The Irish Institute at Boston College is pleased to have hosted the Urban Economic Development Program. While in Boston, the participants attended graduate-level seminars led by members of the Boston College Carroll Graduate School of Management and the Department of Political Science. In addition, they made several site-visits to innovative and successful communities across New England to meet with local leaders and visionaries. The group spent two weeks in the United States including four days in Portland, Oregon.
The necessity for comprehensive administrative infrastructure to monitor and advance the already growing level of cross-border cooperation on trade and economics is widely recognized. By introducing a group of Irish and Northern Ireland economic development officials to United States models of urban development, we hope to use living examples of positive development to analyze the most important issue facing the governments on the island today: how do you balance economic growth with quality of life and development issues in an urban environment? The concept of "Smart Growth" lies at the heart of the program. Smart growth is a vital component of the future of city planning but this program will mix planning with quality of life issues and community development.