Regional Community Development News – February 13, 2008 [regions_work]

A weekly compilation of news links about and for regional communities pursuing local and regional development.

Published on line since November 11, 2003.

1. Planners eye megaregional cooperation - Press-Register – al-com - Mobile, AL, USA

Consider this item from Press-Register archives, penned by Casandra Andrews:

"During the first half of the 20th century ... some coastal Alabama residents felt like they got the short end of the stick from the rest of the state. So in 1947, Mobile's city fathers did a bit more than lobby politicians for a larger slice of the state's resources.

"That year, the Mobile Chamber of Commerce published an image of what they thought should be the Greater Gulf State ... that extended as far west as Pearl River, Miss., and as far east as Gulf County, Fla., encompassing ... 63 counties and about 2 million residents. Only a handful of southern counties in Alabama made the cut.

"The Mobile Chamber's position, then, was that counties in lower Alabama, southern Mississippi and Northwest Florida had 'emerged as a new economic commonwealth, where the people have mutual interests and their welfare is so closely interwoven that it might well be designated as the Greater Gulf State.'"

It was an idea perhaps slightly ahead of its time. But new research by the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association labels the Gulf Coast -- from the Florida Panhandle to the Mexican border (including Houston, Mobile and New Orleans) -- one of 10 emerging "megaregions" in the United States.

The megaregion discussion is somewhat new among planners, said Catherine L. Ross, director of the Center for Quality Growth & Regional Development at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. She includes Alabama and Mobile as part of the Piedmont Atlantic megaregion, an area that includes northern Florida and Georgia, then stretches north to Tennessee and the Carolinas.

Such regions are not drawn arbitrarily, she said last week, but defined by factors such as economic interaction, infrastructure, natural resources and cultural identity.


For information, see


2. Economic analysts: Time for region to step up -

Regionalism isn't the wave of the future, local business leaders say -- it is the future.

Dow Chemical Co. last year even commissioned an outside firm, the nonprofit Global Environment & Technology Foundation of Arlington, Va., to facilitate cooperation between Bay, Midland and Saginaw counties.

The fruit of the discussions is the Mid-Michigan Regional Management System, a collaborative effort among diverse public and private organizations in the region.

Participants utilize a regional management approach to pursue economic, environmental and social goals. The management system aims to galvanize existing community efforts and identify innovative approaches to re-energize regional organizations and residents.

It also serves as central location for brainstorming regionalism ideas.

Such efforts could save money, advocates say, with communities pooling their resources. It also makes the region as a whole stronger to attract potential developers, businesses and tourists.

The management system partnership is divided into three sub-groups: sustainable jobs and business, environment and natural resources and regional cohesion.

"They felt these were the areas that needed addressing most, " said Cindy Newman, director of Dow's North American public affairs.

An honest broker

It was necessary to bring in an outside agency, Newman said, because local leaders tend to think solely of their local priorities. She said it is hoped that "thinking as a region" may very well open up a world of untapped opportunities.

Global Environment & Technology Foundation administrators praised the Tri-Cities for showing they can work together for the betterment of the area, pointing to MBS International Airport in Freeland.

3. Time is right for municipal partnerships - Western Star - Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Regionalization appeared to be a word on the tongues of municipal leaders in Corner Brook this past weekend.

Municipalities Newfoundland Labrador (MNL) held a board of directors meeting here in conjunction with a Local Action for Developing Regions (LADR) workshop.

LADR is the economic development arm for MNL. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the municipal role in economic development. It provides innovative, yet practical, approaches to economic development, as well as a start-to-finish program as a foundation for municipal economic development.

Graham Letto, president of MNL, said development is an important part of what municipalities do and that all communities need municipal plans in place. The challenges with that is there are those that don't have these plans in place and/or the resources to do so.

"In the workshop, we are focusing mainly on rural municipalities, " Letto told The Western Star on Saturday.

"They are the ones that are very challenged right now. When we look at the western region, the Northern Peninsula, and the south coast, there are municipalities facing enormous challenges with outmigration and the basic resources and opportunities to do what needs to be done."

While they are encouraged to hear government is putting more planners in place, the president said it needs to be accompanied by a focus on helping those municipalities do what needs to be done to survive. He noted municipalities have to play a role too.

To get there, Letto said a regional approach must be assumed and accepted.

