In the business world, enterprise zones are a pretty familiar concept. The idea of getting rid of government regulations and taxes that made it extremely difficult for businesses to grow in cities over-taken by poverty has been around for many years. The mastermind behind that whole concept was none other than Peter Hall. Peter Hall devised this idea of enterprise zones all the way back in the late 1970s. Unfortunately, it has just been reported that Mr. Hall has passed away at the age of 83.
Hall’s death was reported and confirmed by that of the University College London, the school was Peter Hall was a professor at for business planning. Hall was always in the mindset that government needed to step out of the way in urban areas that were facing economic troubles so they could grow and thrive with new businesses to kickstart their economies. Hall was a socialist in his political mindset, but was a pragmatist as well. Peter Hall began talking and collaborating with officials close with the prime minister (Margaret Thatcher at the time) to start creating enterprise zones throughout numerous cities that need economic growth in England.
The news of these enterprise zones quickly spread to the Atlantic as liberals and conservatives of small-governments quickly took a liking to the concept of reducing government taxes and regulations in these struggling cities. Jack Kemp (Buffalo Republic) and Robert Garcia (Bronx Democrat) were the two main sponsors of a bill in 1980 that reduced taxes for small businesses in cities that were struggling economically and hired individuals who lived in those areas.
Ronald Reagan, the United States President of that time, quickly took an interest to this bill. Reagan commented on the bill, saying that, “Those who view poverty and unemployment as permanent afflictions of our cities fail to understand how rapidly the poor can move up the ladder of success in our economy. But to move up the ladder, they must first get on it. And this is the concept behind the enterprise zones.” The idea of enterprise zones were experimented with in numerous cities throughout America, but was not officially signed into law for quite some time. I fact, President Bill Clinton did not pass and sign the bill until 1993.
Peter Hall was born on March 19, 1932 in London. In 1957, Hall received his masters’ degree from the University of Cambridge, and returned to the university two years following that to acquire his doctorate. Peter Hall wrote the book The World Cities in 1966. In the book, Hall famously wrote, “All these people live only on their ideas. The central business district therefore can be seen as a specialized machine for producing, processing and trading specialized intelligence. And the ideas industry is growing many times faster than industry as a whole.”
Seeing how enterprise zones are still used today in struggling cities to spur the growth of new businesses, it’s obvious that Peter Hall has left his mark on the world. By business people everywhere, he will be missed.