Strategic Planning for Community & Economic Development

While communities need long-term, comprehensive plans, it is also important to formulate five- to ten-year action plans to address critical problems, seize near-term opportunities, and focus on subareas such as downtowns, commercial districts, industrial potentials or transit-oriented opportunities. Our planning process for strategic community development focuses on:

  • Analysis of critical issues, including markets, site constraints, transportation, utility and telecommunications capacity, and environmental remediation
  • Identification of needs and opportunities with near-term potential
  • Focus on game-changers such as infrastructure and catalytic projects
  • Formulation of subarea plans, programs, development and infrastructure projects
  • Aggressive use of financing tools
  • Implementation action plans

We have applied this planning approach to industrial corridors, suburban downtowns, transit-oriented projects and catalytic sites.


Target Sector Analysis

Which economic sectors have strong, local supply-chain relationships, labor force needs that match local workforce skills, and the greatest potential for continued growth in this global competitive economy? These critical questions facing local and regional economic development professionals can be answered by our target sector analysis. Our approach synthesizes techniques such as shift share analysis and cluster analysis to identify economic sectors with the greatest competitive advantage, exhibiting real estate growth.

Housing Needs & Assessment Strategies

SB Friedman has conducted analysis of housing need and formulated strategies for specific developments and community-wide strategies. At the core of our work is detailed analysis of housing markets and segmentation based on age and income. Near-term projections focus on opportunities found to serve growing cohorts – but also reveal vulnerabilities to resale markets and potentially growing needs. Specific development projects have been identified, along with financing strategies to accomplish them. In addition, other community-wide measures to enhance housing opportunity have been studied and proposed, including “inclusionary” zoning, use of tax increment financing funds, cross-subsidy within projects, strategies for mixed-income projects, and measures to improve housing quality.