Regional Community Development News – January 30, 2012

     Multi-jurisdictional intentional regional communities are, in all cases, “Greater Communities” where “community motive” is at work at a more than a local scale. This newsletter provides a scan of regional community, cooperation and collaboration activity as reported in news media and blogs. 
     Article text is saved to  within the 1000 count Delicious limit. Geocode system and topic tags are assigned.  An RSS feed is available. Top stories are tweeted daily.!/tomchristoffel
A report from a Metro Cities task force likes the idea of regional government in the Twin Cities but calls for more local government involvement in the work of the Metropolitan Council.

“Metro Cities recognizes the importance of effective regional governance. Cities and residents in our metro area benefit from a Met Council that does a good job managing wastewater, transit and regional parks. At the same, the report recognizes the primary roles cities play in the provision of services, planning and economic development throughout the region, and the importance of collaborative relationships between our local and regional governments."
… "strengthening local official involvement and input into the selection process for Metropolitan Council members through specific statutory changes to the nomination process through which local officials would make up the majority of nominating committee members, and which would require the Governor’s adherence to the...committee’s recommendations...
Delicious tags: 5140-32-11-Metropolitan.Council-Minneapolis-St.Paul, re:governance, re:government, re:representation
The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area is home to nearly 6.4 million residents, the fourth largest metro area in the country. But what makes the Metroplex especially interesting is the disparate ways its three principal cities handle transit.
Dallas, the nation’s ninth largest city, operates the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Authority …. DART levies a 1 percent sales tax in 13 member cities across four counties to operate five rail lines and around 140 bus lines. …
Fort Worth, the country’s 16th largest city, supports the Fort Worth Transportation Authority … The T also uses a regional model, albeit limited to a single county, financed through a referendum-based half-cent sales tax. The T operates one rail route and over 40 bus routes.
Arlington … largest city in America to not support transit service. …
What we have are three distinct approaches and attitudes towards public transportation. … How do these approaches shape their city’s ability to connect residents and jobs?
5140-26-04-North.Central-Dallas-Fort.Worth-Metroplex, re:trans.funding, re:trans.transit
A new citizens' advisory group is in the works for the region's transportation planning and funding agency.
After internal squabbles prompted the disbanding of its former advisory panel last year, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission … new plan for public comment.
… vote … at its April 26 meeting.
Instead of accepting all interested citizens, the Public Participation Task Force is to have some members appointed by member counties and cities, and others selected by the agency's staff.
The DVRPC is a federally mandated organization that coordinates regional transportation planning and funding in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Mercer Counties.
The previous panel, the Regional Citizens Committee, had become sharply divided over which projects to support and even how to function.
Recent and longtime members clashed with each other and with DVRPC staff about the panel's goals and its independence.
5140-09-07-Delaware.Valley-Philadelphia-PA-NJ, re:citizen.participation, re:trans.MPO
Regarding the article, “No funding for widening 3-mile stretch in Virginia,” in the Jan. 26 edition of The Daily Advance, it was interesting and encouraging to see that northeastern North Carolina residents are alert to transportation challenges just north of the state border. After all, we in Hampton Roads and you in northeastern North Carolina interact on a daily basis, and our personal and business futures are interdependent.
Indeed, the federally-described Metropolitan Statistical Area for Hampton Roads includes Currituck County, and may soon include a second jurisdiction in North Carolina. …
In my opinion, jurisdictional leaders from northeastern North Carolina should attend MPO meetings in Hampton Roads on a regular basis. …
Editor’s note: The letter-writer is chairman of the Future of Hampton Roads, a private nonprofit created to effect regional cooperation in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.
5140-13-23-Hampton.Roads-Norfolk, 5140-15-18-Albermarle, re:editorial.opinion.letter, re:MSA, re:trans.planning,
The Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation will use a federal grant to support a regional effort guided mainly by a series of town hall meetings as the transit authority looks to position itself as a viable transportation option for commuters well into the future.
PART received a $1.6 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant in 2010 and has partnered with the Piedmont Triad Regional Council of Governments, as well as 29 other nonprofit and municipal, county and state agencies, said Mark Kirstner, PART project manager.
In a nutshell, the project will aim to provide PART with an opportunity to grow over the next two decades. Kirstner said PART hopes to identify unique community strengths in its 12-county region and look to tie them together with a regional vision focused on jobs, housing and transportation.
"It's really a regional project," Kirstner said. "Certainly transportation is a piece of it, but also jobs and housing are equally important. …
5140-15-07-Piedmont.Triad-Greensboro, re:grant.HUD.EPA.DOT
The Great Lakes Bay Region will have its first full-length marathon this year as racers cut a 26.2-mile path from Midland to Bay City during The Qualifier in May.
Organizers expect the marathon and half-marathon races will draw 4,000 runners to the community. Along with the runners will come families and friends who could provide an economic boost to the region, said Ann Gasta, race director for The Qualifier.
"As we go forward in the years to come, the economy in the Great Lakes Bay Region is going to see a large impact," Gasta said, with runners needing hotels, food and supplies. "It starts with the local community supporting the event."

