Economic development can be described as the process of producing and maintaining wealth in a community. By examining the distinctive aspects of a community, economic developers can use those unique qualities to engage and appeal to businesses, investors and employers. This can energize the economy and boost social equity, environmental sustainability and quality of life.
An online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Economic Development from Murray State University can help you develop the tools to drive economic growth within your community. By studying essential financial concepts, information sources, methods and programs, students will learn about the practices and processes connected to regional and urban planning. Graduates of this online program are qualified for roles like economic development director, economic development project coordinator, urban and regional planner and more.
How Economic Development Improves the Economy and Quality of Life
Those who work within economic development strive to improve the quality of life and raise the per capita income for everyone in their community. Quality of life includes healthcare, education, housing, good jobs, arts, music and culture. It also includes tax rates, crime rate, and infrastructure (including roads, bridges, electricity, gas, water and broadband). Quality of life indicators are strong if they provide residents not only what they need to survive, but what they need to thrive.
To economic developers, quality of life improves the community’s reputation, boosts economic growth and attracts new people. In addition, economic development can create jobs, maintaining public safety and health, invest in infrastructure and encourage education. Here are a few ways to improve the economic, political and social well-being of an urban community.
- Develop green zones. Sometimes called an ecodistrict, a green zone, is a community that is organized where the built environment and physical space work in harmony to reduce environmental impacts and promote sustainable practices. This concept builds on the strengths of the community to improve quality of life. The community attracts growth, improves environmental health and promotes community pride by meeting the current needs while keeping future generations in mind. Green zones can create jobs, promote healthier lifestyles, revitalize economically and socially diverse areas, reduce waste and diminish greenhouse emissions.
- Utilize economic incubators. An economic incubator is a way for a community to boost economic development by assisting an entrepreneur to gain the resources needed to start a local business. By supporting the creation and advancement of a local business, an economic incubator can help diversify the local economy, generate innovation and create regional economic capital.
- More parks and gardens. Parks provide natural green space, recreation and aesthetic benefits to cities. They create positive economic benefits by increasing municipal revenue, enhancing property values and attracting homebuyers. Homes located near parks have a higher property value and property tax revenue. Areas entice wealthy retirees with ample recreation and green spaces. Urban gardens can promote economic development, business growth and promotion of urban life. By increasing activity via gardening, mental health by way of garden therapy, access to healthy food and providing a sense of community, urban gardens boost the quality of life.
By developing core skills in accounting, corporate finance, managerial economics, business analytics, marketing and more, students in an online MBA in economic development program will be empowered to lead and manage economic development projects. Murray State University provides self-paced modules in economics and accounting that students can complete simultaneously with the program’s core coursework. In addition to the online MBA in Economic Development program, students also have access to workshops, consulting services and training to prepare for a career in economic development.