Regional Community Development News – August 29, 2007 [regions_work]

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

Published on line since November 11, 2003.

1. Regionalism in Louisville working, but black political power dwindles - The Plain Dealer -

Optimism is in rich supply in the "Big Lou" these days, and why not?

Louisville, Ky., is rapidly reclaiming its waterfront, replacing scrap yards with parkland. New condos and historic restorations are awakening a once-sleepy downtown, and a new skyscraper is on the way.

Employers are investing, and how. Last year, UPS announced a $1 billion expansion of its distribution hub at Louisville International Airport, promising 5,000 new jobs.

Local leaders point to the projects and progress as testimonials to their metro government, America's first city-county merger in 30 years.

"It gave me the chance to set an agenda for the whole region," said Jerry Abramson, Louisville's outgoing mayor and an architect of the merger. "If you start pitching yourself as a region, if you start seeing yourself as a region, you can be very, very successful."

Regional cooperation, Abramson and others say, made complex projects and far-sighted planning go down as smooth as the bourbon that famously flows from local distilleries.

Many black leaders find the price hard to swallow. A bigger, busier Louisville is also notably whiter, and that equates to less black political power. Regionalism advocates took advantage of a voting system that allowed them to roll over black opposition.

Yet representatives of struggling regions flock to northern Kentucky to see a model of reinvention. ...

In the beginning

With a bold vote in 2000, residents of Louisville and surrounding Jefferson County narrowly approved a city-county merger that, when completed in 2003, catapulted Louisville from 67th place on the list of America's largest cities to 16th.

Leading up to the vote, advocates for regional government faced many of the same obstacles and resistance seen in Greater Cleveland.

Leaders in the 90-plus suburbs didn't want to surrender control or adopt the city's burdens. ...

2. Most metro residents back sharing of services - Detroit Free Press, MI, USA

Metro Detroiters support local government efforts to save money by sharing services but most aren't willing to merge their hometowns with neighboring ones, a Detroit Free Press-Local 4 Michigan Poll shows.

The opinions of residents will be crucial to how local governments resolve their funding woes, experts say. Farmington and Farmington Hills are contemplating merging entirely, and dozens of other communities are studying merging police, fire and other departments.

"The new reality for local government is they are going to have to do more" sharing, said Paul Tait, executive director of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.

Local governments are quick to note that they have been sharing services for years, but experts say the trend is accelerating because of the money crunch many face. Consolidation studies are under way in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, and Gov. Jennifer Granholm has offered more state money to communities that can show they are sharing services.

When asked whether they would be willing to have their cities pool employee benefits with neighboring towns, two-thirds said they would, now or in the near future. On sharing parks and recreation services, 64% said they would share now or soon. Sharing police and fire now or soon drew 50% support.

The poll, conducted July 29-Aug. 1 by Selzer and Co. of Des Moines, Iowa, is based on interviews with 798 adults in the three counties. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

"When you're talking about employee benefits or even parks, that's not something that's on the street every day," Tait said. "When you start talking police and fire, that's something that affects my quality of life every day."

Wholesale mergers were less popular. ... And a majority, 52%, said they favor keeping their local governments independent.


3. Regional council in the ascendancy - The Dominion Post – NZ

Increasingly powerful but often overlooked, the regional council is for many people a baffling beast.

Terry McDavitt is standing down after 18 years with Greater Wellington Regional Council, and he leaves behind an organisation that is gradually gathering strength.

Though the regional council has long been overshadowed by its members – representatives from Wellington, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt, Porirua, Kapiti, South Wairarapa, Masterton, and Carterton – the development of a shared economic strategy may signal a new period of ascendancy.

Regional councillors represent the entire territorial organisation from which they are elected, unlike city councillors, who are elected to represent a ward. This can lead to isolation from the public.

"To get on to the regional council you have to be 'famous' in some way, and 'fame' sets up a distance," says Mr McDavitt.

The 13 regional councillors represent 449,000 people around the region.

