The polarized politics of the past half century have often undermined our best efforts to address the nation’s toughest challenges.
Nowhere has this been more evident then in our attempts to create partnerships among central cities (often politically blue), surrounding suburbs (variations of purple), and fringe rural areas (often red). Negotiating strategies to take advantage of common economic opportunities or thwart common environmental threats is trying. Reaching agreements to deliver cost-effective road, transit, sewer, water, and other infrastructure, and services, is difficult. Addressing social challenges, such as fiscal inequities between rich and poor jurisdictions, is almost impossible.
And that’s just in more urban regions. Pursuing partnerships between more urban regions (often blue) and more rural regions (often red) is usually deemed politically suicidal.
As President Obama strives to build bridges across the red/blue divide, a key pillar of that strategy needs to be regional cooperation.
A decade ago, I became the Executive Director of the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) and inherited a large/small, but mostly urban/rural, divide among members. My members were the regional councils of governments that guide transportation, air/water quality, and land use planning and deliver common services at the multi-jurisdictional level. Some of the approximately 500 regional councils across the country are predominately urban or rural, but many are an urban/rural mix.
NARC sponsored activities to bring the two factions together, but with little success. In fact, many of the smaller, more rural regional councils had already left NARC and joined the National Association of Development Organizations.
What NARC could not achieve internally has begun to happen, as regions respond to the challenges of the new century. More urban regions became interested in preserving their rural fringes, to slow profligate sprawl growth and promote infill development that utilizes existing infrastructure and services.
Simultaneously, more rural regions started encountering the same economic, environmental, and social challenges as the more urban ones, such as absorbing new immigrants from other regions and overseas. Local leaders and citizens in both sets of regions realized that they could not address their own challenges, especially tough ones like affordable housing, if they could not engage all parts of their regions -- red, blue, and purple -- in resolving them.
Moreover, more rural and more urban regions began to realize that they needed each other. …
It's the talking point that just refuses to go away - is St Helens on the verge of becoming an annexe of
Less than two months after two high-profile local politicians blasted proposals to merge St Helens into a new Greater Liverpool area, the Government has devolved extra powers to St Helens Council - because the borough falls within the 'Liverpool city-region'.
A new Multi-Area Agreement signed by the Prime Minister and council leaders at
It is hoped the new cross-council strategy will help safeguard jobs and support people coming off benefits to create 'a thriving international city region by 2020'.
Campaigners fear the move is the first step towards creating a Greater Liverpool but council leader Brian Spencer insisted the town would always retain its identity, describing the agreement as 'common sense'.
Chris Dawson, chairman of the Friends of Real Lancashire pressure group, reckons this latest move could be the first step towards the creation of a new 'Greater Liverpool' region.
He said: "On the surface, it would seem this is just a means of co-ordinating services that are already shared by the constituent local authorities. Only time will tell, but there may be a more sinister agenda."
3. County moves to update comprehensive plan - News-Sun -
The Highlands County Commission voted 5-0 to approve a contract with the Central Florida Regional Planning Council http://www.cfrpc.org/ to update the countywide comprehensive plan.
Opponents to the contract claimed that the county did not need to expend the extra $250,000 for the contract, and that the action was directed at moving forward a couple of large development projects around the
"Our track record with DCA is not very good. That is one of the reasons why I asked CFRPC to come in and assist us with our comprehensive plan," said County Administrator Michael Wright.
"Another reason is that we are required by statute to update our comprehensive plan, and we have less than a year to do that. Currently, we can not go forward with any of our amendments until we update our plan, so we are for all effects stopped for any future development," Wright said.
But some citizens at the meeting voiced their disagreement.
"It's a joke. It's a scam. That it got this far is evidence of misconduct. There is no reason what so ever to pay the regional council $75,000 on April 1. They have done nothing yet. Don't you pay for what you get? The scope of work is an absolute mess. This is going to require that you put on more people anyhow and this kind of spending without proper planning is ridiculous," said Preston H. Colby.
An additional item arose about the vote surrounding this contract by Councilman Jeff Carlson, who is the president of the Central Florida Planning Council (CFPC), the controlling board for the Regional Planning Council.
"Some of these records that the taxpayers are paying for will not be public record, is that correct?" Colby asked in his extra time allotted …
4. Coweta returns to idea of countywide chairman - The Citizen Online -
Coweta County Commissioners last week took up the issue of having a countywide chairman to handle the growing need of regional representation in metro affairs that will increasingly impact Coweta. The idea of having a countywide chairman began more than a year ago. Though no decision was reached Feb. 26, it seemed clear that the board, in general, looked favorably on the idea.
“I think it’s vital to be able to attend (out-of-county) meetings and be the voice of the community,” said District 3 Commissioner Randolph Collins. “I thought at first it could be part-time, but I think now it could be full-time. The chairman has growing responsibilities.”
District 2 Commissioner Tim Lassetter recommended that a list of pro’s and con’s on a full-time chairman be devised to help identify and clarify issues.
