DC has grown its private sector by investing in urban amenities that attract a 21st century workforce. Other states simply give companies direct subsidies to attract them instead, providing little external benefit.
[A location subsidy] means they don’t have to grow, they just have to stay here. DC could use this money to invest in more development that attracts “creative class” workers like better retail, arts, transportation, and the actual growth of tech companies.
I said as much to Belfast City Council recently. You have to make Belfast the best place to do the stuff you want people to do in a city. If you want to entertain them, you have to have the best venues. If you want to feed them, you need to encourage the best cuisine. If you want them to cycle or walk to work then you need amazing public transport and safe cycle lanes. If you want them to cop a squat in city parks during their lunch hour, then you have to make beautiful spaces.
You shouldn’t need to pay a company to locate in your city. They should want to locate there because the people love it there, because it’s renowned as a great city.
I love it here. But no city in Northern Ireland compares to Paris or Florence, Bruges or Venice, Barcelona or Talinn. And we need to think about how to better them as an entire city strategy and not how to build a new building that would not look out of place in these beautiful cities.
These developments have to be considered now because we are going to be building for a 22nd Century Citizen. Buildings we erect now may stand the test of time and still be in use in 88 years at the turn of the century. We already have a lot of buildings that are over 100 years old, it’s not crazy to consider these landmarks when they celebrate their second centenary.