Race officials mailed more than 7,000 notices about the race to runners around the country. Gasta said the inaugural race will likely be a bigger draw within Michigan and the Midwest, …
"I have already seen applications from Arizona, Chicago, Kansas City, so it's reaching other areas that will bring in tourism," she said.
5140-27-07-East.Central-Saginaw.Valley, re:tourism, re:sports
Buses in York region will be back on the road next weekend now that a three-month strike that affected thousands of riders is over.

Officials in the region north of Toronto said service will be restored gradually over several weeks, starting next Saturday.
They said some time is needed to resume maintenance on the buses and ensure drivers undergo refresher training.
Riders have been promised at least one month of free service and officials said details of the offer will be laid out in the coming days.
The Miller Transit vote was 80 per cent in favour of the contract offer.
Workers with another contractor, Veolia, ratified that company's offer earlier this week.
A third company, First Canada, had its contract terminated by York Region. The region announced today that it has hired TOK Transit Ltd. to take over that contract.
The strike, which began Oct. 24, has affected more than 44,000 commuters daily.
5130-06-0X-York, re:labor, re:trans.transit
Greater Boston is expected to add thousands of construction jobs as new office towers go up in Kendall Square in Cambridge, Assembly Square in Somerville, the Seaport District in Boston and the new downtown Quincy.
These projects are attracting billions of dollars because developers and their lenders believe the region’s economy will grow in the coming years.
Across the country, few regions are seeing this kind of private investment. This should give us confidence in our future, but we can’t take success as a given.
All of these large economic development projects are in congested urban areas heavily dependent on transportation infrastructure, particularly public transit provided by the cash-strapped T. Addressing the $160 million budget gap the T faces will require large fare increases and significant service cuts, and next year’s deficit is small compared to the gaping hole projected for three years from now.
Bottom line: If the T’s unpredictable service continues to slide,
5140-04-08-Boston.Metropolitan.Area, re:budget.deficit, re:trans.funding, re:trans.transit,
It’s called “Living with Water.”
The title reflects the greatest challenge facing our region — consistent and effective water management.
The region, for this project, means the drainage basins of the Red and Missouri rivers.
The Red River basin includes much of Minnesota’s Lakes Country, as well as Devils Lake and the Souris and Sheyenne rivers in North Dakota. The Red also takes in a big part of the Canadian prairies.
North and South Dakota share the Missouri River and its tributary, the James.
Thus our project includes three states and two Canadian provinces.
5140-33-00-North.Dakota, re:international,
The conflict between idyllic desires and the ability to house and feed families is accentuated in places such as Southern Oregon during difficult financial times.
When unemployment rates stay high and the demand for goods and services rises grudgingly, economists such as University of Oregon professor Tim Duy find trends are easier to discover than answers.
"How do we foster a healthy community from both a livability and business perspective?" Duy asked rhetorically before addressing the ninth annual Southern Oregon Business Conference …
Economic development can resolve the challenges those communities face, Duy said.
During his presentation he suggested natural resources can play a role in the region's recovery.
Duy compiles the Oregon Index of Economic Indicators and has expanded his findings to include regional breakdowns. On Thursday he unveiled a Southern Oregon Index. It wasn't pretty, …
5140-49-08-Southern, re:natural.resouces, re:development.economic
Adjusting to shifts in the economy, states in the cap-and-trade system known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative have slashed the number of allowances that electric power companies can buy to offset their emissions.
The decision, made last week, was intended to shore up the pioneering program as it undergoes its first comprehensive review this year. While the program has been judged a success by most of the participating states, in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, an oversupply of the allowances — in essence, permits to pollute — has limited the program’s impact.
The program, the nation’s first cap-and-trade system, sets a ceiling on carbon dioxide emissions from electric power providers
Because of a switch to natural gas from coal by many utilities and a limping economy, however, both the demand for electricity and the plants’ emissions have been lower than expected since the program was first put into effect in 2009, with many of the allowances going unsold.
5140-00.Regional.Greenhouse.Gas.Initiatiative.ME.VT.NH.MA.RI.CT.NY.NJ.DE.MD, re:market, re:greenhouse-gas
For the first time, a cultural agreement has been signed between the region, the municipalities and the government, according to a press release issued by the Capital Region of Denmark.
The aims are for the Øresund Region to gain higher status in the cultural landscape, to bring culture to the streets and to promote creativity amongst children and young people. Furthermore, there are plans to hold more major sporting events and to promote the Øresund Region in the European cultural scene. These are some of the aims of the joint cultural agreement that the Capital Region, 26 municipalities and the minister of cultural affairs gathered to sign on January 23rd.
The aim of the Øresund Cultural Metropolis (KulturMetropolØresund) is to bring together forces in the Capital Region. The agreement is going to be the first binding cultural collaboration across the Capital Region. The long-term vision is to reach across Øresund and create a cultural metropolis in the Øresund Region. ...
1140-0x-Capital-Copenhagen, re:metropolis, re:cultural
Fairfield County is already home to nearly 600 agencies employing about 8,000 people in public relations, graphic arts, marketing and advertising, but a new effort has been started to bring more jobs in the sector to the region.
More than 90 practitioners in those professions assembled Wednesday morning at 3001 Summer St. in Stamford to learn about the goals of a “creative corridor” program.
The number involved in the sector is far higher when including area residents who commute to work in New York City, said Marian Salzman, chief executive officer of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, North America, and chairwoman of the Fairfield County Public Relations Association.
“We have to come together to tackle the image of Connecticut being staid,” she said. “Outside the state, we have the reputation as a place for financial services and hedge funds. Perception is reality in our business.”
5140-06-12-South.Western-Norwalk-Stamford, re:creativity.innovation
Formed in January 2011, Smart City San Diego was charged with bringing together leading organizations from government, business, education and non-profit to maximize synergies to drive sustainability programs forward, identify new opportunities, embrace additional collaborators, and move the San Diego region beyond today's boundaries of sustainability. This model will be able to be duplicated in other regions.
The collaborative leverages its strengths and resources as a partnership to develop and implement local initiatives that will empower consumers, improve environmental quality, drive economic growth, and reduce the San Diego region's reliance on oil. The collaborative is working toward a more consumer-focused, environmentally conscious energy future by addressing San Diegan's 21st century energy needs.
Visit the Smart City San Diego website at
5140-50-01-San.Diego.Co.-SANDAG, re:model, re:city-region, re:city, re:energy.renewable
Most people regard meetings about regional planning, if they regard them at all, as soporific, PowerPointed affairs frequented by policy wonks. … a regional planning workshop in Dublin that was anything but dull. That’s because protesters from the East Bay Area Tea Party showed up along with some “fellow travelers” and nearly took the evening over. Their appearance was no surprise.
For over a year, members of the Tea Party have descended on planning events around the country. … sponsored by the lead regional planning agencies in the Bay Area, … meetings about the forthcoming Sustainable Communities Strategy/Regional Transportation Plan … mandated by the 2008 legislation, SB 375. …
The Tea Party and its allies contend that such planning intends to force Americans out of their cars and their single-family homes with yards and garages and into mass transit and high-density housing, and to pursue a social justice agenda that discriminates against property rights and the middle class.
re:politics.Tea.Party, re:trans.plan, re:sustainable, re:SB.375
The project wish list is open as the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission organized for the upcoming year at its first county caucus meeting last week.

