Regional Community Development News – April 16, 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 - .23

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .22

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .04

Subscription access news stories … 14.01

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

Top Regional Community stories of this week

1. Regional Council Membership Pays Off, County Says - Kitsap Sun (Subscription) - WA, United States

A preliminary analysis shows that Kitsap County has benefitted financially over the past 15 years from its membership in the Puget Sound Regional Council, which oversees distribution of federal transportation funding in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties.

Whether the benefits will hold as the PSRC's Vision 20/40 growth plan is implemented remains to be seen, Eric Baker, the county's director of special projects, told Kitsap County commissioners and a standing-room-only crowd of stakeholders Wednesday.

The Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners, which is calling for the county's withdrawal from the PSRC, has called Baker's analysis biased. KAPO want to see a citizens' committee formed to explore the possibility of withdrawal.

"The fingerprints of county staff and PSRC are all over this (executive) summary, " Vivian Henderson of KAPO wrote in a recent letter to the Kitsap Sun.

South Kitsap Commissioner Jan Angel, who has been critical of Vision 20/40, called for Baker's analysis in response to concerns raised by KAPO late last year. At Wednesday's meeting, she reiterated her opinion that Kitsap County did not have sufficient input on the plan, and she said she feared — loss of local control — in planning for growth.

The PSRC's general assembly is set to vote on Vision 20/40 at it's April 24 meeting.

In response to Angel's concerns about Vision 20/40, Commission Chairman Steve Bauer said the county, through the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council, needs to hire someone to do an analysis of the document and future policies that will affect the county.

According to research by his staff, Baker said Kitsap County earned nearly $31 million more in awards for transportation projects from 1992 through 2007 than it would have if it had operated as its own, independent planning organization. …

2. 'Sanframento' transportation team seeks I-80 corridor funds - Sacramento Bee - CA, USA

As the Bay Area and Sacramento regions creep relentlessly toward each other along Interstate 80 – getting uncomfortably crowded along the way – officials from both areas are promoting an idea they call mega-regional planning.

They're so excited, they've even come up with a phrase to capture the concept: Sanframento.

Hundreds of thousands of trucks, trains and cars ferry goods and people each day between the bay shores, the Sacramento Valley and the mountains, they point out. And tens of thousands of former Bay Area residents now call the Valley and foothills home.

It makes sense, planners say, to take a broader, holistic approach to solving congestion problems and figuring out how the I-80 corridor ought to grow.

Despite the cutesy "Sanframento" coinage, Sacramento regional transportation planning head Mike McKeever said no one is talking about merging cities or eliminating local control.

"The last thing we want is to create the impression this is something where the Sacramento area gets subsumed by the beast to the west, " said McKeever of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. "It is about getting smart."

He and other leaders said it's become clear that bay and Valley communities can do better building transportation systems by joining forces, especially when competing with Southern California for scarce transportation funds.

Some officials say mega-region planning could touch on growth topics, such as whether there should be a no-build buffer zone between Yolo and Solano counties.

But West Sacramento Mayor Chris Cabaldon, a supporter of the mega-region planning idea, pointedly argued that people from San Francisco and Sacramento should steer clear of telling cities along I-80 how to grow.

3. Bay Area needs to invest to retain top-tier economy - San Francisco Chronicle - CA, USA

Today's economy is generating anxiety at all levels. But as immediate as its problems are, we also need to keep our eye on the long-term prospects. While the Bay Area's economy is arguably the most competitive in the world, that edge could quickly fade if we fail to address our most pressing needs.

First, the good news: The Bay Area is the world's fourth-most-important center for global business - after New York, London and Tokyo - as measured by the number of and revenues of Forbes Global 1000 companies. We are the envy of the world, and most cities, regions and nations would kill for the assets that we take for granted.


Now the bad news: Global change is accelerating, competitive pressures are increasing, and the cities and regions with which we compete are executing on ambitious strategies that may soon erode our leadership. By investing heavily in their infrastructure and in the education of their workforce, city-regions from Shanghai to Bangalore, and nations such as South Korea and China, are building their competitive assets. China and India are churning our huge numbers of scientists and engineers who provide the human infrastructure for new industries. Global companies, in pursuit of both talent and markets, are following. Increasingly, service jobs, manufacturing and R&D that once were focused here are being distributed globally.

By comparison, our record in California and the Bay Area isn't encouraging. ...

The cost of doing business in the Bay Area is among the highest in the world, and second only to London among comparable city-regions. ...

What does this tell us about the Bay Area's economic future? The short answer is: Change is the only certainty, and the future is in our hands.

To hold its edge, the Bay Area must ...

RC: Association of Bay Area Governments

4. Editorial: Mayor key to united city power - New Zealand Herald

Lord mayor is a working title for the person who might lead a united Auckland. It is time to ditch it, along with the working title for the united body, the Greater Auckland Council. Both are rather dusty British designations that sound a little ridiculous in a New Zealand setting. We do not have lords and we do not have places with greater or lesser pretensions.

