Regional Community Development News – March 26, 2008 [regions_work]

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

Published on line since November 11, 2003.



Top Regional Community stories of the this week … 1. – 9.

U.S. Regional Communities - sub-State, State or multi-State - news articles … 10.01 - .29

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet … 11.01 - .26

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .22

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .05

Subscription access news stories … 14.01

Custom search: region, regions, regional communities … 15.

Top Regional Community stories of this week

1. Think regionally - Ventura County Star - Camarillo, CA, USA

Most people do not become involved in planning issues unless they think there will be a direct effect on their own neighborhood. However, many issues discussed and addressed at the regional level have a direct effect at the neighborhood level, but never show up on the screen of people who have their radar tuned to "neighborhood only." Transportation decisions may require the demolition of homes to expand freeways and housing allocations may result in the construction of lower-cost housing on vacant lots in existing neighborhoods. It is hard to get more local than this if the projects are in your neighborhood!

Though made in public meetings, these regional policy decisions are out of the local spotlight because they are made at faraway places by organizations with unfamiliar names, like SCAG (the Southern California Association of Governments). This leaves local residents feeling confused and cheated when policy decisions don't reflect community values.

Sometimes, the decisions reflect regional values and, sometimes, they reflect someone else's community values. Sometimes, decisions are based on a superior understanding of the issues due to greater access to information and determined study on the part of elected officials, working in cooperation with expert staffs. Often, they are not.

Too often, winner-take-all politics provides for the needs of the majority, when a more balanced approach could address everyone's needs. Sometimes, good old politics and support of the status quo are the driving forces in decisions that shape the long-term future of our neighborhoods, our communities, the region and, in fact, our Earth.

Solving regional problems

Fueled by discussions of "globalization of the economy" and "global warming, " two distinct but related topics, there is growing understanding on the part of concerned citizens that regional decisions have both local and global impacts. …

2. A Penny for Your Roads? 13wmaz - GA, USA

State representatives are scheduled to decide Thursday whether to allow a one-cent regional sales tax for transportation.

It's called a TSPLOST, and if the measure becomes law, the 16 Regional Development Centers around the state could ask voters to approve a one-cent sales tax for transportation projects in their areas.

The proposal originated in the Senate, where it received overwhelming support. But House committees tacked on three amendments.

One amendment would allow individual counties to opt out of the regional tax. Another would move a penny of the current gasoline tax from the state's general fund to help fund transportation needs in rural areas.

The third amendment would exempt non-road fuel purchases from the regional tax. The exemptions include fuel purchased for airplanes, boats and vehicles that don't use roads.

Since it's a proposed state constitutional amendment, the House and Senate must approve the now amended version by two-thirds vote.

If that happens, voters would decide the issue in the November general election.

Ralph Nix serves as director of the Middle Georgia Regional Development Commission in Macon. If the law becomes effective, the Macon RDC would be the driving force behind road improvement projects in the 11-county area it serves.

"I think we're all in general agreement that both the state and region have transportation needs and needs some resources applied to our current and future transportation needs in this area, " he said.

More than 50 groups, including business and government leaders, transit advocates, road builders and environmentalists, support the proposal.

The sales tax could be used for state and local road work, but not for federal interstate projects such as the proposed I-16 and I-75 interchange renewal.

3. In Our Opinion: Ann Arbor, West Mich. have lessons to teach - - MI, USA

For decades, the premise of the state's economic outlook was static: As Detroit goes, so goes Michigan. But that's not true today, thanks in large part to the rise of West Michigan as an economic force.

The emergence of West Michigan was the focus of the most recent Michigan Leaders Speak event sponsored by Ann Arbor Business Review.

The region started out as dependent as Detroit on the automobile industry and traditional manufacturing. And it had to fight for attention as Southeast Michigan dominated the state's mission and politics.

Yet today, West Michigan can point to a number of successes that show it will be a key driver in the state's future.

Meanwhile, Ann Arbor had always stood alone, an island unto itself, powered by the University of Michigan and a liberal philosophy. The announced shutdown of Pfizer showed that Ann Arbor is no longer an island.

A look at both communities shows that both have the attributes and momentum needed to lift Michigan.

Many of the strengths of Ann Arbor are similar to those in Grand Rapids: A vibrant downtown core, an expanding suburban ring, lower unemployment rate than the state average. Both soon will have a medical school tied to a state university; both have a university downtown. Many of the businesses in one community also operate businesses in the other, thanks to similar demographics.

Yet differences remain: Much of Grand Rapids' investment comes from a few large, private donors. The regions are disconnected politically, yet the areas comprising West Michigan united to promote unified growth plans, while it's still more piecemeal in Southeast Michigan.

And both regions are grappling with larger state issues, including state policy that retards business growth; regionalism that can both help and hurt efforts toward greater unity; the need to build a ...

