the kind of returns any Wall Street trader would approve of. One dollar spent on quality preschool for a child saves us $7 that we would otherwise spend later on special education, social programs, and other costs for that same child, according to a long-term study. Developing our communities and our citizens simultaneously is a smart strategy. In Little Rock, Arkansas, one program provides adult education and preschool in the same building. So, while Mary Glover studied for her GED, her sons Zachariah and Caleb attended a preschool program across
    • Develop Human and Community Resources First Both of Mary’s boys are doing very well in school. “The benefits they received from the classroom are countless,” she said. Those benefits are greater than ever. Education is the ticket for success today. Despite a booming national and regional economy, income inequality is at its highest level since the U.S. Census began tracking this data in 1947. Many economists say the main reason for this gap is the rising value of education. On one end of the scale are highpaying jobs in fields such as microelectronics, robotics, and electronic commerce. At the other end are service sector jobs that require fewer skills and command lower pay. A 12 percent unemployment rate for 25- to 34year-old male high school dropouts stands in sharp contrast to an unemployment rate of only 1.5 percent for those with at least a bachelor’s degree. South’s population grows increasingly diverse. The issue is no longer just black and white. For the U.S. as a whole, growth rates for Hispanic and Asian populations are almost double that for blacks or whites. Four Southern states, led by Arkansas, are among the top five states in the nation in terms of the growth rate of the Hispanic population. To put things in perspective, today, one in six Nashville residents is foreign-born. Approach Two envisions communities working together to find ways to turn this diversity into a source of strength rather than tension. Make the Community a Desirable Place Vance County, North Carolina, is building an arts center because people there understand that jobs and new businesses by themselves don’t make a community whole. Many executives who work in the county still choose to live in Raleigh’s suburbs because they want its cultural amenities. Henderson, Vance County’s principal town, has recruited native son and prominent television journalist Charlie Rose to produce a fund-raising video. The town is hoping to raise $15 million to build the new arts center. Pictor/Martin Rogers the hall. Mary was proud to be a role model for her children, and parenting education classes helped make the family stronger. At the end of their first year, Mary started a new job as an assistant in a Head Start classroom. She soon enrolled in pre-algebra and computer classes at a local college as a first step toward fulfilling her dream of becoming a child psychologist. TWO Bridge Racial and Cultural Divides In Fort Myers, Florida, a new shopping center at the corner of Sabal Palm and Martin Luther King, Jr. boulevards serves as a symbol of progress in a community that was once referred to as one of the most racially segregated in the South. The shopping center, which serves a low-income area, is just one of the more tangible results of a process that brought citizens together to address issues of race, racism, and segregation in the community. This kind of pulling together will only become more important in the future as the When coal mines in Letcher County, Kentucky, closed, coal miners were out of work. A citizen initiative, called Sowing the Seeds, now looks to developing other strengths in the community. 15
    • TWO Develop Human and Community Resources First What Can Be Done? Supporters of Approach Two generally favor the following measures: . Spend more money on education, from preschool through higher education. . Implement aggressive dropout-reduction programs. . Develop programs to provide training and retraining to those already in the work force. . Strengthen families through programs in family literacy, parent education, abuse prevention, and other areas. . Make sure everyone has easy access to quality health care. . Increase home ownership as a tool for building family wealth and stronger communities. . Conduct programs to help bridge racial and cultural divides. . Provide incentives to encourage investment in inner cities and rural areas that have been left behind in the new economy. . Develop programs to build community leadership and civic engagement. Similarly, Jonestown is embarking on a project with Mississippi State University to reclaim and renovate its old school building as a community center. The goal is to provide a focus for the town’s activities and provide some much-needed services such as day care, recreation, and adult education in one place. “As a mother of a three-year-old, I was amazed to hear that many young mothers leave their homes at 5 a.m. to catch a bus to Tunica to work,” said Shannon Criss, director of the Small Town Center at Mississippi State University. “After working for eight hours, they then travel back to be home by 8 p.m. Who attends to their children? What kind of family life is there for these kids?” Jonestown also is building a small nature trail on the bayou near the school building, and the local community college is renewing its effort to provide job training. Those who live in Jonestown are committed to changing their lives and their community from the ground up, making it a better place, before any new businesses come in. Niculae Asciu 16
    • Develop Human and Community Resources First In Support  Education is the ticket to success today. A growing percentage of business leaders say that skills shortages are the number one barrier to business growth. Communities that develop a skilled work force will be well on their way toward attracting high-growth, high-wage businesses. The South’s population is becoming more diverse. With the economy becoming increasingly global, we would be wise to find a way to turn this diversity into a strength rather than a source of tension.  Strong families are the backbone of prosperous communities. Studies show that teens who have close family relationships are least likely to engage in risky and violent behaviors.  The health of our inner cities and our rural areas affects the entire region. We all pay when these areas suffer business closings, high unemployment, and low wages. Research has shown that strong com- TWO ✗ Investments like the ones we’re talking about are expensive. We would have to raise taxes to pay for these programs and that would slow economic growth. Besides, there’s a lot of waste in government programs already. ✗ We have been trying to improve our educational system for decades. Throwing money at the problem doesn’t seem to work. Per pupil funding for K-12 education has almost doubled in the past 30 years and we still lag in achievement. ✗ Everyone should be able to make it on their own if they just work hard enough. Government should not be meddling in family affairs. For Further Reading/ Develop Human and Community Resources First . Robert Putnam, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000). See also, Robert Putnam, “The Prosperous Community,” in The American Prospect, Volume 4, Issue 13, March 21, 1993 at www.prospect.org/print/V4/13/putnam-r.html munity groups and involved citizens are a key ingredient in a community’s economic success. . Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy, In Opposition . Michal Smith-Mello, Reclaiming Community, Reckoning with Change ✗Having everyone hold hands and sing “kumbaya” sounds nice, but realistically, how is this going to solve a community’s long-term problems? ✗ Investments in prenatal care, early childhood education, and the like will take a long time to show any payback. We need to improve economic conditions now. The Value of Investing in Youth (Morino Institute). See www.brookings.org/es/urban/morino.pdf (Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center, December 1995). See www.kltprc.net/PDFs/Reclaim.pdf . U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Now Is the Time: Places Left Behind in the New Economy (Washington, D.C.: HUD, April 1999). See www.hud.gov/pressrel/execsumm.html or order a free copy through HUD USER at 1-800-245-2691 or www.huduser.org 17
    • Pictor Manage Growth THREE Atlanta is among the most prosperous cities in the nation. But at what price, proponents of Approach Three ask. tlanta burned during the Civil War, but you would never know it now. Between 1990 and 2000 alone, the metropolitan area’s population grew by more than one-third, to 4.1 million people. Suburban development around the city consumes 50 acres of forest every day. The average commuter drives 35 miles a day, more than anywhere else in the U.S., and often in heavy, aggravating traffic. Georgia’s leaders are trying to get things under control. But years of habits in decision making — to build more subdivisions, more malls and more highways — are hard to turn around. Growth is swallowing up once-rural counties and small towns. Ozone and smog levels are so high the federal government began to withhold money that would build roads. The very health of Atlanta’s residents has been threatened. Scientists even say that Atlanta now has so much pavement, it is creating its own weather. Supporters of Approach Three say Atlanta’s predicament illustrates that if we don’t manage growth, the South as we know it will disappear. Blindly allowing more development, in the name of prosperity at any price, will leave us with an ugly place where no one wants to live — and that’s not prosperity by anyone’s definition. Fearing that such growth will choke the region’s future prosperity in traffic and smog, “So many American cities today have lost their souls — they have let go of the very character that made them special,” observed John A 18 “We’re trying to slow down the Queen Mary, and we’ve just now seen the rocks in the water ahead,” said Lucy Smethurst, director of Atlanta’s Clean Air Campaign, in the New York Times.
    • THREE Manage Growth Williams, chairman of the Metropolitan Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, in testimony before Congress. “We have adopted an Anywhere, USA, persona that is damaging to local economic growth.” Those who advocate Approach Three think the best strategy is to manage growth in a rational way, using all the expertise available. Growth is still better for a community than the alternative, but it needs to be properly planned. Communities can and should be able to preserve their unique qualities. That includes the way our cities and neighborhoods look, the number of trees we allow to be uprooted, the kind of jobs we want our children to have, and the level of daily stress we’re willing to tolerate. Simply leaving those choices to larger economic forces is not the best way to build the future. Emphasizing economic development over planning, even with a focus on the people and places left out, is a dangerous course to take. Witness the overcrowding in so many of our children’s schools. When communities can’t build enough schools to keep up with growth, that should sound an alarm. Get control of the growth first, and other problems will be easier to tackle later. If we take stock of what we value, whether it’s a river, a historic district, or a park, we can lay a solid foundation for making intelligent decisions. This kind of planning benefits everyone with a stake in the future: suburban commuters tired of battling heavy traffic; rural towns worried about being swallowed up by expanding metropolitan areas; farmers who need to know whether they’ll be able to develop their land; and low-income residents who don’t want to be left behind in the rush to build. Planning for the Future Bringing in more jobs and new residents is good for a community, keeping it vibrant and diverse. Any growing community should Planning Saves Money Costs of public services in a planned growth area, in an unplanned area, and in a rural area ten miles from existing public services, 1989 Costs of public services per dwelling unit $50,000 $48,000 $40,000 $35,000 $30,000 $20,000 $18,000 $10,000 $ 0 In a planned area In an unplanned area In an unplanned rural area Source: J. Frank, “The Costs of Alternative Development Patterns: A Review of the Literature,” Urban Land Institute, Washington, D.C., 1989 consider itself fortunate, because many towns, particularly in the Midwest and Northeast, actually have lost jobs and population. And Approach Three does not necessarily mean growth must be tightly controlled. A community may decide that at this particular time, it wants a significant rate of growth. But every city should give conscious thought to that choice and make the decision in full awareness of its advantages and its consequences. Elaine Ogburn, 65, once saw farms and trees through her kitchen window in Varina, Virginia, east of Richmond. Now she sees new houses. “I used to be able to know who was in the cars driving on Midview Road, but not anymore,” Ogburn told the Richmond TimesDispatch. “It’s been a real change to see houses pop out of the ground on land that was cultivated.” The farm her family once operated has been cut up into subdivisions, like many others. Ogburn and her neighbors, and even 19
    • THREE Manage Growth Pictor of the city. Between 1950 and 1990, the area’s population increased by only 39 percent, while the amount of land consumed increased by 219 percent. Father James Edwards, a Catholic priest active on this issue, put it this way in the St. Louis Review: “The core area has been emptying out for several decades, with consequences for everyone. The taxpayers keep paying for new infrastructure, new sewers and roads in new areas, while the older infrastructure suffers.” Williamsburg,Virginia. Historic sites are part of a community’s character, and it is important to maintain their integrity by controlling development around them. some of those new residents, fear that the very qualities they saw in Varina are vanishing. Sometimes that’s unavoidable. We change the places we move into, simply by moving there. But if that is repeated over and over, without any thought to the consequences, the results can be devastating. This is a particular concern in the South, which has historically had a strong sense of identity and place. Growth increases stress on people and livelihoods