Monday, May 11, 2009

Importance of Local Cultural Ammenities for Growing an Economy

Feico Kempff just passed on to me a report released by the Texas Cultural Trust that should motivate us to continue what we've been doing as ABetterShreveport.

In a nutshell, the report states that a growing economy needs a creative sector that includes a highly paid innovative work force, and that cultural ammenities are critical attracting and retaining that work force.

The study finds that successful communities provide cultural ammenities in three principle forms:
  1. active and diverse nonprofit cultural arts organizations and programs
  2. well-rounded curriculum in public schools
  3. economic development efforts that emphasize the quality of place
Certainly that last one, "quality of place," is what we've been working on with our projects.

Imagine a Shreveport where you can safely, conveniently, and pleasantly bike to a downtown where there is enough diverse activity that just sitting and people watching over a cup of coffee would be entertainment enough. That's a quality of place that would make people want to live here, be they software designers, filmmakers, inventors, researchers, or creative people of any type.

Having those people here helps our economy, the report says, so creating a quality place to live doesn't just help our quality of life, it helps us our bank accounts too!

So here's to developing Texas Street, a cultural district, creating a coop plaza, a recommended bike route network, a system of greenways, community gardens, creating avenues for public dialogue on community issues, etc., etc.!

We should be heartened by the report. We're on the right track. Onward and upward, for the good of us all!

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