“It would be hard to justify paying a full-time chairman in these economic times, though that would likely be needed,” Lassetter said. “So we would need to spend some time discussing it before making a decision. We should also look at how other counties with full-time chairmen do it.”
Also during the discussion, Collins suggested that a position of countywide chairman should include term limits and that the board should establish an accompanying job description.
“A full-time position could draw good, needed attention to Coweta,” Collins said. “It’s time for Coweta to grow positively and impact the region. I think Coweta will be the next Gwinnett or Cobb.”
Chairman Paul Poole said he did not personally want to see a change in the current structure, noting that regional leaders will still run organizations such as Atlanta Regional Commission. [http://www.atlantaregional.com/] But it should be put on the ballot for the citizens to decide,
5. DOT Chief Pushing Light Rail As
Throughout the winter, new strategies for improving
… The chief appeal is the lure of economic recovery, with transit advocates suggesting that better rail systems would spur commercial development and position Connecticut to grow — and sustain its relatively high quality of living — when the deep recession lifts.
In appearances around the state, Transportation Commissioner Joseph Marie is citing successes of other states as a powerful reason to beef up
"Eighteen cities opened light rail systems since 1985, and all but one have doubled or tripled in size. In
If light rail and commuter rail systems are designed well and located strategically, they draw clusters of high-quality commercial, housing and retail development around their stops, he said.
Creating better rail links within the state is vital to keeping young workers, attracting upscale employers and reviving languishing cities such as
"Rail can restore the centrality of cities," Garrick told the conference. "If
Garrick is endorsing Rep. David McCluskey's drive to begin passenger service on the Waterbury-Hartford line, a link that McCluskey envisions as part of a desperately needed regional rail network tying together all of New England and New York. ...
6. Advantage West Midlands has a new boss, but for how long? -
He has been appointed chair of Advantage West Midlands, the government quango with a £300 million budget which is responsible for supporting the region's economy.
But for how long will he be in the job? As the Birmingham Post reported earlier this month, Conservatives have announced that a Tory government would abolish bodies like Advantage West Midlands, which are known as regional development agencies.
The report has prompted some dissent - as did a story I wrote last year, during the Conservative conference, which predicted the announcement - from people who dispute that abolish is the right word.
The Tory proposal has two parts. First, they will remove the powers of regional development agency, except those directly related to economic development. The agencies will no longer play a role in housing or planning, for example.
Clearly, this does not mean they will be abolished.
But the second part of the Tory proposal is to invite councils to take over the remaining responsibility - economic development - and transfer it to new organisations they create themselves, called enterprise partnerships.
These will cover boundaries determined by local authorities, instead of huge regions such as the
If you like, you can argue that these are a modified version of regional development agencies rather than something brand new. Either way, everyone involved in economic development in the
Here is what the Tory proposal says, in their own words: …
7. Glut of empty hotel rooms indicates enough is enough - The Patriot-News - PennLive.com -
When is too much just too much?
On the basketball court, you can throw your hands into a "T," make for the bench and take a break. …
How refreshing it was to hear the chairman of the Hershey Regional Visitors Bureau utter the unfashionable when he said recently that we should temporarily stop building hotels in the midstate.
Too many hotels and too few guests are creating a glut of empty rooms. Occupancy and revenue rates are dropping as a result. Now that's a warning that should perk up official ears: Rooms that stay empty lead to buildings that go vacant.
King's solution? Trade those economic Band-Aids for an outright ban on construction. No new hotels until at least 2012.
But wait a minute, you say. Won't the free market's reliance on matching supply with demand ultimately take care of this problem? Go a few months without customers and any business will fail, right? New prospects will be forced to simply reconsider their plans.
Unfortunately, this is where real regional planning breaks down. …
In January, for example, a Swatara Twp. hotel project received a $2.3 million loan that the state Department of Community and Economic Development promised to back if the business fails. While touted as the first midrange hotel to be built in the township in the last 15 years, its 74 rooms might do little more than make the problem worse.
RC: Tri-County Regional Planning Commission - http://www.tcrpc-pa.org/
8. Group hears of ways to boost tourism -
… Five-County Regional Tourism Steering Committee … Judy Walden, of Walden Mills Group, compared tourism with slices of the day, saying wherever tourists go, they participate in seven slices everyday, which consist of meals, activities and lodging.
She said, geo tourism is combined with eco-tourism, cultural, heritage and civic tourism.
“Geo tourism means, not just saving the planet, but saving your place,” Walden said.
In the past, when people went on vacation, they wanted to go, see and do, but the country has changed.
“Americans in the past five years have absolutely worn themselves to a frazzle,” Walden said. “As a culture (and) as a people, we are exhausted,” Walden said. “The new pattern in travel is to go, see, immerse. People don’t want to go, go, go. When they get somewhere, they want to connect.
“Those travelers want to know who you are, what you have to offer, pay a fair price to experience it and play by your rules,” she said. “The first thing you want to ask yourself is ‘what do we want to share with travelers?’”
She advised those attending to use the history to lure tourists into the area.