in many ways. Farming, a long and respected tradition in the South, has come under pressure from growth in the last 50 years. Of the ten states identified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as experiencing the highest conversion of farmland to development, four are located in the South. In Georgia alone, an average of 37,000 acres of farmland are being developed each year. Our cities, too, are facing pressure as both residents and businesses flee to the suburbs. In St. Louis, the regional population has grown slowly but land development in suburban areas has accelerated, as people move out 20 In similar ways, our current patterns of development do little to bring us together as a community, caution supporters of Approach Three. As we abandon our downtowns, we are increasingly becoming divided by race, a phenomenon also playing out in St. Louis. “This is a society that, since the beginning, has always equated moving up with moving out. We happen to be in a city, St. Louis, where if you move west, you’re making progress,” a law enforcement officer told Ray Suarez, former host of National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation.” Although blacks make up only 18 percent of the metropolitan area’s population, they account for 51 percent of those living in the central city. Supporters of Approach Three believe we can address these issues if we take the reins of growth firmly in our hands. We already know a lot about how communities grow. Knowing what kinds of houses are being built, we can calculate how many more cars will be on the roads and how many people will commute between certain communities. Using that kind of information, we ought to be able to better manage that growth. We should tap into the expertise of planners, people we pay anyway in every city and town, and consider their best advice. Learning from Innovation One approach is what’s called “planned communities.” These kinds of towns, usually small, are carefully planned from the start. Frequently, businesses and homes are kept closer to each other than they are in most
    • THREE Manage Growth Pictor suburbs, more like the way towns used to be built. At its best, this approach eliminates sprawl and maximizes community identity. Seaside, Florida, is one example of a planned community; where the emphasis is on walking, not driving, where houses have front porches and smaller lots. In Atlanta, some builders are now putting up urban villages close to downtown, designed on similar principles. Not everyone can live in a planned community because there aren’t that many; they’re small, and they can be expensive. But there are lessons we can learn from the idea, particularly about community character. Planned communities know exactly what they want to be. Ideally, every decision springs from that self-image, and everything is built with that picture in mind. That can be useful in any city, because the wrong kind of growth often results when people lose track of what they want their community to be. CORBIS/Steve Chenin Many towns have a river, a hill, a forest, or another natural feature that is an integral part of the town’s character. If new houses and businesses are built without keeping that in mind, a community may start to lose a vital aspect of its identity. This should be part of a community’s deliberation: Are there waterways that contribute to the urban character? Do people identify the region with particular natural resources? Planning gives people more control over residential, commercial, and industrial development that affect their communities. 21 Farms are increasingly pressured by urban sprawl. Of the ten states with the highest rate of conversion of farmland to development, five are located in the South.
    • THREE Manage Growth The Tennessee River runs through the city of Chattanooga, but by the 1980s no one went near the river, which was lined with empty warehouses and dilapidated factories. In 1982, the city brought residents together to talk about what they valued and what ought to be done. During the months of discussions that followed, it became clear that people cared about the river. A master plan for the riverfront, which emerged from those discussions, has produced a rebirth of interest and investment along the Tennessee River. More than $350 million has been invested in revitalization projects, such as the Tennessee Aquarium, most of it from private sources. People in Chattanooga are enjoying the river again, something that reminds them why they love their city. Similarly, historic buildings and sites form part of a community’s character and are What Can Be Done? Supporters of Approach Three generally favor the following measures: . Use regulations and incentives to direct development to specific areas. . Favor existing communities rather than new developments when making public infrastructure investments. . Ensure that new developments in outlying areas pay the full costs of services. . Provide incentives to encourage historic preservation and the reuse of vacant buildings. . Encourage more compact, mixed-use, pedestrian- and transit-oriented developments through zoning regulations and incentives. . Re-create small, close-knit communities through design features such as front porches, smaller streets, and shared open spaces. . Undertake comprehensive efforts to revitalize inner cities. . Preserve farmland and open space through acquisition programs, incentives, and/or regulations. . Provide more transportation choices, such as rail, bus, and/or bike lanes. . Enact regulations to protect the environment. 22 equally vulnerable to development. Should certain buildings be preserved by working with business and government? Is there a neighborhood that would be threatened by encroaching development? Coming Full Circle Many cities are learning that growth needs to be kept in line with the community’s plans for the future. Otherwise, it can endanger prosperity in the long run, damaging the quality of life and driving people away. Some businesses are beginning to see that managed growth is economically preferable to uncontrolled growth. The quality of life in a community has become increasingly important to businesses, as the Internet and other technological advances have made it possible for them to locate just about anywhere in the world. The key question then becomes, “Where would my employees want to live?” “We could almost go brain dead here and still get economic development,” observed a Nashville, Tennessee, metropolitan-area leader during a series of discussions on the future of the region. But, he said, “I’m really concerned about transportation, roads. We keep moving forward a step and then slide two back. That’s what could stop us — the quality-of-life issue. I see us hurtling toward Atlanta conditions, just ten years behind.” In Support Growth is threatening our quality of life. We are stuck in traffic jams, taking time away from our families; our children go to class in trailers because their school buildings are bursting at the seams; and our health is threatened by increased pollution. Uncontrolled development is hurting our long-term economic prospects by making our communities less attractive to potential workers and businesses.
