I think by now most people understand that differences in population growth, and therefore economic growth, between regions are due to differences in amenities such as schools, parks, the cityscape and natural attractions.
While the link between economic performance and local schools is self-evident, I am often asked to explain why having more and better local amenities matters to job creation. It is a simple concept, really.
Households (aka families) make choices about where to live based on a variety of factors. Among them are the presence of things such as playgrounds, safe and attractive neighborhoods and recreational activities. Abundant research also reveals that workers in these households are willing to sacrifice to obtain these things. They are willing to commute long distances and even forgo higher wages to live in nice places.