"For the most part those municipalities are realizing that, " he said. "Unfortunately, with these seminars - and it always comes up - the people that need to be here are not. They don't have the resources to do the plan or do what needs to be done. …

4. Regional water, local money - Charlotte Sun-Herald - Charlotte Harbor, FL, USA

A water-management policy that balances regional needs with local autonomy requires give-and-take.

But Charlotte County Commissioner Adam Cummings said regionalism is translating into more take than give for local taxpayers.

Cummings said the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s "cooperative funding policy, " which requires regional authorities "perpetually control" water if state grants finance local projects, "is a power play."

Under the policy, Swiftmud subsidizes proposals with 50/50 grants if they serve a regional need, and if water produced is administered by regional authorities -- such as the Peace River/Manasota Regional Water Authority.

Cummings favors a regional emphasis, but fears Swiftmud is manipulating water policy by consolidating control through regional water authorities.

"Once the regional authority owns and controls everything, (Swiftmud) is going to squeeze people through their fingers, " he said. "They end up making it a liability to be a member of the authority. As soon as you become a member, you lose your rights."

Such commentary is not surprising from Cummings, a longtime critic of Swiftmud and the Peace River/Manasota Regional Water Authority, on whose four-county board he once served for years as Charlotte County's representative.

But Sarasota County is citing the same objections as it negotiates with Swiftmud over financing and control of its proposed $186 million Dona Bay Watershed Management Plan.

The plan calls for diverting 15 million gallons of water a day from Cow Pen Slough, a Myakka River tributary that flows into Dona Bay, to Sarasota County Utilities' Carlton Water Treatment Plant.

Sarasota County has already spent $20 million on the project. It is seeking Swiftmud 50/50 grants to subsidize the remainder.

However, Swiftmud has balked, claiming taxpayers in its 16-county region will not pay for half of the project unless its water is "perpetually controlled" by the Peace River/Manasota Regional Water Authority.

5. New round of Hurricane Rita relief coming to Southeast Texas - Beaumont Enterprise - Beaumont, TX, USA

… executive director of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs.

He said around 500 housing assistance applicants have been approved with about 100 of those homes being completed.

At a briefing presented by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, on the Lamar University campus Saturday, a who's who of Southeast Texas local leaders and politicos were updated on how a second round of funding for Rita recovery promises to be handled in a more efficient and expeditious manner than the first time around.

"We want to make sure people that need the help, get the help, " Cornyn said.

More than 4, 000 people have applied for housing recovery assistance according to Cornyn's press release, yet only 13 had received any.

Three executive directors from area Councils of Governments explained the progress they had made in helping individuals while pointing out the struggles that have dogged the process as well.

"We went through some pretty steep learning curves, " said Shaun Davis, executive director for the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission.

While helping elderly and disabled residents fill out lengthy amounts of paperwork to complete applications certainly took its share of time, Gerber added that the Councils of Governments required applicants were compliant with 26 federally imposed restrictions as part of receiving assistance.

Gerber said he was pleased with how the three Council of Governments, the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission, DETCOG, and the Houston-Galveston Area Council distributed the first $40 million. But Gerber said with the $222 million that's going to homeowner assistance in areas affected by Rita, including $12 million earmarked for Rita-ravaged Sabine Pass, the amount of money and workload for the three entities to try and disperse with their respective staffing was simply not enough.

"We had to change the business model to move things quickly, " …

6. Speed up border crossings, binational leaders say - San Diego Union Tribune - United States

Delays costing region 51, 570 jobs, $5.1 billion

A second border crossing at Otay Mesa and longer-term improvements at the San Ysdiro and downtown Calexico ports are crucial to the region's economy, business and political leaders from the United States and Mexico said yesterday.

But they said immediate measures must be taken to reduce congestion at California-Mexico crossings.

Seeking input from the private and public sectors, organizers of the United States-Mexico Border Efficiency Conference plan to present proposals for improving the region's crossings to federal officials from both countries.

“We intend to be loud, ” said John McNeece, outgoing chairman of the Mexico Business Center of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, which organized the conference at the University of San Diego.

Border delays are costing the region billions of dollars, according to a study released last month by the San Diego Association of Governments that was commissioned by the California Department of Transportation. In 2007, the study calculated losses of $5.1 billion and 51, 570 jobs for San Diego and Baja California.