4. In our view: Joplin’s secret ingredient - Joplin Globe - Joplin, MO, USA

What is the secret ingredient that makes some cities prosper more than others, perhaps even ones of similar size and economic base?

The answer, we believe, is multifaceted.

Cities into which new businesses are moving, existing businesses are investing and good things are happening have consensuses of where they are going and how they are going to get there. They are vibrant and progressive in their outlooks, yet realistic in their broad economic goals. They see the future as a challenge and an opportunity.

Joplin, we believe, has the dynamics in place. It is experiencing widespread growth, as evidenced by the continued development of Range Line Road and the revitalization of downtown.

Moving forces for Joplin over the past few decades have been a renewed spirit and a can-do attitude on the part of the business community and residents of the city. Joplin is the metropolitan hub for a large and growing region involving portions of three states: Southwest Missouri, Southeast Kansas and Northeast Oklahoma.

The area appears to be buying into the notion of regionalism and the basic premise that what is good for Joplin is good for the region, and what is good for the region is good for Joplin. In short, if an industry doesn’t find what it wants or needs here, business, political and community leaders might find a better fit next door or down the block. That sort of cooperative spirit can reap benefits for everyone by creating new jobs and offering new chances for economic prosperity.

Joplin and its environs have ...

RC: Harry S Truman Coordinating Council

5. Sharing Resources - Daytona Beach News-Journal - Daytona Beach, FL, USA

With the economy in dire straits, budgets frayed from legislative cutbacks and voter-induced reductions in property tax levies, governments face serious challenges in meeting demand for services.

One way is through partnerships. For instance, does it make sense for cities to erect children's play equipment like jungle gyms in city-owned parks only blocks away from a school playground? Not to cities like Port Orange, which maintains school playgrounds in exchange for use when schools aren't in operation. Sharing of resources also has been a longtime goal in other cities, such as DeLand, which maintains grounds for recreational services provided by Volusia County.

Consolidation of governments is not being considered -- and hasn't been discussed seriously since a referendum to unite seven coastal cities in Volusia County failed in 1985. But consolidation of services has been, resulting in things like shared dispatch programs for emergency calls.

With this year's budget restraints, incentives to cooperate are even greater. Governments in Volusia and Flagler counties should initiate formal studies to identify efficiencies. Some of that is already occurring informally among cities or through groups like the Volusia Council of Governments -- but more serious efforts are needed.

We offer some suggestions:




OTHER: There are many other areas to consider. Some city human resources directors are considering regional pacts for recruiting personnel. …

Perhaps one positive element from this year's severe budget cuts is that most cities and counties are thinking again about what services might be shared. Many mayors and city managers say everything is on the table as they look for ways to reduce costs while attempting to maintain the high level of services demanded by residents.

6. Tucson growth: Managed growth is the key - Arizona Daily Star - Tucson, AZ, USA

The essence of the facts is that efforts to control population growth in American political jurisdictions have either failed to control growth or suffered from unintended consequences more serious than the initial problem.

In a free society, attempts to control growth rely upon some combination of government regulation and economic pressure.

For example, if by political actions a community denies new housing starts and any renovations that produce more apartments or condominiums, growth can be slowed. Unmet demand will increase the price of housing in the community with undesirable consequences. Families of limited means will share housing or move to the outskirts of the community, driving into the restricted area for work, increasing urban sprawl, traffic congestion and localized population density. The sons and daughters of original residents will be unable to afford to live in their own hometowns.

The speakers had different perspectives and the regional panelists were diverse in their backgrounds and political orientations, but all came to the same conclusion: Population growth cannot be effectively proscribed.

The challenge is to manage the growth to achieve the greatest economic prosperity and the highest quality of life.

The hard truth is this: We must find regionally acceptable ways to manage growth and not waste time and energy in divisive insistence that growth can be effectively halted.

Unless we put this false choice behind us and come together to plan for managed growth, we will be stuck in the present moment and unable to shape our future together wisely.

I believe that open dialogue will bring us together in Tucson as we deal with challenges relating to growth and other equally pressing issues. The "Tucson Growth: Decision at the Crossroads" forum took one more big step in the right direction.

19 Comments on this story

7. Small towns pay the price for regional school budget formula - Asbury Park Press, NJ

Regionalization does not work for small communities. Period.

The Shore Regional School District 2008-2009 budget has been proposed, and Sea Bright's tax levy will be $2, 186, 366 to educate 27 students. This means that Sea Bright will be paying $80, 976 per student. Any level-headed individual would say that is crazy, and everyone in Sea Bright agrees.