If the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Auckland Governance recommends a single city council, it should be called Auckland, and if it is to be led by a separately elected person, he or she should be called the mayor. The fact that there is already a mayor and a city council for Auckland, whose jurisdiction covers only the isthmus, should not be a problem unless the existing mayors and councils were somehow to survive.

Even then, it is the isthmus that ought to be renamed, not the whole city known as Auckland. If the commission can devise a power structure that will give the city more decisive leadership, there will be no place for nebulous names such as "region" and "authority". The organism under study is a city, the governing bodies of cities are councils.

Language helps to clarify issues. If the subcity councils of Auckland had to use plain language, they might think twice about the case they are trying to make for their own survival as mayors and councils. …

The crucial question for the status and power of the city's highest office - indeed of the council that may be constituted for the whole city - is whether the mayor will be directly elected by citizens or chosen by elected council members. …

Auckland needs leadership elected by the whole city. It must start at the top.

5. Northeast Ohio leaders want to pursue regional growth, tax-sharing plan - The Plain Dealer - Cleveland, OH, USA

Key leaders say they want to pursue a revolutionary proposal to plan for growth across 16 counties and share the new taxes that result.

The strategy would boost the region's lagging economy by minimizing the costly competition for new business among cities, supporters say. And it would stem the cost of sprawling development in a region that has seen little population growth.

"We have to reduce the cost of governance, and that's what this does, " said Hudson Mayor William Currin, who is leading the effort. Regional solutions to our economic woes have been much discussed in recent years, yet little action has resulted.

But at a private meeting Wednesday, elected leaders from most of the 16 counties signaled they may be ready for unprecedented action.

They agreed to push forward into serious study of how land-use planning and sharing of new income and property tax could work, from Youngstown to Lorain.

"This is a historic process that we're going through, " said Chris Warren, head of regional development for Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. "It's a work in progress, but we think it's headed in the right direction."

Besides Warren, others at the morning meeting at Cuyahoga Community College's Corporate College in Warrensville Heights included Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, Can ton Mayor William Healey, Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams and Cuyahoga County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones.

"It's rare to see that kind of high-level participation, " Jones said. "It speaks to the fact that we all recognize the need to collaborate, and not compete."

The 23 leaders who gathered Wednesday acted as a sounding board for a $135, 000 study on tax sharing and regional planning, funded by the Northeast Ohio Mayors and City Managers Association and the Fund for Our Economic Future, a philanthropy group focused on the region's growth.

... Regional Economic Review Study

RC: NOACA Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency

6. MORPC reports on 'State of the Region' - ThisWeekNews - Columbus, OH, USA

Chester R. Jourdan, executive director of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, delivered the following address during MORPC's first State of the Region luncheon Wednesday, April 16.

The purpose of the State of the Region Report is to focus central Ohio’s attention on issues of significance and to applaud efforts already underway to improve the quality of life in our region. There are 3 dozen indicators that MORPC has identified as significant data for our region, which have been organized into People, Place and Prosperity in our State of the Region Report. The following are highlights from the report. For the complete report please visit

Central Ohio is an amazing region. It includes 12 counties and is home to 2.1 million people. Our land size is larger than the state of Connecticut and we have a similar population to the state of Nebraska. Central Ohio has 24 universities with 117, 000 students; 17 hospitals and 37 watersheds. There are 9, 500 farms, 7 state parks, one National park, and the most extensive archeological mound system in the world.

Since 2000, the region added nearly 120, 000 individuals. International migration accounted for 26% of the growth. Central Ohio is a diverse community that enriches the region and the state of Ohio’s culture. Our multi-culturalism enhances our competitive advantage in the global market place and helps us to attract the best and brightest.

However, our future generational portrait is changing dramatically. People 40-69 years old constitute the bulk of the central Ohio workforce. They will start retiring in 2015 and the “Baby Boom” generation will begin turning 62 this year. There are significant efforts underway by the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce and Compete Columbus to attract and retain young professionals to the region which will be critical to our future.

7. Mayor welcomes regional planning - Calgary Herald - AB, Canada

Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier is welcoming the government's bid to bring back regional planning, saying a slew of bad development projects has sprouted near the city in the absence of provincial rules.

"When the province vacated regional planning in 1995 it was a mistake, " Bronconnier said Tuesday.

"We need to enshrine regional planning in legislation."

The Stelmach government's sweeping new land plan proposes to do just that.

According to a draft copy of the land-use framework obtained by the Herald, the province wants to divide Alberta into six regions based on major watersheds. Advisory councils would be established to create regional development plans tied to water and other environmental limits.

New provincial policies and laws, which haven't yet been drafted, would guide the plans. If a municipality fails to follow the rules, its development decisions could be appealed, Sustainable Resource Development Minister Ted Morton said Monday.

"The government will change the way land-use decisions are made in this province, " said Tuesday's throne speech, which promised regional planning will return to Alberta.

The land-use framework also calls for the creation of a "metropolitan plan" for the Calgary area, promoting high-density infill development and a clear direction of what the region will look like in the future.

