Communicating Economic Benefits to Build Public Support
Economic arguments for or against changes to city streets can be a catch-22. One anecdote of a business suffering due to lost parking or pedestrianization can be enough to sink a project, while the diffused benefits of street improvements can make it difficult to demonstrate their tangible value to the public and elected officials. However, making an economic case for such projects is an ever more critical requirement to gain public support given increasingly limited funding and the imperative cities have to improve both their neighborhood economies and global competitiveness. Money Talks will bring participants up to date on the most current research quantifying the economic benefits of urban street improvements and will highlight specific examples where cities have utilized economic data to increase buy-in to specific projects or their overall programs.