Urban Planet is a daily roundup of blogs from around the world dealing specifically with urban environments. We’ll be on the lookout for websites outside the country that approach themes related to urban experiences and issues.
Current planning principles tend to favour local businesses over large national retailers because of their ability to foster healthy, engaged cities. But does this preference have any empirical foundation? According to Stacey Miller and Lee Rosen at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, yes – for three reasons. Local business owners invest their personal and financial interests in their community’s well-being. Cities with greater local economic autonomy can more easily marshal resources in tough times. Local businesses create environments that foster social ties. These factors appear to be borne out in several recent studies, including one recently published in the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, which found lower rates of mortality, obesity and diabetes in communities where locally owned businesses are prevalent. (Institute for Local Self-Reliance)
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