1. If metro regions snooze, they lose - Seattle Times, United States
Far too many of America's metro regions have been sleepwalking into the 21st century, only mistily aware of how severely global economic competition and climate change may hit them. Or if aware, so splintered politically they're dangerously slow to respond.
Boston is trying to avoid that trap. At a Boston College Citizen Seminar last week, a cross section of hundreds of city and regional leaders heard a dramatic presentation of where the metropolitan area leads — and lags. Each challenge, from energy dependence to excessively expensive health care, was underscored by compelling data and matched with response strategies.
The official occasion was release of the most recent Boston Indicators Report. In most cities, an Indicators index release would draw a meager crowd. But Mayor Thomas Menino was just one of the headliners present; so were luminaries from Boston's education establishment including MIT President Susan Hockfield and an array of corporate, nonprofit and citizen-action groups.
Why all this attention? Principally it's because the Boston Indicators, spearheaded by the Boston Foundation's Charlotte Kahn, have become the gold standard for U.S. regions. They're not just boatloads of raw data; rather they're framed, topic by topic, with readable, updated analysis and available online at www.bostonindicators.org. Any leader or citizen can get a clear, quick view of just where the region is progressing, where it's stalled, and potential cures.
The Boston Foundation is using the Indicators to rouse public concern and attention to unmet, pressing agendas. The new report candidly covers, for example, the area's extraordinarily high cost of living, inflation in the housing market that is pricing out median-income families in town after town, and the perils of severe labor shortages as young workers leave and the population ages.
2. John Ketzenberger Regionalism: a buzzword for survival - Indianapolis Star, United States
Community leaders spent two days recently huddled in conference rooms at Barnes and Thornburg's well-appointed Downtown offices.
Regionalism was on their minds, and they had the author of a comprehensive study at their disposal.
They studied and plotted and planned. Not once did they wonder, though, whether Carmel's new civic center and Downtown Indianapolis entertainment destinations will complement each other or compete.
No, they had more than the nine-county metro region to consider. They had the 12-state Great Lakes region to consider, what the Brookings Institution calls The Vital Center in a report the community leaders chewed over last month.
This so-called Vital Center is at a critical point, report author John Austin told the group. Will it remain the Rust Belt, a has-been in the global economy, or will the region capitalize on many of the same strengths that once defined the nation's industrial might?
Though the region still accounts for a third of the nation's gross state product, the problems are well-documented. There is little growth in high-income industries, the aging work force is undereducated and many of the brightest people move out. Many of the once-great industrial cities face high taxes, crumbling infrastructure and high unemployment. The entrepreneurial spirit's weak.
Still, the report is upbeat about the Vital Center, which stretches from Buffalo, N.Y., to St. Paul, Minn., and from northern Michigan to northern Kentucky. The region's assets include a huge concentration of research universities. It produced a third of the new patents generated in 2003, many by corporate research and development. It produces a large share of the nation's educated professionals -- it just can't keep them.
3. Culture is big business - Jamaica Gleaner, Jamaica
This is the age of the creative economy. And as if to parallel the era of the plantation economy that fuelled the empire, it's a time when our creative industries are increasingly a key factor in driving cultural and economic development in the more industrialised countries while gasping for air in the nurseries and creative enclaves of own Caribbean backyards.
For the uninitiated, uninformed or unbelievers, creative industries in the Caribbean, as elsewhere, encompass activities which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have the real potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property. By way of definition, such industries would include:
* Live and recorded music
* Television, radio and internet broadcasting
* Film, video and other audio-visual production
* Performing arts and entertainment
* Writing and publishing
* Fashion clothing/design
* Visual arts and antiques
* Graphic design/software development/animation
* Crafts and designer furniture
* Educational and leisure software
One glimpse at this list would make the point that many of these are areas of creative enterprise in which the Caribbean has always excelled, notably in music, writing, and the performing arts. Yet, we remain 'impoverished' with the perception that our development is so beyond our reach and not possible without the begging bowl. The reasons for this phenomenon are many but come to one crucial point ... a lack of belief in ourselves, at least on the part of those who are charged with speaking on our behalf.
Even as the intellectual property of the region takes flight to add value to external economies, the Caribbean is itself fast becoming a net importer of our own cultural content packaged and sold back to us from firms in the north. ...
4. Regional Council Approves Fifth Strategic Plan - Region of Peel (press release) - Brampton,Ontario,Canada
Peel Regional Council recently approved the Region of Peel Strategic Plan V: 2007-2010, continuing its strong tradition of leadership and strategic planning. With goals solidly built on extensive consultations with community stakeholders and employees, the plan guides Council and staff in setting priorities and delivering programs to address the changing needs of more than one million citizens who live and work in Peel.
“We are pleased to have developed a plan which addresses the key issues identified by our stakeholders and staff,” said Regional Chair Emil Kolb. “By focussing on the distinct needs of our community, we’re working to provide responsive services to our residents and continue earning their trust and confidence as a caring and responsible level of government.”