“If we don't make the improvements that are necessary, the economic engines are going to go somewhere else, ” said Pedro Orso-Delgado, director of the Caltrans regional office in San Diego.

Plans for construction of a second crossing at Otay Mesa, known as Otay East, would be linked to a proposed toll road in San Diego County, state Route 11. The new crossing, if approved, could be completed by the end of 2015, according to Caltrans.

Also discussed was an airport border crossing connecting Tijuana's A.L. Rodriguez International Airport with a U.S. terminal in Otay Mesa. The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority is exploring the cross-border terminal as a way to reduce congestion at Lindbergh Field.

7. Fix the state and the city will follow, Cicilline says - Providence Journal - Providence, RI, USA

The salad days of constant, leaping progress may soon be over in Providence, and the state and national economies and political climates are the cause, Mayor David N. Cicilline said in his State of the City address last night. But the Providence mayor thinks he has the fix for the state’s problems.

“In the past, our financial difficulties arose from internal problems — a shrinking tax base, major shortfalls from poor budgeting, or bloated government. The financial problems we face now are caused by forces outside of the city’s direct control. The city’s fiscal structure is sound, but it looks like a hurricane is headed right at us, ” said Cicilline, before the rumored 2010 gubernatorial candidate offered what he termed “suggestions” for rescuing the state from its fiscal quagmire.

Cicilline proposed overhauls of the state tax system, consolidation of school districts, regionalized public safety and public works services, and state-level initiatives to make Rhode Island more energy efficient — all coming at the state, not the city, level.

“I do not believe that our budget problems primarily result from a failure of political will. They mainly result from a failure of imagination, ” Cicilline said of the state’s problems.

The national economy is also to blame, the mayor said, pointing at how the foreclosure crisis and the high cost of gasoline and heating oil have cut the legs out from under many of Providence’s working families.

“In today’s economy, too many families are doing everything right and still being left behind, ” he said.

8. 'Regional leadership is in sync with national goals' - Times of India – India

Regional leadership in different states is fully in line with national priorities of working towards economic growth and development.

This was the underlying message on the second day of the Hero Mindmine summit on 'Re-inventing Indian Business: Agenda for Today'.

The emergence of regional parties and their growing assertiveness has altered the course of geopolitics in the country. Often it is felt that when they come to power in states, regional groups define a set of priorities that are not in tune with national priorities.

Speaking on how regional parties affect polity, BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said, "Regional aspirations have to be taken into account, and we have to learn to live with contradictions within this country.

Besides regional, there are economic disparities and linguistic differences. Also, states such as Bihar and Assam are recording 2-3% growth, while southern states like Kerala and Maharashtra are showing a double-digit growth, so divides are created on that account."

"There is another major issue here - poverty. Over 250 million people live below the poverty line, which means that they earn not even Rs 400 a month. If we apply the global average of people earning $2 a day, the figure may become 850 million. We have been struggling with the problem over the last 60 years and here as well, regional aspirations come into play. Addressing the issue of poverty will be the biggest challenge for governments to come."

Giving a background of the political system in India, he said that there are two categories of political parties: a structured and an idealogy-based or family based party.

9. Mapping and Deploying High-Speed Broadband - Stateside Dispatch - Progressive States Network

The Bush administration recently declared it has largely succeeded in supplying affordable high-speed Internet access to all Americans, despite the fact that most Americans would probably describe their Internet access as slow, expensive, and frustrating. Most analysts are nowhere near as optimistic as Bush's "Networked Nation: Broadband in America." These analysts highlight that the U.S. has fallen to 15th in world rankings for broadband connectivity and that Americans pay much higher fees for much slower speeds than most of the industrial nations in the world. Misguided regulatory policies and substandard infrastructure have helped create a sub-par broadband network in the United States.

As we have discussed in the past, broadband is an essential component of economic development, long-term energy savings and health care cost containment. With studies showing economic growth happening disproportionately in communities with strong broadband deployment, the lack of affordable and accessible broadband Internet in much of the United States is unacceptable.

Since federal broadband policy is not working, states have taken steps to determine which areas and residents are under-served and created policies to make affordable and reliable broadband Internet a reality for their citizens. For example, California, Illinois,

Some states, those with less available resources than California, have successfully enacted broadband mapping and deployment programs, by appropriating money from both general state funds and from penalties levied on telecommunication carriers/providers for state law infringements.