“One of the biggest draws (of tourism) is culinary,” Walden said. “You have the only wine for miles around so I’m looking at the Abbey and asking why not food and wine pairings.”
“By far, the biggest trend in
The third trend is traveling on weekends as the norm.
“Data shows that Americans are taking four to five long weekends in a year,” …
The tug of war for new
In back-to-back hearings this week, North Texas lawmakers lobbied for new public law and pharmacy schools in Dallas, affordable educations largely absent in the region.
They face stiff competition from
"Do we want
Wednesday's hearing before the House Higher Education Committee, which Branch chairs, was a contest of sorts, as regions competed for the superlative "Most Underserved."
The UNT law school, which died in the House on a last-minute technicality in 2007, is
Rep. Helen Giddings, D-Dallas, said the state is already short on pharmacists. Today,
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
.01 Cobo deal's defeat means saying good-bye to regionalism
Detroit City Council's rejection of the Cobo deal will affect much more than the auto show, thousands of jobs and a piece of downtown real estate. This shortsighted action could hamstring for years to come the regional cooperation needed to move southeast
.02 COBO VICTORY!
Michigan Citizen -
It was a stunning blow to non-Detroit interests including Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano. On Feb. 24, Detroit City Council voted 5-3 to reject the sale of Cobo Hall to a regional authority. Grass-roots Detroiters packed council chambers, speaking passionately against the give-away of yet another city asset. “This is about what is best for my constituents,” resolution author Council President Monica Conyers said in a release after the vote. “There is $2 billion coming to
.03 A regional-collaboration suggestion box for
The Plain Dealer - cleveland.com -
... region's huge number of governments --
.04 NC Legislature must make boundary changes again
The Legislature will have to change its district boundaries a fourth time this decade based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision Monday involving racial gerrymandering and a state requirement barring districts from crossing over county boundaries. The nation's highest court upheld a 2007 state Supreme Court decision that found boundaries for a House district in Pender and New Hanover counties were illegal. ... About 25 states have some restrictions or guidelines in their laws relatively similar to
.05 Institute for Local Government Releases New Publication
Nation's Cities Weekly -
The Institute for Local Government has published "A Local Official’s Guide to Intergovernmental Conflict Resolution," which aims to help local agencies resolve the problems and challenges that emerge when they find themselves in a dispute with one another. ... This guide contains information on the causes and consequences of inter-agency disputes, discusses different conflict resolution strategies to address these differences and offers guidance on finding and selecting a conflict resolution provider. ... publication is available online without charge at http://www.ca-ilg.org/intergovtconflictresolution
.06 Intergovernmental partnership aims to limit risks in stimulus spending
The Partnership for Intergovernmental Management and Accountability, which comprises high-ranking financial management officials in federal, state and local governments, has published a number of documents and assessment tools [http://www.agacgfm.org/intergovernmental/resources.aspx]to help agencies monitor funds spent under the economic stimulus package. ...
.07 Council lauds good community work
Several regional businesses, organizations and people received awards for various development and community projects, courtesy of the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments. The agency gave out nine awards for leadership, planning, collaboration, volunteerism, career development and employment, among other topics. It's a way to honor people and organizations for good community work, said Matt McCauley, the agency's associate director. ...
.08 Do More With Fewer: Consolidation Of Agencies Could Bring Regional Efficiency
... Gov. M. Jodi Rell's proposed $50 million regionalism grant program is a good thing, as far as it goes. But it misses a broader opportunity. ... The threshold problem with the regional planning organizations is that there are too many of them. The state is divided into 15 planning regions, which are organized as regional councils of elected officials, regional councils of government or regional planning agencies.
.09 The region’s bureaucracy is unwieldy
I recently suggested that our region could have a city-county form of government. With an open mind and a spirit of collaboration, I welcome a conversation that could result in lessened bureaucracy, a fair allocation of resources, greater efficiency of service and, ultimately, a budget that is easier to balance year to year. ... According to an 18-year old report by the San Diego Region Citizens’ Commission on Government Efficiency and Restructuring, our region is governed by more than 135 jurisdictions, including more than 50 agencies that fight fire, eight library systems and 10 police forces. There are 43 school districts, more than 25 Mello-Roos districts, more than 80 assessment districts within cities, and 17 governmental units established by state legislation. ...
.10 We need more cooperation, not a merger
.11 Bumpy ride
Average daily ridership for the year was 7300, according to the San Diego Association of Governments. That's about 70 percent of the 10166 that SANDAG had most recently projected for the first year of service. ... Gary Gallegos, executive director of the San Diego Association of Governments, the region's transportation and planning agency, said ridership projections based on computer modeling may have been off, but a declining economy affected ridership. Gallegos noted that transit ridership peaked when gasoline prices exceeded $4 a gallon. “I know people get hung up on the numbers after the first year, but this is a long-term investment,” Gallegos said. “We see this rail link as critical for this whole (transportation) system.” Gallegos said funding for public transit is a problem that needs a solution. “Right at the very moment when we ought to be trying to increase service because of tough economic times (and) high unemployment ... we're having to cut service,” Gallegos said. “It speaks to the fact that the structure we have for paying for operations is literally broken.”