Priorities identified during the consultation sessions and highlighted in the plan include: delivery of citizen-focussed services, protection of the environment, responsive human services, growth management, and a continued quest for excellence.
“This is our strongest Strategic Plan yet, largely because of the consultative process which involved Regional staff and the community,” said Brampton Councillor and the Region’s Management Committee Chair Gael Miles, who presented the draft plan to her fellow Councillors. “As Peel continues to grow and change, this new plan will help us build on our leadership role in delivering quality services and will enable our community to prosper now and in the future.”
The Region of Peel is a model of successful Regional government. In 2006, the Region became the first government in Canada to receive the National Quality Institute’s (NQI) Canada Award of Excellence (CAE) Gold Trophy. The prestigious CAE is the highest level of recognition awarded by NQI to organizations that have successfully maintained a focus on organizational excellence, quality and continuous improvement. To achieve this status of excellence, the Region was part of a comprehensive independent review by representatives of the Institute, who examined the government’s approach to leadership, customer service, employee satisfaction, process management, planning and partnering.
5. Regional transit board becomes reality - Bizjournals-com - Charlotte,NC,USA
Gov. Charlie Crist signed into law legislation creating the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority.
The Authority is established to improve mobility and expand multimodal transportation options for passengers and freight within the seven-county region that includes Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus.
TBARTA will have responsibility to plan, develop, finance, build and operate regional transportation facilities. Previously, there was no such an organization.
"This legislation will give us an entity to address our transportation needs," said Stuart Rogel, president of the Tampa Bay Partnership, the driving force behind the legislation. "The real work is still ahead of us, but the effects of this bill will be felt for decades to come."
Rogel spearheaded the region's support of the bill, gathering backing from various local and county governments.
"Local officials really stepped up to make this happen," Rogel said. "They stepped out of their comfort zones to help, allowing us to achieve the first goal of the effort -- regional cooperation."
The next step is to get prospective board members presented to the governor for appointment. The first meeting is supposed to occur within 60 days of the bill becoming law.
Then the 16-member board will sit down and develop a regional transportation plan in concert with FDOT, including a mass transit plan, Rogel said.
FDOT District 7, in conjunction with FDOT District 1, conducted a strategic regional transit needs assessment, the ongoing "Interstate of Transit" Plan initiative. When both plans are combined, it will provide an actionable vision of the region's future transit development scenarios with an overview of potential intermodal transit projects and multimodal corridors.
The Tampa Bay Partnership was founded in 1994 to provide economic development to the seven-county region.
6. LVEDC hears message of regionalism - Allentown Morning Call - Allentown,PA,USA
For elected officials and leaders of economic development groups, the region is the product.
The region is what cities and counties need to sell to companies that might be considering a relocation.
That's the first item in David Thornburgh's play book for regions that want to thrive.
''The region describes how businesses think, and how people live their lives,'' ...
Cities, townships and counties need to come together to market and sell the entire region to companies, Thornburgh said. And they need to constantly refine their message, and the way they market the area. The more they refine their message, the easier it will be to convince companies to move to the region.
Municipalities also need to streamline their services so that a company's relocation does not require trips to many far-flung places. He cited examples of cities such as Pittsburgh and Louisville, Ky., where some municipalities and economic development groups have located their offices in the same building so companies can handle items such as permits and zoning in one place.
''Business people get frustrated by what they see as a jumble of organizations,'' Thornburgh said of economic development organizations.
He added, executives think these organizations ''all seem to be doing the same thing, and they all want a check for the title sponsorship.''
Regions need to identify unique assets they have. Every area has an art museum and a park system, but it's distinctive that the candy, Marshmallow Peeps, are made in Bethlehem.
Good leadership inspires confidence, he said. Leadership means facing tough circumstances, and coming up with solutions, not excuses. Thornburgh said if a city's crime rate is soaring or a region's home prices are skyrocketing, companies considering a relocation there will find out. That information is readily available on the Internet, so it's best to acknowledge it.
7. Spotsy Opts Out of Tourism Group - The Free Lance-Star - Fredericksburg, VA,USA
Spotsylvania supervisors face criticism from hotel owners, Fredericksburg officials and tourism proponents for opting out of the Fredericksburg Area Tourism program.
"I think the region will suffer because of that decision as far as marketing is concerned," said Hampton Inn General Manager Terry English yesterday. "We end up being the big losers."
Prior to the Tuesday meeting, English gave supervisors a letter signed by six other county hotel managers supporting FAT. The hotel managers asked to address the board Tuesday night, but were denied the opportunity.
Although Spotsylvania County has more than two dozen various regional agreements, some think the recent decision leaves a perception that supervisors don't support regionalism. Supervisors voted 7-0 Tuesday to opt out of FAT.
FAT, which Fredericksburg officials manage, supports tourism in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Stafford. Spotsylvania and Stafford pay $193,200 a year for the services. The city pays $310,700. The marketing relationship started in 1994. Stafford's economic development staff is recommending the county remain active in FAT.
Spotsylvania Economic Development Director Russell Seymour's 10-page report detailed the reasons staff recommended opting out. Supervisors had to make a decision by July 1, the start of the new fiscal year.
