What is economic development?
Economic development is the development of the wealth of countries or regions for the well-being of their inhabitants.
From a policy perspective, economic development can be defined as efforts that seek to improve the economic well-being and quality of life for a community by creating and/or retaining jobs.
There is surprising amount that communities can do to improve their prospects. Simply improving community capacity, showing leadership, engaging all community sectors (from business to youth), volunteering and becoming involved all add up to a given community/township being able to overcome obstacles and ride out crises. A fundamental point of economic development is that towns, cities or regions must stand together and work together or be divided and fail to present a united front to those who make key decisions.
Local capacity and leadership
Well integrated and stable governance
Connected businesses do better
Good infrastructure and planning
Enabling - stakeholders must have a role in decision-making
Place - all regions must identify their comparative advantages
Growth poles, clustering and agglomeration - industry groups locate together and work collectively
RDA-South West is a member of Economic Development Australia which is a mine of information - particularly for local government.
Also included here is a pdf download which fleshes out the above points, and there are notes taken from a conference sponsored by the Commonwealth. These first two items are for stimulating your thoughts and ideas only - they are not academically referenced. The third free download is provided by the Comomnwealth.