Most modern American cities and towns have been built based on cheap oil, the love of cars and back yards, a consumption-based throw-away society, and the sense that building more roads and highways solves problems.
Plus the belief, according to urban promoter Carol Coletta, “that people would never return to old, decaying cities.”
But that view is beginning to change, said Coletta, chief executive officer of CEOs for Cities [http://www.ceosforcities.org/ ] and host of the nationally syndicated radio show, “Smart City.”
“Many of the assumptions on which we built our communities in the last 30, 40 years are untrue,” said Coletta, the keynote speaker at a recent all-day smart growth conference in New Haven, hosted by 1,000 Friends of Connecticut.
The country, she said, should make rebuilding cities a priority because that’s where most of the country’s assets are found. “Strong cities are the backbone of a strong country,” Coletta said.
State Rep. Brendan Sharkey, a Hamden Democrat who serves on a special legislative committee on smart growth, told those in attendance that developing contaminated urban parcels and preserving rural farmland are much more connected than most people realize.
Sharkey said the legislative committee may propose having a special land-use appeals court, providing incentives to regions that work together and allowing for regional tax revenue-sharing from large development projects. This, he said, would encourage putting projects “where development should take place — in cities and inner suburbs.”
Mass transit and jobs
McGee supports appointing a statewide non-political commission to decide how to spend transportation capital funds, keeping the decisions out of politics and allowing for more long-range planning. … He also wants taller buildings constructed in city centers to create more housing so people of various economic means can live closer to where they work.
RC: South Central Connecticut Regional Council of Governments http://www.scrcog.org
2. Environmentalists, developers on same team in planning future - Arizona Daily Star - Tucson, AZ, USA
A visually attractive, highly functioning community is an important competitive advantage in economic development. Unfortunately, Tucson's development history is often marred by perceptions that progress is slow.
The key to overcoming these perceptions and improving the region's development processes is community agreement on which areas to develop and which areas to preserve.
We must act now so opportunities do not pass us by. Coordinated planning and responsible stewardship of the region's land resources are important to balancing growth with environmental objectives.
Often land developers and environmentalists are seen as opponents in land use planning. But what we all need to realize is that we are on the same team in planning for the future of our community. We must act as a metropolitan community and realize that we are stronger together than the sum of our parts.
Labor drives economic development, and it is increasingly in short supply. Talent today values a community with beauty, recreational opportunities, an adequate transportation system, sustainable principles and sound environmental practices.
If we can agree on where to grow and what to preserve, then we can attract and retain the jobs and talent we all want for ourselves and future generations.
TREO's [http://www.treoaz.org/ ] regional approach to development involves a strategic focus on four targeted industries that will increase the number of high-skilled and high-wage jobs in our region:
● Aerospace and defense (top 5 region in the United States).
● Bioscience (regional assets are growing, state strategy is strong).
● Solar (an emerging industry and a natural fit).
● Transportation and logistics (building on an already strategic location).
As we begin to attract these kinds of companies and jobs to our region, we must all work together to ensure that we grow strategically in a way that preserves our natural landscape while …
RC: Pima Association of Governments http://pagnet.org/
3. Leaders: Federal funding key to Ariz. Growth - ASU Web Devil - Tempe, AZ, USA
Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and ASU President Michael Crow spoke at the Downtown Phoenix campus Friday on how to handle the state’s future growth and the federal government’s role in expansion.
The discussion centered on the Sun Corridor [http://www.america2050.org/arizona_sun_corridor.html ], a region that includes Tucson and Phoenix, and how policy makers can aid in its prosperity.
This region faces infrastructure, economic, human-capital and sustainability challenges that threaten its future prosperity, Crow said. As the population grows, the region will reach social and economic critical mass, he said.
Napolitano hinted at a second economic stimulus program that could come out of Washington with the new administration. Napolitano urged the policymakers and their staffers in the room to advocate for part of the possible stimulus package to be regionally based.
“Make sure the next big money [bailout] coming out of Washington stimulates this region,” Napolitano said. “It might be the last time in a long time we get any money.”
The forum comes on the heels of a recent report released by the Brookings Institution — “Mountain Megas: America’s Newest Metropolitan Places and a Federal Partnership to Help Them Prosper.” [ http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2008/0720_mountainmegas_sarzynski.aspx ]
The report describes and assesses the new reality of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Nevada and proposes a more helpful role for the federal government in empowering regional leaders’ efforts to build a uniquely Western brand of prosperity.
“When we work together with the federal government, things work,” Gordon said.
The Brookings report focuses on the concept of megapolitans — vast, newly recognized “super regions” that often combine two or more metropolitan areas into a single huge economic, social and urban system.
RC: Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) http://www.mag.maricopa.gov/display.cms
4. 'Megaregion' a big idea - Online Athens - Athens, GA, USA
Atlanta business and political leaders Thursday touted a "megaregion" planning approach that would include Athens and stretch from Birmingham, Ala., to Raleigh, N.C.
The concept - dubbed the Piedmont Atlantic Megaregion - was unveiled by the Atlanta Regional Commission [ http://www.atlantaregional.com/ ] which facilitates urban planning in the 10 counties surrounding Atlanta. ARC argues that the megaregion will grow 70 percent by 2050 - and that the addition of 23 million people will create problems that will challenge infrastructure in the entire region.
ARC leaders foresee problems with transportation, providing quality trauma care and supplying clean drinking water for millions of people. On the other hand, the multistate region can also benefit by having a coordinated plan for attracting jobs in an era of global competition.
"It would be far better for us to lose a deal to Charlotte than to lose it to Singapore or London," said Tad Leithead, a businessman who serves on the ARC committee that proposed the megaregion approach.
As an example of how a megaregion approach could help, Sam Olens, ARC chairman and head of the Cobb County Commission, said improving the roadways between Macon, Atlanta and Dalton would improve the economy statewide by offering truckers carrying loads from Savannah a faster, more direct route to customers in nearby states.