"We did not feel that the current regional effort was being utilized in the best means to promote businesses and tourism in Spotsylvania County," he said. "Staff believes that given the money and the staff time we can do more to promote our local businesses and attractions across the board."
Fredericksburg City Councilman Matt Kelly said he's tired of Spotsylvania supervisors complaining.
"I don't think it does regional cooperation much good," Kelly said about the decision.
8. Region prospering as a diversified hub - Winona Daily News, MN
At its best, the Winona region can be a model for regionalization. For example, there’s Winona State
University beginning to build a river study program with the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse. Or, Saint Mary’s finding new ways to serve students beyond the Winona campus. Or, the leadership of Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical, which makes course offerings fit the marketplace demand while avoiding duplicating course offerings.
Look at the way leaders are beginning to come together to work on issues like protecting the Mississippi River or promoting tourism, like the Mississippi Valley Partners.
At its worst, the area can be insular, parochial and too paranoid about Rochester or La Crosse.
But a recently released report from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development shows that we are indeed a region that is increasingly regionalized and that is creating a diverse economic landscape, better employees and an area that will be able to face an ever-changing future.
While most government reports go unnoticed and underappreciated, it’s worthwhile to pause on the facts and findings of this particular report, found in the May issue of the Minnesota Employment Review and written by Jennifer Ridgeway.
Call it a case for regionalization — a reason for crossing city, county and state lines.
Some of the more intriguing findings include:
* Of the 16 counties that Ridgeway called the “Seven Rivers Region,” which spans three states, Olmsted County, Minn., and La Crosse County, Wis., are the largest. No surprise there. But nearly half (47 percent) of the jobs in the region are located outside those two counties, proving these communities in between the more metropolitan areas aren’t just “bedroom” communities, instead thriving economic contributors.
9. Counting region's trees is a tall order - Sacramento Bee, California
Over time, humankind has counted all sorts of things. Insomniacs enumerate their sheep, government census bureaus their homo sapiens. Dieters take stock of their calories, campers their 99 bottles of beer on the wall.
And these days, a small group of volunteers is devoting itself to tabulating the Sacramento region's trees.
In a monthlong effort, 75 volunteers are working with the Sacramento Tree Foundation to measure just how much of the six-county Sacramento region -- stretching from Sutter to Solano -- is covered by a canopy of trees.
The volunteers are counting just a sample of circular plots sprinkled randomly throughout the region. Once they finish in mid-July, the Sacramento Tree Foundation hopes to study the information to learn what percentage of the land is shaded by trees -- and how those trees are faring.
They also hope the information will help them win support for increasing the region's urban forest cover.
Ideally, said Constance Crawford, a spokeswoman for the foundation, the count might win the state some federal dollars to help plant a million new trees.
Crawford says the foundation's goal is to have 35 percent canopy coverage -- a level she says could improve the region's poor air quality and decrease average temperatures.
10. U.S. regional communities - sub-State, State or multi-State - in news articles. Highlighted words are Google search terms. In this and the following section, links to websites of organizations are added to the news excerpt when this is the first time an organization has been found. A goal of this newsletter is to find every regional council in the
.10 Las Vegas-area residents' health graded low in regional report
San Diego Union Tribune - United States
The health of southern Nevada residents is poor, with more people smoking, drinking heavily and using hard drugs here than elsewhere in America, according to a report by the Southern Nevada Health District. ...
.11 Leadership council proceeds cautiously
Idaho Mountain Express and Guide - Ketchum,ID,USA
From the very outset of Wednesday's meeting, McBryant's unease with the amount of authority the regional council will exert over the various jurisdictions ...
.12 Can Lansing and East Lansing become one?
Lansing State Journal, MI
... Lansing and East Lansing, along with other area governmental units, are exploring wider regional cooperation on such issues as a consolidated 911 emergency dispatch system. ...
.13 Silicon Valley leaders may boost regional Internet access speeds
San Jose Mercury News, USA
Silicon Valley business leaders say the nation's high-tech hub should speed broadband Internet access and improve spotty cell phone connections to make the region more competitive with Asian rivals such as Japan and Korea. ... A regional effort could be similar to the "Connect Kentucky" project, which organized private companies to invest in broadband services statewide, ...
.14 Herman Trend Alert: Aerotropolis
NewsReleaseWire.com (press release)
Developed by Professor John D. Kasarda, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the concept “aerotropolis” defines the roles of airports and aviation-driven economic development in shaping 21st century urban growth and form. ...
.15 Three Out of 1000 Owners Have Lost Their Homes This Year
RisMedia.com (press release), CT
Every region of the country saw their numbers of pre-foreclosure filings increase in the second quarter over the first quarter of the year 2007, too.
.16 The Strange Return of Toxic Mary Nichols
But the Hun is also an ardent supporter of the San Joaquin Valley Partnership and the San Joaquin Valley Blueprint, regional "planning processes" superceding local general plans. The latter is co-chaired by Stockton-based Fritz Grupe, ...