The OVRDC is a regional planning and economic development agency that coordinates funding in 12 southern counties: Adams, Brown, Clermont, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton.
“When you deal with a metropolitan area, you have a metropolitan planning organization,” … director of the Lawrence Economic Development Corp., said. “Some years ago they took rural Ohio and divided it into development districts. They basically do a lot of the planning that what your MPO would do at the metropolitan area. The whole issue is strategic planning. Projects are prioritized within the county and then on a regional basis. When the feds want to invest funds in the region, they will require that the prioritization be in from the OVRDC. … It is to develop a strategic plan so people will stay on course.”
5140-28-0x-Ohio.Valley, re:EDD, re:development.districts, re:strategic, re:plan
With state bond funds nearly exhausted, regional water management groups face an uncertain future for planning and projects intended to address water needs in specific parts of the state.
During the past decade, Integrated Regional Water Management Planning groups have used a multi-dimensional planning approach to water planning. The regional water planning groups cover more than 80 percent of the state and address the water supply needs of nearly 100 percent of California's population. Supporters say the effort aims to bring everyone who holds a piece of the water supply puzzle together to create better long-term solutions.
In 2002, the Legislature passed the Integrated Regional Water Management Act and since then, ballot Propositions 50 and 84 provided about $1.5 billion for planning and specific projects to improve regional water systems.
5140-50-00-California,, re:water.planning, re:state, re:funding, re:water.system
Reed … county's lead on economic development, said he thinks the best way to attracting employers to Pike County is through regional cooperation.
He said the days of recruiting a manufacturing company to provide major employment through assembly work are long gone.