· For example, in Illinois the legislators funding of the High Speed Internet Services and Information Act came from re-direction of $4 million from the Eliminate the Digital Divide Infrastructure Funds from Illinois Commerce Commission, coming from the Telecom Rewrite Act of 2001, and of which $5 million was invested last fall by ICC in local and regional broadband deployment projects in rural Illinois.

10. U.S. regional communities - sub-State, State or multi-State - in news articles. Bold font words are Google search terms. Bold italic words considered worth noting. In this and section 11, 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 U.S. in a news story as well as recognizing other regional organizations. In most cases, where a full name is present, a Google search will quickly get one to that organization. News reports do not always get the organization name correct.

.10 Area business, tourism leaders make pact to market region

NewsHerald-com – Panama City, FL, USA

After 13 months of planning, the previously unknown Coastal Vision 3000 Committee on Wednesday unveiled a plan to unify and strengthen the identity of Okaloosa, Walton, Bay and Gulf counties. ... presented the committee’s proposal for “The Beach, ” the name by which the region will be marketed, ...

.11 Region to see more homeless assistance funds
Kannapolis Independent Tribune - Kannapolis, NC, USA
Community Link plans to add two social workers at its Cabarrus office to help homeless or at-risk clients overcome barriers to secure safe, ...

.12 Levee repair: major challenge
Belleville News Democrat - IL, USA
The East-West Gateway Council of Governments, which is helping local levee districts and governments address the problem, estimates the repairs will cost ...

.13 Ridenour stumps for cooperation, sales tax for roads
Modesto Bee - Modesto, CA, USA
Modesto Mayor Jim Ridenour used his State of the City address Monday as a soapbox to promote regional cooperation. The concept isn't new, but is far more but is far more often preached than practiced. We're glad the mayor gave it top billing.. ..

.14 A new picture of the Mahoning Valley
Tribune Chronicle - Warren, OH, USA
But local regional cooperation efforts don’t match what happened in Lenoir, NC, which came together as a region, offering tax incentives, ...

.15 Authority OKs regional water conservation
The Desert Sun - Palm Springs, CA, USA
The plan approved Monday by the Indio Water Authority encourages investigation of water management through regional cooperation, source substitution, ...

.16 Region could be touted as Freshwater Coast
Detroit Free Press - United States
Marketing the Great Lakes region as America's Freshwater Coast was one of many ideas that emerged Tuesday in a day-long meeting of civic leaders concerned with boosting the region's economic outlook. ...

.17 State program that offers cash to get older, polluting vehicles off to strong start

Dallas Morning News - Dallas, TX, USA
…the North Central Texas Council of Governments – which is administering the Air Check Texas program in the Dallas-Fort Worth area – has received 5, 000 applications. Fewer than half have been approved so far.

.18 Lt. Gov. Murray offers Worcester as economic template - New Bedford, MA, USA
Murray said the Patrick administration wants to "encourage regionalization" and "smart growth" using urban centers where utilities are already in place. ...

.19 Cagle backs regional transportation tax with major twist
Bizjournals-com - Charlotte, NC, USA
Casey Cagle on Thursday unveiled his version of a regional tax that could ease road congestion in metro Atlanta -- but would also use some of the money raised here to fund transportation projects elsewhere in the state. ...

.20 Funkhouser’s regional light-rail plan faces uphill battle, but he deserves credit for trying
Kansas City Star - MO, USA
Funkhouser hopes to build consensus for his regional transit plan.

.21 Imagine a network of foot ferries
Seattle Post Intelligencer - USA
Bruce Agnew is director of the Cascadia Center For Regional Development at the Discovery Institute, which led formation of the Puget Sound Passenger Ferry ...

.22 Give foot ferries the boot
Crosscut - Seattle, WA, USA
They require cross-jurisdictional agreements that are notoriously hard to execute in our Balkanized politics. They have to slow down in some critical places ...

.23 211 Phone Number For Government Services Launched In N. Va.
NBC 4-com - Washington, DC, USA
... northern Virginia residents will be able to call a 211 phone number for information about social services, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission ...

.24 Bush’s 2009 Budget Cuts $198 Million from SAMHSA - USA
Major SAMHSA programs slated for cuts or elimination under the president's FY09 budget plan for HHS include its Programs of Regional and National ...