.17 Texas begins desalinating sea water
Kansas City Star, MO
Lower Rio Grande Regional Seawater Desalination project Pilot Facility ... Desalting sea water is expensive, Macro running ....... mostly because of the energy required. Current cost estimates run at about $650 per acre foot (326,000 gallons), as opposed to $200 for purifying the same amount of fresh water
.18 Celebrating Pittsburgh’s 250th
The Tribune-Democrat, PA
This spirit is the essence of a regional community, a shared culture of interdependence and growth that will sustain our region for another 250 years.
.19 Collaboration is key to mental-health care
Arizona Republic, AZ
At that meeting in Phoenix about Magellan Health Services' plans as the new manager of the Maricopa County Regional Behavioral Health Authority and in hundreds of others in the region during the last 18 months, we heard a clear call for community collaboration and stakeholder involvement ...
.20 Mentally ill drain jail resources
Arizona Daily Star, AZ
Since many of the inmates already are enrolled in treatment programs, the added cost to the mental-health system could be minimal, said Neal Cash, head of Community Partnership of Southern Arizona, the regional behavioral-health authority.
UK News, KY
The concept of the Institute was brought to UK President Lee T. Todd, Jr. by Smith and an ad hoc committee of journalists as a way to use media to address what Dr. Todd refers to as the "Kentucky Uglies". These include problems of poor health, literacy, low-wage jobs and inadequate housing. ...
.22 Rural towns rethink ways to combat sprawl
Central Maine Morning Sentinel, ME
Caron and others are using the example to promote the idea of allowing broader use of local growth caps if they are part of regional comprehensive plans. That could turn one of the more parochial responses to development pressure into a vehicle that ...
.23 Heritage Commission takes on development role
Utica Observer Dispatch - Utica,NY,USA
A regional commission is taking on more responsibility for revitalizing communities in the Mohawk Valley, according to its leadership.The Mohawk Valley Heritage Corridor Commission ...
.24 Keep transit plan on regional track
Wisconsin State Journal - Madison,WI,USA
Throughout Dane County, growing traffic congestion, aging roads and tight budgets point to the need for regional cooperation on transportation solutions. ...
.25 Region 14 Critics Head to Court
Litchfield County Times - New Milford,CT,USA
Bethlehem residents ... seeking a temporary injunction against Region 14 Board of Education to prevent the school district from moving forward with its controversial reconfiguration ...
.26 Council of governments is off and running (no hyperlink)
Liberal Southwest Daily Times - Liberal,KS,USA
The Council of Governments met for the first time this morning, and representatives from Seward County Community College Board of Trustees, Kismet City Commission, Liberal City Commission, Seward County Commission, USD No. 480 School Board and USD No. 483 School Board were all there to kick the council off.
.27 EDITORIAL: An experience trip
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, MS
Today’s Daily Journal stories and others coming Monday and later describe but a fraction of what the regional group saw and heard. Much of what was noted will be years in unfolding as Northeast Mississippi’s own experience with Toyota takes on added dimensions. ...
.28 A mixed view on economic development
Richmond Times Dispatch, VA
Economic development is a regional success story, many business and county government leaders say -- even though the mayor of Richmond has declared war on the area's regional development agency. That organization, the Greater Richmond ...
.29 Master planning on horizon?
Colorado Daily, CO
There are micro- and macro-level considerations going on simultaneously when it comes to the planned Boulder Transit Village. ... master planning of the 11-acre Village (BTV) site. The city and the Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) are co-owners of the site ...
.30 'Exurb' growth shows need for regional planning
Arizona Daily Star, AZ
What was obvious from the story was that the term "region" has grown much, much bigger. We know, for example, that intergovernmental cooperation is no longer a matter of agreements between municipalities in Pima County. ...
.31 Lawmakers badger administration over Bajagua plan
San Diego Union Tribune, United States
Six years ago, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board sued the boundary commission because the San Ysidro plant failed to meet water quality standards. Sewage regularly fouls the area's ocean waters. As a result, the commission is under court order to ensure that water flowing from Mexico meets U.S. environmental standards by Sept. 30, 2008. ...
.32 Regional planning to administer grant funds for county
Keokuk Gate City Daily, IA
The Lee County Supervisors agreed Tuesday to contracts with the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission to administer grant money for upcoming projects in the county. The county will pay SEIRPC ...
.33 Real Partners at Last?
Connecticut Business News Journal
The Regional Growth Partnership (RGP) may at last be headed on the right track to fulfilling its full potential. On June 27, both the South Central Regional Council of Governments (SCRCOG) and the Regional Leadership Council (RLC) approved a proposal to improve ...
11. Other in the news: Highlighted words are Google search terms.
.10 Nothing comes easy, even true European union
Xinhua – China
The EU Council will adopt a double "effective majority" voting system, which means a motion will be passed when it has won support from 55 percent of member states and whose combined population accounts for 65 percent of EU's total. ...
.11 Intergovernmental Conference – procedural aspects
The 27 EU Members agreed at the European Council of 21-22 June 2007 on a clear and precise mandate for an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC). Political agreement was reached on the main parameters for the final deal. This is however a mandate, ...
