Businesses grow in cities, decline outside of it

At least that’s the conclusion of Dr. Virginia Carlson, associate professor at the Dept. of Urban Planning, Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, based on her World Business Chicago studies and experience.

In Chicago, when businesses are growing they seek the best sources of talent, riskier financial capital, energy, wi-fi, and meeting spaces (cafes), and that she says, is in city centers. When they start to decline, which most businesses eventually do, they seek cheaper rent in the suburbs. So, the next time you hear about an exodus of companies leaving the downtown, it’s not such a bad thing. Also, suburban proponents like to mention that multitudes of downtown businesses move from their offices every year, but according to Carlson, if the company is growing, it’s because they’re seeking larger offices – elsewhere in the downtown. Gotta watch those tricky statistics.

Hear more from her on Smart City Radio here.

What have you noticed about businesses in your community? Speak your mind below…

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