The rapid economic change occurring in communities nation-wide presents new challenges and opportunities. Economies relying on a single industry to provide employment are recognizing the need to diversify. However, conventional approaches to economic development—trying to incentivize external businesses to relocate to a community—aren’t working. We help local leaders shift their economic development efforts toward capitalizing on existing businesses and community amenities. This improves the quality of life for both businesses and residents, creating real opportunity for the people that live there.
The American West is changing. The sustainability of the region is dependent upon achieving a balance between the conservation of natural resources and the reality of its economic challenges. To achieve this, we must shift from sprawling patterns of development to a more efficient approach to planning—one that not only makes less of an impact on the environment, but creates more affordable, inclusive places to live. Further, we need to create economies that are diverse and resilient—providing a setting for existing and new local businesses to thrive. When we make these types of investments in our communities, we see an increase in economic opportunity.
Enabling people of different backgrounds to succeed and ensuring diverse perspectives are a part of the community decision-making process lies at the core of building livable communities for all. There is a deep need to help communities succeed in their efforts to strengthen social equity and inclusion. Building an inclusive community necessitates significant resources, time, and partnerships. We help local leaders leverage their resources and increase collaboration to move this critical issue forward.
The American West is home to one of the most diverse landscapes in the country. Its terrain is a significant asset and why many people choose to live in the region. But it’s facing a real threat. Sprawling development patterns disrupt the natural environment. The result is increased air and water pollution, a loss of natural habitats, higher flood risks, and a reduction in open space. As severe climate events continue to threaten the region, it’s imperative that communities approach the future with strategic planning and responsible development patterns.
Communities shape the health of their people. For better or worse, the place where a person grows up, works, and ages impacts their overall health. This is because communities determine who has access to economic opportunity, whether safe and affordable housing is available, and whether the built environment encourages active lifestyles. We work on all of these issues because when a community makes progress in these areas, more people have better health.