The stunning election of Donald Trump as president throws the future of urban policy into doubt. During the campaign he promised to bring new jobs and improved infrastructure to the inner cities, but so far he has furnished no details. Some of the strategies carried out by cities and states in the past may offer the incoming administration some guidance.
Silicon Valley and Route 128: The Camelots of Economic Development
Written by The Economic Development CurmudgeonSilicon Valley and the Route 128 Massachusetts Miracle are a bit of reality and myth tossed together like a Caesar salad. In recent years, the Silicon Valley, in particular, has become a Camelot of sorts for economic developers--a place where the mythical king of technology, innovation and creativity ruled over the dominion of the knowledge-based economy. These magical geographies have personified the holy grail of economic development. What are the realities behind these legends? What lessons can we learn? In this review we try to penetrate these mists surrounding these magical lands just enough to shed enough light to help economic developers in their quest to discover their community's holy grail--or to expose them to the sadder reality that their quest has more in common with Monte Python than with the Idylls of the King. We shall briefly present our version of the history of these two Camelots: Route 128 and Silicon Valley. So the reader should anticipate that we are concerned with an historical-analytical description as our primary purpose. True enough, the history has faded into obscurity and too much myth has crept into so-called contemporary reality. Today, data drawn from ,and comparison with Silicon Valley in particular, has become a sort of benchmark with which to compare other geographies. Is this valid or are these two Camelots a product of a particular era, a stage in the technology revolution and its dominant sectors and industries. Are these useful lessons to be gleaned from better understanding their birth? The Curmudgeon thinks so. Continue Reading...