With the GGDC and its partners wrapping up the ‘Gaston County Charlotte Airport Economic Positioning Strategy’ this August, airport-connected development professionals have taken note on how seamlessly the strategy development went and are using Gaston as an example of how regions can collaborate on projects with a similar scope and size.
Oftentimes for regionally significant projects, public and private stakeholder engagement during the strategy development process in many contexts can lead to stressed interactions between towns, cities, business owners and developers. As Gaston’s strategy is a county-wide land use plan designed to leverage its proximity to the airport for economic development purposes, the amount of public and private stakeholder engagement was extensive.
In Gaston County's instance though, the excellent level of collaboration between and among all of the public and private stakeholders has become a case-study for the industry. Being recognized for the success of this model by stressing regionalism through use of a public-private partnership model, the GGDC’s Executive Director, Mark Cramer, was asked to present Gaston County's strategy at the SMART Airports & Regions Conference in Edmonton on July 24.