.12 Lochaber celebrates gaining geopark status
Scottish Provincial Press Ltd. - Inverness, Scotland, UK
...the granting to Lochaber of European Geopark status ... this prestigious accolade, which is recognised by UNESCO, and it also admits Lochaber to the exclusive Global Geoparks Network. ... The hope is that the Geopark recognition will bring real benefits to Lochaber through geotourism....
.13 Regional cooperation helps Asia recover from financial crisis 10 years ago: ADB symposium
People's Daily Online - Beijing,China
Asia's remarkable economic recovery achieved and resilience to external shocks shown 10 years after the Asian financial crisis indicates the importance of regional economic cooperation and integration....
.14 Eastern Europe: booming economies, dangerous politics
FinFacts Ireland, Ireland
A deep disjuncture between well-performing economies and disturbing political trends has opened up in much of the eastern Europe, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's latest Economies in Transition Report (June 2007). ...
.15 Increased functional co-operation on the cards for CARICOM members
Barbados Advocate, Barbados
This would be facilitated by enhancing arrangements implemented for Cricket World Cup 2007, greater intelligence sharing, and the development of regional law enforcement placed to address organised crime, international terrorism, and financial crimes.
.16 Southern Africa: Tourism Stakeholders Agree On Intra-Regional Package
SADC tourism stakeholders have resolved to come up with an intra-regional tourism package that will make tourism in Southern Africa stand out from its competitors ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
.17 Japan's regional economies on modest recovery path, BoJ survey says
6, 2007 (AFX International Focus) -- Japan's nine regional economies remain on the road to recovery, supported by upbeat corporate and 'According to reports from each of the nine regions in Japan, the economy as a whole expanded moderately as all ...
.18 Region's future depends on municipal co-operation
Waterloo Record, Canada
Remarks made by Ken Coates, the dean of arts at the University of Waterloo, focused on a vision that some day Waterloo Region could be the "city on the hill" -- a model for the rest of the world. He was speaking to members of the Kitchener and Waterloo ... The Citizens For Better Government is, by design, a grass-roots organization made up of volunteers from all municipalities in the region who are committed to make a great region even greater. Help us build the "city on the hill." Visit us at www.cfbg.ca
.19 Grade lines up merger into 'super regions' for ITV's future
Scotsman - United Kingdom
ITV could be set to merge companies such as Border TV into a new system of "super regions" under far-reaching proposals unveiled yesterday by ITV's ...
.20 CARICOM Heads to tackle regional transportation
Barbados Advocate - Barbados
Carrington reiterated that without regional transportation the community cannot co-mingle. He said, It is a matter of importance to the entire community. ...
.21 Underground power program
Central Midlands & Coastal Advocate - Moora,Australia
"This strategy will, in some respects, be a new and unique approach for tourism land use planning in the state because it not only addresses the need to understand the type of accommodation and tourism infrastructure required within the confines of a defined local government area but considers the planning requirements based on future markets across regional boundaries. ...
.22 Female Entrepreneurs – Your Region Needs You!
Northwest Regional Development Agency (press release), UK
The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) encouraged over 70 business women to officially sign up as Women’s Enterprise Ambassadors yesterday (Monday 9th July), to represent the Northwest in the drive to build a national network of women entrepreneurs. ...
.23 The crude bombs perfected in Baghdad have arrived on our streets
Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom
Since then, a review has been undertaken to improve co-ordination between the intelligence and security services, and also with regional police authorities, to ensure no important leads slip through the net. For example, some of the London bombers are ...
.24 Israel should accept a regional peace conference
Daily Star - Lebanon, Lebanon
The Arabs should help us? Yes. Social psychology has shown time and again that the best way to create solidarity between feuding parties is to have them work on a common problem. ...
.25 CoRDA celebrates 15 years with an eye to the future
Truro Daily News, Canada
When CoRDA began, its primary goals were improving literacy and building community infrastructure. Since then, it has expanded into industry and is promoting the area to prospective business owners. It is also trying to attract immigrants to the area and is helping improve the skill–set of the workforce through work shops and skills training. ...
.26 Guyana hopes to increase inter-regional travel
Trinidad & Tobago Express, Trinidad and Tobago
"The trends today in the tourism industry is showing a positive light in that more and more attention is being paid to regional travel. There are a lot of benefits to be gained from regional partnerships in the tourism sector.
.27 An eco-regional farm strategy
Financial Express, India
The lead thinking and role for a shift to eco-regional approach must come jointly from the research (ICAR) and development wings of the Ministry of Agriculture. These approaches will have to evolve through an interactive and an iterative process, ...
.28 Goodbye cohesion, hello competitiveness, Hübner tells Spain
Cordis News, Belgium
'Analysis of the factors which will drive economic growth in the future shows the increasing role of innovation, which already today is responsible for more than 50% of the variation in levels of regional GDPs,' said Ms Hübner. 'As a result more and more weight needs to be given to resources at local level, to research institutions, clusters of enterprises, innovative businesses and the skills of the work force.' ...