Shore Regional is doing nothing wrong. This amount is based on a complicated formula that takes into consideration the number of students in the grammar school, as well as Shore Regional, and the equalized value of the municipality, among other factors. This formula was enacted by the Legislature and was supposed to guarantee every child a "thorough and efficient" education.

We do not disagree with that intention. But as far as Sea Bright taxpayers are concerned, and other small communities in similar situations, it has also guaranteed an unbelievably unfair financial hardship. This must be resolved by the same body that voted for this unfair formula in the first place, the Legislature.

Figures in the proposed Shore Regional budget show Sea Bright has the least amount of students (27) and the lowest equalized property value ($859, 888, 235). But it has the highest increase (6.6 cents per $100 of assessed value) and the highest per-pupil cost ($80, 976).

The cost to educate a student at Shore Regional is $14, 726, based on another formula devised by the Department of Education, which is defined as current expenses exclusive of tuition expenditures, transportation, residential costs and judgments against the school board. So why are we expected to pay $80, 976 per pupil?


8. Replacing relic with a region - Edmonton Sun - Alberta, Canada

Oh the horror!

The very notion of Greater Edmonton becoming one big happy city - an area roughly bounded by a line connecting up Wabamun, Legal, Redwater, Elk Island Park, New Sarepta, Pigeon Lake and back to Wabamun - sure sets the cat among the pigeons.

Guess what? All municipal boundaries evolve and change.

Premier Ed Stelmach and Municipal Affairs Minister Ray Danyluk have options to deal with the region's governance logjam, the favoured being the resurrection of a regional planning commission. With teeth.

But the provincial government could, in its wisdom, create one big city. Or reduce Greater Edmonton down to six big municipalities with a regional overlay.

Whatever they do, it's clear the current mish-mash of 23 towns, counties and cities in one definable region is a relic of simpler times, and doesn't serve a complex urban region that'll double in population and triple its industrial output within 30 years.

Remember, the provincial government is Big Daddy. It has the power to redraw boundaries as it sees fit.

Happens all the time.

Edmonton itself has seen seven boundary expansions - 1899, 1904, 1912, 1947, 1960, 1970 and 1982 (which saw the huge addition to the northeast).

Meanwhile, the premier and his municipal affairs minister could also consider the B.C. Lower Mainland model - the central city surrounded by five spread out suburban municipalities.

9. Needed Cooperation – The Day- New London, CT, USA

Two new initiatives demonstrate that the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments remains a state leader in searching for regional approaches to do the people's business more economically and cooperatively.

The council, made up of chief elected officers from throughout the region, has instructed Executive Director James Butler to compile information that could result in joint purchasing agreements and sharing the cost of providing some services — initiatives both aimed at trimming costs.

As the high cost of energy continues to drive up the price of most everything, the reality that government has to do business differently is sinking in. If two or three small towns can share the services of one official to get things done, that can mean savings to taxpayers. Towns can also save taxpayer money by collectively purchasing such materials as heating oil, sand and office paper.

Council Chairman Joe Jaskiewicz, the Montville mayor, said during a recent council meeting that heating fuel and gasoline prices would drive up every town budget in the region. Those costs will almost certainly mean higher property taxes for homeowners who are already reeling from their own high energy bills.

It is encouraging to see our local elected leaders looking for ways to trim those costs, rather than simply passing the bill along to taxpayers. The current council of governments study could lead to the creation of a joint purchasing council that would use the collective buying power of the region to get better deals.

To get to that point, however, the council needs detailed information about the current purchasing habits of the towns. Compiling that information can be a significant burden, particularly for small towns with limited staff, but Mr. Butler correctly told town officials that the resulting savings could well be worth the effort.


10. U.S. regional communities - sub-State, State or multi-State - in news articles.

Bold font words are Google search terms. Bold italic words considered worth noting. In this and section 11, links to websites of organizations are added to the news excerpt when this is the first time an organization has been found. A goal of this newsletter is to find every regional council in the U.S. in a news story as well as recognizing other regional organizations. In most cases, where a full name is present, a Google search will quickly get one to that organization. News reports do not always get the organization name correct. Contents

.01 Forbes ranks Providence in bottom half of metro regions
Providence Business News - Providence, RI, USA
Providence, Worcester and Boston all fall in the bottom half of major metropolitan regions nationwide in Forbes magazine’s 10th annual ranking of the Nation’s Best Cities for Business....

.02 Best Places For Business And Careers
Forbes, NY
Common themes for the business-welcoming metros include solid job growth, an educated labor supply and low business costs. Interestingly, six of the 10 metro areas are anchored by capital cities; maybe lobbyist spending boosts an economy. ...

.03 DRCOG hears FasTracks criticisms
The Aurora Sentinel Daily Sun - Aurora, CO, USA
The Denver Regional Council of Government's board of directors drew vocal criticism Wednesday, March 19, from representatives of cities and municipalities statewide over recent changes to RTD's plans for the FasTracks transportation project. ...