Bronconnier said that plan should be based on work already underway through the Calgary Regional Partnership, a voluntary coalition of urban and rural municipalities formed a few years ago to foster co-operation.

The partnership is working on a regional land-use plan. A draft report is expected this summer and it could spark fireworks between urban and rural neighbours, said Alan Smart, an anthropologist at the University of Calgary. "They've done a good job at picking the low-hanging fruit. The things that can be done easily because everyone agrees, " Smart said.

8. Region needs a first-step success on transit - Detroit Free Press - United States

Detours and dead ends have blocked the road to mass transit in southeast Michigan for decades. I thought about listing our history of transit troubles in this column, but you've heard it all before. Besides, there's not enough Prozac in the world to get me through it.

We need a success to build on -- desperately -- or resign ourselves to second-class status while watching our federal tax dollars go to new transit systems in regions like Denver, or even Grand Rapids, that have their acts together.

John Hertel, the new CEO of the Regional Transit Coordinating Council, hopes to do what no one else has done: Develop a transportation plan that all of southeast Michigan will get behind. For now, he and his deputy, John Swatosh, are publicly saying little and listening a lot.

So far, Hertel has met with the leaders of 50 of the 132 cities, villages and townships in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties. He plans to meet most of the rest by year's end, when a consultant hired by Hertel's group will recommend a transportation plan, including how to pay …

As usual, figuring out who pays for what will be the potential deal-breaker. This region still hasn't learned that it will rise or fall together. A Macomb County commissioner summed up the prevailing sentiment when he said that every time he hears the word regional, he grabs his wallet.

Contrast that myopia with Denver's regional ethic. There, solidly Republican suburban counties helped pass a regional sales tax to build a rapid transit system. They knew it benefited everyone. Denver's new mayor, John Hickenlooper, has made regionalism a mantra.

“We're joined at the hip with our suburban neighbors, " he told me.

No doubt, we're way behind, but no one should give up. We can't afford to. …

RC: SEMCOG Southeast Michigan Council of Governments

9. Tri-State Alliance to Host Regional Infrastructure Summit

The Tri-State Alliance, a newly developed group dedicated to improving commerce in Northern Illinois, Northeastern Iowa, and Southern Wisconsin, will host a transportation summit on Monday, April 21 at the Masonic Temple in Freeport, Illinois.

The Tri-State Alliance includes economic development organizations from Beloit (WI), Belvidere (IL), Dubuque (IA), Freeport (IL), Galena (IL), Janesville (WI), Rochelle (IL) and Rockford (IL). Alliance Members believe that cities in the region must plan collaboratively for future growth and development and speak with one voice when advocating for the region’s transportation needs at the state and federal levels.

The Rockford Chamber of Commerce and the Rockford Area Economic Development Council will help launch the Tri-State Alliance during the April 21 summit. The event, which begins at 9 a.m., will focus on a number of important topics, including regional infrastructure needs, the 2010 federal transportation bill and rural economic development. Hundreds of government, community and business leaders from across the region are expected to attend. The keynote speaker will be Mark Drabenstott, the Director of the Center for Regional Competitiveness at the Rural Policy Research Institute.

The United States Senators from IL, IA and WI have been invited to attend, as have the US Representatives from the region and state-level transportation officials representing the three states.

Einar Forsman, president/CEO of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce said, “By joining forces with other like-minded communities, we hope to bring a regional focus to vital issues like transportation and economic development. If our region is to grow and prosper, we need to speak with one voice about what our priorities are. That’s what the Alliance effort is all about.”

“Building regional partnerships are important to growing each community’s wealth. It is exciting to see the Tri-State Alliance form and have our first event in time for our elected officials and government leaders to plan our needs in the 2010 transportation bill, ” said Janyce Fadden, president of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council.

For more information on the Summit or to register, please visit

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 Advice from author: Choose where you live carefully
Seattle Times - United States
Simply put, competition is less between states or even countries, but between cities, or, as he calls them, mega-regions. This is where human capital is clustering . ... Among the powerhouses are Boston-New York-Washington, D.C.; Southern California; Northern California, and what he calls Cascadia, the region including Seattle and Portland. But competitors range worldwide, especially in Europe and Asia. ...

.02 Regional Insights: What can keep people from leaving Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh Post Gazette - Pittsburgh, PA, USA
The latest Census population estimates indicate that the Pittsburgh Region continued to lose population in 2007. Does this mean people are fleeing the region? Although it's true that about 6, 000 more people move out than move in each year, our rate of net domestic out-migration in 2007 was actually lower than 16 of the top 40 regions, including Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Diego and Silicon Valley. What really hurts us is that we're the only major region in the country that has more deaths than births. ...

.03 Build Mexico instead of putting up a wall
Houston Chronicle - United States
... Unlike their NAFTA counterparts, the architects of the European Union understood that economic integration of unequal partners was unsustainable, since workers would migrate from the poorer to the richer countries. Thus, when Greece, Spain and Portugal joined their more developed neighbors in an expanded European Economic Community, the member countries created an ambitious Regional Development Program to help improve the education and infrastructure of the newest (and poorest) entrants. ...

