Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Proximity and Economic Development

Score another one for urban economic geography:

An economic study published in 2004 by Holland-based Whittaker Associates listed proximity to Chicago as the top strength for developing new industry in the Twin Cities.

That came despite the report's assertion that more than a quarter of all jobs in the area are in manufacturing, and most of those are in tool-and-die shops that supply automakers.

The report said distribution and logistics are the industries with the most potential for growth around the Twin Cities. That again points to the advantage of being in between Chicago and Detroit, and the importance of both cities' economies.

"Twin Cities" is a reference to Benton Harbor and St. Joseph in Michigan. The Twin Cities advantage reminds me of Youngstown. At least, such a perspective beats the navel gazing going on in Cleveland. Cleveland's proximity to Pittsburgh is an asset, not cause for concern.

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