.04 Among the 40 'megas'
Rocky Mountain News - Denver, CO, USA
Over the past decade or so, Denver, Boulder and the surrounding region have developed a well-desreved reputation as one of the nation's very best places to live. … several reasons underpinning the region's consistent high marks. In a survey I conducted with the Gallup Organization we found that, ...

.05 Tahoe Fire Prevention Hurt by Infighting
The Associated Press -
... regional water boards that are charged with maintaining the lake's clarity, multiple local governments and fire protection districts, and a two-state regional planning board whose regulations affect all the agencies, organizations and private landowners in the Tahoe basin. ...

.06 Panel seeks emergency declaration for Lake Tahoe fire-prevention
San Jose Mercury News - CA, USA
The commission issued a report focusing on two agencies at the core of the criticism: the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and California's Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board. Both agencies traditionally have made fire protection secondary to environmental protection, in particular trying to maintain the lake's clarity. ...

.07 Wellfleet, Truro mull regional ideas
Wicked Local Wellfleet - Orleans, MA, USA
“When my neighbors hear regionalization, they shudder, ” said Truro Selectman Curtis Hartman at Tuesday night’s board of selectmen meeting. “When they hear the words cost-sharing they smile.”

.08 Service pacts: To foster regionalism, think broadly, look for ...
Lansing State Journal - Lansing, MI, USA
To state it bluntly, Lansing city government lacks the requisite credibility to lead regional cooperation projects. There's little in the way of confidence, ...

.09 Finger-pointing does no service to taxpayers - Hackensack, NJ, USA

I also learned the lesson that regionalization is not for the faint of heart. Commitment, fair dealing, honesty and belief in the possibilities of your endeavor are vital to the process....

.10 Regional governance initiative eyed
The News Tribune -
Stanton confirmed today that supporters of forming a single regional body to govern both mass transit and road construction are exploring an initiative campaign to put it on the November ballot. … a 2006 state task force that recommended regional governance. … TNT ed board and most Pierce County elected officials are wary of regional governance, fearing that the needs of the metro Seattle area will dominate, to the detriment of Pierce County. …

.11 Pike County Fiscal Court Provides Funding For Eastern Kentucky Fair
EKB News
As with any festival, it often takes time to establish a tradition. But Sandy Runyon, Director of the Big Sandy Area Development District in Prestonsburg, says the generosity and help in planning from local counties and cities could prove to be a make or break issue for the continued existence of the East Kentucky Fair....

.12 An energy triangle?
Gillette News Record - Gillette, WY, USA
Regionalism isn’ta bad idea, said Campbell County Commissioner Craig Mader. “I think there are a lot of cost-saving measures that regional thinking could ...

.13 Logistics & Distribution
Memphis Daily News - TN, USA
Dr. John Kasarda, the University of North Carolina business professor who coined the term, called Memphis the lone aerotropolis in the United States thanks to the airport's $21.7 billion impact - and because of its status as the world's busiest for cargo. ...

.14 Opinion 250: Pittsburgh's lost opportunities

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – PA, USA

International firms could grow much faster around here if there were more cooperation among Great Lakes states, if we could hire more professionals from abroad and if it were easier for foreign workers to cross the Canadian border, …

.15 Regional plan tries to drive fine line on cars, transit
Sacramento Bee - CA, USA
... unanimously Thursday by representatives of six Sacramento-area counties and 22 cities, serving as the Sacramento Area Council of Governments board. ...

.16 Letter: Why the override is needed
MetroWest Daily News - Framingham, MA, USA
There are certainly innovations in scheduling and regionalization that may offset some of these requirements, but they are neither sufficient nor available ...

.17 Kernan to Speak on Local Government Reform
Inside INdiana Business (press release) - Indianapolis, IN, USA
Former Governor Joe Kernan will speak about the need for local government restructuring as part of a conference on regional development in Indianapolis. ... See Announcements and Regional Links

.18 AMD gets final Empire Zone designation
Times Union - NY
Officials with the Saratoga Economic Development Corp. said today that Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has received the “regionally significant project” designation from the state’s Empire State Development Corp., meaning it will be ...

.19 Regional group strives to connect commuters
Indianapolis Star - United States
By Amy Bartner With gasoline costs surging above $3 a gallon, the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority hopes to show the public that there are ...

.20 Report says US 411 retail center would generate $10 million in taxes
Rome News-Tribune - Rome, GA, USA
The Coosa Valley Regional Development Center will offer its 10 county members a chance to comment on the project. The report estimates a completion date of ...

.21 American Red Cross regionalization improving disaster response
Oshkosh Northwestern - Oshkosh, WI, USA
Prior to the regionalization, Maricque would have had to call chapters randomly and see who could offer help. "We can contact neighboring chapters and take ...