Last year, the council spent $176 million on issues that cross city boundaries, such as traffic, transport, water and rivers, pests, air quality, freight and economic development. Increasingly it also has to grapple with global environmental issues, such as climate change and emissions.

Perhaps the council's most significant recent achievement was to facilitate the Wellington Regional Strategy to promote business and improve the region's quality of life through to 2050.

The region's mayors agreed to the plan, which replaced local efforts to foster business growth. Mr McDavitt says the strategy was developed through a joint working group that had to overcome many differences.

"The jury is still out on its value but I think it's infinitely preferable for the region to be acting on its own behalf rather than just passively receiving whatever fate and kind Aucklanders dole out to us."

The regional strategy will run through an economic development agency that will receive about $4 million in regional rates each year.


4. Survey shows tri-state area friendly to business - Sioux City Journal - Sioux City,IA,USA

As the Tri-state Governor's Conference began Tuesday, master of ceremonies Jim Wharton delivered some favorable late-breaking news.

In a report issued Tuesday by the Milken Institute, South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska ranked first, second and fourth, respectively, in the economic think tank's annual ranking of the least expensive states in which to do business.

"That establishes a regional dominance that's unmatched anywhere in the U.S.," Wharton told an audience of more than 200 at the Marina Inn in South Sioux City.

The annual Cost of Doing Business index compares each state's comparative advantages or disadvantages in retaining and attracting businesses by measuring businesses' cost for wages, taxes, electricity, and industrial and office space.

South Dakota maintained its top spot on the Cost of Doing Business' Index, and Iowa moved up two spots to No. 2, its highest ranking in history.

"We're still behind these two guys," quipped Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, seated next to South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds and Iowa Gov. Chet Culver. "But the good news is, we've gone from 13th to eight to No. 4.

"If they'd let me pass them up, I'd really appreciate that," Heineman said to laughter from the audience.

Siouxland Chamber of Commerce president Debi Durham said the Milken rankings are the latest confirmation of the strides the tri-state region has made in becoming an attractive place to do business. In the past 11 years, the biennial governor's conference has played a major role in achieving that goal, she said.

Tuesday's conference focused on several issues aimed at helping Siouxland continue to grow and prosper.

RC: Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council

5. Initiative will encourage regional planning for economic development, transportation - Williamsport Sun-Gazette, PA, USA

SEDA-Council of Governments is spearheading an initiative that will help communities think regionally when planning for economic development, transportation and land use.

The initiative is a state-wide effort to get municipalities and counties to work together so planning is done so the region’s goals are not undermined, Amanda Burbage, SEDA-COG Community Resource Center planner, said.

“The state recognizes that with our system of government, there are a lot of municipalities that are competing with one another,” she said. “They are prone to patterns of development that will undermine the things that make Pennsylvania a nice place to live.”

The state has been divided into 10 geographic regions, Burbage said. The initiative in each region is being lead by a local development agency, she said.

SEDA-COG is the designated agency to serve the central region, which includes Lycoming, Clinton, Centre, Snyder, Union, Northumberland, Montour, Columbia, Mifflin, Juniata and Perry counties. The central region’s theme “Valley Vision 2020,” references the region’s ties to the Susquehanna River valley, Burbage said.

According to Burbage, the state Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Community and Economic Development and state Department of Transportation, at the request of Gov. Ed Rendell, began meeting in 2003 with local government officials, educators, and economic development, environmental and business leaders to discuss ways in which planning could be better coordinated on a regional level.

The result was an action plan that identified what was needed to ensure the state’s resources would be used in a way that would sustain economic development statewide, she said.

“The governor wanted to take a more holistic approach to the state’s overall competitiveness and what was needed to make the state attractive for economic development, but in a way that capitalizes on the state’s assets and doesn’t undermine the quality of life,” ...

6. College site links to our future - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, NY

Rochester is a college town and our future depends on it.