.29 Bank of the South: Toward Financial Autonomy
IRC's Americas Program, NM
The launch of the Bank of the South is an ambitious and strategic gambit in regional integration, one that could result in a truly regional development bank. Despite Brazilian concerns, this new institution is ready to be launched.
.30 Now, the ITV news from your region - it's all over
Scotsman, United Kingdom
... rather than the English regions - and for devolved governments to have a role in funding it. Another possibility would be to award the existing regional licences to what it describes as "other organisations with more regionally based business models".
.31 Support the region!
Barbados Advocate, Barbados
The procurement of fish was also another issue raised in the report, as it was found that a mere 20 per cent of fish purchased by the hotel sector is sourced locally, a minuscule eight per cent is sourced regionally, while the remaining 72 per cent is ...
.32 Poor transport links holding region back
ic Newcastle.co.uk, UK
Centre for Cities said bus and rail links in the North-East must be improved to connect parts of the region suffering from lower employment to more successful areas to boost growth.
.33 hybrid buses axed from plans
Saanich News, Canada
Compared to the newest Nova Cummins clean diesel buses procured since 2003, however, the hybrids performed with only eight per cent greater fuel efficiency. Officials determined that the savings realized from hybrids, calculated over the 20-year life expectancy of the buses, could not offset its comparatively expensive purchase price – hybrids cost roughly $800,000 while Nova diesels cost $500,000. ...
ArcNews - ESRI
Recently, the Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS) et al. filed an extraordinary lawsuit against the U.S. government in federal district court. ... an adverse outcome would effectively exclude everyone but licensed architects, engineers, and surveyors from federal government contracts for 'mapping' services of every sort and ...
.35 Networking with a twist
San Antonio Express, TX
"Being able to juggle three or four social networks can be a challenge," said Pete Snyder, founder and chief executive of New Media Strategies, an online intelligence provider. "Oftentimes, these regional or local social networks are the first ones cut ...
.36 Commuting regions take over more of Britain
The research had shown that many people in rural areas now have what the report calls a "dual existence". ... "They wish to belong to the countryside by living there, but at the same time work or shop in the city,." ...
.37 Australia ranks second in APAC region for Internet adoption
Computerworld Australia, Australia
The first comprehensive review of Internet behaviour covering 10 countries in the Asia Pacific region reveals Australia has the second highest online penetration rate behind South Korea.
.38 “We're now ready for anything” says York Region Chair
York Region is one of Ontario's 13 Regional municipalities. The DRP deals with emergency response and recovery actions in the event of unforeseen "disasters.
.39 A bridge too far?
East Anglian Daily Times, UK
COIMBRA is one of those superb towns you find dotted all over Europe, particularly in sunnier climes. ... “The EU's regional aid priorities include 'reducing development disparities among EU regions,' to which it is allocating 80% of the budget.
.40 York Region plans to attract riders by offering WiFi service on VIVA buses
Toronto Star, Canada
York Region Transit is hoping that WiFi access on its VIVA buses will be enough to lure more motorists out of their cars and notch up the service to its existing customers. ...
Fast Company magazine
One problem he had in politics, he says, was identifying an issue too early--"'predawn' is the term I use"--to be able to act on it. But "in the business world, particularly at a time when things are moving so swiftly, if you can see it early, you can make a business opportunity out of it." He pauses. "For whatever reason, the business world rewards a long-term perspective more than the political world does." ...
12. Blogs: Highlighted words are Google search terms.
.10 A Paradigm Shift in Communications
As we further develop our "pan-Long Island-ist" approach to creating a Unified Theory of Regional Cooperation as contained within the Long Island 3.0 and Long Island Congress concepts, it becomes readily apparent that the manner in ...
.11 Forward-Thinking Cultures
By Panagiotis Tsarchopoulos
Competitive Countries Have an Eye on the Future Singapore is the most future-oriented country in the world, new research from Thunderbird business school reveals, whereas Russia is the least. Yet people the world over aspire to plan for ...
.12 Regions in the spotlight
It's often argued that despite substantial funding allocated to the English regions and a multitude of regionally-targeted initiatives, the English regional policy lacks individual approaches to the regions. There is an impression that ...
.13 Waukesha Grumbles About SEWRPC Over $100000
By James Rowen(James Rowen)
Waukesha County has had the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWEPC) dancing to its land use and transportation tune for decades, but is now bent out of shape over a more realistic transit funding decision that ...
.14 Former Waukesha Freeman Editor Trashes Milwaukee
By James Rowen(James Rowen)
Pete Kennedy, now a Freeman columnist, offers a Waukesha perspective about Milwaukee that should be remembered by Milwaukeans when they/we are are told/lectured to cooperate with Waukesha, in the name of regionalism. ...
.15 Richmond is boring me
Regionalism can't get off the ground. (Regional planning commission fails to be regional, or plan) Those damn suburbanites. 6. VCU expands. (VCU allowed to tear down historic stables) Trani-ville does both good and bad things for ...
.16 Our Regional Good Side
By Jon Baliles(Jon Baliles)
Part of the paper's look at regionalism includes a look at the area's efforts at economic development. The Richmond region is growing, has a low unemployment rate, attractive cost of living, few real traffic problems, and frequently ...
