The paper's objective is to help place management practitioners (particularly downtown managers) evaluate where their work fits in the scope of possible activities which they may undertake, and whether the nature of experience and resources available to them are a good match for those activities.
Observations made based on the author's experience and conversations with professional colleagues are presented in a hierarchy of activity categories using the analogy of spectral optics to identify each. A basic overview of the types of available resources to place managers and their interrelationships supplements the defined activity categories.
Posits that certain place management activities are foundational, implying that experience and cultivating a reputation for success in these prepares a place management organization for, but does not necessarily predict its future success in, other “higher order” activities.
While the presented hierarchy of activity categories have a basis in logic, and offer examples of typical activities, the information should be considered an hypothesis untested by supporting research.
While not serving as a predictive diagnostic tool, this information is a quick and concise method that place management organizations and practitioners can use to determine their position relative to the activities they undertake and the resources they have (or need) to do so.
Both existing and incipient place management organizations will find value in the easily understood and aptly illustrated concepts in the paper.
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