Beyond their respective missions, our regional colleges hold the keys to unlocking many of our community opportunities. This is a high mantel in terms of expectations, but we have great leadership and collaboration at our region's colleges, and that unity in vision bodes well.

It's a big reason why the Democrat and Chronicle, in partnership with Monroe Community College, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Geneseo, Nazareth College, St. John Fisher College, Roberts Wesleyan College and RIT, launched a Web site last week for students by students. It's called "The Loop'' ( and it's an interactive, multimedia, virtual student union linking the region's 19 campuses and more than 80,000 college students.

My belief is that the Web site will give rise to a powerful collective voice that, when heard, will capture the imagination of a community.

Students embody an important regional asset — an educated, spirited and employable audience. They represent tomorrow's thinkers, achievers and leaders. While local business and political leaders figure out creative ways to keep them here for a long time (brain gain!), there's also a need to consider our students in the present tense.

According to the Center for Governmental Research, the region's college student and visitor spending totals $254 million. Yet the economic power of today's students is often marginalized as bar and pizza money.

This myopic view makes it far too easy for politicians, businesses, media and the community to ignore what our college students are thinking, feeling and doing today. While The Loop will be a conduit for doing just that, it's important that we take a longer view on economic impact — engage students now, relate to them now, hear them now, involve them now — so dividends are ultimately paid here and not somewhere else.


RC: Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council

7. Poised for growth or steady decline? Renville, Redwood counties sit at the ‘fulcrum’ in between - West Central Tribune - Willmar, MN, USA

Southwest Minnesota’s steady out-migration of young people has been well-documented, but it’s a trend that could be reversed in Redwood and Renville counties.

Redwood and Renville counties are at the “fulcrum’’ between the counties expecting to see continued population decline or growth, according to John Shepard, a planner with the Southwest Regional Development Commission and co-author of a study on the region’s out-migration.


Counties to the south and west of Redwood and Renville counties are projected to see continued population de-clines, according to the Minnesota demographer’s office. Many of these counties could experience population declines in the years ahead matching the 10 to 15 percent losses experienced in the 1980s.

Their populations will continue to age, and by 2035 people over age 65 will comprise more than one-third of the population in some counties. The number of new entrants to the work force — ages 15 to 24 — will continue to decline and make it all the more difficult for these counties to recover.

In contrast, counties to the north and east of Renville County are projected to see growth in the years ahead, according to Shepard.

He said Renville County could take advantage of the “spill over” from the growth occurring in Kandiyohi, Meeker and McLeod counties, its partners in the Mid-Minnesota Regional Development Commission.

“You are kind of where the trend breaks,’’ said Shepard of the two counties’ opportunity to avoid the declines projected to the south and west.

As things now stand, the state demographer’s office projects a 4.3 percent population decline in Redwood County from 2005 to 2015, and a 0.70 percent increase in Renville County.

Any turnaround in rural areas will not be led from St. Paul, according to Geller. “It’s going to be led by people who live in rural Minnesota,’’ he said.


8. Joint Akron, Summit 9-1-1 buy pushes forward regional cooperation - The Plain Dealer -

Call 9-1-1 from a cell phone in downtown Akron last month and you could have been routed to Hudson.

Call now and a dispatcher downtown will know exactly where you're standing - that is, as long as your cell phone carrier is on board with the technology.

To save money and reduce response times, Akron and Summit County together purchased a $750,000 emergency phone system from AT&T that can pinpoint the locations of calls from cell phones. The joint purchase saved the governments $150,000, and is projected to cut maintenance expenses by as much as 40 percent by eliminating redundancies, city spokesman Mark Williamson said.

"All this is about regionalizing government," Williamson said. "You can actually make the operation more efficient. If this were a private business, you'd never do it any other way."

Regionalization is the buzzword among Northeast Ohio's tiny villages and budget-crunched cities, all searching to save money.

Already in Cuyahoga County, the cities of Westlake, Bay Village, Fairview Park and Rocky River share fire dispatchers. So do Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights and University Heights.