.22 California regions battle over housing money
Los Angeles Times - CA, USA
Some of the region's proposed projects simply were not as good as those elsewhere, state housing agency officials said. And things are not likely to change ...

.23 Outside the box
Worcester Telegram - Worcester, MA, USA
Regionalized animal control is only one of many possibilities. Regionalization can save money by avoiding duplication and capturing efficiencies of scale. ...

.24 ERIE COUNTY NOTEBOOK: Reselling regionalism
Tonawanda News - North Tonawanda, NY, USA
Now is the time for Collins to make his big pitch for a more friendly breed of regionalism. The shift can’t occur at all without each of the county’s ...

.25 Danville meetings to map out road plans
Danville Register and Bee - Danville, VA, USA
Area planning officials are floating possible transportation projects in the Dan River Region... the Danville Urbanized Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, … trying to determine the feasibility and most appropriate locations for the projects. …

RC: Danville MPO at West Piedmont Planning District Commission

.26 New Appalachians Trail Travel Guide Map, Web Site
Kentucky Post - Covington, KY, USA
"Geotourism is a growing area in the industry, " he said. "Travel based on geographical distinctiveness and a strong sense of place are both things that ...

.27 Carbon Dioxide Up For Sale
Hartford Courant, United States

... states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative have agreed to auction off nearly all of the allotment of carbon allowances, totaling about 188 million tons of CO{-2} in the first year. ...

.28 Official: Delta communities must include broadband in economic development efforts

Springdale Morning News - Springdale, AR, USA
Some Delta communities are drying up and struggling because of outdated economic development plans on the local level that don't focus on information technology, the alternate federal co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority said Monday. "Too many of our communities are stuck in the old 1950s and 1960s mode of economic development, " when the goal was to recruit industries from the North, …

.29 700 MHz Auction Winners: Why Block C Matters
CircleID - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
... Verizon won Block C. (Block C was set up in two nationwide paired blocks of 11 MHz each, which were auctioned off in very large geographic areas—12 licenses, each covering a ”Regional Economic Area Grouping”. ...

11. Other regional community news for our Local Planet. Contents

.01 Uganda: 'Survival of the Fittest' As Food Crisis Bites Karamoja Region - Washington, USA
The food crisis in northeastern Uganda's Karamoja region has reached such a dire level that more than one million people are in need of emergency food aid, ...

.02 Region thriving on overseas cash
The Nation Newspaper - Bridgetown, St. Michael, Barbados
... in some cases to at least a third of the economies of nations in the region which receive funds from nationals in North America, Europe and elsewhere. ...

.03 'Urbanisation in Asia-Pacific region also driving poverty'
Hindu - Chennai, India
New York (PTI): The pace of urbanisation in Asia and the Pacific unparalleled by any other region in the world has resulted in growth but has also driven up ...

.04 Vietnam rice troubles could affect region: expert
Zeigler said it was still not clear why the pest and virus attacks had swept across the southern and central regions of Vietnam. "We're faced with a lot of ...

InterTradeIreland - Dublin, Ireland
“We will be working with the Department of Regional Development Northern Ireland and the Department of Transport Ireland in advance of the North South ...

.06 Staff shrinks as agency slims to three regions
The Herald - Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Three large regions are to replace the nine local enterprise company areas which have been the building block of economic development in the Highlands and Islands. Details were announced yesterday of the internal reorganisation of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, following the Scottish Government's decision in September to slim down the enterprise network. ...

.07 Special IT regions on the anvil
By India eNews
With infrastructure in metro cities already overloaded, the central government proposes to develop new information technology investment regions with world-class infrastructure.

.08 Envisat makes first ever observation of regionally elevated CO2 from manmade emissions
ESA News

As illustrated in the image, the findings show an extended plume over Europe’s most populated area, the region from Amsterdam in the Netherlands to Frankfurt, Germany. ...

.09 Canals offer answer to road congestion
Telegraph-co-uk - United Kingdom
The report, A vision of UK freight trends towards 2018 and beyond, says Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) could be used to identify suitable sites for strategic inland ports which would be linked up to the rail network. ...

.10 Russia's Duma Votes on Georgia Regions
The Associated Press -
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's parliament on Friday urged the Kremlin to consider recognizing the independence of two separatist regions in neighboring Georgia, ...

.11 DEVELOPMENT: NGOs Confront EU Over Regional Deals
IPS - Italy

The view that the EU is failing developing countries is widely accepted outside the EU Commission, and it continues to hold ground also after the EU-ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly this week. "After five years of negotiations on the EPAs, the European Commission has very little to show, " ...