.04 Airport Cities
GlobeSt. com - New York, NY, USA
"Twenty-first century airports are not just aviation infrastructure. They are multi-modal, multi-functional enterprises that really are driving commercial development, not only on their property, but many miles out, " says John, D. Kasarda, director of the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. "The airport city is not an option, it's a necessity." It's not just about developing land. It's smart planning and innovative designs to ensure sustainability and profitability as consumer travel and supply chain trading routes break down global barriers. The core of the equation is the airport city, with terminals and runways just part of the concept. The aerotropolis is the surrounding larger region.

.05 Fuel for thought - Diesel costs creeping into athletic directors' budgeting plans

Explorer News - Tucson, AZ, USA
High school athletic directors have sat up and taken notice as a gallon of diesel fuel perches at a national average of $3.96, inflating the costs to haul athletes across town—and in many cases, the state. ... athletic directors like Ironwood Ridge’s Will Kreamer envision future mileage bills could affect everything from raising gate tickets to redrawing regional boundaries, in an attempt to curtail drive times. ...

.06 Working together for good of region

The Tribune-Democrat - Johnstown, PA

As our region and its economic fortunes move forward, we could all learn a lesson from the local defense sector … Working together is better than working separately. Some of the region’s top companies – defense or otherwise – are leading the way in a cooperative spirit that can only be a positive development for Johnstown and the surrounding communities..

.07 Region gives green light to going green - Erie, PA, USA
We've made great strides in our region. The remarkable transformation of Presque Isle Bay shows what can be accomplished with commitment, patience and funding. ... In 10 years, Lake Erie-Allegheny Earth Force has trained at least 13, 000 young people to create action plans to improve our region's environment. …

.08 State of the City: Becker says job training is needed

Journal Times – Milwaukee, WI, USA

“Now more than ever I am convinced it is vitally important to connecting the Chicago-Milwaukee region, ” Becker said. “While Racine will always have its own identity it grows ever more critical to strengthen the bonds between Milwaukee, and even more so to the economy of Chicago.”

.09 Ohio senator offers way to end his opposition to Great Lakes plan - MI, USA
Wisconsin's movement would leave Ohio as the remaining obstacle for the plan, which is designed to prevent the diversion of the lakes' water outside the region and from overuse within the region. It has been approved by Illinois, Indiana, New York, Minnesota and two Canadian provinces. There is little opposition in Pennsylvania and Michigan. ...

.10 Nutter and Specter envision 'aerotropolis'
Philadelphia Inquirer - Philadelphia, PA, USA
Mayor Nutter and Sen. Arlen Specter met yesterday with airline officials to discuss the prospects of more commercial and retail development around Philadelphia International Airport. The gathering at City Hall was part of what officials called a broader effort by city and business leaders to transform the city-owned airport that already has undergone many recent changes into something much grander: an "aerotropolis" surrounded by offices, shops and restaurants. ...

.11 NC is everywhere in 'Leatherheads' except the closing credits - Hendersonville, NC, USA
The credits do list thanks for the Charlotte Regional Commission and the Triad Regional Film Commission - which is actually the Piedmont Triad Film ... South Carolina is required to get a credit in order for the movie's producers to receive a tax break for filming there. Thus, not only do the credits say "Leatherheads" was filmed in South Carolina, they read, "Filmed in South Carolina pursuant to the South Carolina Motion Picture Incentive Act."...

.12 Asbury Park chief touts regional fire protection
Asbury Park Press - Asbury Park, NJ, USA
Asbury Park Fire Chief Kevin Keddy said he's not trying to pour gasoline on the fire, but he can foresee the day when a regional fire department will service communities in Monmouth County. ... In a sense, regionalization of a sort exists already in mutual aid agreements between departments, Keddy said. But those agreements are a patchwork of response commitments cobbled together among the 132 separate fire services that span the county, he said. ...

.13 Regional Institute Releases Policy Brief on Reading the Region's Economy
UB News Center - Buffalo, NY, USA
Traditional methods of interpreting regional economic conditions, such as employment data, paint a useful but incomplete picture of economic change in the 21st century, according to the University at Buffalo Regional Institute's latest Policy Brief, "Grasping the New Economy." ...

.14 School Regionalization Talks Reach The Front Burner
Cape Cod Chronicle - Chatham, MA, USA
The committee met last Thursday evening with 75 residents to provide a progress report on school building needs and the status of regionalization ...

.15 Mutual Aid Agreement Moving Forward
WCTV - Tallahassee, FL, USA

Tallahassee commissioners gave the go-ahead on Wednesday to sign a mutual aid agreement between Big Bend fire departments. The agreement will allow any fire department in the area to come to the aid of another area fire department in times of need. It's part of local leaders regionalism efforts. ...

