Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Reaching the Facebook Generation

By Madison Silvert, EDC Executive Vice President

Somewhere in Cyberspace-- By now, many of you have at least heard of social networking sites. Sites such as Myspace and Linkedin are quickly becoming some of the most powerful communications tools on the internet. It is how Generation X, Generation Y and the Millennials choose to stay in touch.

We commonly hear complaints from parents who wish their children would return to Owensboro after college, but do not always find an opportunity or the desire to do so. There are two facets to this problem that the EDC is addressing. Most obviously, the first is job availability. However, of primary importance to the younger generation is livability. They want a community that is fun and inviting with multiple entertainment options. The EDC has been, for several months now, addressing the issue of livability through its Placemaking Strategy.

The question then becomes, how do we engage our younger generation that has chosen not to return home. Enter Facebook, arguably the most popular of the social networking websites. A few weeks ago, I started a group on Facebook called The Society of Owensboro. The Society is dedicated to updating displaced Owensboroans on the continuing development of their former community. After just a few days, The Society of Owensboro claims well over 100 members, including people from Seattle, Birmingham, Louisville and Nashville, to name just a few. The goal is for there to be Society events in the coming year, starting in cities like Nashville and Louisville. Perhaps keeping people engaged in what is going on in Owensboro will lead to some positive results in retention of our young people.

If you or someone you know would like to join The Society of Owensboro, first sign up for a free Facebook account, then click here to join.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Owensboro's Downtown Redevelopment: "It's Smart to Be Dense"

On the heels of last week's visit by the Gateway Planning team working on the Downtown Master Plan to transform Owensboro into a more "walkable mixed-use" urban destination, today's Wall Street Journal has an interesting article about the national attention Sacremento is getting by creating a similar "Blueprint" for urban redevelopment. The article and a short video can be accessed at the following links: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121538754733231043.html?mod=hpp_us_pageone for the artilce, and
http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid86195573/bclid86272812/bctid1649956635 for the video.