.12 Devolution and power to the people
Tribune Magazine - UK
... of devolution than the rest of Britain, it was to be a process of decentralisation of power that went beyond national blocks and would lead to regional assemblies in the regions of England, based on regional development councils. ...

.13 Regular ACOA clients among those listed in big writeoff list for ...
The Canadian Press - HALIFAX

"As a regional development agency, we are there for every step of the way for the development of a small, medium-sized firm in Atlantic Canada, " … Each Atlantic province had some high-profile collapses on last year's books: …

.14 Share of nuke energy increased
China Daily – China

The country will accelerate the construction of nuclear power plants, particularly in the coastal regions, to ease mounting pressures on coal transportation from the northern regions and electricity transmission from west China, ...

.15 Gov't called on to solve water shortage - Dubai, Umm al Qaiwain, United Arab Emirates
Gulf residents are calling on governments to solve the region's looming water shortage crisis, the results of the latest spot poll have revealed. …

.16 Putting the region on the global ad map
Emirates Business 24/7 - Dubai, United Arab Emirates

“This is an important indicator for a region that wants to be a global hub for anything. In that sense, I believe the advertising and communication industry still has got a giant leap to make. The festival will help us in defining the starting point for our collective effort to improve and put the region on the global advertising map.”

.176 Five years of war: Let the country divide, and get out
The Independent Institute - Oakland, CA, USA
First, regional boundaries don’t have to exactly mirror ethno-sectarian areas, but they should come as close as possible. The case of Northern Ireland shows ...

.18 Think tank recommends Great Lakes region common market
Ottawa Business Journal - Ontario, Canada
An American think tank is recommending the creation of a common market for goods and workers in the Great Lakes region by 2030. ... The report was developed with the aid of Canadian scholars and government officials …

.19 New Indian airports on track to match global standards
TravelBizMonitor - Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Most new international airports are modern, with world-class infrastructure; more along the lines of an aerotropolis. People want airports in India to be on par with modern facilities outside the country. This has forced existing Indian airports to rethink their design and structure. ...

.20 Council votes to keep report on headquarters secret
St. Catharines Standard - St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
During a closed-door meeting at Niagara regional council Thursday night, councillors voted to keep a report detailing the history of the Niagara Regional ...

.21 Can Welsh power be devolved to the regions? – Sports
Times Online - UK
Will Welsh success be shared among the regions? Like their counterparts from Scotland, Welsh teams have yet to make their mark on the Heineken Cup in the ...

.22 ITV in 'super regions' shake-up
Guardian - UK
Under the new system, six regional directors have been appointed to oversee each of the six super regions. The six new regional directors replace the ten ...

.23 Book on South Korea's Environmental Policy
Korea Times - South Korea
``On the surface, poetry is nothing to do with public policy and administration. But I believe poetry can purify public policy, a kind of prose, '' the author wrote in the preface. ``Therefore, as a poet, I have included my nature poems to end my collection of environmental public policy essays with some sense of purity.'' ... explores the possibility of regional cooperation for environmental protection in Northeast Asia. ...

.24 New tourism regions won't push county off the path
Pictou Country Nova Scotia News - New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Canada
A rebranding in Nova Scotia's tourism regions won't put Pictou County out of the loop, says the executive director of the county's tourism ...

.25 EMS heading into year three of discovery project
Central Peace Signal - Rycroft, Alberta, Canada
“This required the regionalization of seven different organizations across the Peace Country Health region which created Alberta’s third largest EMS system, ...

.26 More than $1-billion pledged to improve routes across region
Globe and Mail - Canada
The province has asked the board to come up with a master plan to ease the region's traffic problems. Commuters crowded into subway trains on the Toronto ...

12. Blogging about regions. Contents

.01 Everything Else Might Get More Expensive, Too
By Genghis Conn
There’s a raised bill (HB 5940) that will be given a public hearing on Monday that would fund the regional councils of government and the regional performance incentives grant program… by raising the sales tax from 6.0% to 6.5%. ...

.02 Dayton Region
By tellhistory
Obviously, we want to present the region in a positive light but we also want a slogan rooted in the recognized identity of the city and the wider region. Pittsburgh is a city of neighborhoods, or more recently “Pop City” (home of the ...

.03 "This Is Dayton": Creative Region Community Pride Initiative
By Jeffrey(Jeffrey)
More information on the Creative Region Initiatives from last month. From the Dayton Most Metro website, some more information on the “Community Pride” excerpt from a post at Dayton Most Metro: ...