    • Manage Growth Communities are losing their unique ✗Growth restrictions discriminate against character as sweeping landscapes and historic buildings give way to identical shopping malls and cul-de-sacs all across the South. THREE newcomers to the community, including immigrants. The elite want to pull up the drawbridge after they’ve arrived. Our communities are becoming geo- graphically divided by race, with minorities concentrated in inner cities that have been all but abandoned as growth flows to the suburbs. It is a waste of taxpayer dollars to abandon infrastructure in our inner cities and rebuild it in our suburbs. Sprawling residential growth often costs more in terms of public services than it generates in taxes. Our very way of life is threatened as farmlands and open space give way to development. The natural resources of the South are critical to maintaining a lifestyle that draws and retains residents, businesses, and tourists. Our natural resources are finite. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. ✗Restricting growth would hurt our economy. We need business development in order to pay for our schools, fire protection, and other community services. ✗Growth is exaggerated as a problem. Only 5 percent of the land in the U.S. is now developed. Advances in technology mean that we now need less land for farming, and that our industries and cars are cleaner and less likely to pollute. ✗ Purely localized growth management will not solve the problem. It may even make it worse by forcing growth to more outlying areas without growth restrictions. For Further Reading/ Manage Growth . In Opposition ✗Growth restrictions violate personal property rights. If individuals want to buy property and build a house in the suburbs (or sell their land to provide money for retirement) that’s their right. People should be able to decide where they want to live and in what type of house. We don’t need planners to decide for us. ✗Growth restrictions will make houses more expensive and put the American dream of home ownership out of the reach of more and more people. . . . Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck, Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream (North Point Press, March 2000). Richard Moe and Carter Wilkie, Changing Places: Rebuilding Community in the Age of Sprawl (Holt & Co., April 1999). Richard Florida, “Competing in the Age of Talent: Quality of Place and the New Economy,” a report prepared for the R.K. Mellon Foundation, Heinz Endowments, and Sustainable Pittsburgh ( January 2000). View on-line at www.heinz.cmu.edu/~florida/talent.pdf National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals, Profiles of Business Leadership on Smart Growth (Washington, D.C.: NALGEP, June 1999). View the executive summary on-line at www.nalgep.org/smartgrowth.htm or order through NALGEP at 202-638-6254 or www.nalgep.org ✗It’s not realistic to believe that people will use mass transit. It’s simply not convenient. We shouldn’t throw more money after an idea that hasn’t worked. 23
    • SUMMARY ONE Comparing the Approaches Create Jobs Jobs are the key to prosperity for all. If we create jobs, everything else will follow. This approach, more than any other, has made the South what it is today. Why change what’s already working? “It’s the end of the world as we know it…(and I feel fine),” penned by the Southern rock band R.E.M., is a song remarkably attuned to recent times. You could make the song relevant for any decade of the twentieth century and its unprecedented pace of change. It was the end of the world as we knew it after World War II, when the South used its cheap labor, cheap land, and low taxes to bring thousands of manufacturing plants, and jobs, to our states. It was the end of the world as we knew it when farms and small towns, once the hallmark of the South, began to give way to development. It was the end of the world as we knew it when the first desktop computers armed us with powerful spreadsheet and word-processing applications, and again when the Internet forever altered the ways in which we communicate. What Can Be Done? x Invest in infrastructure, such as roads and telecommunications, to support industry. x Provide tax and other incentives to attract industry. x Reduce regulations that inhibit business growth. In Support x Jobs are what make a community prosper; without them, it stagnates and dies. R.E.M.’s song is no less relevant today. But how fine do we feel? What do we think of our quality of life? Many of our most successful communities bemoan commute times and other by-products of rapid growth while more economically deprived areas hunger for jobs at almost any cost. x Job creation provides the opportunities needed to keep our young people at home. Without growth, our children will need to move away in order to make a living. x Business growth generates the tax revenue needed to operate schools, pick up the trash, and fight crime. Faced with all the changes that are taking place around us, what is the best pathway to prosperity for our communities? Our purpose here is not to suggest a single correct path, but to support exploration of many pathways, each with its own trade-offs and consequences. To spur conversation, deliberation, and action, three possible pathways are outlined in this summary. These options and the guide itself are intended to serve as the beginning points for a community’s discussion about what is important as it pursues sound, informed decisions about its future. In Opposition x Not all jobs are good jobs. Many of the new jobs being created are in low-paying positions such as janitors, waiters, and retail sales clerks. x Attracting new industry can be expensive. This money might be better spent on schools, medical care, and other services that would make our communities more attractive in the long term. x Uncontrolled development can hurt economic development in the long run by making the community less attractive to potential workers and businesses. A Likely Trade-off? x Focusing solely on job creation may result in undesirable side effects, such as traffic congestion and air pollution, which endanger a distinctive and valued way of life. 24