"We talk constantly now about the port. These road improvements in Savannah are critical," Olens said. "I think that the Atlanta region gets it. We understand that we're dependent on the rest of the state."
Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver had heard about the multistate planning concept, but wasn't invited to Thursday's meeting, he said. Still, Copenhaver's sold on the idea.
Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray this week announced the administration will sign contracts with the 13 Regional Planning Agencies (RPAs) in Massachusetts to provide cities and towns, including Tewksbury and Wilmington, with technical assistance toward land use planning, economic development activities, and regionalization of municipal services.
The planning assistance, offered through the District Local Technical Assistance Fund (DLTA), is funded at $2 million for Fiscal 2009, and will be distributed among the state’s 13 RPAs. Each of the state’s 351 cities and towns belongs to one of the 13 RPAs, which all have significant expertise in facilitating regional collaboration and service delivery, and thus are well-suited use DLTA funds to help implement regional initiatives and build on past successes.
In conjunction with several other several other RPAs, the DTLA provided technical assistance to Andover, Tewksbury and Wilmington to develop a unified land use vision for 300 acres around a proposed new interchange on I-93.
The DTLA also promoted the Lowell Junction site Tewksbury as a Priority Development Site, developed overlay bylaws for Tewksbury Center, and provided technical support regarding permit streamlining, in accordance with MARPA’s “Best Practices Guide,” to Tewksbury through established Letters of Agreement.
“With municipalities across the Commonwealth facing challenging budgets, many are unable to support the kind of planning that is necessary to achieve sustainable growth and development. Many small communities have no planning staff at all,” said Marc Draisen, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), which is Metro Boston’s regional planning agency. “At least 30 percent of the funding will be used for regionalization. Consolidating municipal functions is another way for communities to save money and enhance the quality of services to residents.”
In the first round of funding, offered in 2006, DLTA funds supported several key initiatives:
· Regional planning agencies helped …
Regional Planning Agencies: http://www.mass.gov/mgis/contacts.htm#rpas
6. Regionalism, global awareness are focus at Crossroads event
Forrest City Times-Herald, AR
Two subjects — global awareness and regionalism — were much in evidence Thursday night at the Forrest City Civic Center.
The Crossroads Coalition was holding its fourth annual dinner. Del Boyette, former executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission …
“We live in a different time, and economic development is a different game,” he said. “This game will be won by those who can get beyond the Friday night football game and who wins or loses that game. We will win when we work together. And you are to be commended, with your regional approach, for getting beyond Friday night. There are a lot of areas across the country that have not been able to do that yet.”
He said global awareness means a recognition that competition isn’t necessarily in another county or state.
“In the 21st century, the economy is characterized by a global awareness,” he said. “To compete globally, you must cooperate regionally. You must understand that Nucor’s competitor may not be someone in another state but someone in another country. To compete globally, you must understand that you’re not just competing with Tennessee or Mississippi, you’re competing with the world.”
“Regionalism is not a choice, it’s a reality,” Boyette said. “And we must be collaborators and not competitors if we truly are going to be successful.”
According to Boyette, regional cooperation can be successful for a number of reasons.
“When you maximize your resources, you create a seamless presence for your customers,” he said. “And counties with limited resources can do more with less to reach a common goal. When prospects look at a community, they look at viability. Having the Crossroads Coalition as one big package makes you very viable. You are ahead of the game as the Crossroads Coalition.”…
Jackson & Woodruff Counties. White River PDD- http://www.wrpdd.org/
Monroe County Central PDD - http://www.capdd.org/
Crittenden, Cross, , Lee, Mississippi, Phillips, Poinsett and St. Francis Counties - East Arkansas PDD - http://www.eapdd.com
7. Marois promises to stimulate the regions - The Gazette (Montreal) - Quebec, Canada
A Parti Québécois government would create a $500 million fund for economic development to stimulate new and start-up businesses in Quebec's regions.
The program would extend over five years, with a possible renewal after that, and funds would be available to all of the province's 17 regions, both urban and rural.
But, in speaking to reporters at a saw mill in the picturesque town of La Baie in the Saguenay, about 475 kilometres northeast of Montreal, PQ leader Pauline Marois said Friday the Liberal government's policies have been especially disastrous for Quebec's outlying and resource-rich rural areas.
"They presented themselves in 2003 as the party of regions, but they completely abandoned them," she said, noting that the Liberals abolished the department of regions, eliminated deputy ministers for regions and abolished regional development councils.
"It's Jean Charest who cut $1.3 billion in regional economic development and weakened tax credits for resource-rich regions. And his federalist party was powerless in the face of federal budget cuts to regional economic development groups."
Marois said a Péquiste government would borrow $500 million over five years for the new regions fund, and cull Hydro-Québec royalties by a rolling amount of $5 million per year over a four-year period, to create a $50 million fund to pay for risky investments.
An aide to Marois later explained the regions fund would expect a maximum of $150 million in losses due to risky investments, and thus the government would only incur no more than a $100 loss over five years.
Marois said each region would have a portion of the fund available to it and that she was confident it would be distributed fairly and without favouritism.
8. Trust needed for regional transportation plan - Jacksonville Daily Record - Jacksonville, FL, USA
Funding. Trust. Survival. An 800 pound gorilla.
Each is a word or phrases one might hear on a game show or reality TV, but all were a part of transportation officials’ lexicon Friday during the first part of the Urban Land Institute’s “Going Regional” series, “Mobility Check: The Reality of Regional Transportation.”
Mayor John Peyton moderated a panel discussion that featured ideas on the challenges, benefits and efforts needed to create a regional transportation authority by leaders of several area agencies that deal with growth and transportation.
Panelists included Michael Blaylock, Jacksonville Transportation Authority executive director; Denise Bunnewith, North Florida Transportation Planning Organization executive director; Brian Teeple, Northeast Florida Regional Council [http://www.nefrpc.org/ ] executive director; Charles Baldwin, Florida Department of Transportation District 2 secretary; and John Thrumston, Citrus County commissioner and representative from the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority.
