path for a sustainable future


Economic opportunity for all residents is vital to the success and sustainability of the region. Skilled and knowledgeable people tend to locate in places with a high quality of life that offer excellent social, cultural and natural assets.

Like many other regions in the northeast, Onondaga County has had its struggles with population decline, urban sprawl and an economy transitioning from manufacturing and agriculture to more service-oriented and knowledge-based industries. The County’s population has also shifted from the historic urban core to more rural and suburban areas, creating sprawling land development patterns that often result in increased infrastructure costs, the loss of a sense of place, increased traffic congestion, and the deterioration of historic urban communities. All of these factors can negatively affect our region’s economic competitiveness by reducing productivity, limiting the formation of dense economic clusters, and by providing a quality of life that is not attractive to prospective employers and employees.

In terms of economic development and revitalization, efforts to identify, develop and support business clusters and the companies that comprise these clusters are considered to be sustainable, long-term strategies. As part of these efforts, communities should focus economic development and revitalization towards infill locations, on or around existing development nodes, and ensure that new development is kept in character with its surroundings.

This is one region and each of us contributes our part to the regional economy – cities, towns and villages. By fostering stronger partnerships between our local governments, educational institutions and private industry, cooperatively we can build a strong regional economy that integrates economic, environmental and social components at all levels.

Several issues and opportunities relating to Economy were identified over the course of the planning process. A sample key findings is provided below. To review the complete report, follow the link to the right.

Key Findings

  • New York State’s local government structure often results in individual municipalities competing for new development and property tax base, resulting in an inefficient allocation of jobs and housing, the creation of a system of “winners and losers” and a larger overall financial burden on the entire region.

  • Investing in arts, culture and creating quality environments in our urban places and neighborhoods can help to attract and retain businesses and employees. Skills and knowledge are keys to economic progress and individuals with these abilities tend to locate in areas with a high quality of life.

  • Central New York has made great progress in recent years towards aligning the region’s collective goals, making strategic use of limited resources, focusing priorities, and considering the role of all its parts to promote a high quality and sustainable economic growth.