.12 Suozzi pushes for regional bus service
Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi laid out his support at a forum Friday for a state commission's report seeking a regional bus service for a dozen downstate counties, including
.13 Cities frown on 'poaching' among businesses
Stow Sentry -
-When a community lures a business from another town in
.14 Discussions continue on dispatch contract
Stow Sentry -
Mayor Christopher Grimm planned to meet with Stow Mayor Karen Fritschel March 6 to discuss the former
.15 Bay Area authorities team up for stimulus money
Bay Area authorities are rushing to put together a regional effort to maximize the amount of federal stimulus cash that flows to the area. ... to make their best case for that money, several groups will work with the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, which has been tapped by the state to draw up a regional plan that shows where the Bay Area could best spend the money and what impact the cash would have. ... The economic institute said it will work with groups like the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the
Wired News -
.17 Rail connection plans for D/FW re-evaluated
The transportation council sets transportation policy for the council of governments. Its findings will be considered by the Dallas Area Rapid Transit board, which has the final say on the Orange Line's route. ... Changes on the Orange Line's final segment could increase the price by as much as $150 million, DART officials estimate. ...
.18 SCDOT seeking comment on stimulus bill projects
WMBF News -
The South Carolina Department of Transportation is seeking comment from the public regarding Economic Stimulus Bill projects for Resurfacing, Interstate Maintenance, Safety/Pavement Markings, Bridge Replacement, and Rural Mass Transit. ... available for public review ... at the following locations: Appalachian Council of Governments ... Lower Savannah Council of Governments ... Upper Savannah Council of Governments ...
... the Atlanta Housing Forum was a somewhat independent forum that has operated for 20 years, offering meetings at the Atlanta Community Food Bank. AHF has worked closely with the separate
.20 Henry gets grant from
Henry Daily Herald -
.21 The Central Nebraska Economic Development Inc. received grants this week
Sand Hills Express - Broken
This week, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development awarded a $600,000 HOME fund grant and a $300,000 Nebraska Affordable Housing Trust Fund grant to Central Nebraska Economic Development Inc. The CNED will use the $600,000 to rehabilitate twenty single family homes for families who earn at or below 80% of the area median income in
.22 State, region make technology grade
Cape Cod Times -
A new report finds Massachusetts held its own or excelled when compared with other states with innovation-driven economies ... Index of the Massachusetts Innovation Economy, a report released today by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative's John Adams Innovation Institute, ... On the Cape, the technology sector is well positioned for growth, experts said. "It's in transition right now," said Robert Curtis, CEO of the Regional Technology Development Corp. of
.23 Kansas City-area coalition aims at innovation
A 15-member coalition of Kansas City-area business, education and nonprofit interests on Thursday kicked off what it’s calling the Year of Innovation, which will highlight the region’s entrepreneurial assets to spur economic development. “The only sure way to move the economy forward is through innovation,” said Bob Marcusse, president and CEO of the Kansas City Area Development Council. [http://www.thinkkc.com/] ...
.24 Commission chairman releases assessment
Daily Journal -
Emergency Services Commission Chairman Jay Hetherington has sent Oconee County Council ... initial assessment ... Concurrent and long-term priorities include establishing county-to-county daily automatic cross-jurisdictional response and mutual aid agreements with Pickens and Anderson counties as well as those in Georgia and North Carolina. ...
.25 Those that pay Metro’s bills — city, county — might get more say
... growing doubts among state and local politicians about the need for another quarter-cent sales tax increase sought by Metro Police to pay for more officers. The issue pulled back the curtain on an effort under way in Carson City to give elected officials a stronger role in overseeing Metro. Who funds and oversees Metro now?
.26 Brian Anderson: Welcoming Volkswagen: Lesson 3
The Daily Citizen -
Last October, the leadership team visiting
.27 Ouachita Council Of Governments expects more funding
Members of the Ouachita Council of Governments have confirmed that the three member governments with voting power on the council will receive an additional $433,000 to pay for local transportation projects. Those voting members include the cities of
North Denver News -
The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) Board of Directors approved 13 projects in the
.29 County opposes Upper's merger with
Ecosystem Marketplace -
Building a market in ecosystem services was an early priority. In January of 2006, Harvard Business School strategy guru Michael Porter evaluated Oregon's business plan and suggested that if the state could establish a regulatory environment that was both pro-business and pro-sustainability it would be "epic" for regional economic development. ... "
.31 CAJUNDOME LOOKS FOR AID: Arena's solvency may depend on city-parish help
The Daily Advertiser -
... Cajundome is owned by the state through UL, but the state contributes nothing toward operating the facility. ... Through an intergovernmental agreement signed in 1988, Lafayette Consolidated Government must contribute up to $500,000 a year toward the Cajundome's operations, including paying for normal wear and tear, ... The Cajundome has operated in the black only five years in its history. ...
