The publicity for Amazon’s HQ2 is astounding.
Never before has a site selection process been conducted so publicly, to the enormous benefit of a single company. But why should Amazon have all the fun? The nearly 240 cities and regions that competed for the company’s second headquarters also can benefit from this public process, in ways that are at once subtle and public.
In order to court HQ2, local leaders did far more than slap together a few maps and send locally-oriented gifts to Amazon executives. (A group affiliated with Tucson sent a 21-foot cactus.) They compiled valuable data and information that made the case for why their communities are great places to live, work and play.
The Chicago Tribune hinted at the potential economic development benefit of…