Economic development has had a long history with planning in the federal government and within municipalities. Nationally, economic development is shaped by federal funds and legislation. The benefits of local economic development can be shared and felt throughout a region. Locally, structural unemployment refers to a mismatch between the supply and demand for labor and the location of these sources. Economic and social needs are important consideration in planning a community. There have been many federal programs devoted to helping companies and municipalities with loans to set up their business or attract desirable businesses.[1]

Currently the Economic Development Administration (EDA) under the Department of Commerce invests funds to support sustainable job growth and help build regional economies. Its mission defines two economic drives, innovation and regional collaboration. The EDA outlines 6 investment priorities to evaluate for grant opportunities. Collaborative Regional Innovation supports existing regional competitiveness by engaging stakeholders and providing stability through long term collaboration while supporting current and developing businesses. Public and Private Partnerships are investments that use both public and private resources. National Strategic Priorities are related to advance manufacturing such as information technology, natural disaster mitigation, restructuring of automotive industry based economies, diverse enterprises, and improvements in science and health care. Global Competitiveness supports competition in global markets. Environmental Sustainable Development encourages job creation through green products and technologies. Economically Distressed and Undeserved Communities aims to strengthen communities that have suffered large economic losses.[2]

The Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) was formed when the U.S. Army facility Fort Monmouth was shut down and property rights were transferred. FMERA is now in charge of the sale and lease of the 1,126 acres of real estate. The goal is to provide economic prosperity to the region surrounding Fort Monmouth to redevelop with utilities and roads to implement the plan. Currently the area is under renovation to determine proper land uses that support housing, small businesses, clinical care, and manufacturing establishments. The board is dealing with negotiations of 25 small businesses, light manufacturing industries, a teen center and pool, and a homeless shelter. The 10 year concept plan for 2018 shows many mixed use areas that support economic growth while providing housing for potential workers. The development plans outline a mixed use town center as well as mixed income housing, mixed use technology offices, a conference hotel and golf course, a municipal complex, a green industry technology center, retail, a marina, and historic housing reuse.[3]

Planning relies on many different aspects of a community. Land uses and environmental impacts are just one of the many considerations that are involved with the redevelopment of an area. Social and economic needs are essential in fueling the productivity of a redevelopment project and ensuring its potential success.

[1] Levy, John. “Contemporary Urban Planning” 2013, Chapter 13

[2] EDA