What does smartness mean for a city?

With massive investment being made in building smart cities around the world, it is important to question if it is worth building them. To answer this question, we first need to understand what does smartness mean? Smart city is a multi-dimensional concept that came into the limelight in the early 2000s. The first few attempts…

Green New Deal, or No Deal?

When we as a nation think about our economy how often do we also think about the environment? Often these two topics are disaggregated from one another. However, they should be thought of together. In moving towards renewable energy sources, public transportation, human health, housing affordability, and emerging workforce opportunities play a vital role for…

The Business of Eating Healthy

Of all of my vices, drinking soda has been the hardest habit to break. Maybe I need to get out more, but there really isn’t much better than a Coca-Cola on a summer day. I have somewhat recently given up my favorite sugary drinks and have been noticing how few people still regularly drink soda.…

Vibrant Virginia in Hampton Roads

On February 11th-13th the Vibrant Virginia team headed to Newport News to host a Community Conversation in the region. Vibrant Virginia engages and supports university faculty in exploring community and economic development in urban and rural Virginia. The goal of these Vibrant Virginia Community Conversations is to allow participants brainstorm ways to bolster current partnerships…

Regional Branding

As a part of an economic development project in Eastern shore, we at the Office of Economic Development were interested in knowing more about “regional branding”, its definition, functions, pros and cons. Here, I try to share a gist of what we heard and learned during this process. Regional branding is a popular strategy to…

How does housing affect economic development?

I had the opportunity to participate in a housing conditions survey in Radford this past weekend. Over the course of a Saturday, my partner and I surveyed over 800 houses, ranking their physical condition on a five-point scale (with 1 being the best condition and 5 being the worst). Our method was somewhat simple in…