How to build a great American city

Wonderful community with lots of connections.

Fortune

As our helicopter banks sharply over Orlando, the sinuous shapes and bright colors of Disney World, Epcot Center, and Universal Studios rise up to meet our gaze. This is the land of the theme park, the most visited city in the U.S., and the ultimate family vacation spot.

But if you look away from the Technicolor fantasy toward the southeast, there’s something almost as striking: a collection of gleaming new commercial and residential buildings spread across 7,000 acres of land adjacent to the airport.

Ten years ago it was barren. Today it hosts a completely different Orlando, one that may ultimately transform the region as much as Disney World did back in the 1970s. Already the almost $3 billion (so far) endeavor has created nearly 5,000 permanent, higher-paying jobs, with 25,000 more expected by 2029. Arduin Laffer & Moore Econometrics has estimated that the project’s economic impact could reach $7.6…

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