Brookings-Rockefeller Project on State and Metropolitan Innovation

SERIES: Metropolitan Innovations Series | Number 1 of 11 Next »

Building the Next Economy from the Ground Up: Metropolitan Business Plans in U.S. Regions

The metropolitan business plan initiative applied the discipline of private-sector business planning to the task of redefining and revitalizing regional economic development. The process focused on five key levers for inclusive and productive growth: regional sectors or clusters, capacity for innovation, human capital, spatial efficiency, and civic leadership and governance.

Shaped by extensive data collection, deep analysis, and extensive engagement across a wide range of regional partners, this work led to groundbreaking regional strategies advance more productive, inclusive growth. The approach is described more fully in a 2011 framing paper.

Plans and Strategies:

The project developed metropolitan business plans in the following regions: Seattle; Northeast Ohio; Minneapolis-Saint Paul; Center State/Syracuse, N.Y.; Louisville-Lexington, Ky.; and Memphis, Tenn. The final plan, focused on Phoenix, will be released in 2015. The Project also applied similar approaches to the development of regional economic growth plans in Chicago; Buffalo, N.Y.; Newark, N.J., and Kansas City, Mo.

Planning and implementation on a wide range of initiatives are in different stages of development across the sites. Currently underway are a smart buildings technology innovation and skills initiative in the Puget Sound region, the scaling of a paid apprenticeship model pioneered by Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky to additional firms through the Kentucky Federation of Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME), and the launch of a regional venture capital fund in Syracuse/Center State, NY.

Business Plans:

Other Engagements:

The project also contributed analytics and guidance to the “Buffalo Billion” planning process.