.32 EDITORIAL: Ike Money:
.33 Blaming the system
The Grand Sheraton Hotel in downtown Sacramento was buzzing Feb. 24 as some 400 conference-goers representing myriad geographies and political perspectives gathered in one room to tackle an enormous question: should California's constitution get an overhaul? Hosted by the Bay Area Council, a San Francisco-based business group, the summit introduced the idea of staging a statewide constitutional convention that would grant Californians the opportunity to make major revisions to the state constitution and streamline the government reform process. The council hopes to place a measure on the ballot as early as November 2010 to ask voters if a convention should be called. ...
.34 Three Detroit-area communities join aerotropolis project
Three communities near
.35 Culture of entrepreneurship vital to city’s future
Of the 11 strategies listed by the city as its Strategic Initiatives-2009, an entire section is set aside for entrepreneurial development. Included are ongoing programs: entrepreneurial development grant, entrepreneurship center, business incubator, Center for Manufacturing Excellence, Inventors Club, Business and
.36 Tax-cut bills gain approval of panel
House Bill 1471 by Rep. Robert Moore,
.37 Parks may merge with county
A few Topeka City Council members believe it is time to raise the idea again of consolidating the city and county parks and recreation departments. ... even though a more comprehensive consolidation of city and county governments was rejected by rural voters, she believes there is support for the parks and recreation merger.
.38 Urban areas see revival in housing construction
In more than half of the 50 most populous metropolitan areas, communities at the urban core have captured a significantly larger share of their region's new residential building permits since 2002 than in the first half of the 1990s, according to an analysis by the Environmental Protection Agency. ... The study highlighted 2007 results to capture the effect of the start of the housing collapse. "There's a clear trend going on, but it's not universal," ...
.39 The Impact of Regionalization on Reentry Service Outcomes for Individuals With Severe Mental Illness
Psychiatric Services (subscription) -
OBJECTIVE: The belief that public mental health services should be regionalized has guided their delivery for the past four decades. But there have been few opportunities to observe and evaluate a service entity's shift from a centralized to a regionalized delivery system. This brief report focuses on the regionalization of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health's forensic transition team, ... CONCLUSIONS: Overall, regionalizing reentry services increased the forensic transition team's capability and expertise in managing reentry for persons with mental illness. However, follow-up of individuals exiting county houses of correction remains a challenge.
.40 Cost of locking up Americans too high: Pew study
One in every 31
11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents
.01 EU Finance Ministers Resist Further Aid for Region’s Economies
European governments have pumped billions into their economies in an effort to revive growth, swelling budget deficits across the region. The European Union, which forecasts that the 27-nation bloc’s overall budget shortfall will more than double this year to 4.4 percent of GDP, warned national leaders last month to bring their deficits back in line as soon as possible. ...
.02 Financial Crisis Sends Quake Through Divided EU
Many of the eastern countries,
.03 The Financial Crisis and the Six Pillars of Russian Strength
Geopolitical Intelligence Report - Stratfor,
The Reality of Russian Power So while
.04 The View from Europe - The world is changing and so should the
Stabroek News -
The global order is changing. Driven by the economic crisis, the gradual drift of economic power away from the developed world is accelerating as quite literally the wealth of nations changes, alters global relationships and the exercise of power. This will have within a decade, significant long-term implications for Latin America and the
.05 Regional approach to Rohingya boat people
Southeast Asian leaders have agreed to use the regional mechanism, known as the "Bali process", to try to solve the problem of the minority Muslim Rohingyas fleeing
.06 Jenny Kwan: Why does the best place on Earth have a homelessness crisis?
Georgia Straight -
... on the eve of the 2010 Olympic Games, the Campbell government is desperate to sweep the poor and the homeless under the carpet, and as a result we have seen a rash of announcements and photo ops. All of a sudden, there is funding for temporary shelters and ad hoc initiatives. ... It is important to note that the Downtown Eastside should not be placed in a position to absorb the entire region’s social problems. Services should be distributed around the region. But it is also incorrect to blame the organizations based in the Downtown Eastside for four decades of municipal NIMBYism in the region. ...
.07 The Success Of The Roads Policing Team
Police News -
The Regional Roads Policing Team was launched last autumn to deny criminals the use of roads in Yorkshire and the
.08 RCMP, border services possible partners with NRP
The Standard -
Regional police are discussing possible building partnerships with both the RCMP and
.09 Mayor reiterates stand against regional police
On the topic of regionalized policing, which was brought up during the question and answer session,
.10 Mayor: Supersize force no cure
After 12 shootings in 16 days, Surrey's mayor, Dianne Watts, invited mayors and police chiefs from seven cities, including
.11 Group eyes starling control funds
The B.C. Grape Growers Association offered to take over the administration and the Agriculture Environment Partnership Initiative, a federal/provincial program, agreed to put in funding to match whatever the commodity groups put in. ... Another goal was to make the goal regionalized. In order to be successful, it had to be from the
.12 A pragmatic strategy to protect the oil sands industry
Financial Post -
The slowdown of the oil sands industry was not an unforeseen event. Former Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed has been warning about the dangers of uncontrolled growth of the oil sands industry for years. On the eve of the oil price crash, Geopolitics Central warned about substantially lower world oil demand and crude oil prices due to the global financial crisis and its potential impact on the industry. ...