“We have got to come together as a seven county region,” said Peyton during his introduction. “We have got to act and to think in a regional capacity.”
Peyton then turned it over to Teeple, who provided a historical backdrop of transportation in Northeast Florida – including a 20-year-old study by the 31 members of First Coast Transportation Study Committee and its chair, Jim Winston, which had many of the same findings that transportation officials today have concluded: there is a need for a regional authority.
Funding would have come from a one cent sales tax, tolls and a gasoline tax, with 85 percent of the funds collected going toward the collecting county – yet nothing was implemented due to a change in state leadership.
Bunnewith followed Teeple and discussed the economic development that would result from such a mutual transportation relationship between participating counties. Already, she said North Florida TPO has helped fund JTA freight and waterborne studies.
For Blaylock, Peyton asked about the pros and cons of regionalization and to address why such a coalition hasn’t yet materialized.
9. Valley leaders debate Verde County - Verde Independent - Cottonwood, AZ, USA
Duane Kirby has been dreaming of a Verde Valley-based county for 30-years, he told a gathering of Verde Valley government leaders Thursday night.
Now he may have another chance to get on board. But, it is not yet clear if other participants in the Intergovernmental Meeting held in Cottonwood would join the cruise or jump ship.
Kirby is a Cottonwood City Council member and formerly served as a Yavapai County Supervisor. He said the split from Yuma of La Paz County in 1983 got locals thinking they could do it, too. That split took five years to heal, and the state has now set new rules governing break-away counties.
Kirby says, "I have a book on it."
Many at the meeting Thursday wondered whether the benefits would outweigh the disadvantages of remaining a part of Yavapai County.
While there has been a lot of talk of breaking away from Yavapai County over the years, the idea recently re-surfaced when it was discussed that Yavapai County is approaching a population of 200,000, a threshold when Arizona would require five rather than three Supervisors. Some in the Verde wonder if they would have fair representation from that split or whether the Verde would be part of two or more districts.
The issue had originally been discussed at the Verde Valley Intergovernmental Meeting held last quarter in Camp Verde.
A couple of folks, who have yet remained unnamed, decided they would assemble a guide for forming a new county, detailing the hoops needed to jump. It was described as a "research project."
… "Verde County Arizona: Preliminary Proposal for the Formation of a New County." …
The nine-page formation document suggests that key issues are 1) local control, 2) economics, and 3) mutual respect.
It outlines a process to proceed, an organization structure …
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. Contents
.01 Obama Appoints White House Speechwriting and Intergovernmental Affairs Heads
Washington Post - Washington, D.C., USA
President-elect Barack Obama continued rounding out his White House staff today, naming ... Cecilia Munoz director of intergovernmental affairs. ... Munoz ... will oversee the White House office responsible for relations between the administration and state and local governments. The 2000 MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" winner is a senior vice president at the National Council of La Raza, a leading Hispanic civil rights group. There, she has spearheaded many of the organization's immigration initiatives. Currently, she is in charge of the group's entire advocacy and legislative agenda. ...
.02 VTA sets goals for statewide Internet
Brattleboro Reformer - Vermont, USA
Representatives from the Vermont Telecommunications Authority spoke Tuesday night at the Windham Regional Commission meeting. VTA Board Chairman Mary Evslin spoke ... Act 79, passed by the Legislature about a year ago, required the VTA to come up with solutions for providing 100 percent coverage in all of Vermont. The group aims to complete the project by 2010. Evslin pointed out that no other state has ever passed this kind of aggressive legislation and that currently 50 percent of Vermont's geography has no cell phone sites. ... "It's not an income or class divide," she said. "It's an urban/rural divide." …
.03 Richmond-area leaders won't request regional road authority
Richmond Times Dispatch, VA
Richmond-area officials don't want to talk -- even theoretically -- about regional taxes for transportation when the economy is lined with potholes. After months of study, the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission declined today to ask the 2009 General Assembly to set up a regional transportation authority. ...
.04 Pittsburgh's renaissance holds lesson for Cleveland
The Plain Dealer - cleveland.com, OH
The Pittsburgh Plan: Five things that could work here
1. Regionalize. Pittsburgh has lost population, but regional ties give it as much -- or more -- clout in Harrisburg as Philadelphia. Cuyahoga County could streamline county government and forge a regional coalition for more power in Columbus.
2. Develop and use the waterfront. Like Cleveland, Pittsburgh's philanthropic and business communities have had open checkbooks. Pittsburgh often has had a sharper vision of how the money ...
.05 Patterson: Oakland not 'Detroit's ATM'
DetNews.com - Detroit, MI, USA
Expansion of Cobo is considered crucial to keeping the annual auto show in Detroit. The hall has been deemed too small to accommodate larger exhibitions, and its future has been debated for years. ... The House-passed plan would allow ownership of Cobo to be transferred from the city of Detroit to a new regional authority with a seven-member board from Detroit and the three counties. ... Patterson said Oakland County has its own money problems, and he's wary of regional projects that rely on Oakland County taxpayers to help foot the bill. "My revenues are plummeting, and I'm shrinking the size of government; we are not the cash cow we used to be," ...
.06 AUTOMOTIVE ERA: Highways
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal - Tupelo, MS, USA
... civic leaders, elected officials in the PUL Alliance and economic development professionals - also say an additional layer of good highways regionally connecting the Toyota web is essential in realizing the project's full potential. ... Bill Renick, a former state senator who leads GetSMART and is an economic developer with the Three Rivers Planning and Development District [http://www.trpdd.com/ ], said the group has endosed a highway development bank as a quasi-independent method to raise large amounts of construction cash - involving counties, cities and the state.
.07 Emerson: Return county government?
MetroWest Daily News - Framingham, MA, USA
What I am saying is that I believe that some forms of regionalization deserve serious study. Admittedly this will likely spark some "turf wars" and ruffle some feathers, but the status quo is bumping up against fiscal limits. Is a return to the "county system" the way to go? I don't know. Smaller regions? ...