.16 EPA Awards City of Asheville and Land-of-Sky Regional Council with Grants to Revitalize Old Properties

U.S. (press release) - Washington, DC, USA
recipients of $800, 000 in EPA brownfields grants to help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites, turning them from problem properties to productive community use. ...

.17 RDA weighs hiring expert to find best outcome for airport
Gary Post Tribune - Gary, IN, USA
The Regional Development Authority may bring in some outside help to examine whether the aims of the Gary/Chicago International Airport still make sense in a volatile airline market. ...

.18 Regional Transportation Council approves funding for bridge over Lake Ray Hubbard

Pegasus News - Dallas, TX, USA
In a much-anticipated action, the Regional Transportation Council (RTC) voted Thursday to officially secure the funding for the bridge across Lake Ray Hubbard and the interchange at IH-30 as a part of the President George Bush Turnpike (PGBT) Eastern Extension project. ... The Regional Transportation Council is the independent transportation policy body of the Metropolitan Planning Organization. …

.19 Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council meets
WMNF - Tampa, FL, USA
The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council met today in Pinellas Park to discuss regional transit and what future development might look like in the Tampa Bay ...

.20 National Geographic travel magazine to publish maps of North Georgia driving tours
Gainesville Times - Gainesville, GA, USA

State and regional officials unveiled a collection of specialized maps for self-guided driving tours of mountain and regional destinations. "Driving Tours: Appalachia" features four trails in North Georgia, ... The map is published in the April edition of National Geographic Traveler magazine. ...

.21 Regional forum addresses underage alcohol, drug use - Midland, TX, USA

... by the time they reach the age of 19, 80 percent of both American males and females will have used alcohol at one time or another. The statistics are startling but true. Perhaps this is why more than 50 individuals representing different anti-drug, alcohol and tobacco agencies around the West Texas area gathered Tuesday at the Region 18 Education Service Center in Midland for a regional forum addressing these issues. ...

.22 Editorial: Rail plan requires firm proposals
Dallas Morning News Dallas, TX, USA
Members of a 28-member committee planning an expanded regional rail transit network were supposed to roll up their sleeves last week and map out a revised funding package to take to state lawmakers. …

.23 CommuteSmart nabs 18 more participating firms
Bizjournals-com – Birmingham, AL, USA
The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham's CommuteSmart program said it signed up 18 new local companies to help explore commuting options within their firms.

.24 Roanoke Valley's air quality improves
Roanoke Times – Roanoke, VA, USA
"It's one person's actions, combined with all the other people in the region, that can make a difference, " said Wayne Strickland, executive director of the regional commission. "So one person can make a difference, " by car pooling, not mowing grass in ...

.25 LAPD Looks to Uncover Terrorist Plots
The Associated Press

Eventually, local police departments will share the suspicious activity reports with their regionall intelligence sharing centers, known as "fusion" centers.

.26 Analysis: Shifting Michigan jobs to Indiana can't help region - MI, USA
But the real issue is the entire Great Lakes region risks sinking into a permanent economic decline, according to a recent study by the Brookings ...

.27 Top Southern California Business and Civic Leaders Urge Federal Legislators to Invest in the Region and 'Build America Together'

Earthtimes, UK

on Capitol Hill, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, numerous regional officials and a 200-member delegation of bipartisan Southern California business and civic leaders joined together to kick off Access Washington, D.C., the region's premier advocacy trip to the nation's capital.

.28 NOACA seeks to coordinate regional economic development
The Plain Dealer – Cleveland OH, USA

The city of Cleveland and outlying suburbs are tip toeing closer to working together to attract business and jobs to the region. They hope to use transportation funds to spark regional economic development. After 40 years of planning ...

.29 Intermodal won't go in Blue Ridge - Roanoke, VA, USA
The intermodal facility will be part of the Heartland Corridor, which is a multi-state freight rail initiative. Studies indicate the new train route could ...

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 Putin might deprive Medvedev of power in regions
Barents Observer - Archangel, Russia
… Mr. Putin himself established the federal districts in year 2000 as part of his bid to strengthen the federal power vertical. Now, with all the regions having been brought back into the fold, the mission can be considered completed, the current presidential administration argues. When Dmitrii Medvedev enters the presidential post in early May, all the heads of the federal districts will be fired. To their replace will be appointed new regional leaders, not subordinated the president, but the government and Prime Minister …

.02 Regions told to prepare for floods
China Internet Information Center| - China

Officials in Olympic host cities, should be especially vigilant for possible dangers around highways and railways, tourist spots, schools and large construction sites, as the Games will be held during the flood season, ...

.03 OPINION: Economic regionalism is not all about economics
New Straits Times - Persekutuan, Malaysia
In studying the regionalism phenomenon in terms of potential economic gains and losses for member countries … concludes that in practice free-trade agreements are just political instruments for forging closer geopolitical ties. …

.04 Destroying crime by developing people -Mia Mottley on food crisis, press freedom and Caribbean unity
Jamaica Gleaner - Kingston, Jamaica

... we have to bring back several thousands acres in the food and livestock sectors within the region. There will be challenges with transportation and access to capital, but the only way we are going to sufficiently cushion the region from a global phenomenon is by us taking responsibility for our own food production. ...

