Fri. 5/2 8a: The city’s post-recession recovery remains one of the worst in the nation with employment continuing to decline. The cause appears to be major cutbacks in Federal and State spending. There are, however, two rays of hope: 1) Innovate Albuquerque – a plan to create a research district based out of the old First Baptist Church complex at Central and Broadway. The goal is to create an incubator where start-up companies, researchers, students and entrepreneurs are all housed together, spurring creativity and innovation, and 2) A $100,000 “Living Cities,” grant from a collaborative of 22 of the world’s largest charitable foundations and financial institutions. Communities across the country applied, but Albuquerque was one of only five cities selected. According to Mayor Richard Berry, the “Living Cities” selection is an endorsement of local efforts to bring a “bus rapid transit” system to Central Avenue, revitalize Downtown and improve economic development through UNM’s “Innovate ABQ”. But will these plans work?
Joining host Stephen Spitz are Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, Gary Oppedahl, a serial entrepreneur and Director of Albuquerque's Economic Development Department, and Robin Brule, the new coordinator of the Living Cities effort. Produced with the assistance of Jeff White.