In Summit County, Stow, Tallmadge, Munroe Falls, Mogadore and Silver Lake are working to combine dispatching.

Akron and Summit County already share space in the county's safety building downtown. They cooperate on law enforcement training and have a new 800-megahertz emergency radio system.

To further regionalization, the two also recently signed an agreement with Green to consider creating a regional communications center in downtown Akron. Under the pact, Green's fire and EMS would be dispatched from there.


RC: Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency

9. County shares tourism plans - Chambersburg Public Opinion - Chambersburg,PA,USA

At a time when Franklin County is trying to stand on its own as a tourist destination, local tourism directors from the four-state region are hoping their collaborative efforts will pay off.

Tourism officials from Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia briefed legislators from the four states on joint tourism promotion efforts Thursday as part of the Quad State Legislative Conference in Martinsburg, W.Va.

"It's really more efficient to pull together than to be competitive," said Paulette Sprinkle, director of the Jefferson County (W.Va.) Convention and Visitors Bureau. "If we use a joint effort, people won't come just once, they'll come back to see more."

Franklin County has been working to develop its own identity since it broke away from the Hershey-Capital Visitors Bureau in 2004. The county still remains a part of the Dutch Country Roads region in Pennsylvania.

While trying to separate itself from being a secondary promotion to Hershey Park, for example, Franklin County still shares a common bond with other counties in the four-state area, said Janet Pollard, director of the Franklin County Visitors Bureau.

"It was a natural fit for us. Immediately it became evident that we had history and agri-tourism in common," she said.

The counties are promoting themselves together as "The Great Valley" region. Andrea Ball, executive director of the Berkeley County (W.Va.) Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the region shares a common thread of agri-tourism and Civil War history, with sites like Harpers Ferry W.Va., Gettysburg and Antietam, Md.

Because each county can benefit from promoting other nearby counties, area tourism directors reiterated the need to approach tourism from a regional level.

"Visitors don't care about state lines," said Tom Riford, president of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.


10. U.S. regional communities - sub-State, State or multi-State - in news articles. Highlighted words are Google search terms. In this and the following section, links to websites of organizations are added to the news excerpt when this is the first time an organization has been found. A goal of this newsletter is to find every regional council in the U.S. in a news story. In most cases, where a full name is present a Google search will quickly get one to that organization.

.10 RAND Gulf States Policy Institute Opens Office in New Orleans
All American Patriots (press release) - Taeby,NA,Sweden
RGSPI, which also has an office in Jackson, Miss., was launched at the end of 2005 to provide evidence-based policy guidance to speed regional recovery and ...

.11 Engineering Rail's Rebirth

Modesto Bee – CA, USA

Those interests include the Port of Oakland, San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission, San Joaquin Council of Governments, Stanislaus Council of Governments and Sacramento Area Council of Governments.

.12 Bridge work goes on and on
Boston Globe - United States

"The state funds dried up four or five years ago because of governors who refused to raise more income for the MassHighway Department to do projects," said Roland Hebert, the transportation planning manager for the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District. ...

.13 Poverty up in Lorain
The Chronicle-Telegram – OH, USA
"We need to think bigger than just Lorain -- we have to work toward regionalized employment goals and work on a regional basis, instead of within our own microcosm." Krasienko said the region's healthcare and medical industry is perhaps ...

.14 From SEDD to SEDCorp
YubaNet - Nevada City,CA,USA
The Sierra Economic Development District is proud to announce its new name, Sierra Economic Development Corporation (SEDCorp). "Our new name succinctly describes what we are rather than where we serve." ...

.15 Revisiting 'toilet to tap'
Los Angeles Times – CA, USA
The Los Angeles City Council then greenlighted it unanimously after the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, the state Department of Health Services and the state Environmental Protection Agency also approved the proposal.

.16 More large developments in pipeline for Coweta
The Times-Herald – GA, USA
That's why the state of Georgia requires a government review of what are termed "Developments of Regional Impact." These DRIs for Coweta County are reviewed by the Chattachoochee-Flint Regional Development Center, and by the Georgia Regional ...

