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New Neighborhoods Need Old Trees

“Urbanist Jane Jacobs … famously said “New ideas need old buildings”, pointing out so definitively how dependent a vibrant city economy is on connecting the new with the old. Businesses grow incrementally, with old work being converted into newer work, and older, more affordable workspaces make that kind of creative morphing possible…. There is something ethereal, not quantitatively measurable, about older buildings that appeal to entrepreneurs. Maybe its because they see the possibilities in adapting an older space to their newer use, and that just feels better than the pristine floorplates of new construction. Or maybe they just like them because they’re cheap. But old spaces are most often where today’s entrepreneur wants to work. A dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem needs a mix: of old and new, of small suppliers working in make-shift spaces, and larger corporate services.”

( and  in “The Nature of a City Economy: Towards an Ecology of Entrepreneurship”)

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