Innovative Cities

March 29, 2012

Yesterday we met with Nick Arnett, a fellow who has endeavored to travel to 12 cities in 12 months and see first hand how they rank in terms of innovative capacity, quality of opportunity, and placemaking.  He is blogging about his experiences here:

It got us thinking about quality of opportunity … we work hard to create opportunities for businesses in Downtown Tucson through the information we provide here on our web site; the personal consultations we do with business owners; the work we are doing to establish a revolving loan fund for the Downtown core and along the entire Streetcar corridor; our facade program; marketing of projects such as the Marist College.  We have been spending a fair amount of time working on an outline of a “new” relationship between the University of Arizona, Pima Community College and Downtown Tucson.

But what about our economic future?  What opportunity awaits our graduating students and the “young and restless” generation as well as us more seasoned folks?

Earlier this week, BizTucson published their Spring 2012 issue containing the long-awaited report on the entrepreneurial economy in Tucson.  The article offers some smart recommendations for moving us forward:

1.     Grow our own companies:  grow all kinds but especially ones classified as “gazelles” — fast growing and able to be “scaled” upwards.

2.     Create an inclusive coalition for change:  Startup Tucson is recommended as a model for breaking through the silos that otherwise occur among private, public and nonprofit entities (Downtown Tucson Partnership was a partner in Startup Tucson at its inception and hosted the final presentations of Startup Tucson Weekend Downtown last year).

3.     Cultivate and sustain an innovation ecosystem:  this consists of ideas, education, talent and capital.

4.     Become an entrepreneurial hub:  claim our identity as a startup community, and, among other things, support the community’s focus on Downtown development.

The mission of the Downtown Tucson Partnership is to make Downtown Tucson the most dynamic urban center in the Southwest.  We want to create a place here where opportunities beckon and appreciate your support in our efforts to move our Downtown in that direction.


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