.17 Regional authority could form to tackle transportation projects

Northwest Arkansas Times

... Northwest Arkansas Council is planning to come before the Quorum Court as soon as next month to pitch the idea of establishing an authority with representatives from both counties as well as area cities. What they are looking for is a regional mobility plan ...

.18 Southeast Texas Regional Towed Vehicle Locator Initiative
dBusinessNews Houston (press release) - Houston,TX,USA
... hurricane evacuations of 2005 caused over 3 million motorists to take to the highways, one of the first places that those who headed north began to run out of gas was right here in Walker County ... State and local authorities spent countless weeks trying to connect abandoned vehicles with their rightful owners. ...

.19 Massive growth planned near BWI

Maryland Gazette – MD, USA
... predicts the aerotropolis could eventually link Baltimore and Washington perhaps within a decade as a public private partnership. ...

.20 Push for regionalization a tricky balancing act
Norwich Bulletin – CT, USA
Ashford, formerly a member of the Windham Regional Council of Governments, still needs approval from the Office of Policy and Management to join the Northeast Council. Fletcher said the Northeast Council is a better fit for Ashford because it's made up ...

.21 Chicago Metropolis 2020 Supports Transit Funding and Reform
PR Newswire (press release)
Metropolis 2020 is a business-led civic organization created by the Commercial Club of Chicago to make the regional economy grow by improving the quality of life in the metropolitan area. ...

.22 Castle Rock Fire deemed number one priority nationwide
Idaho Mountain Express and Guide - Ketchum,ID,USA
Also, he said the statewide declaration makes it easier for fire departments to cross jurisdictional lines to assist one another. The Castle Rock Fire "was ...

.23 Surprise hangs on to seat on regional transportation panel
Arizona Republic

Surprise Mayor Joan Shafer secured a spot on the Maricopa Association of Governments Transportation Policy Committee this week, easing concerns the city would lose representation on the regional body. ...

.24 Isolated Adirondackers try to open own department store
Newsday – NY, USA
The Ames store here closed when the discount retailer went out of business in 2002. Ames was among a number of regional and national chains to disappear _ Bradlees, Caldor, Montgomery Ward were others ...

.25 Pennsylvania not lucking out with Powerball lately
Philadelphia Inquirer - Philadelphia,PA,USA
That's 28 straight Powerball winners without one from Pennsylvania, even it's one of the multistate lottery's most populous states. Those drawings have been ...

.26 EDITORIAL: Itawamba confirmation
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
New manufacturing in Northeast Mississippi will reach its full potential only with a regional development focus. The ceremony also affirmed the importance of community colleges in workforce training for Toyota-related and other development.

.27 Funding concerns prompt cancellation of regional shelter system meeting
North County Times – CA, USA

The Alliance for Regional Solutions formed this year and includes 29 North County social service agencies, along with officials representing the nine North County cities. ...

.28 Caltrans Grant Will Help Address Traffic Concerns In Arnold CA, USA

The Calaveras County Council of Governments has received an 80/20 grant from Caltrans to create a plan to address overall mobility in Arnold. ...

.29 If the feds can't fix the bridge, should we?
Cincinnati Post – OH, USA
Brian Cunningham, director of communications and legislative affairs for the Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana Regional Council of Governments, said that if a local financing authority is created, it would be only one of multiple funding sources with federal ...

.30 Looking good, regionally

Detroit Free Press – MI, USA

It's just a small step in regional cooperation, but it should be a visible one. Brought together by the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Tourism Economic Development Council, all the public agencies, private contractors and volunteer groups that pick up trash on Detroit-area freeways are finally coordinating their efforts....

.31 Western Governors, Premiers Set Greenhouse Gas Reduction Goal
Environment News Service

The eight members of the Western Climate Initiative, WCI, today announced that they have established a regional goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the West ... governors of Washington, Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Oregon created the Western Climate Initiative. Since then, the state of Utah and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Manitoba have joined the WCI ...