.04 Renewed Hope for Wireless Cities
By lsg8
This week, a nearly unprecedented* coalition of community leaders in Broward County, Florida issued a bold and exciting RFI for a private-public partnership to build out more than 1, 000 sq miles of ultra broadband connectivity including fixed and wireless to interconnect the entire region. …

.05 Drivers Finally Responding to Rising Gas Prices?
Mobilizing the Region
A recent article from New Jersey Future argues that New Jersey’s ample transit service and compact development patterns leave the state well-positioned to respond to rising gasoline prices because a relatively high proportion of residents have the option of leaving their car at home. The same argument can be made for New York City and the tri-state region’s more transit-friendly communities. Unfortunately, few places in the United States have the transit service and compact, walkable and bikeable communities needed to accommodate a shift in travel behavior.

.06 Planning, Growth and Regeneration in England
By Janet Mackinnon(Janet Mackinnon)
In this scenario, the region would revert to the dispersal of economic activity and people away from the older urban areas. Isn't this also happening in the United States by a not-so-funny co-incidence ? So much for evidence-based ...

.07 Regional as Glocal
By Jim Russell(Jim Russell)
A regional economic newspaper is not a local source trying to "be all things to all people." Longworth sees an opportunity for a publication to sit between your daily local and the "global information market." I think Longworth is right ...

.08 Dallas Morning News Questionnaire
By markhepworth
Regional cooperation between the adjoining individual cities already exist when responding to fire police or other emergency events but, a seamless network would only enhance effectiveness. Q: Farmers Branch and Irving have taken an ...

.09 World Water Day - Water Law Resources
By Michel-Adrien(Michel-Adrien)
Here is a compendium of water law resources, both Canadian and international, to mark the day. …

Georgetown University Law Library Water Resources: broken down into general resources, organizations, water resources management, conflict management, geographical regions, and legal instruments. …

.10 State’s vehicle voucher program winding down for now ...
The North Central Texas Council of Governments, which administers the old vehicle voucher program on behalf of the state, has gotten 12000 applications from people seeking money to help replace their old cars and trucks. ...

.11 Chesterfield Commuters New $200 Tax
By Alter of Freedom(Alter of Freedom)
... the wake of not real progress on Regional Authority or cooperation, especially after the City of Richmond's poor handling of the Richmond Braves ordeal could not this simply be constued as another anti-regionalism move by the City. ...

.12 Attitude 101
By Rocky
It's because many of the solutions most appropriate for us to re-invent our economy are best addressed from a "regional perspective" rather than by any one community going at it alone. It's everything from economy of scale to resources, both human and natural, that when combined is more than the sum. ...

.13 So, what has Europe ever done for us? Apart from...
By Justin Hinchcliffe(Justin Hinchcliffe)
Regional development fund has aided the deprived parts of Britain Some of the UK's poorest regions have benefited from massive handouts from the EU which has been used to regenerate some of the country's most run-down areas. ...

.14 Regionalism is Dialectic Materialism


… emphasizing our commitment to the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) … Regional Policy and PlanningRedefining Boundaries - Creating new jurisdictions …

.15 Open Educational Resources: the Way Forward
By gsed4
Regional, linguistic and topic-specific communities will complement and extend the initial activities of the international OER community. UNESCO will promote the development of a loose network of regional, linguistic or topic nodes that ...

.16 Now Listen Up Kev – What about this housing bizzo? Part 2 - Policy
By Possum Comitatus
REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT. While changes to the negative gearing regime alone would be expected to increase housing affordability over time, it’s really tinkering around the edges because it doesn’t address the biggest underlying problem ...

.17 Learning taken to virtual world in project
By neilaitchison
The project is funded by the regional development agency, Advantage West Midlands, through its interactive digital media initiative, which promotes the use of new digital technology. For more see Birmingham City University.

.18 Dogs are allowed a walk with Old Masters in Tuscany
By arbroath(arbroath)
The law, which is due to come into force by June and reverses a longstanding ban, was drawn up by the Greens on the centre-left Tuscan regional council. Fabio Roggiolani, a leader of the Greens and head of the regional health commission ...

.19 Community college plan looks solid - Erie, PA, USA
As Erie County Executive Mark DiVecchio presses forward with a plan to create a regional community college, it's important for people to recognize the hope ...

.20 FAQ
By Working Mannequin(Working Mannequin)
This FAQ is intended to provide readers some basic information on the Independent Enterprise Network model. ... Network members who choose to may grow their network locally, regionally, statewide or nationwide. They are independent and as such they are free to conduct their business in or out of the network. The value of an IE-Network for ...

.21 American History: Barack Obama is making it
By Vemrion(Vemrion)
That's racism, sexism, ageism, regionalism -- every -ism you can think of -- down to a science. Pollsters know how to appeal to every little corner of the electorate. You craft a message specially-tailored for each of them and deliver ...