.25 Ypsi City Council, school board pull together
The Ann Arbor News – Michigan, USA
Making good on their promise to pursue regional cooperation, Ypsilanti city and school district officials pledged during a joint meeting Tuesday to help each other save money by collaborating on projects and purchases. …

.26 Facade program money available

The Cumberland Times-News – Cumberland, MD, USA
The city of Cumberland, in partnership with Tri-County Council for Western Maryland, announces that funds are available for the Cumberland Main Street Targeted Facade Program.

.27 Macy's to eliminate Marshall Field's headquarters, consolidate regional offices

Chicago Tribune - United States

… a reorganization that unwinds the regional structure it inherited when it bought May Department Stores Co. three years ago. Seven regional headquarters will be consolidated into four, and Macy's said it will set up smaller regional offices in Chicago, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Seattle …

.28 UCSC's new Center for Integrated Water Research will help cities ...
Currents - Santa Cruz, CA, USA
The new Center for Integrated Water Research (CIWR) at UC Santa Cruz will help cities and their surrounding regions address water issues in all their ...

.29 Pending Empire zone projects mean 700 new jobs
Mid-Hudson News - Newburgh, NY, USA
“The Regionally Significant Program allows the projects to be within the county, but not necessarily the designated three municipalities which were ...

11. Other regional community news for our Local Planet.

.10 'Let's build Europe in partnership': Luc Van den Brande elected

President of Committee of the Regions

Europa Press-release

"We must jettison the hierarchical idea of Europe as a pyramid with the EU above the Member States, the Member States above the regions, and the regions above the towns and local authorities. We must strive for a new partnership between the different levels of government that allows the various tiers to work together on an equal footing in order to achieve jointly defined objectives. What we need is not a 'Europe of the regions' but a 'Europe with the regions, towns and local authorities'.

.11 Niagara politicians could downsize themselves; Committee eyes changes in regional makeup

Niagara Falls Review - Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
… That new committee's job is to make recommendations about how each of Niagara's 12 lower-tier municipalities is represented on Niagara's regional council. …

.12 Stating the case for faster broadband for Auckland
Scoop-co-nz - New Zealand
The expectation is that the alignment of all initiatives would result in cohesive broadband development in the Auckland region. ARBA has already taken steps ...

.13 KRG takes part in Government Leaders Forum
Kurdistan Regional Government - Iraq
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) was invited in January for the first time to the Government Leaders Forum in Abu Dhabi. The Government Leaders Forum ...

.14 US Obligations under the Merida Initiative
US Department of State - Washington, DC, USA
To that end, the Merida Initiative would combine each nation’s domestic efforts with broader regional cooperation to multiply the effects of our actions. ...

.15 [Comment] Sailing the black sea at last - Brussels, Belgium
Regional cooperation and exchange of best practices in these fields could potentially have a major impact on the fragile governance structures of most former Soviet countries. ...

.16 Indian biotech's global designs
Express Pharma - Mumbai, India
... India has been recognised to host the regional node in bioinformatics with particular emphasis to extend regional cooperation to SAARC countries. ...

.17 New regional commission to tackle homelessness
Canada-com - Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
A new regional commission has been formed and given the task of finding housing over the next five years for Greater Victoria's homeless. ...

.18 21st Community Council of Ministers meeting gets underway
Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation - Barbados
... the best path towards regional integration. So says Foreign Affairs Minister, Chris Sinckler addressing the 21st Community Council of Ministers meeting ...

.19 SAGIA's plan to develop new regions
Middle East North Africa Financial Network - Amman, Jordan
"This plan will help us control the flow of people to major cities from less developed regions, by providing them with direct and indirect jobs after ...

.20 Rail link plan gets mayor fired up
Northern Advocate - Whangarei, New Zealand
THE Northland Regional Council should "stick to its knitting", concentrate on flood control and not get involved in a joint venture to to secure land for the Marsden Pt rail link ...

.21 Regional investment cuts
Warsaw Business Journal (subscription) - Poland
The Regional Development Ministry cut 420 so-called key local investments submitted from all over the country, with a total value of over z³.44 billion. ...