.32 South takes the lead I-73 will push from South to North
South Carolina Now - South Carolina,USA

... “Corridor of Strategic Significance,” isn’t just about commerce. Safety is a major concern, he says; I-73 will provide an additional route for hurricane evacuation. ... National I-73 Association’s official Web site at ...

.33 The Rule of Law, the Rule of Trust and the 50 Mile Rule of Private Capital Markets
Local Tech Wire - Fort Mill,SC,USA
And, it is the primary reason why angels and venture capitalists generally only invest in deals located within 50 miles of their metro regional boundaries, ...

11. Other in the news: Highlighted words are Google search terms.

.10 The regions remain Australia's ideas wellspring
The Age - Melbourne,Victoria,Australia
Regional Australia should make the most of this moment before the pendulum returns to the issues that more often directly affect the big-city dwellers. Some things are crucial for regional Australians:...

Measure outcomes all the time so that policies can be pursued with evidence-based knowledge and certainty. ...

.11 Plea for evidence-based policy
ScienceAlert - Australia
... consultation with Aboriginal people in designing initiatives for Aboriginal communities whether these are in remote, regional or urban settings". ...

.12 EU to donate 1.6 billion euros to Turkey over three years
Today's Zaman - Istanbul,Turkey
The money can only be used to improve the institutional capacity of governmental organizations, regional and supra-border cooperation, regional development, ...

.13 Congestion tax being considered for Wgtn
Wellington Regional Council is investigating the possibility of charging motorists a congestion tax during peak hour travel.

.14 Dubai Awards Major Contract for Urban Development Framework
Dubai Chronicle - United Arab Emirates

The DUDF will have three key modules: 1) A Vision for Dubai, 2) An integrated City and Regional Development Planning Framework and... 3) A Legal and Institutional Framework. The long term Vision will provide clear direction and ...

.15 Shaping relations across boundaries
Gulf News - Dubai,United Arab Emirates
Power alignments among countries have taken several shapes. There are triangles, circles, squares, rectangles, and not to forget the most-prevalent linear ...

.16 Council revises regional strategic plan
Cambridge Times – Ontario, Canada
Vision - Waterloo Region will be an inclusive, thriving and sustainable community committed to maintaining harmony between rural and urban areas and fostering opportunities for current and future generations. ...

.17 Changing the World with Community Investing
Environment News Service
In 1973, ShoreBank pioneered the concept that a bank focused on lending in underinvested minority communities could help reinvigorate local economies, ... Collaboration must continue in order to create the rich product line needed to ensure that community development banks have the funds available ...

.18 'Dalton missing out on millions'
NW Evening Mail - Barrow-in-Furness,Lake District,UK
Town councillor Tim Bell claims Dalton has been "wandering in the desert" over the past seven years, missing out on £1.48m in Northwest Regional Development ...

.19 IWAK MD outlines air service requirements for balanced regional development
Mayo Advertiser – Ireland

For regional air access to truly benefit regional development in Ireland, three types of services are essentially required, explained the MD: short haul, low cost, point to point services to the UK and Europe; and in the case of Europe, the key services should be to destinations that attract inbound tourism and economic development to the region. ...

.20 Dairy benefits flow to regions
Economists say the "white gold rush" will bring the biggest boom to regions like Southland, Waikato, Canterbury and Taranaki. ... BNZ economist Tony Alexander said higher world dairy prices would bring more work and money into dairying regions, adding to an already tight labour market. ...

.21 At least 5 percent of the government budget for community councils
El Universal - Venezuela
This could not be farther than the truth. It is an initiative to strengthen powers. The people's power will reinforce the regional power."

12. Blogs: Highlighted words are Google search terms.

.10 About DFW Regional Concerned Citizens

DFW Regional Concerned Citizens (DFW-RCC) is a grassroots network of citizens who seek to be informed on local, regional, and state policies, legislation, and issues. ...