    • QUESTIONAIRES SUMMARY TWO Develop Human and Community Resources First The region’s economic progress has left many behind. Unless we address long-standing problems such as illiteracy, poverty, and poor health, prosperity is likely to remain elusive for many people and communities. What Can Be Done? x Improve education and training programs for children and adults. x Provide incentives to encourage investment in inner cities and rural areas that have been left behind in today’s economy. x Develop programs to build community leadership and civic engagement. In Support x Education is the ticket to success today. Communities that develop a skilled work force will be well on their way toward attracting high-growth, high-wage businesses. x The health of our inner cities and rural areas affects the entire region. We all pay when these areas suffer business closings, high unemployment, and low wages. x Research has shown that strong community groups and involved citizens are a key ingredient in a community’s economic success. In Opposition x Investments in things like education take a long time to show any payback. We need to improve economic conditions now. x Providing cultural amenities and building nature trails are worthy activities but, realistically, how will they solve a community’s long-term problems? x We’ve been trying to address these types of problems for decades. Throwing money at them doesn’t seem to work. They’re likely to be with us always. A Likely Trade-off? x Investing in human and community resources may be a wise strategy in the long run, but this approach is likely to take a long time to show results. THREE Manage Growth If we don’t do a better job of managing growth, we will destroy the quality of life that makes our communities attractive to citizens and businesses. Growth is still better for a community than the alternative, but it needs to be properly planned. What Can Be Done? x Use regulations and incentives to direct development to specific areas. x Favor existing communities rather than new developments when making public infrastructure investments. x Preserve farmland and open space through acquisition programs, incentives, and/or regulations. In Support x Growth is threatening our quality of life. We are stuck in traffic jams, our children’s schools are bursting at the seams, and our health is threatened by increased pollution. x Uncontrolled development is hurting our long-term economic prospects by making our communities less attractive to potential workers and businesses. x Current development patterns are often economically inefficient and waste taxpayer dollars. In Opposition x Restricting growth would hurt our economy. We need business development in order to pay for community services. x Growth restrictions violate personal property rights. People should be able to decide where they want to live and what they can do with their land. x Growth restrictions are elitist, making houses more expensive and putting the American dream of homeownership out of the reach of more and more people. A Likely Trade-off? x Taking a more pro-active approach to planning for growth may help protect a community’s natural resources, but it is likely to restrict individual property rights and may slow economic growth. 25
    • Notes
    • PRE-FORUM QUESTIONNAIRE Pathways to Prosperity: Choosing a Future for Your Community One of the reasons people participate in discussion forums is that they want others to know how they feel about certain issues. So that we can present reports on your thoughts about the issue, we’d like you to fill out this questionnaire before you attend a forum. At the end of the forum, your moderator will ask you to fill out the Post-Forum Questionnaire. Before answering the questions, please make up a 3-digit number and fill it in here: . 1. Which statement best describes your thoughts about what should be done to build prosperity in your community and the region? Check one. a. I am not at all sure what should be done. b. I have a general sense of what should be done. c. I have a definite opinion about what should be done. 2. Do you agree or disagree with the statements below? a. While much of the region prospers, too many people are left behind. b. Professional planning is needed to manage growth. c. Building an educated, skilled work force should be our top priority. d. Government regulations stifle business growth. e. Uncontrolled growth threatens our quality of life in both rural and urban areas. f. Business growth is the key to prosperity for all. g. Community input is needed to manage growth. Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Not sure Somewhat favor Somewhat oppose Strongly oppose Not sure 3. Are there any other things that trouble you about growth in your region? Please explain. 4. Do you favor or oppose each of these actions? a. Reduce regulations that inhibit business growth. b. Provide incentives to encourage investment in declining inner cities and rural areas. c. Spend more money on education and training programs. d. Use public funds to preserve farmland and open space. e. Provide tax and other incentives to attract new businesses. f. Use zoning laws and other regulations to direct development to specific areas. 5. Are you male or female? Male 6. How much schooling have you completed? Less than 6th grade 6th – 8th grade Some college College graduate Strongly favor Female Some high school Graduate school 27 High school graduate
    • PRE-FORUM QUESTIONNAIRE 7. Are you: African-American Other (specify) 8. How old are you? 17 or younger Asian-American Hispanic Native American White 18 – 29 30 – 49 50 – 64 65 or older 9. For which type of business or organization do you work? Government Business Nonprofit I’m a student I’m not currently employed Educational institution Other (specify) 10. In what state do you live? AL KY NC TN GA MS SC Other (specify) AR LA OK VA 11. In which type of community do you live? Rural Urban FL MO PR WV Suburban Please give this form to the forum leader, or mail to: Linda Hoke, Southern Growth Policies Board, P.O. Box 12293, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. 28