.17 Continued centralism
By Göran Hansson(Göran Hansson)
The opposition to regionalism has been solid on the central level - as oppose to the regional level in Skåne where the party is mostly for it. Let's see if the party whip will silence the Skåne opposition and make them bow to the ...
.18 Competitive Innovation Intelligence
By Nicos Komninos
competitive-innovation-intelligence.jpg A slideshow by Arik R. Johnson presented in the KMWorld2006 at San Jose , California provides an overview how CI has evolved over the past 25 years to become more and more bottom-up. ...
.19 Who volunteers?
By The Difference Blog by Dan4th(The Difference Blog by Dan4th)
Regionally, the midwest had the highest volunteer rates for both men and women. Hiromi Taniguchi (2006) found that employment levels had different effects on men's and women's volunteering. Women working part-time were more likely to ...
.20 Equitable sprawl
By Richard Layman(Richard Layman)
This comes to mind in considering the new report on regionalism in Cleveland, "Regionalism: Growing Together to Expand Opportunity to All," produced by the Presidents' Council, a group of 17 chief executives at black-owned businesses in ...
.21 Shawn Graham of New Brunswick - Atlantic Premier Profiles
An advocate of regional cooperation, he works hard to build on his province's "long and important relationship" relationship with New England. He's working with fellow Atlantic premiers, too, on economies of scale for infrastructure ...
.22 Brown's cabinet of all the regions
By Little and Large(Little and Large)
Most other regions each have one representative - the North East (David Miliband), Wales (Hain), the West Midlands (Smith), the East Midlands (Hoon), London (Harman) and the South East (Denham) - whilst both the South West and Eastern ...
.23 Brown To Balkanise England - Campaign For An English Parliament ...
By Chris Abbott(Chris Abbott)
Brown has shown that he wishes to revive regionalism in England - the idea of which many thought had been killed-off with the public's strong rejection of a North East regional assembly in a referendum in 2004. ...
.24 Gordon Brown adopts Regional Ministers plan - advocated by NLGN - as part of wider constitutional reform
"Gordon Brown's new constitutional agenda must strengthen the ability for England's regions to be heard at the highest levels in Government, and the appointment of Regional Ministers is a major advance for both leadership and ...
.25 Boundaries or not
MidEastYouth.com - USA
If international boundaries between nations are so important, why didn't God put them there when earth was being created (statement, thought provoking for...
13. Announcements, Regional Links, Video
YouTube – 2 minutes
YouTube Group – icRegions
I have just established this. Recommendations welcomed.
.10 Property tax increase needed to fund local ferry service - TheNewsTribune.com (subscription) - Tacoma,WA,USA
The King County Council is likely to decide by November how much extra property tax to collect to operate passenger ferry service to downtown Seattle.
The council voted in April to create a countywide ferry district, but delayed a decision on taxes until Metro Transit planners develop a proposal for how the district would operate.
Mike Beck, Metro Transit contract administrator, said planners are looking at a property tax increase of between 1 and 3 cents per $1,000 in values, or $3 to $9 a year for a $300,000 home. Each penny would raise about $2.4 million a year.
The deadline for the council to act is Nov. 30. Although the ferry district is a separate taxing entity, the nine County Council members would be its governing body.
The catalyst for creation of a King County ferry district is the Legislature’s desire to get out of the passenger-only ferry business. The route between Vashon Island and Seattle is the last of the state’s “foot ferry” routes. The state has agreed to subsidize that route for one more year - through June 30, 2008 - but thereafter, state lawmakers want the county to take it over.
Meanwhile, the Puget Sound Regional Council is developing a regional ferry plan for Pierce, King, Snohomish and Kitsap counties.
King County Councilwoman Julia Patterson, D-SeaTac, said that study will examine the feasibility of such routes as Gig Harbor to Tacoma to Des Moines and other possible routes across Puget Sound. “We are home to a major ferry industry, but have limited service,” Patterson said. “We know that long-term, based on forecasts, we will see huge increases in passenger demand.”
Stephen Kiehl, a regional council planner, said the $250,000 study will examine the possibility of service within the four counties, including cross-Sound routes ...
.11 County protests fund shift - Facing loss of transit money, supervisors consider leaving regional commission - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (subscription) - Milwaukee,WI,USA
Waukesha County officials, irked by losing federal transportation funds to Milwaukee County, are considering possible responses that include withdrawing from the regional planning commission that controls the money.
"The message needs to be sent," said Supervisor Ted Rolfs of Chenequa, one of those directing their dissatisfaction at the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.
Unable to negotiate a compromise among four counties sharing $19 million in federal money, the commission has imposed a formula that favors Milwaukee County. Starting this year, Milwaukee County is getting a boost of $850,000 annually to fund its mass transit system.
Meanwhile, Waukesha County is left with a $100,000 deficit that must be closed using county revenue, or bus systems here will face a funding shortfall.
