6 Planning Assets that Build a Local Economy
When exactly does a community come alive, what are the elements that create that feeling? We know when it happens, but are also well aware of it when it does not.
In a recent American Planning Association blog post, Gwendolyn Hallsmith stated that planning takes on several forms. The focus of her article discussed “capital planning assets”. If we view our community as a company, then increasing the value and vitality of our capital assets forms an important part of the strategy for success and prosperity. Planning assets are the key foundations for an economic development plan and consist of: Natural Capital, Physical Capital, Human Capital, Institutional Capital and Financial Capital. These assets may be defined as follows:
If we view our community as a company, then increasing the value and vitality of our capital assets forms an important part of the strategy for success and prosperity. Planning assets are the key foundations for an economic development plan and consist of: Natural Capital, Physical Capital, Human Capital, Institutional Capital and Financial Capital. These assets can be defined as follows:
Natural Capital: Water, farms/food, soils, energy sources, waste management, environmental features such as forests and wetlands, and passive and active recreational facilities.
Physical Capital: Housing, businesses located on commercial and industrial real estate, transportation systems, communication systems, manufacturing capacity, public buildings, water and sewer pipes, energy generation facilities, our cultural and historic assets, and technological capacity.
Human Capital: The people who make up the community. These people include existing and future residents, employers and employees, college students, shoppers and tourists.
Institutional Capital: We don’t often think of our institutions as a form of capital, but if you visit parts of the world where there is a lot of corruption, you can appreciate the benefits that local government, justice systems, organizations and businesses working within the rule of law bring to a community.
Financial Capital: The investment potential in a community is a function of the savings people have, the banking capacity, and the means used to exchange goods and services. Insurance companies, investment firms and local foundation charities all manage financial capital.
Social Capital: If highly skilled people are isolated and unable to work together, your social capital might be low. Social capital allows people to accomplish things together – it forms the bonds of trust and mutual interests that are so important for any community or enterprise to function.
As with all economies these 6 planning assets are intertwined. Fundamental to keeping our capital increasing in value is understanding that proper planning for growth and real estate development is a vital part of the Physical Capital and a major engine of a strong economy. This will be covered in my next post on Thursday September 23rd: Planning Assets: Essential to a Chugging Economy
Donavon Corum, RLA, AICP, and LEED AP is the Managing Member of Design Core Studio, LLC, a Maryland Planning and Landscape Architecture Firm. Donavon will be a speaker at the National Association of Home Builders 2011 International Builders Show in Orlando. He is currently participating with the American Planning Association’s (APA) National Infrastructure Investment Task Force as part of the Green Sub-Task Force.