.22 Organizations
By barefoot anthropology(barefoot anthropology)

Permaculture/Intentional Communities … Localism/Bioregionalism …

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 The Many Faces of Regionalism from the Mega to the Micro - April 16 -17, Indianapolis, IN - Purdue University Center for Regional Development

This conference is designed to explore the richness of the "regionalism” concept and how it is being used and thought about in very different settings, including workforce development, transportation, energy development, and economic development. Regional leadership, barriers to regional collaboration, and other topics will also be featured as part of the conference agenda. Additionally, applied research and analytical “tools” designed to support regional initiatives and opportunities will be showcased and demonstrated. Finally, opportunities will be provided for networking among conferees.

To review the agenda for the 2008 conference Please click here for additional information.

For questions regarding program content, contact either Sam Cordes at or Christine Nolan at, both at the Purdue Center for Regional Development. Information on exhibits and displays can be obtained from Angi Thomas at at the Purdue Center for Regional Development. The phone number for the Purdue Center for Regional Development is 765-494-7273.

.02 True Urbanism: Designing the Healthy City - June 1-5, Santa Fe, NM, USA - 46th International Making Cities Livable Conference

Presentation topics include:

  • Principles of true urbanism
    Public realm. Multifunctional urban places. Human scale architecture. Regional character. Mixed use shop/houses. Compact urban fabric. Cellular city structure. Farmers' markets & community festivals. Balanced transportation. Controlled regional plan. Ecological & social sustainability. A city that is healthy for children & youth.
  • Designing the healthy city
    Mixed-use cellular structure to achieve the "City of short distances". Planning for commuting by foot & bike. Streetscape design to support walking & social life. Designing town squares for social life. Regional planning for the healthy city.
  • ...

.03 Art of Hosting Training - June 9-11, Cochrane, Alberta, Canada

We invite those involved in the work of hosting conversations and facilitating process who are feeling the urgent question of how to trigger action from conversation that makes sustainable impact.

Trainers, communicators, coaches, leaders, teachers, consultants, politicians, entrepreneurs, and social innovators – anyone who wants to practice leadership that invites collective creativity and intelligence that achieves better cooperation and results.

Please download invitation here.

For more information and registration please contact Cheryl de Paoli

.04 Shifting Ground – National Public Radio

American cities, towns, and rural areas are suffering growing pains. The symptoms are obvious. The remedies are not. Shifting Ground is a public radio series that examines the difficult choices confronting communities as they cope with change and try to shape a better future.

Shifting Ground is a public radio series supported by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy that aims to bring new depth to the reporting of land-use issues. It is airing on National Public radio's program All Things Considered.

The Lincoln Institute provided support for the series and made resources on land use available, through the Department of Planning and Urban Form. The series was also made possible by support from The Orton Family Foundation, based in Middlebury, Vermont.

The April 2008 issue of the Land Lines quarterly magazine is available at the Lincoln Institute Web site.

.05 English Regions Network

The English Regions Network (ERN) is the umbrella organisation for England's eight partnership Regional Assemblies ...

Regional Assemblies are responsible for:

  • preparing a statutory Regional Spatial Strategy, including the Regional Transport Strategy
  • scrutinising their regional development agency
  • integrating policy development and enhancing partnership working at the regional level across the social, economic and environmental policy agenda
  • being the 'voice of the region' and speaking out on behalf of the whole of the region at a national and international level.

14. Subscription access news stories. Contents

.01 Regional council promotes change - (subscription) - OR, USA

"Community Council" might come off as a bland name for an organization, but the citizens of northeast Oregon and southeast Washington who make up the fledgling group envision it as a vehicle for powerful and positive change in the valley regions.

Modeled after a 30-year organization (visit ) in Jacksonville, Fla., council members said they hope to address the area's social problems from an all-encompassing perspective, taking in information, input and suggestions from as many voices and walks of life as possible. Community members established a permanent board in November.

They now are seeking input on which major issue to examine during their first yearly cycle of study and recommendation.

"We are looking for questions that will point us in a certain direction, " said Jan Foster, council treasurer and one of 25 board members.

Instead of suggestions like, "Our schools are lousy, " Foster said, a better question would be, "Why is the dropout rate so high?"

Noah Leavitt, president elect, said the program committee - which collects the initial ideas - has received ideas from about 100 people thus far, questions ranging from whether or not the wine industry is leading to greater racial disparities to why the faith communities are not more actively involved in social justice in the region.

He said the committee aims to have a list of about eight to 10 ideas by the middle of April to be weeded down to one or two ideas in May, when the council will pick the best.

From there, the council will appoint a study committee to examine the problem from as many angles as possible, developing a comprehensive report with a list of recommendations to ameliorate the particular problem. That process, council members said, takes roughly a year.


15. 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 regional related sites. Entering the term broadband returned 111 items; communications - 86 items. Please recommend links for inclusion.

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

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

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

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

To read and search previous issues go to:

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

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

For the Google Groups version go to:

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

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

Please e-mail the editor:

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