.08 Burke reflects on tenure as head of regional economic development group
Kingsport Times News - Kingsport, TN, USA
The Regional Alliance [ http://www.alliancetnva.com/ ] — formerly called the Tri-Cities Economic Development Alliance, was formed in 2005 by local business and community leaders as an umbrella organization designed to market the 10-county region around the world. At the outset, the goal of the public/private effort was to strengthen the region’s economy through job creation and new capital investment. …
.090 Former mayor DeCrescenzo supports more regionalism
East Hartford Gazette - East Hartford, CT, USA
Arguing in support of regionalism, former mayor of East Hartford Robert DeCrezcenzo appears to suggest the founding of his former town was a bad idea. ... In the pro-regionalism piece, DeCrescenzo specifically references the State Legislature's 1783 decision that created East Hartford. … he was no comrade to the growing battalion of regionalistas led by the Hartford newspaper's own editorial board. ...
.091On the Local Level, a Bid to Pool Resources
New York Times - United States
And so he has found a new tack to address an old and touchy subject in the Land of Steady Habits: regionalization. Like his pro-regionalization comrades over the years, he has pointed out that Connecticut is the national example of governmental redundancy. In a land mass roughly the size of San Diego County, it has 169 towns, 169 fire departments, 169 library systems, 169 building inspection departments, and so on. ...
.10 Summit participants ponder Cape's economic, demographic problems
Cape Cod Today - South Dennis, MA, USA
But they also would have found good reason to start looking beyond the Cape's de facto motto of recent decades: "In Tourism and Retirees We Trust." Cape residents long have paid lip service to diversifying the region's economy beyond those reliable sectors. ...
.11 New county commissioner talks about his plans
Star-Banner - Ocala, FL, USA
Q. Has your criticism ... of the board as a whole and their performance and not moving forward with some of these things, do you think it's put you at odds with any of your colleagues on the County Commission?
A. The blame game is not going to do anybody any good. To sit here and try to call anybody out will not do any good. I mean, it takes more than one to tango. The issues at the county are very complex. There are very many issues that this Board of County Commission is facing. And, all I can say is I want to go in to be a team player. I want to be part of that Board of County Commission and the leadership in order to achieve reaching out and accomplishing ... the regionalization of water and sewer, solid waste and those issues.
.12 State lacks financial incentives to sell concept of school mergers
The Star-Ledger - NJ.com - Newark, NJ, USA
"We're in a completely different economic climate today," said Gerald Vernotica, who will spearhead the regionalization effort for the state Department of Education. "There has to be some type of incentive for those districts. ... We don't know if that money exists today." ...
.13 New Jersey school board officials explore district mergers
Scarlet Scuttlebutt - East Brunswick, NJ, USA
Under the law, executive county superintendents must present regionalization plans by March 2010. The focus is particularly on the smaller districts ... Yaple said that regionalization forces the merging of teacher contracts, which can also introduce new costs, since salaries would have to be equalized up to the higher rate. ...
.14 City begins series of legislative information programs
Glendale Star - Glendale, AZ, USA
Glendale Intergovernmental Programs Coordinator Ryan Peters said. “Our residents' active involvement during the upcoming 2009 state legislative session can make a difference for the benefit of our neighborhoods and the community as a whole.” ...
.15 Delaware Ranked Among Top Five States Transitioning to New Economy
The News Journal - Wilmington, DE, USA
“This report validates the efforts of the Minner Administration to ensure Delaware’s economy is structured and operates to effectively compete regionally as well as globally,” ... The Index, sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, ranks the 50 states according to how their economies are structured and their ability to operate effectively in order to compete nationally and globally. ...
.16 New Regional Biotech Association Formed
MarketWatch - USA
The New England Biotech Association (NEBA) will serve as a regional policy and public affairs voice for the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industry, committed to ensuring that New England remains a global leader in biotechnology and the life sciences. committed to ensuring that New England remains a global leader in biotechnology and the life sciences. ...
.17 Regional dispatch center in the works
Hingham Journal - MA, USA
A preliminary plan to build a four-town regional dispatch center in Hingham and to seek state grants to help accomplish this goal was endorsed by the selectmen this week. ... “This in a nutshell gives us an opportunity to be the poster child for this type of regional dispatch center through the state grant process,” Hingham Police Chief Taylor Mills said. ...
.18 Northampton County should keep faith with regional crime center
Allentown Morning Call - Allentown, PA, USA
Municipalities in the Lehigh Valley don't get many opportunities use regional approaches to improve services and to stretch public dollars. So, it's disappointing when one or another walks away from a chance to do that. Unfortunately, that may be happening again. ...
.19 Stack sounding alarm on fire company costs
The Jersey Journal - NJ.com - Jersey City, NJ, USA
A recent letter from Stack to city residents blames a $1.36 million increase in the draft budget to a hike in Union City's contribution to North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue, which serves Union City, North Bergen, West New York, Weehawken and Guttenberg. "Regionalization is not a bad thing as long as you can keep costs down," Stack said. "But when you are not in control of the costs, it is definitely a problem." ...
.20 Arts groups face big competitor
News & Observer - Raleigh, NC, USA
When it opens in a week, the Durham Performing Arts Center will be the largest indoor theater in the Carolinas -- at 2,800 seats, more than twice the capacity of the nearby Carolina Theatre and Duke University's Page Auditorium. ... "I don't think of the DPAC as competition," ... "It's so important that DPAC acknowledges the many great performing arts venues and performing arts groups that have made the entire region a real destination for great live entertainment," Klaus says.
.21 North and East Cities Move Regional Jail Solution Forward
MarketWatch - USA
The North/East Cities (NEC) municipal jail planning group announced today its intent to move forward with environmental review and public comment of six potential sites for a new regional misdemeanant jail, including working with King County to evaluate the development of an annex to the county jail in downtown Seattle. ...