Cordis News -
Prof. Krzysztof Bielawski, CEO of BioBaltica says: “With the establishment of BioBaltica and the ScanBalt Liaison office we intent to enhance the awareness of the Life science competencies to be found in
.16 First International Cluster Conference in
The Conference aimed to motivate companies and other institutions (research and educational centers, supporting institutions, etc.) to interconnect in clusters, present examples of good practice from Republic of Serbia and experiences from other countries in the region and the EU on the establishment and development of clusters, and create a network of participants in the cluster initiatives in the region in order to enable exchange of experiences and ideas. ...
.17 5th Regional Cooperation Meeting on Missing Persons' Issue held in
NewsBlaze.com (press release)
A 5th meeting on regional cooperation between governments concerning the issue of persons missing from the armed conflicts of the 1990's was hosted by The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) in Sarajevo. The meeting included representatives from the Missing Persons Institute of BiH (MPI), the Ministry of Family, Veteran's Affairs and Inter-generational Solidarity from the
.18 Intergovernmental preparatory meeting on Commission on Sustainable Development wraps up thematic consideration with debates on desertification,
... Regional Director of the ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability Africa Secretariat, pointed out that the continent faced many interlinked humanitarian, environmental and social crises that had contributed to overall ecosystem degradation and loss. Yet many African communities were much more ready to embrace change than people often thought.
.19 Regional Disparities, Smaller States and Statehood for Telangana
... this is the unmistakable impression one gets in the post-reform period in
.20 GSI proposal gets buried in sands of time
Geo-tourism', a unique tourism concept suggested by GSI, has been gathering dust at the state tourism department.
.21 A Necessary Revolution: The Recipe for Our "Doom and Gloom?"
National Post -
Dr. Peter Senge, MIT systems expert has waded into these questions and more in his book, The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations are Working Together To Create A Sustainable World ... Senge illustrates how ordinary people and prominent leaders at every level are transforming their businesses and communities. How? By working collaboratively across boundaries, by exploring and putting into place unprecedented solutions that move beyond our current anguishing about our rotten state of affairs, ...
.22 The future is grey
... if you think that things couldn't get any worse, wait till the 2020s. The economic and geopolitical climate could become even more threatening by then -- and this time the reason will be demographics. ... All told, population trends point inexorably toward a more dominant
.23 The Axis of Upheaval
Foreign Policy -
The bad news for Bush’s successor, Barack Obama, is that he now faces a much larger and potentially more troubling axis—an axis of upheaval. This axis has at least nine members, and quite possibly more. What unites them is not so much their wicked intentions as their instability, which the global financial crisis only makes worse every day. ... Economic volatility, plus ethnic disintegration, plus an empire in decline: That combination is about the most lethal in geopolitics. We now have all three. The age of upheaval starts now.
.24 Protection stepped up for whaler sharks
Power Boat - World -
New laws in Western Australia now prohibit recreational fishers from taking whaler sharks, with an interdorsal fin length exceeding 70cm, in the State’s West Coast and South Coast bioregions. The West Coast Bioregion extends from the Zuytdorp Cliffs, north of Kalbarri, to Black Point, east of
.25 Seafood industry lobbies against park boundaries
ABC Online -
Members of the seafood industry will today launch a campaign against the South Australian Government's proposed marine park boundaries. The campaign is being headed by the Marine Parks Task Force and will highlight the industry's view that the boundaries are unnecessary. ... the Wilderness Society says the new marine parks will help
.26 OCLC Members Council approves Global Council bylaws, Membership and Governance Protocols resolution
OCLC News Release -
OCLC Members Council conducted its first-ever virtual meeting February 9–11 to discuss opportunities and challenges confronting the global information community, to learn more about collaborative services, and to continue the transition to a Global Council and Regional Councils. ... Some of the meetings in the new governance structure are planned as virtual meetings. ...
OCLC, a worldwide library services organization, maintains WorldCat - Window to the world’s libraries - http://www.oclc.org/worldcat/default.htm
12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents
.01 The challenge of regional planning: Next verse, same as the first?
... Urban Land Institute's Triangle-area Reality Check exercise ... divided us up into groups seated at one of thirty 30 tables, each table containing Lego blocks we were to place on a regional map to signify where we wanted new units of housing and new jobs to be placed. The housing and employment units at each table together represented 1.2 million new residents and 700,000 new jobs -- the amounts by which the Triangle is projected to grow between now and 2030. ... A discussion from the Triangle J Council of Governments' John Hodges-Copple and from a faculty member in UNC's planning department featured prominently in the orientation sessions; ... our group's final master vision -- a vision of urbanity, these strings of pearls; each individually dense but located in disparate, disconncted geographies. With lots of growth in the centers of
.02 Reality Check - The Results
The takeaways from the day: 1. transportation is an integral part to smart growth, no matter how the growth is planned (80% of the tables listed transportation as a guiding principle for how they planned out the growth in their simulation), 2. 90% of people in the room voted to raise taxes to pay for alternate forms of transportation (yes, I said 90%!!), and 3. the biggest road blocks to growth are regional governance (read: leadership) and lack of infrastructure funding. ...
