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Connect Regional Economic Hubs

Capitalize on the diverse economic development, housing, and tourism opportunities throughout the Bluegrass Region and engage in discussions to further connect regional economic hubs.

As Lexington’s economic and social capital grows, there will be impacts on surrounding counties and cities. The latent effects of these successes can change neighboring communities in a variety of ways, including their economies, housing stock, and industrial development. In an effort to produce a regional vision for the future which allows all communities to benefit, a policy of collaboration should be developed with Lexington’s neighboring cities. The initial step toward the development of a comprehensive regional planning initiative can be done by first connecting economic hubs or centers of economic activity, which are generally located in the downtowns of communities.

Connecting economic hubs can be done on two separate levels: economically, through principles of business cooperation and coordination, and physically, through the establishment of transit that provides multimodal opportunities for citizens to move between communities (see Stewardship Policy #3). By linking Lexington with the nearby economic hubs or the downtowns of surrounding communities, the city will be able to better tie the economic interests of the Bluegrass Region and develop a collaborative planning process. Regional perspective has already been initiated within the tourist industry (see Stewardship Policy #4) and through Commerce Lexington’s regional marketing, but there is still room for improvement through additional promotion of other opportunities and industries.

Through partnerships with organizations like the Bluegrass Area Development District and their Bluegrass Regional Planning Council, as well as direct collaboration with surrounding economic hubs like Nicholasville, Paris, Winchester, and Georgetown, Lexington can begin to develop lasting planning relationships that benefit the region. The development of an inter-city summit, focused on fostering dialogue between communities, can be the first step in such a relationship. The establishment of downtown collaboration between Lexington and surrounding communities can also lead to additional economic development, planning, and infrastructure cooperation in the future.

Furthermore, by connecting business opportunities, the Bluegrass Region can begin to increase levels of economic security through a diverse economic base, reducing instability caused during periods of downturn. While it is imperative to have a diversity of industries within Lexington, collaborating with surrounding communities can also entice diverse industries that link the communities and utilize the full advantages of the region. By nurturing regionally inclusive initiatives, Lexington and the surrounding communities can also seek to avoid population dislocation and dispersal out of the region through the provision of superior employment opportunities across all skill and education levels.

Goals and Objectives

GOAL C1: Support and showcase local assets to further the creation of a variety of jobs.

Objective: C1a

Strengthen efforts to develop a variety of job opportunities that lead to prosperity for all.

GOAL C2: Attract the world’s finest jobs, encourage an entrepreneurial spirit, and enhance our ability to recruit and retain a talented, creative workforce by establishing opportunities that embrace diversity with inclusion in our community.

Objective: C2d

Provide entertainment and other quality of life opportunities that attract young, and culturally diverse professionals, and a work force of all ages and talents to Lexington.

GOAL D1: Work to achieve an effective and comprehensive transportation system.

Objective: D1c

Concentrate efforts to enhance mass transit along our corridors in order to facilitate better service for our growing population, as well as efficiencies in our transit system.

GOAL F3: Increase regional planning.

Objective: F3a

Set the standard through leadership and engagement to identify and resolve regional issues.

Objective: F3b

Support legislative efforts and cross-border actions that improve regional planning, including, but not limited to, developing regional policies; sharing information; and planning for regional systems of transportation, open space, water supply and infrastructure.