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The Power of Place

Bethia Burke July 13, 2022

Decades of no-growth sprawl has stranded urban workers, accelerated climate impacts and exacerbated talent shortages across Northeast Ohio. People living in concentrated areas of poverty—many of whom are people of color—are disproportionately locked out of opportunity because they can neither afford a car to commute to suburban industry, nor can they reach it by stretched-thin, fixed-route public transit. And while creative solutions are emerging to address this “no car, no job; no job, no car” paradox, the fact remains: Business location decisions have decades-long implications far beyond time, risk and money. Undeveloped “greenfields” may seem like the better investment for businesses (and indeed, development patterns confirm this viewpoint), but with growing talent shortages and a growing business case for adopting meaningful ESG commitments, many businesses are feeling the effects of this “stranding.” Until very recently, the influence of development decisions on overall access to talent, access to racially diverse talent and commuter impact on carbon emissions have been invisible factors in site selection. The Fund for Our Economic Future, Team NEO and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy recently launched an interactive mapping tool, ESG to the Power of Place, to shed light on these factors and help public officials, economic developers and businesses reverse the impacts of suburban sprawl, take big steps toward greater economic equity and become more resilient to an evolving talent landscape.  Hear from the team that developed this tool and learn how the findings of this analysis can apply to regions across the United States.



Meta Themes

  • Reimagine Systems


Technology, economic development, transportation, workforce development

Purpose and Desired Outcome

The end goal of this session is to help economic development professionals, funders and government liaisons better understand and be able to quantify the broader impacts and long-term implications of business location decisions on racial equity, environmental and economic outcomes—and bringing this awareness back to their communities to enable the development and adoption of better tools, to drive economic development policy that recognizes these implications, and to encourage businesses to use these tools and adopt site selection practices that prioritize better connectivity, diversity and sustainability.


  • Allocators (Family Offices, HNW Individuals, Foundations)

  • Government

  • Academia

  • Service Providers

  • Corporate & SME


  • NameBethia Burke
  • TitlePresident
  • OrganizationFund for Our Economic Future
  • StatusInvited
  • NameBryce Sylvester
  • TitleSenior Director, Site Strategies
  • OrganizationTeam NEO
  • StatusInvited
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