    • POST-FORUM QUESTIONNAIRE Pathways to Prosperity: Choosing a Future for Your Community Now that you’ve had a chance to participate in a forum on this issue, we’d like to know what you are thinking. Your opinions, along with those of others who participated in forums, will be reflected in a summary report that will be distributed to officeholders, the media, and others in the region. Since we’re interested in whether you have changed your mind about certain aspects of the issue, a few of the questions will be the same as those you answered earlier. Fill in your 3-digit number here: . 1. Do you favor or oppose the actions listed below? a. Communities should make every effort to increase job opportunities through business growth, EVEN IF that may result in undesirable side effects such as more air pollution and traffic congestion. b. Communities should focus on solving deep-seated social problems, EVEN IF it takes a long time to show any results. c. Communities should work with city planners to control whether, where, and how growth should occur, EVEN IF this restricts where people can live and what they do with their property. 2. Do you favor or oppose each of these actions? a. Reduce regulations that inhibit business growth. b. Provide incentives to encourage investment in declining inner cities and rural areas. c. Spend more money on education and training programs. d. Use public funds to preserve farmland and open space. e. Provide tax and other incentives to attract new businesses. f. Use zoning laws and other regulations to direct development to specific areas. 3. Do you agree or disagree with the statements below? a. While much of the region prospers, too many people are left behind. b. Professional planning is needed to manage growth. c. Building an educated, skilled work force should be our top priority. d. Government regulations stifle business growth. e. Uncontrolled growth threatens our quality of life in both rural and urban areas. f. Business growth is the key to prosperity for all. g. Community input is needed to manage growth. 4. Which statement best describes what you think should be done to build prosperity in your community and the region? Check one. a. I am not at all sure what should be done. b. I have a general sense of what should be done. c. I have a definite opinion about what should be done. 29 Strongly favor Somewhat favor Somewhat oppose Strongly oppose Not sure Strongly favor Somewhat favor Somewhat oppose Strongly oppose Not sure Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Not sure
    • POST-FORUM QUESTIONNAIRE 5. What principles or deeply held beliefs should guide our approach to building prosperity? Please explain. 6. Are you thinking differently about this issue, now that you have participated in the forum? Please explain. Yes No 7. Do you see ways for people to work on this issue that you didn’t see before? Please explain. Yes No 8. What, if anything, might you do differently as a result of this forum? 9. What else, if anything, troubles you about the challenges of building prosperity? Please explain. Please give this form to the forum leader, or mail to: Linda Hoke, Southern Growth Policies Board, P.O. Box 12293, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. 30
    • About the Southern Growth Policies Board Formed by the region’s governors in 1971, the Southern Growth Policies Board is a unique public-private partnership devoted to strengthening the South’s economy and creating the highest possible quality of life. With the region’s governors, legislative leaders, and private citizens as members, Southern Growth is a catalyst for the creative and sustained actions needed to build a better South. Thirteen states — Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia — and Puerto Rico participate in and support Southern Growth’s work. Southern Growth is especially focused on globalization, technology and innovation, the changing nature of the workforce, and the vital role of community. Advisory bodies comprised of leading citizens from across the South guide Southern Growth’s work in each of these areas. For more information, call Southern Growth at (919) 941-5145 or visit our Web site at www.southern.org. Acknowledgments The Southern Growth Policies Board would like to thank the Kettering Foundation for its support in developing and publishing this issue book. Special thanks are due to David Mathews and Estus Smith, who saw the promise of developing materials to engage citizens in dialogue aboout issues of importance to the South; to Carolyn Farrow-Garland, who helped shepherd the project along in its development; and to Ed Arnone, Bob McKenzie, and Bob Kingston, who helped guide the process of defining and framing the issue. Special thanks also go to members of the project’s advisory committee, who were involved in every step of the project. Their contributions included conducting interviews to help identify different points of view on the issue, framing the issue and developing alternative choices, clarifying the presentation, and conducting test forums. Members include Christine Chadwick, Executive Director of FOCUS St. Louis; Fred Sheheen, Director of the Center for Citizenship at the University of South Carolina’s Institute of Public Affairs; Susan Taylor, of Taylor and Associates, representing the University of Georgia’s Fanning Institute for Leadership Development; and Angela Woodward, Director of Leadership Kentucky. For Additional Copies For additional copies of Pathways to Prosperity: Choosing a Future for Your Community, contact: Linda Hoke, Senior Program Manager, Southern Growth Policies Board, P.O. Box 12293, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. Phone: 919-941-5145. Email: lhoke@southern.org
    • At Southern Growth Policies Board Executive Director: Jim Clinton Senior Program Manager: Linda Hoke Writers Tony Wharton and Linda Hoke At the Kettering Foundation Editor: Ilse Tebbetts Publisher: Edward J. Arnone Production Manager: George Cavanaugh Copy Editor: Betty Frecker Design and Graphics Design: Long’s Graphic Design, Inc. Cover Illustration: Long’s Graphic Design, Inc. Inside Illustrations: Nicolae Asciu Pathways to Prosperity: Choosing a Future for Your Community Copyright 2001 by Southern Growth Policies Board All rights reserved
