Episode 7

Economic Engines

As job creation, economic activity and a solid tax base are necessary for a successful city, we look at three drivers of the urban economic engine – headquarters location, focus on a competitive advantage and being a retail hub.

HQ

How do cities attract new corporate headquarters and how do they keep ones already in town? Is the shoveling of money and resources in pursuit of business a good idea or are cities just burying themselves?

  • North by Northwest: Dallas
  • Robbers Canyon: Omaha
  • Calling All CEOs: Chicago

Re-Invention

Some cities are trying to re-invent themselves as hubs of specific industries – we examine three such efforts to see if such targeting works.

  • Gig City: Chattanooga
  • Fresh Water: Milwaukee
  • Medical Mirage: Cleveland

The Price is Right

Retailing was once one of the mainstays of downtowns but with the advent of suburban malls, big box stores and the internet, most city centers have lost their consumer karma. We browse through three downtowns, learning why some places can still make the sale while others have gone out of business.

  • What’s In Store?: Austin

  • Half-off: Philadelphia

  • Saved: San Francisco

  • North by Northwest: Dallas
  • Robbers Canyon: Omaha
  • Calling All CEOs: Chicago
  • Gig City: Chattanooga
  • Fresh Water: Milwaukee
  • Medical Mirage: Cleveland
  • What’s In Store?: Austin
  • Half-off: Philadelphia
  • Saved: San Francisco