Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 4 sessions for 1 week, 2.5 hours / session

Course Description and Objectives

Economic Development Planning Skills introduces analytical tools that are used to assess local economic development conditions, issues, and opportunities as part of formulating economic development plans. The course is designed to provide MCP students with skills needed for applied economic development planning work in other courses, particularly Economic Development Planning (11.438) and Revitalizing Urban Main Streets (11.439). Consequently, it omits many aspects of economic development planning and does not provide a complete overview or introduction to economic development practice.

Four analytical approaches are covered in the course with one day devoted to each topic:

  1. Use of secondary economic data to profile and analyze a local and regional economy.
  2. Industry and cluster analysis to understand the relationships among industries and the trends and factors that affect the future growth of important local industries.
  3. Retail and real estate market analysis to analyze the market potential and opportunities for commercial districts and new real estate development.
  4. Resource assessment to evaluate an area’s physical, human, financial and knowledge assets to identify resource gaps and ways to better utilize resources to realize economic development goals.

Reading Materials

Reading materials for each class are listed in the readings section and need to be carefully read prior to class. Most readings are primarily professional reports and practitioner-oriented discussions of how to conduct and use an analytical tool. These readings introduce each analytical approach, but also provide a context for considering the benefits, problems and limitations of the method.

Course Requirements

In addition to attending all classes, completing readings and participating in class discussion, each student needs to complete an economic profile and proposed economic development agenda for Hartford, Vermont. Two assignments address analytical steps to help prepare the final report. The first assignment concerns working with basic secondary data to develop an understanding of an area’s economic performance and structure and will be discussed on the second class. A second assignment covers the use of secondary data for retail market analysis and will be discussed in the fourth class. These assignments are intended to apply tools discussed in class and complete work that leads to the final economic analysis and recommended agenda. Background information on this community and demographic and economic employment data for Hartford, Windsor County and Grafton County, and Vermont is provided. The goal of the profile is to use relevant techniques studied in class to analyze Hartford’s local economy and present finding and their implications for the community’s economic agenda.

Course Info

As Taught In
January IAP 2007
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Projects with Examples
Problem Sets
Written Assignments