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In the News

June 17, 2019

Working with Communities to Earn a Welcoming Reception

Understanding a community’s dynamics and getting its leaders and residents invested in a company’s location plans will lead to a successful project and long-term benefits for all, writes RIDC President Donald Smith in a recent article for Area Development. Companies and developers need to go directly to the community to lay out project plans and build support among the people who actually live there.

“As we saw with Amazon recently in New York City, making a deal on a location doesn’t mean that facility will ever get built. That’s a lesson large space users have had to learn over and over in recent years, as social media — and its power as a communications platform — has empowered community activists to wage sophisticated campaigns to kill projects.

A project may be carefully planned, overwhelmingly beneficial to the community at large, and it may even have initial support from high-ranking politicians. And it can still be derailed by a relatively small number of well-organized people with a narrow focus and short-sighted — or self-interested — perspective.”

For further insights, read Don’s article “Working with Communities to Earn a Welcoming Reception” for Area Development.