.22 Sir James Crosby to lead drive for more northern investment
Yorkshire Post - Leeds, England, UK
The announcement came today from Northern Way, the joint venture between the regional development agencies Yorkshire Forward, Northwest Regional Development Agency and One NorthEast. ...

.23 Ministers endorse… Regional policy framework for science, technology and innovation
AntiguaSun - St' John's, Antigua and Barbuda
A new policy framework that will guide regional planning and development in key areas of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) was unanimously endorsed at a recent meeting of Caricom ministers ...

.24 SCORE takes off
Malaysia Star - Malaysia
SCORE, the country's fifth and last regional development corridor, was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in Bintulu on Monday ...

.25 Ecowas-EPA: Facts and Falacies
AfricaNews - Netherlands
… ECOWAS regional integration. In particular, the Nigerian government had tried to express her ill-feelings … for yielding to the pressures from the EU and endorsing an accord that is capable of dismembering the unity of the region....

.26 Advice on procuring lamb regionally
meatinfo-co-uk - Crawley, England, UK
... hear how buying regional meat can reduce their carbon footprint and most importantly, find out how they can afford to put it on their menu. ...

.27 Nine global regions near ‘tipping point’ – study
Legalbrief - Durban, South Africa
A team of climate experts has ranked the nine most fragile and vulnerable regions on the planet, warning they are in danger of passing ‘tipping points, ’ ...

.28 Cameroon: Celebration Focuses on Regional Integration and Peace - Washington, USA
The messages brandished this year revolved around the theme of peace and regional integration, responsible citizenship and moral rearmament in the society ...

.29 Mitchell proposes new airline alliance
Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation - Barbados
“We are talking about CSME (Caribbean Single Market and Economy) and regional cooperation and at the same time our people are not able to travel, ” ...

.30 Wharf excitement 'critical' for tourism
New Zealand Herald - New Zealand
He said yesterday that moves by the Auckland Regional Council to make the central waterfront wharf a major terminal for cruise ships and include a signature ...

.31 Community organizations saving on night school - Regional News
Schools in York Region are getting more money, but it’s community organizations that will benefit. Funding provided by the Ontario Education Ministry ...

.32 Spies Mine YouTube for Intelligence
Wired News - USA
That media has typically included "openly available information [i]nclud[ing] the Internet, databases, press, radio, television, video, geospatial data, ...

12. Blogs

.10 Light rail summit is a landslide disaster
By Jay(Jay)
There never will be regional cooperation. I also want to make metion that the Mayor wants to put together a new bureaucracy to run the thing. What about the bureaucracy of the already established Mid-America Regional Council? ...

.11 Mass Transit from Ann Arbor to Detroit: The Struggle to Break Down Barriers through the Decades
By Allison Pincus

“We just don’t understand each other in this region, ” said Greenberg. He believes that a transit system could help to begin bringing people together. …

.12 Cleveburgh watch: Regional Revenue Sharing Study
By C. Briem(C. Briem)
... you can read about a fairly organized multi-county regional revenue sharing effort here: I will have add that link to my Primer on Regionalism and Local Government Fragmentation in the Pittsburgh Region.

.13 Council's Directive to City Manager

Ward 2 Representative – Yipsilanti, Michigan
Explore a fare increase or a dedicated millage. b. Explore regional cooperation for transportation. c. Continue to work with AATA to find alternatives to reduce costs through areas such as route reductions and explore other reductions.

.14 Richard Florida on Universities and Regional Economic Development
By Jacob Christensen
Opening universities everywhere was a hallmark of Social Democratic regional policy in Sweden during the 1990s and early 2000s. Richard Florida has some sceptical words about the tendency to see universities as instruments for regional ...

.15 Finally, an energy plan worth posting
By Anglico
This includes: 1) making alternative energy use and energy efficiency major components of our public policy; 2) growing one of the nation’s leading green economies; 3) pursuing regional cooperation; and 4) changing the paradigm of ...

.16 HB 6772
Seattle Transit Blog
Financing: One of the major findings of the Regional Transportation Commission and Blue Ribbon Commission reports – that there is not sufficient funding in the system - is not addressed in SB 6772. The revenue options are limited to ...

.17 Transportation citizen committee, more money to look at taller buildings [Olympia City Council]

By emmettoconnell

… Staff is also asking for more money (up to $150, 000) to look at the issue of taller buildings along the waterfront:

.18 US State Dept. request for comments on the future of the of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

“The US State Department, in its role as coordinator for the US Government’s role in the IPCC, requests public comment on the activities and process of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in order to facilitate the US ...

