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Graduate Degree:MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning
The satellite cities can also gain by cooperating rather than competing for economic development. Compared to large cities like Boston, the GBSCs have few resources to devote towards attracting new employers. Since they offer very similar environments to prospective businesses, they are frequently competing with one another by giving away tax incentives. The winning city often gains very little. If GBSCs work together they could market themselves as a group to industry groups. Sharing their resources would allow them to design more sophisticated sales strategies and promote a more unified image of the advantages of the region’s medium-sized cities.
GBSCs can also turn the fact that they have been abandoned by industry into an advantage. The GBSCs are relatively clean and quiet urban environments. They can market this advantage by creating "Green" campaigns. The cities could work together to tailor environmental plans that would generate energy and cost savings for the cities and their residents. These plans could be created by officials from each city working with students studying environmental planning at local universities. Greater Boston is an increasingly expensive area to live and do business. The danger is that the region will suffer as firms seek less expensive business environments.
Fortunately there is an alternative vision. The recent recovery of inner-city neighborhoods in places like Boston, Cambridge and Somerville demonstrates that there is demand for dense urban living – demand that far exceeds the available supply. Medium-sized older historic cities offer vital attractive living environments to families and new dense nodes of activity to growing businesses. In order to achieve this vision, local leaders from GBSCs must cooperate and convince powerbrokers beyond their borders that their cities can become ideal destinations.