.22 Regional fire authority created to oversee county's backcountry
San Diego Union Tribune - United States
A new regional fire authority that will protect more than 920,000 acres – about one-third of the county – in the backcountry became official yesterday. The action by the Local Area Formation Commission [ http://www.sdlafco.org/ ] will allow a newly created San Diego County Regional Fire Authority to oversee fire protection in rural East and North County. ... San Diego County is the most populous in the state without a regional fire department, and officials have worked for more than a decade to try to set up and find the money for a countywide agency. …
.23 Blueprint to boost regional economy
WIVB - Buffalo, NY, USA
The plan to expand the University at Buffalo by 2020 is considered the future of the Buffalo Niagara Region. But unlike other projects, business leaders say this one does not need state cash for every phase. Andrew Rudnick (Buffalo Niagara Partnership) said, "It's gonna be regulatory relief."...
.24 Editorial: Collaboration on electric cars is promising
San Jose Mercury News - California, USA
Like the chicken or the egg, the electric car faces a dilemma: What comes first, better batteries or the infrastructure needed to recharge them? ... San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland compete all the time to land high-tech companies like Tesla Motors, which San Jose successfully courted this year to locate a factory to build all-electric sedans. But the cities need to collaborate on matters like transportation, so it was encouraging to see the three mayors standing together to announce the Better Place [ http://www.betterplace.com ] partnership. In December, they're expected to sign a regional pact on climate change, another goal that needs to cross city borders. ...
.25 The new Oregon Trail: Pioneering the electric car
The Oregonian - OregonLive.com - Portland, OR, USA
It is exciting to see Oregon in a position to be one of the world's first places to test plug-in electric cars in a big, serious way. Gov. Ted Kulongoski, Portland General Electric and Nissan Motor Co. have reached an agreement that makes Oregon one of just a few sites worldwide to pioneer electric cars, starting in 2010. The Northwest Power and Conservation Council recently cited research suggesting that the cost of typical commutes in the region would drop from $7 to just 80 cents. ...
.26 Water pollution leads to septic tank ban in Malibu
The Associated Press
Water regulators have voted to ban septic tanks in the heart of Malibu, Calif., after a prolonged battle over bacterial pollution leaching into the ocean at some of the state's most popular beaches. ... the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board voted to yank the city's ability to manage commercial septic systems. ...
.27 Here’s hoping meeting spurs regional cooperation on water
Asheville Citizen-Times - NC, USA
A meeting last week between Henderson County commissioners and Asheville City Council aimed at resolving their conflict over the now-defunct regional water authority and related issues ended with an agreement to look at creating a regional water system. ...
.28 A Scenic Commute by Foot
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C., USA
A survey by the Brookings Institution rated the Washington region as the most walkable urban area in the country. Such findings are put to the test by Peter Owen, a lawyer and former chairman of a citizen advisory commission on transportation in Arlington. He works near Union Station and lives in Clarendon. Several times a week, he walks home. ... tagged along ... two hours to cover what I calculate is 5.76 miles of great views, good exercise and pleasant conversation.
.29 New Madrid Fault poses grave dangers to Missouri and region, FEMA report warns
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - MO, United States
The outlook for Missouri and Illinois is grim should a catastrophic earthquake erupt on their segment of the New Madrid seismic zone, according to a new report released to the public late last week that's part of a broader federal emergency planning initiative. ... The study provided the basis for planning scenarios used in about 30 FEMA-sponsored workshops conducted this year. A second round of workshops are planned next year, focusing on regional impacts of a catastrophic earthquake. ...
.30 Collections continue record-setting downward spiral
Cookeville Herald Citizen - Cookeville, TN, USA
For the first time in recent history, state sales tax collections for every county in the Upper Cumberland are negative, … Collections during the month of October for all 14 counties were less than figures collected during the same period last year. … "People used to say that we in Putnam County were not affected by the national economy. Well, that's not the case anymore," said Henry Bowman with the Upper Cumberland Development District [http://www.ucdd.org/] . The UCDD compiles the statistics based on data published by the Tennessee Department of Revenue. ...
.31 Regional airport concept under discussion
Mason City Globe Gazette - Mason City, IA, USA
Like pilots checking flight conditions, North Iowa officials are taking a cautious look at creating a regional airport authority in Mason City. Proponents see it as a vital step in increasing economic development opportunities for the area. Others see it as Mason City relinquishing control over an airport it has operated successfully for 60 years and wonder if the potential gains outweigh what the city would lose. The airport property is owned by the city of Mason City but is on county land between Mason City and Clear Lake. Margo Underwood, chairwoman of an advisory committee studying airport regionalization, is a strong proponent of creating the regional authority. ...
.32 California's Top Housing, Transportation and Urban Planning Experts Meet to Chart Course for Enacting New Landmark Smart Growth Legislation
"With SB 375, the Legislature and the governor have thrown the weight of the state behind some of the cutting-edge development concepts we've been testing here in the Bay Area," MTC's Steve Heminger said. "We've been working hard regionally to rein in car-centered growth, to focus development along an expanded and more robust public transit network, and to protect valuable farmland and open space. Now, with SB 375, that approach is statewide policy."
11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents
.01 ICC Asia Pacific CEO Forum Calls for Unlocking of Liquidity to Spur Global Trade
Insurance Journal, CA
The first Regional CEO Forum for Asia-Pacific held by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Hong Kong Saturday called for an immediate response to the financial meltdown by unlocking liquidity and getting trade flowing again. ... They urged Asian business leaders to play a greater role in addressing the current financial crisis and called on the global business community to make itself heard on issues of international finance, regulation, trade and improved governance." ...
.02 Brussels to speed funds for regions
Financial Times - London, England, UK
Sources at the EU executive said the new measures, which will form part of Wednesday’s European financial recovery package, are designed to bolster confidence in the public and private sectors by supplying faster financing for hundreds of thousands of projects across the regions. …
.03 Nations move to adopt 'natural assets' as top political issue
The Guardian - Nigeria - Lagos, Nigeria
Close to 100 nations have concluded a review of how science can better guide policy by examining the merits of a new scientific body able to put the loss of biodiversity, ecosystems and their multi-trillion dollar services at the top of the political agenda. Among recommendations are to carry out a preliminary 'gap analysis' on where the link between scientists and those that make policy decisions at a national, regional and global level might be strengthened ...