.03 Reform? The Cuomo Challenge
The Fisher Variations
Who is this community, exactly, and what does it want? The signals are quite mixed. ... The Erie County Legislature never voted on the proposed city-county merger legislation. The bill never got sent to the state legislature as a Home Rule message. ... So we in
.04 City-county consolidation in a likely future of continual financial exigency
Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space
City-county consolidation in a likely future of continual financial exigency. Is a difficult issue, and continues to happen at a slow pace.
.05 Better Transportation Needs Better Cities
A new design competition is seeking solutions to
.06 Why Regionalism
Great column in the Des Moines Register yesterday about the Iowa Innovation Gateway. … This is a fantastic example of how to address the challenge of sustainability in regional collaboration. … co-chairs of the regional strategy in
.07 KERI Comes to GRADD
GRADD Baby Boomer Blog
... Kentucky Elder Readiness Initiative (KERI) ... KERI’s goal is to foster awareness, to promote dialogue on future challenges and opportunities, and to stimulate local and statewide initiatives necessitated by the aging of the Baby Boom population. ... These issues are certainly significant within the
.08 Tennessean Reports on
Regional Forum for Addressing Walking & Biking Needs in the Greater
A focus of the plan will be to examine how to expand bike lanes, greenways and sidewalks, connecting them together and with mass transit stops, according to a Planning Organization news release. The overall effort will be folded into the 2035 regional transportation plan, which estimates funding for projects and determines priorities. ...
.09 Cuyahoga County Port’s Relocation Proposal Has Serious Flaws
... Michael Wagar, the out going chairman of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, championed a vision of a new, 200-acre port he claims would be the catalyst for some 50000 jobs, signaling an economic rebirth for the region. In a city struggling to attain a renaissance on so many levels, the message held out much needed hope. I believe, however, Wagar’s projections should be taken with a dash of reality, for the plan may be more of a mirage than a manifestation of economic prosperity. ...
.10 Encouraging Communities to Go Green
Green to the Scene
.11 The Key NTC Intergovernmental Agreement
Jessup Jottings [
The key NTC agreement is the "Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement For Multi-Municipal Planning and Implementation". The synopsis is here: Part 1 : NTC Intergovernmental Zoning Agreement- Summary Excerpts. ... This agreement was signed by all 12 participating Municipalities and was essential, under the state Municipal Planning Code, to the legality of the NTC Comprehensive Plan which all 12 towns did adopt and sign. ...
.12 All you need to know…Regional Select Committees
REMark by Warren Pearce
An important piece of the regional governance jigsaw went through Parliament on Tuesday - not uncontroversially -with the confirmation of the Regional Select Committee membership for the East Midlands: ... The Standing Orders agreed by the House of Commons on 12 November 2008 stated that the regional select committees shall be appointed “to examine regional strategies and the work of regional bodies” for the eight English regions, excluding
.13 UN Minimum Standards are Key to Global Governance Processes
Atlantic Community: Open Think Tank
... pure bargaining processes that are non-institutionally driven cannot solve the major problems of our world. In trying to achieve efficient coordination most actors in governance processes will try to act for their own benefit. They will thus not be interested in discussing problems just for the sake of public welfare. This will intensify the already existing structural power imbalances in international relations. ...
Comment: ... even if the state does lose significant amounts of power in the future, will regional organisations not be in a convenient position replace (or complement) the state? The EU stands as a prominent example of the attractiveness of regional governance, and other parts of the world have been gradually moving in the same direction (just look at the African Union, the growing importance of ASEAN or NAFTA). ...
.14 Disability Lib
Welcome to Spaghetti Gazetti - the Blog of the magazine about heritage, history, arts, community, social enterprise and culture across the
.15 'Regions' re-jigged
The Breton Connection
Good news for Breton autonomists contained within the recent proposals from the Balladure comity on redrawing the French regional map. However
.16 Swedish in the Nordic region
The Finnish Gambit
Swedish was chosen over English ages ago to be the language of Nordic cooperation. The status of Swedish in
.17 Will the economic crisis affect governance and conflicts in
Given the severity of the current crisis, it may have unprecedented regional governance and political consequences, and may eventually fuel governance reform reversals. Because poor governance and conflicts are likely to hold back growth recovery and vulnerable groups are exposed the most to them, these issues cannot be overlooked by any agenda seeking to protect
.18 Bioregionalism, the "9 Nations", and Becoming Native to Your Bioregion
The Once and Future Druid
One of the most famous takes on bioregionalism is Joel Garreau's "The Nine Nations of North America." You can, and should, read the full article by Jason Godesky called Nine Nations: Bioregionalism in
.19 Legislation and Government: Advocating for Nurses and Patients on
MNA Region One
* What is a Regional Community Organizer? Who is mine, and how do I reach them?
