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5 Takes on Sustainable Local Economies

A significant component of sustainability is  developing and fostering strong local economies. Why? Well, people often conceptualize regional economies using economic base theory, of which one part is the idea of leakage. Basically, when people who live in a community spend money outside of their community or spend money with a business that takes money outside of their community, money “leaks” out of the area. Large retail chains and businesses owned by multi-national firms have high rates of leakage for local economies. Leakage also happens when people travel to another community and spend money there (i.e. tourism, but this helps bring in capital to the tourist destination). So, encouraging locally-owned businesses helps to stem leakage, keeps locally-earned dollars circulating within a community, and generally promotes prosperity and job-creation in the region. This is what makes it literally sustainable.

So what … Continue Reading

Betaville: Multiplayer Engagement Planning in Beta

We’ve blogged on PlanningPool in the past about the lure and the foibles of city-building games like Sim City, and about the promise of interactive 3D urban models for communication and engagement.

Battery Park Street, New York, as seen in Betaville

But what if 3D urban models like Virtual Berlin could be plugged into a city-building game engine like Sim City’s? And what if everybody could play?

That’s the idea behind Betaville, a new collaborative planning technology developed by the Polytechnic Institute of New York University.

Betaville is based on an open-source, multi-player gaming engine that runs 3D models of real-life communities. Changes can then be proposed to these “base models” by all participants and modeled in alternative versions of the world.

The intent is nothing less than … Continue Reading