.04 Home grown and ready to compete
Barbados Advocate - Barbados
As the banker mentioned, BNB has grown since partnering with its Trinidadian counterpart, which is a move being advocated based on the argument that institutions of any type would be better able to maintain and even enhance their position against incoming entities, and also be able to go out into the international market and compete, if they increase their capacity by making interregional linkages. The increase in capacity could come from tapping into greater human and investment capital, raw materials, as well as strategic competitive advantages, based on the strengths of individual islands throughout the region. ...
.05 'Endangered species' tag for regional councils
New Zealand Herald - NZ
Regional councils are under fire, with Wanganui Mayor Michael Laws saying they may be an endangered species and an academic suggesting they are performing poorly. Mr Laws said New Zealand did not need three tiers of government - central Government, regional councils and local authorities - in a country of four million. ...
.06 Gül urges energy cooperation to boost peace
Today's Zaman - Istanbul, Turkey
Speaking at the International Energy Summit in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku, Gül said he strongly believed that regional cooperation in energy would also contribute to stability and improved living conditions. "Energy safety requires development of cooperation among energy producing, consuming and transporting countries, and we should turn our mutual independence in energy projects, like the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan [BTC] pipeline, into a lucrative cooperation that brings together regional powers, large companies and major players," Gül explained. ...
.07 Scholars call for fighting separatists
Calcutta Telegraph - Calcutta, India
… the objective of the seminar was to throw light on the deep rooted sources of powerful separatist and disruptive forces like hatred, communalism, racism, regionalism, corruption and unscientific approach to governance. ...
.08 Apec more integrated
Straits Times - Singapore
ASIA-PACIFIC economies are now more regionally integrated than in 1990, a think tank examining developments in the region has found. …A study of individual economies showed that the least integrated are Indonesia, China and the United States. Economies which upped its connection to the region the most were Hong Kong, New Zealand, Vietnam, Canada and Australia. ...
.09 Mixed views as Rudd talks up regional forum
The Age - Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has conceded that Asian and Pacific governments have differing views on how his planned new regional community should work. In a speech to business leaders at APEC's CEO summit, Mr Rudd continued his push for the creation of a group capable of tackling all of the challenges - economic, political, security and environmental - the region would likely face in the "Asian century". ...
.10 Decisions Needed: ASEAN and Asian Regionalism
Pinoy Press - Manila, Philippines
Energizing US relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is essential to build healthy regionalism and advance key interests with U.S. allies and strategic partners, especially Indonesia, not to mention India and China. ...
.11 Industrial Animal Agriculture is 'Eating Our Future'
MarketWatch - USA
... "Eating our Future: The environmental impact of industrial animal agriculture." The report details how current agricultural practices in the U.S. and elsewhere contribute to the environmental, economic and social crises faced by developed and developing countries alike, and makes a call for shifting to humane and sustainable models of production. ... In his foreword to Eating our Future, Dr. RK Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, suggests two ways to arrest the trend of increasing meat consumption, ...
.12 Bulgaria's President to take part in SEE economic forum
Sofia Echo - Bulgaria
On November 21, Bulgarian President Georgi Purvanov will participate in the fifth Regional Economic Forum for South East Europe held in Ohrid, Macedonia, ... bring together the presidents of Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro. ... founded as a non-governmental initiative of the business, the academic community and distinguished politicians from the region ... point of focus are the challenges of European Union accession. ...
.13 The Stanley Foundation: Challenges to Effective Multilateralism: Comparing Asian and European Experiences
MaximsNews Network - New York, NY, USA
... scholars from both regions compared and contrasted Asia and Europe, and agreed that such a comparison should not needlessly privilege one region’s experiences at the expense of the other. Much of the discussion focused on the few similarities and the myriad differences between Europe’s and Asia’s approaches to regionalism and institution building. ...
.14 Bring back the days of Emergency
Merinews-com - India
Today, we have become exasperated at the way politicians run the country and how the general public is tormented by regionalism or by religious fanatics. At times like these, we long to bring back the days of emergency because right now our political leaders have stretched democracy to its limits. Agitations continue to disrupt normal lives and political parties have no other agenda than to play games to preserve their vote banks. ...
.15 Regional autonomy a driver for conspiracy, regional corruption
Jakarta Post -Indonesia
The regional autonomy law, which disburses trillions of rupiah from the state budget to regions, has encouraged many local officials, councilors and businesspeople to conspire to create fictitious projects and procurements to embezzle state money. A survey conducted over the past year by Transparency International Indonesia (TII) on 10 cities and regencies across the archipelago has found that corruption in procurement projects and regional budget arrangements remains prevalent in most regions. ...
.16 Ethiopia: Regional Workshop on Border Management and Irregular Migration
Organisation de la Presse Africaine (Communiqué de presse)
The workshop aims to build on recommendations of the Inter-State and Intra-Regional Cooperation Conference and the IGAD Regional Consultative Process (IGAD-RCP), which was launched in Addis Ababa earlier this year by representatives from the IGAD member states. ...
.17 Corridor governments react to Squamish canning regional growth strategy
Pique newsmagazine - Whistler, BC, Canada
The RGS is a product of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District. Planners there began the process in 2003, and the document, which seeks to rein in urban sprawl in a bustling corridor, was accepted by Whistler, Pemberton and all other areas on the SLRD map. ...
.18 Welsh regions reject Union deal
BBC Sport - UK
Wales' four rugby regions have rejected the Welsh Rugby Union's latest draft of a new Participation Agreement. ... also accused the Union of trying to introduce "franchising by the back door" to the four Welsh regions - Cardiff Blues, Newport Gwent Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets - again refuted by the WRU. ...
.19 Brits give green light for home improvements
Easier (press release) - Chester, UK
Regionally, those in the South East are the most eco conscious, with over one in 10 (14%) of all home improvements using reclaimed materials, ...