.05 Severe drought in Spain stirs up regional tensions
International Herald Tribune - France

The quest for solutions to Barcelona's water shortage has sparked an angry debate between Catalan officials and the central government. In a country where regional interests often seem to be pitted against national ones, the crisis has revived the question of whether water should be centrally managed and whether Spain's greener provinces should share water with those that lack it. ...

.06 European Commissioner Rules Out Blasphemy Law
Arab News, Saudi Arabia

The region will continue to play a predominant role in oil and gas because of growing demands in the EU, she noted, adding that the EU would offer its technical expertise for a truly regional integrated energy market. …

.07 EDC outlines aggressive plan for Clearview
Stayner Sun - Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada
He told council Monday night that the "successful alignment of vision" for the region will mean coordinated planning, managed growth, the identification of needed workforce skills, infrastructure development and effective marketing.

.08 President Hu makes five-point proposal for Asian countries' co-op
Xinhua - China
First, enhance political mutual trust. ... Second, deepen economic cooperation. ... Third, meet challenges together. ... Fourth, increase cultural and people-to-people exchanges. ... Fifth, keep to the policy of openness. Regional cooperation should remain non-exclusive. ...

.09 City prepares for economic growth
Port Augusta Transcontinental - Port Augusta, South Australia, Australia
The Northern Regional Development Board agrees that the predicted boom in residency for Port Augusta … NRDB figures indicate that Port Augusta is experiencing the most growth out of any regional centre in South Australia, especially in terms of economic, business and residential growth. …

.10 Squamish to move forward with local, regional energy plan
Pique newsmagazine - Whistler, BC, Canada

According to research compiled by the SSC, a third of Squamish’s workforce commutes to Whistler or Vancouver. This makes a transportation system vital to reducing regional greenhouse gas emissions.

“It would make sense to work together as a region with this stuff, ” McRae said. “The who, what, when, where and how is what we’re trying to initiate with this paper.” ...

.11 When it comes to literacy, 'One size does not fit all'
Telegraph-Journal - Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
"Business is waking up but we need educators, governments and regional development groups to help with the match-making of people of all ages who need ...

.12 2020 have your say: governance
ABC Online - Australia
The governance session of the Australia 2020 summit is aimed at testing our mature institutions - ... Can Australia really afford three tiers of government and its associated public service costs? I suggest a reduction to two tiers, Federal handling all the national issues, and shire or regional councils handling the more local issues.

.13 News : Asia-Pacific Business Week
FinFacts Ireland - Ireland
The numerous Asian regional and sub-regional cooperation mechanisms are playing an increasingly important role in promoting economic growth and stability in Asia, ...

.14 Calderon’s Energy Reform Bill
Mexico Premiere
This will permit the creation of far more jobs, trigger regional development in places where new refineries are built, produce cleaner, environmentally friendly gasoline that will protect our families’ health and totally eliminate ...

.15 Whatever happens, drinking water must be safe; Report on boil puts focus back on our drinking water systems

Owen Sound Sun Times - Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada
… a "lack of political will" and cited the Ontario government's failure to implement the recommendation of the 2005 expert panel calling for consolidation and regionalization of municipal water systems. Such an initiative would "achieve economies of scale with full accounting and pricing of water to ensure sustainability and safety, " …

.16 Strategy 2020 sets ADB’s new strategic course - Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
By 2020, about 50% of operations will be in private sector development and private sector operations, and 30% in regional cooperation and integration. ...

.17 Representatives of 25 Russia's regions discussing housing and communal reform in Krasnoyarsk

Siberian News Online - Krasnoyarsk, Russia
Representatives of 25 regions of Russia ranging from Yakutsk to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, from Kemerovo and Novosibirsk gathered at the forum. ...

.18 The Dubai School of Government Hosts the State of the Region Forum 2008
PR Newswire UK (press release) - London, UK
"Economic global activity is shifting with the Middle-East playing a more significant role. The region is prospering by positioning itself as the cross-road between East and West, contributing towards global growth." ...

.19 Writers' shock: Govt told to close regional centres
ABC Online - Australia
... communities across country New South Wales after a report recommended the State Government shut down the state's seven regional writers' centres. ...

.20 Lippert loses confidence in valley process
Vernon Morning Star - BC, Canada
... as long as sub-regional issues are addressed such as the provision of services across boundaries and how municipalities and electoral areas interact. ...

.21 Amazing results
Ottawa Citizen - Ontario, Canada
Countries in Europe and Asia are way ahead of Canada in promoting geoeducation and geotourism. It is time for us to catch up, especially during the International Year of Planet Earth, which commences on Earth Day, April 22. ...

.22 Alliance extends reach of regional firms
Financial Post - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

many of Canada's regional firms have joined the growing ranks of law associations ... Unlike professional bar associations, these legal groups are a private alliance of independent law firms that join together to provide better service to their client base. ...