.19 Economic Development and Sustainability: Hand in Hand
CCRC activities around service sharing and regional cooperation are often connected to issues of economic development. The CCRC will continue to maintain a close relationship with the LADR workshops and highlight the opportunities for ...

.20 Regional development & PSE
By Paris
I just got back from a meeting with the Nova Scotia Association of Regional Development Authorities. Executive Directors of regional development authorities from across the province got together to discuss the labour force and various ...

.21 Seattle Takes Steps to Recognize Minorities’ Role in Shaping Region
Two new museums and a new traditional gate marking the city’s Chinatown will be completed this year, acknowledging the role minority groups have played in shaping Seattle and the region.

.22 Excerpts From Today's Forum on Regionalization of Police Services in the LMD

RCMP in B.C.

The RCMP is committed to removing boundaries that have traditionally hampered the effectiveness of inter-jurisdictional law enforcement. Criminals don't care about boundaries or jurisdictional borders. The integration of all three ...

.23 Regional Council Annual General Meeting - London4Change - but changing what?
By Jon Rogers(Jon Rogers)
The winning side continued their practice of close cooperation with paid officials (delegates uncertain of how to vote were visibly introduced to certain lay activists who helpfully assisted in the completion of ballot papers - although ...

.24 Frank Sartor tries to finally kill-off local government
By WaterDragon(clarencegirl)
The Northern Rivers Echo reported last Thursday on Sartor's mad plan to completely control major regional development from Sydney or locally through his little mates club. This plan now includes the Minister taking complete control of ...

.25 PACIFIC: Push to promote regions music
The Pacific is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse regions in the world, with a rich musical culture. But its music has never managed to resonate around the world in quite the same way as African and Latin American ...

.26 Delivering Economic Prosperity in Partnership: The Crucial Role of the New Local Performance Framework
This narrative is particularly aimed at those working in the economic development field, including Jobcentre Plus, the Learning and Skills Councils (LSC) and Regional Development Agencies (RDAs).

.27 Regional monetary integration

VOX - Peter B. Kenen, Ellen E. Meade

Many regions are discussing possible monetary unions; a new book argues that they are not in the position to replicate the European experience. …

.28 Call for papers: Community-based Entrepreneurship
By Ian(Ian)
Since Johannisson and Nilsson’s (1989) seminal paper on community-based entrepreneurship, the literature on how regional development is facilitated by community interaction has grown. The increasing sentiment of people and businesses ...

13. Announcements and Regional Links

.10 Creating Regional, Cross-System Quality Improvement – Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

No single health care purchaser, plan, or provider can improve chronic care within a community on its own. To improve chronic care throughout a region or state, key stakeholders in the health care marketplace must coordinate strategies. When this alignment occurs, breakthroughs in improving health care quality can be achieved.

The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) launched its Regional Quality Improvement (RQI) initiative in June 2006 to improve chronic care in select regions by aligning purchasers Medicaid, state employers, commercial, self-insured, and others and health plans around specific quality improvement strategies. The RQI program, a two-year effort supported with funds from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is bringing multiple purchasers and health plans together to target common chronic conditions, adopt common performance measures, support common provider improvement interventions, and develop a consistent payment method to support and sustain provider interventions. Three sites the state of Arkansas; Rochester, New York; and the state of Rhode Island are participating in CHCSregional multi-stakeholder initiative.

This issue brief outlines key steps taken by the first three regions to establish a platform for improving quality throughout their regional health care systems.

.12 Air quality in megacities

Encyclopedia of Earth – eoearth-org

Ambient air pollution in an increasingly urbanized world directly threatens the health of a large fraction of the world’s population. There is growing recognition that air-borne emissions from major urban and industrial areas influence both air quality and climate change on scales ranging from regional up to continental and global. Deteriorating urban air quality affects the viability of important natural and agricultural ecosystems in regions surrounding highly urbanized areas, and significantly influences regional atmospheric chemistry and global climate change. This challenge is particularly acute in the developing world where the rapid growth of megacities (cities having population equal to or more than 10 million) is producing atmospheric pollution of unprecedented severity and extent. For example, the deterioration of air quality is a problem that is directly experienced by a majority of the 300 million urban Indians, about 30% of India’s population.


