Innovative Local Economic Development

Categorized as News from NA

By loading the video, you agree to YouTube’s privacy policy.
Learn more

Load video

Our webinar series on Education, Jobs, and Skills involve IURC-NA cities and key stakeholders in a peer-to-peer learning environment to discuss and share challenges and best practices to build long-term learning, networking, and working relationships.

This second session focused on Innovative Local Economic Development- Programmes and Strategies for Post Covid-19 Recovery. The session was moderated by Tricia Hackett, Senior Sustainable Urban Development Expert, and included presentations from:

• Valentina Ridolfi – Rimini, Italy
• Ben Seigel – Baltimore, USA
• Gil Carvalho – Braga, Portugal
• Alex Minnella – Aurora, USA
• Federico Morábito – Mendoza, Argentina


During the webinar, we learned about the different strategies the cities have employed to support local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and how these plans and programs align with long-term objectives to boost the local economy.

These are the most important takeaways:

  1. Rimini’s Strategic Plan for City Transformation:
    • Post-WW2 development as a vacation spot for everyone.
    • A decade of development creating a model aligned with global tourism trends.
    • Current focus on constant innovation and reintroducing the destination to the world.
    • Based on a new vision, strategic areas, and scopes of development.
    • Medium to long-term horizon with continuous stakeholder participation.
    • Six strategic scopes include seaside tourism, urban attractiveness, innovation, territorial recompositing, urban mobility, and welfare.
  2. Competitive Adjustments and Investments in Rimini:
    • Analysis of weaknesses led to identifying a loss of brand value, which was addressed through the Strategic Plan.
    • Investments of 150 million euros to revitalize the historical city center and transform 300 hectares of waterfront with public and private funding.
  3. Post-Pandemic Tourism Revitalization in Rimini:
    • Task force created during the pandemic to rebrand and revitalize tourism.
    • Action Plan focuses on overcoming business fragmentation and creating the Villages of the Sea Park.
    • Three-step process involving “evangelization”, selection, and training to develop supply chains for entrepreneurial growth.
  4. Baltimore’s BASE Network Supporting Small Businesses:
    • Creation of BASE (Business Assistance and Support for Equity) to reach businesses not accessing recovery packages.
    • Strategic Plan includes a technical assistance network, partnerships, and financial assistance programs.
    • Implementation of a $25 million ARPA Economic Recovery Fund Program for small businesses.
    • Technical assistance and small business grants aimed at serving 7000 businesses in 2022-23.
  5. Thematic Cluster Presentations:
    • Invest Braga’s GATE project in Portugal assisted local businesses during COVID-19 with a digital platform and financial aid.
    • Aurora, USA, responded to real estate challenges with long-term urban planning, public-private partnerships, and infrastructure projects.
    • Mendoza, Argentina, focuses on post-pandemic sustainable economic development through the “Mendoza Activa” project supporting private investment, technology incorporation, and employment generation.

Download the presentations:

Presentation – Innovative Local Economic Development- Post Covid-19 Recovery – Rimini

Presentation – Innovative Local Economic Development- Post Covid-19 Recovery – Baltimore

Presentation – Innovative Local Economic Development- Post Covid-19 Recovery – Braga

Presentation – Innovative Local Economic Development- Post Covid-19 Recovery – Aurora

Presentation – Innovative Local Economic Development- Post Covid-19 Recovery – Mendoza