.23 Google mapping spec now an industry standard
CNET - San Francisco, CA, USA
Members of an industry group called the Open Geospatial Consortium have approved Google's KML technology as an open standard for describing some geographic ...

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 Mega-Regions and Urban Policy
Richard Florida and the Creative Class Exchange
My piece in today's Wall Street Journal is here. The problem is that much of our public policy not only ignores the rise of the mega-regions, it actually works against them. If we want to bolster economic competitiveness and ensure long-run prosperity, we must pursue policies that ...

.02 Community Spirit Committee of the Luzerne County Diversity Task Force
Rodgereda’s Blog
Therefore, if our county is to thrive in the 21st century, it is essential that we develop our region as one that is not only tolerant of a diverse community, but genuinely and enthusiastically welcomes that diversity. ...

.03 Re: Northeast Ohio Regionalism Thread


I am a huge proponent of regionalism... but I fear that this may be too broad in geographic scope. Perhaps a 7 county Cleveland/Akron tax base / land use district would be more appropriate...

.04 Great Lakes rising
Brewed Fresh Daily

ten state Great Lakes Employment and Training Association began work on a regional initiative to coordinate innovations in workforce strategies. We are launching a new web site for workforce innovators in the region.

.05 Region's Mayors on Regionalism
Advance Northeast Ohio
"Regionalism doesn't get us where we need to be if we do make a commitment to education." Amen. Especially if one views regionalism very narrowly -- such as consolidating government. Regionalism is about much more than government. ...

.06 Bringing Buses Back
Dare to Dream
... and helps take the City out of isolation from the “Valley”. This small move towards “regionalism” in transportation is one step towards what should be “regionalism” on a larger scale between communities throughout the Mahoning

.07 Population shifts, suburban slums, and hospitals
Our Own System
Richard Florida writes on a host of issues including regional development, quotes a San Francisco Chronicle article on his blog:. When asked if the edge suburbs are turning into slums, Florida concurs with Leinberger’s ominous vision. “Yes, they are already well on their way, ” he says. “The knowledge workers can’t afford the time cost, they can’t afford the commuting time.” …Florida and Leinberger say that retooling the suburbs is going to make urban renewal look like a walk in the park. “Suburb development is really fragile, ” Leinberger explains. “It’s going to be very complex to rebuild.” ...

.08 Review: Caught in the Middle by Richard C. Longworth
The Urbanophile
Examples of regional collaboration would include better cooperation between Big Ten institutions such as enabling in-state tuition across the Midwest, creating a Midwest regional think tank, and a Midwest regional newspaper. ...

.09 Recap of Toledo Sticky Cities Meeting, April 10, 2008
Glass City Revival

The consensus seems to be that we need to stop thinking of ourselves as simply "Metro Toledo." This movement toward a more regional focus is reflected in the shift from the old moniker "Northwest Ohio" to the new label "Lake Erie West, " ...

Into the (Political) Arena
The COC is the group, with assistance from City Staff and the George Washington Regional Commission, which has been submitting the application to HUD for funding. During the previous year we were awarded funding for the Homeless ...

.11 Regionalization, consolidation, two avenues to explore
Franklin Matters – Franklin, MA
It is time to look carefully at some of these areas to see where and how either regionalization or consolidation can help each local community continue to provide services but at a reasonable cost to the community. ...

.12 Regions
The idea is to create regions that are politically coherent -- sharing similar demographics and generally tending to vote together. And if you're playing at home, each region must have at least four states and be geographically ...

.13 The Useful Myth of Running Government Like a Business
Free New York Blog
The classic faux reform is regionalization. This makes no sense in theory and in practice has failed to cut costs. Most of the costs of government are tranfers payments, not administauve costs and outr largest governemtns, ...

.14 Integration, Integration
My Virtual Tent
The result of it is a veritable spaghetti bowl of partially overlapping regional and sub-regional agreements, none of which seem to work properly: the weakened Andean Community, a MERCOSUR ridden with internal splits, the idea to merge ...

.15 I Have A Vision of The Future, Chum
UK Commentators
For a number of years, progressive American educators managed to dilute the old principle that a school drew only from a restricted geographic area. That principle has been reinstated so parents can be sure that if they move to the right neighbourhood their children won’t have large numbers of disruptive, foul-mouthed, sexually precocious and sometimes violent classmates. ...

.16 Review of Sub National Economic Development and Regeneration… Part II
Regional Development Agencies will still take over the regional planning functions, once the Regional Assemblies have been put down, even though their Boards will remain ‘business-led’. And then there’s all the rest of the original SNR ...

.17 CoPs at boundary of institution and innovation
Designing for Civil Society
Overall I got the sense that local government Communities of Practice are becoming the place where people can both share day-to-day experience across boundaries of geography and discipline, and have useful conversations about ...

.18 Proposed New Governance Model
Bedford Community Council
Locally and regionally, the revised model creates responsible governance in all communities within HRM while preserving regional considerations within the present Regional Council structure. Proposed Governance Model Applied to Bedford ...

