Places matter. Economic competencies are best built and integrated at the local level, preferably at the lowest level of a viable functional economic area whether a city-region, a stand-alone city, a group of local authorities, or an individual district. It is within places that the quality of life, as directly experienced by individuals and communities, is created and reproduced. But places constantly have to cope with change, much of which can be disruptive. Businesses rise and fall; people come and go; public services have to be re-configured in order to address the outcomes of change; and, governance structure and processes have to respond accordingly.
Furthermore, change occurs within the context of a fast evolving global economy. Yesterday many businesses were focused on North America and Europe; today BRIC (Brazil, China, India and Russia) and the South Asian ‘Dragons’ occupy the attention of innovative and ambitious entrepreneurs and companies. Tomorrow, responses to global challenges such as climate change and energy security will dominate the agenda of many places. But challenges bring both difficulties and opportunities.
ICF GHK’s place making assignments are alive to identifying the challenges and subsequently developing policy, programme and project responses with the representatives of the area and those in the area eager to participate. ICF GHK works with partner clients to envision desired futures and identify the measures whereby these futures can be approached and ultimately secured.
ICF GHK has expertise in in-depth fore-sighting and scenario planning and preparing comprehensive and insightful local economic assessments. ICF GHK is noted for devising local economic strategies, designing signature projects and clearly illuminating the economic impacts of policy interventions and project proposals. ICF GHK aims create a ‘community of sentiment’ in every place in which it works and to develop with the communities of the area the capacity and capabilities required to manage change and reach the desired future.