"If we're not happy with how things are done, it's up to us to make sure we address that, either by working with SEWRPC or by re-evaluating our membership with SEWRPC," he said.
Based in the City of Pewaukee, the regional commission is recognized by the federal government as the official planning agency for an area that includes the counties of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington, Racine, Kenosha and Walworth.
The counties support the commission's operations with property taxes totaling $2.3 million a year, including $650,000 from Waukesha County.
Schism wouldn't be first
Phil Evenson, the commission's executive director, said Waukesha County is not the first to talk about withdrawing from the regional cooperative. Milwaukee County currently has a committee reviewing the same question because of concerns unrelated to the transit funding.
"That's their privilege," Evenson said of Waukesha County officials.
.12 DEVELOPMENT: Civil Society - Window Dressing For the UN? - Inter Press Service (subscription) - Rome,Italy
Is global governance the sole domain of governments or are they willing to share what has traditionally been their preserve? Has civil society finally inched its way into the United Nations system and made its presence felt?
Not quite, says Jo E. Butler, from the Intergovernmental Affairs and Outreach Service of the U.N. Council for Trade and Development (UNCTAD). She believes the participation and presence of civil society remains elusive and restricted to ‘’the margins and corridors.’’
Organised by the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CONGO), the Civil Society Development Forum, being held in Geneva from Jun. 28-30, aims to review the relationship between the U.N. and civil society.
Elaborating, Butler said: ‘’They (civil society) seem to be talking to themselves when there should be dialogue and discussion between them and the U.N. member states.’’ She reprimanded the latter and warned them that ‘’they will only be talking in a vacuum’’ and that little good would come if dialogues are held after policies were made.
Many still look at this new relationship with the U.N. reform agenda in the backdrop. Governments challenge the motives behind this relationship. But more and more, it seems clear that engaging civil society and investing in partnership is becoming more a necessity than an option for achieving global goals.
Renate Bloem, president of CONGO, put it bluntly when she said: ‘’They (the U.N.) need us, to look more legitimate.’’
There is widespread concern that to remain relevant and to play a pivotal role in eradicating poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals, the U.N. needs to regain its lost authority and influence over other inter-governmental forums, especially the World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the G8 countries.
.13 Region must brace for a million more people - Vancouver Province (subscription), Canada
There will be a million more people living in the Lower Mainland by 2031 -- and the Greater Vancouver Regional District wants to be prepared for those people.
But the GVRD's land use and transportation committee, which discussed the prospect Friday, wants changes made to the plan being made for the region's future.
The committee wants the plan to be based on principles like doing what's required to ensure climate stability, to ensure there is a secure supply of locally-grown food and to reduce our ecological footprint.
It also wants the GVRD to have the ability to amend the plan and to enforce it -- elements not now part of the provinciall-approved Livable Region Strategic Plan under which the GVRD operates.
As a result, the report -- Planning for a Sustainable Future -- was sent back to staff to make those changes.
Public forums on the report will be held in September. A draft plan will be issued in October for further public input.
Committee chairman Derek Corrigan said the changes being sought simply reflect the public's present values.
"The Livable Region was our main plan -- environmental protection, the green zone," said Corrigan, who is mayor of Burnaby.
"It's being phrased differently now as people are bringing up climate stability, the ability to be self-sufficient in food," he said.
"There's a different spin on the values underlying the plan."
One of those values could include developing an industrial land reserve similar to the Agricultural Land Reserve instituted to protect farming.
- TransLink's ambitious expansion plan for 2008 needs ratification from the GVRD, and on Friday the land-use committee recommended that ratification -- with conditions.
Among the conditions were a heightened emphasis on transportation demand measures -- including road pricing and tolls. ...
.14 Editorial: One thing at a time - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (subscription), WI
Milwaukee Ald. Bob Bauman is right. There should be one regional mass transit system in southeastern Wisconsin that links buses, commuter rail and any other options that become available down the road, such as streetcars in downtown Milwaukee. All those systems should be funded by one reliable source that takes the financing burden off the property taxpayer.
But Bauman is wrong to try to build that regional system all at once. Right now, the focus has to be on the Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee Commuter Link rail line that would connect downtown Milwaukee to its southern suburbs, to Racine and Kenosha and eventually to Chicago. That's what's on the table in the Legislature as a part of the state budget, and that's what needs real support soon to take advantage of federal funding.
By attaching the KRM proposal to conditions and strings, as Bauman did last week, he risks losing the entire package. That would be a shame for the region as well as for mass transit in Milwaukee.
At Bauman's urging, the Milwaukee Common Council's Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee last week said the council should back land-use plans for the proposed KRM line - something that's required to apply for federal funding - only if the overall KRM plan endorses a light rail or streetcar system from the downtown Amtrak station to other downtown stations. His measure also pushes the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Transit Authority to seek a dedicated funding source, such as a local sales tax, to pay for KRM trains, streetcars and the Milwaukee County Transit System.
Ideas worth discussing, certainly, but they would tie KRM to current disputes over funding and streetcars that could leave the train sitting in the station for years to come.
This is the time to build the first piece of a complex puzzle. ...
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