Economic Gardening: An Entrepreneurial Approach to Economic Development


Monday, April 30, 2012, 4:10pm to 5:30pm


124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Cambridge, MA

Christian Gibbons, Director of Business/Industry Affairs, Littleton, Colorado

About the Seminar
Littleton, Colorado’s Economic Gardening program focuses on enhancing the city’s home-grown industries to increase job growth and overall economic prosperity for the region.

Economic Gardening presents before the National Committee in 2011

Launched in 1987, Economic Gardening gives emerging growth Stage II businesses assistance in competitive market research, trade area analysis, social media, and web marketing grounded in a host of scientific theories adapted to entrepreneurship. The program reports that since its creation, the city’s job base has nearly doubled (from 15,000 to 27,000) and sales tax revenue has tripled (from $6 million to $20 million), while the population has increased by 23 percent. Moreover, the city’s industry is now more diversified: from primarily oil and defense contracts previously to telecommunications, healthcare, engineering, software, and other industries today.

About the Speakers
Christian Gibbons is the director of Business/Industry Affairs in Littleton, Colorado and is co-inventor (along with city manager Jim Woods) of “Economic Gardening,” an entrepreneurial approach to economic development. Gibbons has run this project for the city of Littleton for 22 years. From the period 1990 to 2009, the number of jobs in Littleton doubled from 15,000 to 30,000, and sales tax revenues more than tripled from $6 to $21 million. The city did not recruit one industry during this period, nor did it offer one cent in incentives or tax rebates.

Gibbons received a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Oklahoma in 1973 and worked for Oklahoma City and San Bernardino County, California, before establishing his own consulting firm in 1977. From 1977 to 1987, he consulted on a variety of community and economic development projects in Colorado, Wyoming, and California.