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Why a Regional Prosperity Initiative?

Metropolitan areas are important drivers in the global economy – they are the centres for creativity, entrepreneurship, innovation and diversity. In the global competition for talent and investment, the attributes of metropolitan areas are essential. In metropolitan areas across North America, leaders in business, research and government are developing their own models for stronger collaboration to improve their region’s competitiveness.


What is Prosperity

Prosperity encompasses more than economic development. In addition to the economic factors, prosperity includes the environmental, cultural and social factors that make a region livable, sustainable and resilient.

Regional prosperity is measured in terms of desired outcomes: relative wealth, good and equitable opportunities for people to pursue a comfortable standard of living, and a natural environment that current and future generations can enjoy.

Prosperity Enablers

Skilled labour Efficient infrastructure Quality of life Positive businessclimate Innovationcapacity Centralizedinformation Efficientland use Positiveprofile Strong clusters Prosperity

Prosperity Enablers

A metropolitan approach to prosperity can leverage the region’s strengths and strategic economic assets to improve overall prosperity in a way that is simply not possible at a municipal level.

Through the collaborative efforts of leaders in business, government, education and community organizations, the components that together shape and drive the region, the “enablers of prosperity”, can be directed towards a shared vision and objectives.

Skilled labour

The workforce in a competitive metropolitan economy needs to be diverse – in skills, knowledge and experience – and able to evolve with changing market conditions. This requires employers and educational institutions to work together on dealing with current gaps as well as developing strategies to meet anticipated needs.

Efficient infrastructure

Energy and other utilities, telecommunications and virtual networks, and transportation systems are the backbone of modern life and commerce. To ensure the productivity of a region and its appeal to potential investors, private and public investment in the infrastructure that supports these systems is essential.

Quality of life

Reliable and equitable access to healthcare, education and recreation opportunities; a sense of safety and community cohesion; efficient public transit; and a healthy natural environment all contribute to a high quality of life. A high quality of life is an enabler in attracting and retaining residents, talent and companies.

Positive business climate

Attracting talent and businesses can be facilitated by showcasing a metropolitan area as a dynamic, globally competitive, and desirable place to live, work, visit and do business. The brand captures the positive characteristics generally associated with the place or re-fashions a new image.

Innovation capacity

The capacity to innovate is nurtured by cross-fertilization of the interaction of creative and skilled talent, the engagement of world-class research institutions, and a culture which thrives on new ideas. These conditions support entrepreneurship within the region and attract new investment and talent.

Centralized information

Easy access to reliable, centralized information supports strategic planning across all productive sectors and facilitates transparent, effective decision-making.

Efficient land use

A region’s competitiveness depends on concentrating development in ways that allow for the efficient delivery of transit and public utilities, enabling key sectors to grow, evolve and interact effectively with each other.

Positive profile and brand

Attracting talent and businesses can be facilitated by showcasing a metropolitan area as a dynamic, globally competitive, and desirable place to live, work, visit and do business. The brand captures the positive characteristics generally associated with the place or re-fashions a new image.

Strong clusters

A cluster is a group of firms, economic actors and institutions that realize productive advantages that emerge from close proximity and professional connections. Strong clusters organically build on the unique strengths that drive wealth creation in a region, primarily through the export of goods and services.

​Prosperity Enablers

Green Paper

Why a metropolitan approach? What could a “made in Metro Vancouver” model look like?

Metro Denver

The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (MDEDC), the first regional economic development entity in the United States, brings together over 70 cities, counties, and economic development agencies in the nine-county Metro Denver and Northern Colorado area to promote the region’s prosperity.

A collaborative approach to growing and diversifying the regional economy has been built on the exchange of ideas and collaboration supported by a code of ethics that supports the shared objectives. Initiatives of MDEDC are driven by the priorities identified by eight industry cluster advisory committees.

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Greater Portland

Greater Portland Inc. (GPI) is a public-private partnership that works to shape the economic future of the Greater Portland area, an area that spans two states and seven counties. GPI has organized itself to provide services that promote effective collaboration and mobilization of resources. Following its formation in 2011, its initial focus was in developing a marketing strategy and promoting the new regional brand to the world, and undertaking an effort to grow the export sector and foreign direct investment. In late 2015, GPI released Greater Portland 2020, a five-year action plan to achieve economic prosperity by aligning business, education and civic leaders around regional economic priorities.

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Waterloo Region

The Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation (WREDC) is a new initiative, established in 2015 to foster, support and deliver a coordinated approach to enhancing the prosperity of the Waterloo region that includes seven municipalities. WREDC is funded by the participating local governments and governed by a board of 13 directors selected from the private sector. The Board is charged with implementing the 2014 Waterloo Region Economic Development Strategy that articulates the strategic directions and actions designed to strengthen “a distinct, sustainable, high performance, urban rural region.” The Strategy is the outcome of an extensive public engagement process to develop a regional approach to maintaining the region’s economic growth sectors.

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Greater Toronto

The Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance (GTMA) is a public-private partnership that serves as the point of contact for businesses exploring opportunities in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The partnership brings together the 29 municipalities and regions in the GTA, other orders of government, not-for-profit organizations, and a broad cross section of private sector corporations to provide services for businesses interested in locating in the GTA. It does not have a broader prosperity agenda.

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Greater Montreal

Montréal International is the result of a private-public partnership. Its mission is to contribute to the economic development of Greater Montreal and enhance its international status. This includes attracting foreign direct investment, international organizations and strategic talent while promoting the competitive environment of Greater Montreal. Montréal International is a non-profit organization that receives funding from the private sector and all orders of government. Issues related to the quality of life and environment are handled through the Montreal Metropolitan Community – a public agency of the nearly 90 communities in the Greater Montreal region.

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Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul

Minneapolis St. Paul Region Economic Development Partnership (MSP) is a public-private partnership dedicated to promoting economic and population growth for the 16 county metropolitan area. The focus of the Greater MSP initiative is primarily to provide the rationale for businesses and talented and younger workers to relocate to the region.

The Partner Council meets regularly to discuss the activities of the partnership, to coordinate regional marketing activities and outreach with Greater MSP staff, and to address regional challenges and opportunities

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Greater San Diego

San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation is a nonprofit corporation funded by more than 150 companies and public partners committed to enhancing the prosperity of San Diego County. Since 1965 the SDREDC has worked to attract, retain and grow the number of businesses and good quality jobs in the more than 18 communities in San Diego County.

More recently the focus has been to encourage the more dynamic local companies to engage with foreign markets, both by exporting and exploring foreign investment. The unique links to the Baja California economy and region is another part of the package.

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Greater Seattle

The Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) and the Trade Alliance of Greater Seattle have forged a partnership to enhance the economic vitality of the Greater Seattle metropolitan area. PSRC, the regional planning authority, provides research and analysis to support the partnership and has developed a regional economic strategy that “lays out a comprehensive game plan to grow jobs and economic activity.” The Trade Alliance is a private sector based organization focused on attracting international interest to the region.

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San Francisco Bay Area

The metropolitan area around San Francisco experiences robust economic growth and is the model of how new technologies and industry clusters emerge from the synergies between business and academic research. This model has been accomplished without a multi-party collaboration on issues related to prosperity or a common economic strategy.

In 2014 the Bay Area Council Economic Institute engaged business leaders and other stakeholders in the development of A Roadmap for Economic Resilience to identify the top opportunities for securing the region’s global competitiveness and economic vitality while providing for greater opportunities for the region’s residents to benefit from on-going prosperity. Central to the roadmap is a recognition that the metropolitan nature of the economy requires a regional approach to addressing issues related to the labor pool, housing, job centers and commute flows.

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