    • P.O. Box 12293 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 (919) 941-5145 www.southern.org
    • Moderator Guide Pathways to Prosperity: Choosing a Future for Your Community Rapid growth has transformed the South from the poorest region in the nation to the world’s third largest economy in the span of a single lifetime. But even as many communities prosper, continued commercial and population growth raise troubling questions. What of those left behind? Does our enthusiasm for economic progress endanger a distinctive and valued way of life? How do we convert growth into prosperity? The Pathways to Prosperity discussion guide is designed to encourage communities to think about these questions and to choose a path to the future for their community. The guide does not advocate a specific solution or point of view. Rather, it is intended to inspire thoughtful examination of differing points of view and a movement towards common ground around which the community can make plans for its future. Equipment/Supplies Needed Pathways to Prosperity issue book (or “Comparing the Approaches” summary) for each participant Pathways to Prosperity video Pre-Forum and Post-Forum Questionnaires for each participant Pencils/pens for completing the questionnaires VCR Flip chart and markers Ground rules poster (optional) Copies of the issue book ($3 each) and the starter video ($12) can be ordered from the Southern Growth Policies Board. Call Niraj Goswami at (919) 941-5145 to place an order. The issue book can also be downloaded from the Internet at www.southern.org/pubs/ptp/pathways.shtml . Moderators are free to copy the entire book, or just the “Comparing the Approaches” summary and Pre-Forum and Post-Forum Questionnaires.
    • Suggested Format for a Two-Hour Forum Welcome (5 minutes) Introduce yourself and tell participants about the organization(s) convening the forum. Stress the co-sponsorship if several organizations are involved. Give a brief introduction about the importance of the Pathways to Prosperity topic (growth and economic development) to the community. Explain that the results of the forum will be shared with Southern leaders through the Southern Growth Policies Board, by saying something such as the following: Participating in this forum means that your views will be heard by Southern leaders. This issue book was prepared by the Southern Growth Policies Board, a regional, multi-state organization. Southern Growth’s work focuses on strengthening the South’s economy and creating the highest possible quality of life in the region. The organization was formed by the region’s governors in 1971 and counts the governors, legislative leaders, business leaders, and citizens as members. Fourteen states, including [your state], participate in and support Southern Growth’s work. Southern Growth plans to prepare a report on forum results that will be presented to the governors and other Southern leaders in 2003. Pre-Forum Questionnaire (5 minutes) Pre- Ask participants to complete the Pre-Forum Questionnaire. Explain to participants that the Pre-Forum Questionnaire is a way to get everyone focused on the issue and a way for each participant to take inventory of their initial feelings on the issue. Tell them that there’ll be another questionnaire for them at the end of the forum. Ground Rules (5 minutes) Review ground rules with participants before beginning the discussion. Make clear that the forum is not a debate. Stress that there is work to do (this is not just a free flowing discussion with no purpose), and the work is to move toward making plans for the community’s future. The work will be done through deliberation. The following are suggested ground rules: • The moderator will guide the discussion yet remain neutral. • The moderator will make sure that: o o o o o Everyone understands that this is not a debate Everyone is encouraged to participate No one or two individuals dominate Every approach is considered fairly and fully An atmosphere for discussion and analysis of alternatives is maintained
    • o Participants listen to each other The moderator should ask the group if they agree with these rules and invite them to suggest others to add to the list. Moderators can call the Kettering Foundation at (800) 433-7834 to request a free poster that outlines these ground rules. Starter Show the Starter Video (15 minutes) Explain that the video reviews the problems underlying the issue, then briefly examines three policy alternatives. In so doing, it sets the stage for deliberation. (Starter videos can be ordered from the Southern Growth Policies Board for $12. Call Niraj Goswami at 919-941-5145). Personal Stake (10 minutes) Connect the issues to people’s lives and concerns – in the first few minutes – by getting participants to talk about their personal experiences with the issue. This makes the issue human rather than abstract. Some questions you might ask include: “Has anyone had a personal experience that illustrates the problems associated with this issue?” “Within your family or circle of friends, is this an important issue?” “What aspects of the issue are most important to you?” “When you think about this issue, what concerns you, and why?” Reviewing Possible Approaches (45 minutes) The next step is to review and deliberate on each approach, one-by-one. Deliberation requires weighing the “pros” and “cons” of different approaches so it is important to be sure that both are fully aired. Questions to help ensure a fair and balanced examination of each approach include: • What makes this approach a good idea? What do you find most appealing about this approach? • What are the costs or consequences associated with this approach? Is there a downside to this approach? • How might others see this approach? • What would someone who favors this approach be likely to say? • If we followed this approach, what would be the effects on your life? • How might your concerns differ if you were poor? Lacked a high school education? Were a business owner?