.20 Abu Dhabi leads efforts to promote water education regionally
AME Info - United Arab Emirates
The training is part of a flagship regional project that was launched in 2006 of which EAD is the international coordinator. ... The project's aim is get Arab youth more interested and more active when it comes to water issues in their part of the world. ...
.21 'Too little' TV made in regions
BBC News - UK
The Pact report said production in many other English regions had also dropped, and that much of what was being made was low-cost, high-volume programming such as quiz shows and sports coverage. ...
.22 Sask. health regions get cash for upgrades, repairs
Canada.com - Don Mills, Ontario, Canada
Upgraded infrastructure funding for Saskatchewan's health regions is resulting in critical safety upgrades and repairs at health facilities ... Each health region determines its most urgent priorities, and contracts with suppliers to get the work done. The Saskatoon Health Region will receive $34.2 million to invest in repairs and upgrades.
.23 Holodomor – an unrecognized stratocide*
RT - Moscow, Russia
The food crisis of 1927-1928 made it evident that the coexistence of a self-sufficient country peasant and the Communist Party officials was impossible. … It was not a national but a social group, despite its geographic or regional boundaries, became a target for a massive instance of monstrous ...
.24 Russian analyst predicts decline and breakup of US
RIA Novosti, Russia
A leading Russian political analyst has said the economic turmoil in the United States has confirmed his long-held view that the country is heading for collapse, and will divide into ... six parts - the Pacific coast, with its growing Chinese population; the South, with its Hispanics; Texas, where independence movements are on the rise; the Atlantic coast, with its distinct and separate mentality; five of the poorer central states with their large Native American populations; and the northern states, where the influence from Canada is strong. ... asked how Russia should react to his vision of the future, Panarin said: "Develop the ruble as a regional currency. Create a fully functioning oil exchange, trading in rubles... We must break the strings tying us to the financial Titanic, which in my view will soon sink." Panarin, 60, is a professor at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has authored several books on information warfare.
.25 Microsoft to Offer Community Games in New Regions
TeamXbox - Brisbane, CA, USA
... independent, student and hobbyist developers in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand will have the opportunity to distribute their titles on the new Xbox LIVE Community Games Channel ...“If our annual Dream-Build-Play competition taught us one thing, it is that there is such a wealth of creativity and imagination in this region, and all over the world, that should be shared with millions,” General Manager of the XNA Boyd Multerer said. “Now even more developers can participate in what we expect to be a worldwide movement to truly democratize game development.” ...
12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents
.01 Will Regionalism Ever Happen in Greater Hartford?
Greater Hartford Real Estate Blog
This morning I attended a Key Issues Forum focusing on the idea of regionalism, held at the University of Hartford. The event was co-sponsored by the Courant and UHart’s Center for Integrated Design. The panel of speakers was a good ... How can I help on a local level? What can I be doing, as an individual, to help promote regionalism? Waiting for the state government to come up with a solution is a nice idea and all, but if I want to do something today, or everyday, to promote regionalism, what is it? I didn’t hear any ideas related to what I can do and I find it frustrating. I guess writing this blog post is a starting point. If you want to spread the word, please pass along this post to others. …
.02 Key Issues Forum on Regionalism
Amy Bergquist of the Greater Hartford Real Estate Blog wrote a post today about a panel discussion on regionalism that took place early this morning at the University of Hartford. ...
We also need more bloggers covering events like this of regional interest to get the word out, as Bergquist has helpfully done. Who will take the lead on regionalism?
.03 Community Indicators for Your Community
Community Indicators Blog
The Jacksonville Community Council (JCCI) understands indicators and community change, with 23 years of producing the annual Quality of Life Progress Report for Jacksonville and the Northeast Florida region, and two decades of helping other communities develop their own sustainable indicators projects. ...
Report Release: Northwest Arkansas Community Indicators Report
By Ben Warner
We've been seeing a growing trend of community foundations publishing community indicators reports. This is particularly exciting because it paces private philanthropic giving within an overall framework of community improvement, and has the added benefit of encouraging even more charitable giving to address clearly identified community needs. ... I liked their explanation of why they needed to look at the indicators on a regional basis. They said: A regional perspective on the quality-of-life in Northwest Arkansas is important because many issues transcend more limited territorial boundaries. Certainly, the Northwest Arkansas region consists of multiple local jurisdictions including counties, cities, townships, and school districts, with each having their own local planning autonomy. Nevertheless, there are a number of critical problems that can only be addressed regionally. In recent times, the Northwest Arkansas Council has made extraordinary efforts to address the hard infrastructure needs of the region (e.g. air and water quality, traffic patterns, transportation, growth) by adopting a regional approach. ...
.04 European Cluster Policy - What’s in it for the regions?
Clusters are attracting more and more attention from policymakers in their quest to improve regional competitiveness. The development of world-class clusters has now also become an EU policy priority as illustrated recently by the European Commission’s Communication on “Powerful clusters: Main drivers of Europe’s competitiveness”, published on 17 October 2008. ...
.05 What’s in a (Station) Name?
Metronauts (an open community of people from across the greater Toronto region)
Station naming has been historically simple since higher-order transit lines were relatively few, but now that higher-order networks are taking real shape in a way that is unprecedented in the region (if not the country), problems that have never been an issue before are starting to creep into view, and such problems must not be allowed to fly beneath the radar. With all the proposals coming forward over such a wide region, a region that is supposed to be integrated, coordinated, even unified, more importance than just geographic relevance now becomes placed upon the naming of higher-order transit stations, due to the scale the network is growing into. If conflicts sprout up in the network, the risk exists that riders, particularly new riders (ever so important in getting a better modal split in the region), will be confused.
.06 How to balance the Dayton budget- and get union cooperation
By David Esrati
These are all steps toward regionalism and to eliminating departments that will be redundant once we make the inevitable move to a regional unigov. The unions might not like it- but, they may not have a choice.
.07 Land Use Planning - Boy are there some nuggets in here!
But whatever it is, when we look regionally, it is set up as a win/lose and we have to get past that. The RTA was successful because it was a win/win. It wasn’t the perfect package, but everybody could agree on it. ...