At the level of constitutional design, the sub-statal dimension of power-sharing calls attention to such matters as the division and sharing of governmental functions and competences between multiple (shared/national, regional, local) orders of government; the allocation of revenue raising and public expenditure responsibilities; allocation of natural resources; mechanisms for centre-regional and inter-regional co-operation and dispute resolution; and for institutional arrangements for dealing with exceptional circumstances of natural or man-made emergencies in which central and regional interests and spheres of autonomy are balanced and respected. In the liberal vision of power-sharing, however, ...


.20 Core Dilemmas of Community Organizing: Social Class and Social Action
By educationaction
Collaboration and teamwork have become increasingly central characteristics of middle-class life over the 20th century. Group success often requires managers and professionals to work closely with people they have no long-term ...

.21 Heat Seekers: The BPI Fastest Growing Urban Blogs
Blogs Is Watching - Proving regionalized hip-hop blogs outside of NY, The ATL and LA can work. Fast growing Seattle hip-hop blog 4.Soul Bounce - An eye for unique news and well-written commentary. Already becoming an established urban

.22 think local panet - act regionally
By Rolf Frankenberger
bollgin’ guy is blogging on links, blogs and other contributions on regional affairs in politics and governments all over the world, has published a link on my co-editor scientific series “Change in World Regions”. ... Note: Actually – the Virginia portion of the Shenandoah Valley. Thanks. Ed.

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 The First Fifty Forward Future Forum - "Going Green: Creating Sustainable Cities" – Atlanta Regional Commission

"Fifty Forward” is a two-year visioning initiative based on open-house style forums centered around critical topics that are now and will continue to impact metro Atlanta for decades. The forums will feature nationally recognized keynote speakers and will explore possible actions and ideas to ensure livability, prosperity and sustainability.

.02 Short Line Railroads: Saving an Endangered Species of Freight Transport - National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation

This report highlights the efforts of the Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board and the SEDA-Council of Governments, along with their many partners, to form rail authorities and save short rail lines that would have otherwise been abandoned. These lines continue to serve as essential infrastructure assets as these two regions work to implement their comprehensive regional economic development strategies.

Contact Carrie Kissel, NADO Transportation Program Manager, at 202.624.8829 or

.03 Asia Regional Integration Center

The vision of an integrated, poverty-free, prosperous, and peaceful Asia and Pacific underlies initiatives to support regional cooperation and integration (RCI) in the region. Changing world economic realities have highlighted the importance of closer economic cooperation in the region and the need within ADB for a coherent and strategically focused approach to RCI. …

.04 Import, Export, and Regional Consent in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights - Neuman, G. L. - European Journal of International Law

Abstract - The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has elaborated a significant body of human rights jurisprudence through interpretation of regional human rights conventions and the adaptation of European and global precedents and global soft law. The Inter-American Court has also aspired to influence outside its region by offering innovative interpretations of human rights and by identifying norms as jus cogens. The Court's methodology in recent years has appeared to give insufficient consideration to the consent of the regional community of states as a factor in the evolutive interpretation of a human rights treaty. The article illustrates and criticizes that trend, and contends that greater attention to indicia of regional consent could improve the acceptance and effectiveness of the inter-American human rights system.

14. Subscription access news stories. Contents

.01 Delaware Valley Innovation Network Announces Innovation Investment Fund - (subscription) - Birmingham, MI, USA

The Delaware Valley Innovation Network (DVIN) announces the launch of the Innovation Investment Fund, which will provide more than $2.5 million in grants over the next three years to support training and capacity building programs in the life sciences workforce in the Delaware Valley.

Formed as a result of U.S. Department of Labor's Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) initiative and grant, DVIN was established to develop collaborative initiatives with workforce development, economic development, academia, industry and corporate leaders to transform the workforce throughout the country.

"DVIN's launch of the Innovation Investment fund addresses the need for increased regional funding support for a life sciences workforce in the Delaware Valley, " said Kelly Lee, DVIN Executive Committee Chair and Executive Vice President of Innovation Philadelphia. "The goal of the fund is to train 5, 000 new workers over the next three years and provide these workers with those skills that are most needed by the life sciences companies in the DVIN region."

Eligible applicants for the DVIN Innovation Investments include 501(c)3 non-profit organizations, individual businesses or business partnerships, educational entities, economic development organizations, workforce intermediaries, and community-based organizations.

DVIN Project Director Helen Groft said, "We are seeking proposals that will impact the life sciences workforce in innovative ways. The proposals can contain new programs or existing successful programs that will expand with the support of the grant money. The Fund is one of DVIN's resources to strengthen the Delaware Valley region's identity as a world-class life sciences industry."

Project examples include, but are not limited to, training projects for incumbent workers skill development and pipeline training and capacity-building projects. There are also grants to support life sciences professional development for educators, curriculum development and/or curriculum delivery.

RC: Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission

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 mega-region returned 71 items; using the web search option mega-region returned 7, 030 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.

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

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