Looking for the “great reset” button in Asheville

Earlier this year, Richard Florida released a book titled The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity. This book about economic development is apparently on the minds of some leaders in Asheville, North Carolina:

In other words, there’s a “new normal’’ emerging, with people saving more of their hard-earned money, and civic leaders having to ask what’s going to be the best investment of tax money in our sidewalks, bridges, and highways as well as what can encourage small businesses to take root here and nurture new jobs.

Florida is no stranger to Asheville, which served almost as a poster child for his 2002 bestseller “The Rise of the Creative Class.” The sociologist showed interesting research that the diversity and tolerance for different lifestyles that attract creative individuals may mean as much to the economic health of a community as industrial parks and factories that economic developers have traditionally touted.

I suspect there a lot of communities asking similar questions: how do we forge a viable and sustainable economy based on the realities of today’s economic landscape? Neal suggests Asheville leaders think they have the ability to capitalize on some of Florida’s ideas including attracting young human capital (“the creative class”) and being part of the megaregion of “Charlanta.”

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