Throughout my career as an economic developer for the City of Mississauga, I have seen our city grow into a vibrant and diverse urban city that offers unlimited opportunities for its people and businesses. I have also seen a transformation in the City’s approach to economic development, from a traditional externally focused business attraction/retention model, to a more holistic approach that is practiced today, coined Economic Development 2.0. In following this new practice, I will continue to seek opportunities to mobilize and develop internal assets to promote sustained and inclusive growth within our global competitive economy.
In building on our success, the City is working on a number of key initiatives that will directly impact the sustainability of our economy and leverage Mississauga’s position as a leading city that attracts global investment and recognition.
Currently, the City is participating in the Government of Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge that encourages communities to submit their ideas of how to improve the lives of residents through innovation, data and connected technology. The winning communities will receive up to $50 million in funding to implement their plans.
Through several engagement sessions and an online survey, Mississauga residents and industry will not only contribute to the Smart City Challenge submission, but shape Mississauga’s Smart City Master Plan, that will transform Mississauga into a connected and engaged city.
Investing in infrastructure can jumpstart market activity and connect to regional markets. An example of this is the Hurontario Light Rail Transit (LRT) Project, a 20-kilometre line that will transform the way people move across the city. Scheduled for completion in 2022, the Hurontario LRT is part of a broader integrated transportation network that will connect across the Greater Golden Horseshoe, allowing for more access to people, employment, education and business. Open Houses are scheduled this month throughout the City for residents and businesses to view plans and share thoughts and ask questions.
Moving forward in the direction of Economic Development 2.0, it is important to set the right goals that reflect market needs and be inclusive when building strategies and plans that affect the larger community. It is also essential to take a regional approach to Economic Development and do our part to connect and collaborate with surrounding communities on shared opportunities and priorities.
Interested in learning more about Economic Development 2.0.? Click here to read the paper “Remaking Economic Development”