.11 Tale of the Building Permits
By Jay
Houston and Harris County are unique in many ways, most importantly in that we saw a building boom in 2006 and the Metropolitan region had more permits filed for new residential units than any other region in the country. ... Looking at it from one point of view, the City of Houston is doing a bad job of capturing its share of the growth that is occurring in the region.

.12 Greg Greene's Movie: Escape From Suburbia: Beyond the American Dream
By sopangreene
And what can be done by communities to solve the coming crisis locally and regionally, using the natural strengths of their unique bioregions? R: Is there one particular change that you have made to your own life because of Peak Oil? ...

.13 Linking Models of Land Use, Resources, and Economy to Simulate the Development of Mountain Regions (ALPSCAPE)

By damageva
This framework provides a basis for a learning package that allows potential detrimental consequences of regional development to be anticipated at an early stage. Keywords: Agriculture, Input-output analysis, Integrated model, ...

.14 Online panel probes area's innovation gaps
By Eric Anderson, Deputy business editor
The laboratories are here, and so are the universities. So why doesn’t Tech Valley see more innovation? The Technology Roadmap, an online initiative of the Center for Economic Growth, will examine where the gaps are in the region’s innovation infrastructure during a panel discussion ...

.15 Comment on A hypothetical choice by Ed Morrison
In Cleveland, we have a very large, expensive and cumbersome regional development apparatus. (Sam Miller in his "countyism rant" was right about one thing. We are investing heavily in this overhead — about $1 million a week by his ...

.16 European Cities 2007
By Nicos Komninos
Based on data from the Urban Audit, the 2007 report on the 'State of European Cities' examines four major themes: ... Competitiveness of Cities (Economic performance; typology of urban competitiveness; international hubs; specialized poles; regional poles). ...

.17 Who today took over from Lesotho Prime Africa lesotho regional.
Basic facts about Southern African Development Community. The ministers also announced that South Africa. Capping years of collaboration between the World Bank Group and other global and regional development institutions.

.18 What In The World Is Geotourism?
By EcoTravelGuide(EcoTravelGuide)
Geotourism is not taking a vacation in your Geo Metro, not that there is anything wrong with that. No, what we are really talking about here is a new movement or awareness on the part of many travelers that could have far reaching ...

.19 Ways to Reduce Terrorist Threat from Regions with Weak Governmental Control

By Naxal Watch(Naxal Watch)
Governments around the world should take a new approach to fighting terrorism by treating regions where governmental control is weak as a distinct category of security problems, according to a RAND Corporation study ...

.20 First year of Google WiFi

Official Google Blog

The network's 400+ mesh routers cover about 12 square miles and 25,000 homes to serve approximately 15,000 unique users each week month. ...

.21 Challenges and change - Fr Harry's vision for the regions

... University of Bologna student was clearly captivated by the picture of modern Irish life sketched by regional development pioneer Fr Harry Bohan.

13. Announcements and Regional Links

.10 Association of Public Data Users - 2007 Annual Conference

October 25 – 26, Alexandria, Virginia

The annual APDU conference provides a forum for colleagues to discuss data and public policy issues, keep up with new technologies, and provide input into federal, state, and local data activities. In plenary sessions, APDU 2007 attendees will hear from noted speakers on a variety of critical strategic, technical and policy topics.

.11 - USGS

... Congress authorized the preparation of a new national atlas in 1997. Once again, the USGS was assigned to coordinate and lead the effort of more than 20 Federal agencies.™ is the new National Atlas of the United States®. ...