    • Review of Approach One: Create Jobs Begin with an overview of the approach, such as: In this view, creating jobs is our road to prosperity. If we create jobs, everything else will follow. People will have the money they need to buy good houses and send their children to good schools. This approach calls for providing incentives to attract businesses, easing government regulations that tend to stifle the development of business and industry, and investing in infrastructure to support existing businesses and attract new ones. Initiate discussion by using the general questions outlined above and/or some of the following: • Do the job opportunities in your community adequately meet your needs? What about the needs of young people who want to remain in the community after completing their education? The needs of others in the community? • What barriers does this community face in attracting or creating jobs? • How active a role do you think government should play in encouraging business growth? • What should we do about rural communities and other areas that have not been able to attract or create new jobs? Review of Approach Two: Develop Human and Community Resources First Begin with an overview of the approach, such as: Although considerable progress has been made, many Southerners lack the education and skills needed to keep up in today’s changing workplace. Supporters of this approach maintain that this and other social problems, such as poverty and poor health, are the true roadblocks to prosperity. Remedies include spending more money on education and worker training, ensuring easy access to health care, creating programs to help bridge racial and cultural divides, and developing community leadership skills. Initiate discussion by using the general questions outlined above and/or some of the following: • Does this community have the human and community resources needed to take advantage of opportunities in today’s economy? If not, what areas are in need of improvement? • What role does education play in ensuring the community’s future prosperity? If people received more education and/or training, what impact would that have on the community?
    • • How would you describe the relationships between racial and cultural groups in the community? What impact would improving relationships between racial and cultural groups have on the community’s future prosperity? • What role do you think families play in building a strong community? What do you think should be done, if anything, to help strengthen families in the community? Review of Approach Three: Manage Growth Begin with an overview of the approach, such as: Supporters of this approach are not apposed to growth. But, they fear that uncontrolled growth will choke the region’s future prosperity. In their view, prosperity is about more than making a living, it’s about making a life. If we don’t do a better job of managing growth, we will destroy the quality of life that makes our communities attractive to citizens and businesses. Planning is the answer, in this view. Both professionals and citizens should be involved in making deliberate and rational choices about whether, where, and how a community should grow. Leaving those choices to larger economic forces is a poor way to build the future. Initiate discussion by using the general questions outlined above and/or some of the following: • What do you like about living in this community? What traditions/values make the community special? As the community grows, what do you want to retain? • Does anything concern you about growth in the community? • Do you think we need to manage growth and development in order to ensure your desired quality of life in the future? In order to ensure that the community will be attractive to businesses? • What role, if any, do you think government should play in managing growth? Working through tensions or conflicts (10 minutes) Help participants see and work through the tensions or conflicts between the approaches by asking some of the following types of questions: • What do you see as the tensions between the approaches? • What are the conflicts that grow out of what we’ve said about this issue?
    • • What would be an argument against the approach that you like best? • Can anyone think of something constructive that might come from the approach that is receiving so much criticism? • Should communities make every effort to increase job opportunities through business growth, even if it may result in undesirable side effects such as more air pollution and traffic congestion? • Should communities focus on solving deep-seated social problems, even if it takes a long time to show any results? • Would you support working with city planners to control where and how growth should occur, even if this restricts where people can live and what they do with their property? Moving towards a shared sense of purpose (10 minutes) Remind people that the objective is to work toward a decision. Test to see where the group is going by asking questions such as: • Can someone suggest areas that we seem to have in common? • Would someone identify the values that seem to be clashing? • What trade-offs are we willing to accept? • What trade-offs are we unwilling to accept? • What are we willing to do as individuals or a community to solve this problem? Ending the Forum (10 minutes) Before ending a forum, take a few minutes to reflect on what has been accomplished. Questions like the following have been useful: Individual Reflections • • • • Did you hear anything that surprised you? Has your thinking about the issue changed? Has your thinking about other people’s views changed? How has your perspective changed as a result of what you’ve heard in this forum? Group Reflections • What remains unsolved for this group?
    • • • Can we identify any shared sense of purpose or direction? What trade-offs are we, or are we not, willing to make to move in a shared direction? Next Steps • • • What do we still need to talk about? How can we use what we learned about ourselves in this forum? Do we want to meet again? PostPost-Forum Questionnaire (5 minutes) Ask participants to complete the Post-Forum Questionnaire. Please collect both pre- and post-forum questionnaires and return them along with a Moderator Summary Sheet to Linda Hoke, Southern Growth Policies Board, P.O. Box 12293, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. This information will be used to help inform Southern leaders about citizens’ views on this issue.
    • Moderator Summary Sheet Pathways to Prosperity: Choosing a Future for Your Community After the forum, please complete this brief response sheet and return it with the questionnaires from the forum. Moderator’s Name:____________________________________________________ Phone:_____________________________ Email:___________________________ Date of Forum:____________________ Number of Participants:______________ Location of Forum:________________________(City) _________________(State) Briefly describe the audience of your forum (age, ethnic diversity, educational background, etc.): What concerns about growth/economic development emerged from the discussion? What were areas of disagreement? Was there a shared sense of the direction the community should take in the future?
    • Did the group identify possible actions or next steps? Please describe. What unique information came out of the forum that Southern leaders need to know? Please return this Summary along with the Pre-and Post-Forum Questionnaires to: Linda Hoke Southern Growth Policies Board P.O. Box 12293 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 Phone: (919) 941-5145 Fax: (919) 941-5594 Email: lhoke@southern.org