Reed encouraged Pike leaders to work closely with the Economic Development Alliance of Southern Ohio, based in Ross County, and other regional development groups.
"We need to work together to market our area," he said. "Ross, Jackson, Pike and Scioto counties have a lot to offer."
Reed said the widening of the Panama Canal will bring bigger ships into the Gulf of Mexico, up the Mississippi River and down the Ohio River past Portsmouth. Changes to railroad systems also will allow double-stacked containers to travel from ports on the east coast to hubs such as Rickenbacker Airport.
"We don't need a savior from Columbus or (Washington) D.C., we have the resources right here," Reed said.
5140-28-0x-Ohio.Valley, re:chamber.of.commerce, re:economic.development, re:market, re:cooperation
Branding is always an exciting topic to discuss, largely because we can exercise our imaginations without having to spend lots of capital money. One of the finer points about branding that Jarrett Walker touches upon in his book Human Transit is transit’s associated terminologies and nomenclature. Choosing between whether to use line or route, for example, can reveal a lot about your service or at least how you want your service to be perceived.
The most clear-cut example of this across North American transit agencies is the fact that we usually reserve “routes” for bus transit and “lines” for rail transit. Jarrett’s excerpt at Human Transit really deserves a full read:
…Lurking inside these two words, in short, is a profound difference in attitude about a transit service. Do you want to think of transit as something that’s always there, that you can count on? If so, call it a line. We never speak of rail routes, always rail lines, ...
5140-48-12-Puget.Sound-Seattle, re:branding, re:trans.rail, re:trans.transit
In December, Governor Cuomo announced the funding awards for Regional Economic Development Councils. Since July, ALIGN, the Buffalo-based Coalition for Economic Justice and Long Island Jobs with Justice have advocated and mobilized in coordination with community and labor allies across the state to make sure that Regional Economic Development Councils—the state’s newest job creation initiative—made a clean break from wasteful economic development practices of the past. Together, we demanded that Regional Councils come up with better strategies for creating quality jobs and community benefits for New Yorkers.
While not perfect, we are happy to share that Regional Councils have led a more robust discussion about how to better coordinate and target economic development efforts in our state. Most of the plans emphasize quality job creation in project selection criteria and performance metrics. The four winning plans (Western NY, Central NY, the North Country, & Long Island) speak ...
5140-07-00-Economic.Development.Councils, re:coordination, re:job.creation, re:development.economic
The Tamil Nadu government is likely to expand the designated Chennai metropolitan area by almost seven times to include some key suburbs and industrial townships with the aim of strengthening their infrastructure. Once the proposal for the Chennai mega region gets official sanction, the state government will set up the Chennai Regional Development Authority (CRDA) to ensure balanced regional development of the area covering about 8,000sqkm …
Senior state officials have proposed the inclusion of portions of three districts - Sriperumbudur in the west, Kancheepuram in the south and Tiruvallur in the north - in the Chennai metropolitan area. The provisional Census 2011 data shows that Chennai recorded a decennial growth of 7.7%, while the neighbouring Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts grew by 38.69% and 35.25% respectively, indicating a remarkable spurt in the growth of population in city's suburbs.
Officials say unscientific land use has restricted development of the urban area, …
8272-0x-Chennai, re:landuse, re:landuse, re:district, re:mega-region
The Eurostat regional yearbook 2011 gives a detailed picture of a large number of statistical fields in the 27 Member States of the European Union, as well as in EFTA and candidate countries. The text of each chapter has been written by specialists in statistics and is accompanied by maps, figures and tables. A broad set of regional indicators are presented for the following 16 subjects: population, labour market, labour cost, education, health, European cities, gross domestic product, household accounts, structural business statistics, information society, tourism, land cover and land use, coastal regions, transport, science, technology and innovation, and last but not least, a study on trends in densely and thinly populated areas
1000.EU.European.Union, re:data
Getting Up, … is the documentation of how Mick Ebeling, through his Not Impossible Foundation, along with a motley crew of international collaborators, changed TEMPT’s reality by inventing the EyeWriter, a low-cost, open-source DIY device that allows ALS sufferers to control a computer with the only thing they can move: their eyes.
In its straight-up chronicling of how the EyeWriter came together, Getting Up highlights the power of open collaboration.

In every rational way, the EyeWriter should never have happened. … Now, the open source coding and DIY prototype of the EyeWriter is fueling countless innovators and inventors the world over to do one thing: help those in need. Here are three life lessons from the making of the EyeWriter and Getting Up.
Don’t say no to yourself: …
Invention begets invention: …
Do what you can in whatever way that you can: …
re:innovation, re:creativity.innovation,, re:collaboration, re:community, re:inspiration
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0900 - Arctic Ocean
1000 - Europe
2000 - Africa
3000 - Atlantic Ocean
4000 - Antarctica
5000 - Americas
6000 - Pacific Ocean
7000 - Oceana
8000 - Asia
9000 - Indian Ocean

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