.08 Measure WW Passes
East Bay Regional Park District
Thank you Alameda County and Contra Costa County voters for supporting your Regional Parks. On November 4, Measure WW was approved by over two thirds of you. This Regional Open Space, Wildlife, Shoreline and Parks Bond will provide ...
.09 Is It Time for Forced Regionalism?
By Matt Bova
With talk of things such as an increase in the gas tax and cuts in school and local aid gracing the front pages of New York’s newspapers, there has been surprisingly little talk of making any lasting an meaningful changes to our state. ... Regionalism advocate Kevin Gaughn’s website TheCost.org, says that of the over $7 million of sales tax that is sent to village governments, just over $5 million is used to sustain village politicians. ...
.10 Regionally speaking
Make My Vote Count
John Prescott's plans for Regional Assemblies may have long gone out the window, but finally something is being done to start redressing the balance of all the undemocratic and little accountable regional quangos and development bodies. ... it is somewhat ironic that we will have regional committees allocated proportionally to a unproportional national result. …
.11 Financial Crisis Provoking Regionalist and Separatist Challenges to Moscow
Window on Eurasia
Prime Minister Putin took three steps to try to bring the regional leaders to heel. First, he denounced them for failing to spend money wisely, thus attempting to shift the blame away from his government onto theirs, an effort that may play well in Moscow but is unlikely to beyond the ring road. Second, he announced that regions in the future will be given extra money only if ... The clearest indication that regionalism and separatism are on the rise in the Russian Federation, however, came from another quarter: ...
.12 taking out the garbage [minding mafias]
specialists in violence - an irregular news round-up for non-practitioners
Regionally, the battle is a chance for the Pakistani Army to rebut allegations that it is dragging its feet in the fight against international extremism. Internationally, the fight is crucial for the 40-nation coalition fighting in ...
.13 237 - Regionalism and Religiosity
Cuius Regio, Eius Religio - this Latin saying applies to Europe, and to the principle that ended religious warfare: “Whose region (it is), whose religion (shall predominate)”. But it sprang to mind when seeing this map of the US, showing the leading church bodies per county. The map demonstrates the important link between region and religion, or to put it more precisely: where you live is a predictive factor as to where you worship. ...
.14 Americal Culture regions
As a supplement of some of my posts, I've stitched together some maps from American Ethnic Geography. It should make everything clearer (the Midland region might some incoherent to you, but most of the Scots-Irish disembarked around Philadelphia and pushed inland and then expanded throughout the Upland South). Note: Map displays.
.15 Cameroon needs states, not regions
In the federal system, the people vote their own chief executive (prime minister or governor) who owes allegiance to his electorate and is answerable to them. In the present system (the unitary government), the governor or chief executive of the region is appointed by the president and he owes allegiance to the president and not to the people of the region. He is just a senior civil servant who can be sacked or transferred by the president at will. ...
.16 The Whats and Hows of Global Brands
4) Organise. Developing the right structures, systems, processes and roles to align behaviours in the right manner. These should encompass looking and leveraging of commonalities, and positioning them appropriately depending on whether they are at the global, regional or local levels.
.17 Planning Support Systems for Cities and Regions
Smart Growth Online
In "Planning Support Systems for Cities and Regions", a book from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, editor Richard K. Brail invites the reader to join in a virtual dialogue with its authors -- educators, theorists, model builders, and planners -- about technology and the social context in which technology is employed. ...
13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents
Planetizen is pleased to release its eighth annual list of the ten best books in the planning field. With titles covering some of the most timely issues in planning -- from form-based codes to exploding growth in China -- the list gives readers an overview of the best ideas and writing in the field.
The Planetizen editorial staff based its 2009 edition list on a number of criteria, including editorial reviews, sales rankings, popularity, Planetizen reader nominations, number of references, recommendations from experts and the book's potential impact on the urban planning, development and design professions.
See "Top 10 Books - 2009" http://www.planetizen.com/books/2009
.02 2008 Western Regional Economic Development Conference - December 9-11, Sacramento, California – Northern California Center for Economic Development
Three themes to this year's conference: 1. Nuts & Bolts of Grant Management; 2. Sustainable Energy; 3. Visionary Economic Development
.03 Regionalization: Forced, Voluntary and Somewhere in Between (PDF) - Spring, 2004, by Kathy Jesperson, Editor, On Tap
“I believe that Kentucky has done an excellent job in the area of regionalization,” says Larimore. “In 1978, Kentucky had more than 1,700 public water systems (PWS). Today, the state has approximately 650 PWS, serving approximately 90 percent of the population.” According to the definition that the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA) uses, regionalization means:
- expanded service areas that take in a large geographic area or multiple systems;
- multi-jurisdictional utility commissions, special districts, authorities, or corporations;
- consolidated operation or management of multiple systems or onsite systems; or
- merging, consolidating, or combining two or more existing facilities or systems.
Larimore notes that in Kentucky, local cooperation and initiative direct the vast majority of successful system consolidations and mergers. But, he notes that a key ingredient for any successful regionalization project or endeavor is strong leadership. “Local elected officials ...
.04 Community Action Network Founding Assembly (Meeting)
Welcome to the organizational founding meeting of the Community Action Network. "CAN" is the action component to our affirmation: YES WE CAN.
CAN will use myBO to build a nationwide network of local community action teams to further the work of our President Obama and his Administration.
CAN will organize in San Francisco as a model team, for others elsewhere to replicate, as we boldly move forward Locally, Regionally, as State Citizens, and in a new National Citizens Congress. We hope the Neighborhood Teams reform and join us, in monthly meetings, and as quarterly Regional Assemblies. On alternating six month terms, we envision a State Assembly held once a year in each State's Capitol, and a National Citizens Congress to be held once a year in Washington DC. …
To search on topics like those in Regional Community Development News use this custom search engine which utilizes regional related sites. Entering the term economy returned 519 items; “regional economy” returned 663 items. Please recommend links for inclusion.