The economic development potential of the green economy
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This paper aims to examine the prospects for success for sustainable economic development planning on the local level. The first section provides background on this question, examines how best to define the Green Economy, and discusses the four most important factors influencing its future growth. This includes the current economic landscape and the hopes that have been pinned on sustainable development. The paper then examines the classification issues that have helped shape the nature of the discussion of this subject, and explores the most prominent methods and partnerships currently being designed and utilized in an attempt to stimulate local sustainable development and job growth. Also discussed is the effect that the current political climate is having on government investment in renewable energy and conservation at the federal and state level. The paper then designates the cities of Oakland, Toledo, and Austin as case studies as a way to illustrate how these efforts are playing out in the current landscape. Each city has been chosen because it is a leader in an influential sustainable economic development strategy that is being pursued by other cities around the country. Given the four factors influencing growth in the Green Economy, the paper evaluates the strengths and weaknesses demonstrated by each approach. Finally, the paper identifies the most important lessons that can be applied to the biggest challenges of local sustainable economic development strategies.