Clusters and Regionalism
They go together like peas and pods which is so very appropriate because they are almost always green.
America includes central cities, suburbs, rural areas and small towns. We are concerned with each and from time to time will select some great articles or books on these metro and non metro areas. But fear not, we shall also talk about mega cities and the famous and infamous “cluster” approach.
The cluster approach has been around for quite some time. In the olden days it was referred to as “agglomeration economics”, but with the 1986 arrival of Michael Porter it all changed. For awhile clusters were the way to go, but by 2012 clusters may have become akin to a buzz word, a synonym for sector or industry and the actual strategy to enhance clusters can become in practice a close companion to the old chip and smokestack chasing attraction deal-making.
Regionalism is another matter. The implicit goal of regionalism is to capture the economic base and sidestep all those parochial yokels and their barrage of fragmented, place-based municipal and county governments. Despite an uneven and sometimes controversial track record, efforts to regionalize remain common and perennial as spring and flowers.
Clusters and Regionalism. You’ve heard ’em, right?