Become an EoE Contributor

14. Subscription

.10 Stitching Cincinnati together - Bizjournals-com - Charlotte, NC, USA

Later this month, University of Cincinnati President Nancy Zimpher will stand before a crowd of hundreds of local business leaders to assume her place as chairwoman of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber's board of directors.

She'll make a speech, probably dressed in UC red and black, and more than a few executives in the audience will have to wonder what in the heck she's thinking.

After all, Zimpher already runs the region's largest university, which also happens to be the Tri-State's largest employer. She's already given countless hours and endless energy to community organizations such as the Uptown Consortium, the GO Cincinnati economic development initiative, the Agenda 360 regional planning process and Strive, the education partnership working to make sure every child in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky graduates from high school prepared for college.

And she's active on the national level. She is chairwoman of the new Coalition of Urban Serving Universities network and has been working closely with the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution on its Blueprint for American Prosperity, a push for massive changes in federal policies as they relate to the nation's metropolitan areas.

.11 Group promotes regional teamwork - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (subscription) - Milwaukee, WI, USA

Amid signs of lingering regional differences, advocates of cooperative economic development assured Waukesha County officials Tuesday that the partnership County Board members quizzed representatives of the Milwaukee 7 consortium about the need to overcome obstacles between Milwaukee County and its neighbors to the west.

Supervisor Walter Kolb of the Town of Waukesha referred to recent difficulties securing the City of Milwaukee's cooperation in extending Lake Michigan water supplies to the suburbs.

"Those are the kinds of things that are going to need to be corrected, " Kolb said.

Supervisor Kenneth Herro of Oconomowoc pointed to similar regional disagreements that have stalled development of a commuter rail system linking the Milwaukee region to Chicago.

"We recognize borders, " Herro said, "and we don't work together."

Milwaukee 7 representatives Julia Taylor and Bill Mitchell responded that business leaders are looking past those conflicts and are embracing the movement toward a regionalized approach to business growth.

Taylor, president of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, said the collaborative group might not be able to overcome all disagreements among neighbors.

"There's always going to be old wounds, " she said. "You've got to keep moving forward."

Mitchell, executive director of the Waukesha County Economic Development Corp., said companies considering expanding in Waukesha County are starting to inquire about the region as a whole.

Mitchell said his organization is even shutting down its localized online site-searching mechanism in deference to the Milwaukee 7's service listing sites throughout the region.

"The rules of the game are changing, " he said.

RC: Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission

15. Google News for “Regional Community”

Other menu sections available from this link include: regions, regional, regional community, region, Regional Council, regional development and other search terms. They can be sorted by date or relevance. These are among the 50 search terms I use to produce this newsletter.

My name is Tom Christoffel. I've worked in the field of intergovernmental cooperation since 1973. As a consequence, "I see regions work." Regional Community Development News is published weekly based on news reports as of Wednesday.

Making visible analysis and actions at multi-jurisdictional regional scales is its purpose. "Think globally, act locally" was innovative in its time. Today the local scale is often too small to address today's needs and opportunities. "Think local planet, act regionally, " is my candidate paradigm. (No one said we're only allowed one paradigm.)

We can see that “regional communities” are organized locally and now act both to avoid tragedy in the commons and gain benefits. An effective multi-jurisdictional regional community has DNA: it is geographically Defined; has a common Name and its Alignment is inclusive of smaller communities and participatory in larger communities. So, by scanning this compilation, reading articles and checking organizations - you too will be able to see the regional communities that already exist.

News references are found using the Google News search service. Media article links are “fair use” to transform globally scattered reports to make regional approaches visible. Links go to the publisher and do not compete with it. Such publishers are likely to have related stories and thus be seen by new customers. “Regional” is an emerging news category. There is no charge for this service and no profit is made from its use, though any user can become more aware of the topic itself.

To read and search previous issues go to:

The term “Development” was added to the name in January, 2006.

For a free subscription use this email link – no additional information required:

For the Google Groups version go to:

Editions since April 11, 2007 can also be found at:

Questions, comments or items to feature in Regional Community Development News?

Please e-mail the editor:

Thomas J. (Tom) Christoffel, AICP Making regions visible for Leaders and Problem-solvers.