* How can my Regional Community Organizer help my bargaining unit?
.20 A regional name for Southeast Walworth and
I was wondering if someone has come up with an idea for a regional name for southeast Walworth and western
.21 Trends to a
The dissemination and injection of globalist ideology into the collective vocabulary and consciousness of society has been a leading goal of such transnational elites. Regional governance in conjunction with regional economic systems inside a world government has also been a long term goal of globalist organizations. In order for these regional systems to operate smoothly and to be generally accepted, think tanks have undertaken projects of social engineering on a massive scale to rid the population of "outdated" ideas of national sovereignty.
.22 MERGING LOCAL GOVERNMENTS USUALLY DOESN'T MAKE ECONOMIC SENSE
Out of Control
In fact, a review of the academic research on city county consolidation conducted for the Indiana General Assembly's Marion County Consolidation Study Commission by the Indiana Policy Review found that lower spending (and taxes) was not a sure thing. The survey found that "In general, it is uncommon (although not impossible) for operating costs to decrease--due primarly to the 'leveling up' of salaries and benefits." ...
.23 lastwords – Out of Control
eightyone Staunton Harrisonburg Waynesboro
In February 1972, Richard Nixon issued Executive Order 11647, which divided the
In September 1969, enabled by the Area Development Act of 1968 (which anticipated Federal regionalization), the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission (CSPDC) was created: one of 22 governmental subdivisions in what had been 95 counties and 39 independent cities in Virginia. CSPDC now holds statutory sway over regional and sub-regional planning in its 10 “District 6″ members: Augusta, Bath, Highland, Rockbridge and Rockingham counties, and the cities of Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton and Waynesboro. Two Augusta supervisors sit on its Board of Commissioners, much as feudal knights once sat amongst the barons. CSPDC is largely unelected officials, beholden to no Valley constituency. ...
13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents
The Regional Studies Association (RSA) has 15 Research Networks formed by Association members. Networks organize a series of events to examine an issue of collective interest. RSA can offer start-up grants to members wishing to establish a Research Network. The link below leads to information on the current networks.
.02 Metropolitan Recovery and Spending Priorities - Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program Update - Washington, D.C.
On the heels of signing into law a $787 billion economic stimulus and recovery package, President Obama has delivered a 10-year budget plan that could fundamentally reshape the nation's priorities. Brookings experts suggest how the budget plan and recovery package might affect the metropolitan drivers of national prosperity, including innovation, human capital, infrastructure and sustainable places.
Research and Commentary
* Sustainability and Quality Places
* Commercial Innovation Gets Nod in Obama’s Budget
* Human Capital and Support for Low-Income Workers
* New Budget Marks Shift in Transportation Policy
* Delivering Metropolitan Stimulus
* Foreclosures and Stimulus: What’s At Stake for
* Stimulus for
.03 SPECIAL REPORT:
It’s common to read about rapidly growing places, but what about those that are losing? Perhaps it’s fitting in this time of economic decline first to tell the story of areas of loss of population, of out-migration and of natural decrease, more deaths than births. Such areas are not of course necessarily “losers.” They may be prosperous, with a high quality of life; they are just not “growing.” The map below shows the 40 percent of counties which lost population, 2000-2007. ... In much of
.04 National Association of Planning Councils
The National Association of Planning Councils (NAPC) is a membership organization of citizen-led, community-based non-profit social service planning agencies which serve small and large communities throughout the
.05 European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cohesion Fund (CF) Expenditures
The European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund had altogether a budget of EUR 160 billion for the years 2000-2006. This study has established a database on ERDF and CF commitment data at NUTS 3 level (1,205 regions) for the 2 digit expenditure categories (20 categories). The aim of the database is to provide an overview of spending during the 2000-2006 programming period, i.e. where it was focussed geographically and on what it has been spent? The programmes covered are the Cohesion Fund, ERDF Objective 1, ERDF Objective 2, URBAN and INTERREG IIIA. The total amount mapped in the database equals 98% of the 2000-2006 budget. …
Data spreadsheets (.xls) for regional levels are at the Regional Studies Association:
.06 Publication on Regional Trade Agreements
The World Trade Organization recently published a collection of papers based on a conference, "Multilateralizing Regionalism," held from September 10-12, 2007. The papers were later revised in consultation with trade scholars and analysts and members of various WTO national delegations. According to the WTO, nearly all of its members are party to at least one regional trade agreement (RTA).
14. Custom search: region, regions, regional communities Contents
To search on topics like those in Regional Community Development News use this custom search engine which utilizes 2,077 regional related sites as of March 11, 2009. Entering the term “local share” returned 163,000 items; searching regional within those results returned 13,000 items.
Search engine link: http://www.google.com/coop/cse?cx=000551187207053117963:m1gvkhigkeo&hl=en