.12 Joint Center for Housing Studies - Harvard University

The Joint Center analyzes the dynamic relationships between housing markets and economic, demographic, and social trends, providing leaders in government, business, and the non-profit sector with the knowledge needed to develop effective policies and strategies. Recent publication: The State of the Nation's Housing 2007

.13 Up in Smoke - Northwest Energy Spending - Cascadia – Sightline Institute

The Northwest spent $19.3 billion, a new record, to import petroleum and natural gas in 2006, the last year with complete data. (1) Adjusted for inflation, that’s 13 percent over 2005. State by state in 2006 we spent: Washington - $10.9 billion; Oregon - $6.1 billion; Idaho - $2.2 billion

.14 Regional Response Team Northwest Area Committee – Seattle, Washington
The mission of the Region 10 Regional Response Team (RRT) and the Northwest Area Committee (NWAC) is to protect public health and safety and the environment ...

14. Subscription

.10 Realtors donate to regional development - Evansville Courier & Press (subscription)

Grants totaling $20,000 from state and local Realtors will help the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana ramp up its marketing efforts and Internet presence.

The Evansville Area Association of Realtors and the Indiana Association of Realtors each presented checks of $10,000 to the regional economic group's board of directors Tuesday.

John Czoer, president of the Evansville area group, said the local association chose to present the grant to the Coalition because of its role in growing the region's economy.

"We've already seen the fruits of the Coalition's efforts," said Czoer, referring to a new AT&T Wireless call center under construction on Evansville's East Side.

Staff members of the coalition worked behind the scenes to attract the company to Evansville and offered the former Sam's Club location on Vogel Road as a possible site for the center. AT&T took the property and the call center will employ more than 500 people.

"There's a connection between real estate and economic development, and we want to see that continue," Czoer said. "We felt like they've already done great things, and it sounds like they've got a lot of great plans."

The Evansville Realtors' $10,000 grant was matched by another $10,000 from the state organization. Karl Barron, chief executive of the Indiana Association of Realtors, said Southwest Indiana has a "smart, collaborative approach to economic development."

The grants were made under a program Realtors associations use to recognize innovative economic development efforts.

The Economic Development Coalition was formed last year to coordinate efforts in Vanderburgh, Warrick, Posey and Gibson counties. The organization was developed with the idea of regionalism at the forefront.


RC: Indiana Regional Planning and Development Districts – 13-B

.11 ‘Bureaucratic’ regional bodies irk business - Financial Times – UK

The prospectus for regional development agencies was simple: business-led bodies to bridge the gap between Whitehall and local authorities in England and foster economic development to reduce the north-south divide.

Each RDA must draw up a regional economic strategy in consultation with local “stakeholders” – including businesses and business organisations. This identifies priorities for improving the region’s competitiveness, such as creating jobs, encouraging entrepreneurs, training the workforce and forging links between businesses and universities.

The RDAs are run by 15-member boards representing local and regional interests, chaired by a leading business figure from the region. Last year they spent almost £2.3bn of government funds and say they created or safeguarded jobs for more than 111,000 people, supported almost 19,000 new businesses and helped more than 373,000 people improve their skills.

Now, eight years after the RDAs were launched, the government wants to give them more to do. It has proposed adding housing, planning and the environment to their responsibilities and giving them a bigger role in co-ordinating the efforts of local councils and other regional bodies.

However, a Financial Times survey suggests that the RDAs are far from winning the confidence of business organisations for the work they already undertake. Most of the 40 chambers of commerce and regional branches of the EEF employers’ organisation questioned said the agencies did not understand business needs well and were not easy to deal with.

Comments by those polled reveal some of the factors behind the results.

While some RDAs were highly praised by the business organisations, a recurrent criticism was that the people running them were often ill-equipped to deal with the commercial world.

“Appears to be very bureaucratic and significantly more costly than it should be,” one chamber of commerce said. “Reaction and responsiveness to changing circumstances is far too slow.”


15. Google News for “Regional Community”

Other menu sections available from this link include: Regional Development; Regional Council; Regional Commission; Regional America; Regional Asia; Regional Europe; Regional Competition; Regionalism; Intergovernmental and other search terms. They can be sorted by date or relevance. These are among the 50 search terms I use to produce this newsletter.

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

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

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

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

To read and search previous issues go to:

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

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

For the Google Groups version go to:

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

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

Please e-mail the editor: or

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