Regional Community Development News – October 8, 2008 [regions_work]

A 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 … 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 - .28

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .20

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .09

Subscription access news stories … 14.02

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

Top Regional Community stories

1. ‘Gold stars’ and ‘red flags’ in regional economic report card - Inside Tucson Business - Tucson, AZ, USA

University of Arizona researchers delivered an economic report card last week for the Tucson region. Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities’ efforts scored pretty well, but as teachers often say, there are areas we can do better.

The report card sought to quantify the Tucson region’s progress in five targeted areas developed as part of TREO’s blueprint issued in March 2007. The five areas are: developing high-skill/high-wage jobs, education, making this a more livable region, collaborative governance and fixing downtown. Tucson’s progress was compared to 10 other areas that are primary competitors in economic development - Albuquerque, Austin, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Antonio and San Diego.

Several speakers acknowledged the financial straits facing the nation, but said Tucson needs to remain focused on its goals.

Here’s a summary of the report card results in the five targeted areas:

High-skill/high-wage jobs


• Net job creation is up 1.4 percent over the past seven years, more than double the national average.

• Growth in targeted industry employment is up 1.3 percent and growth in businesses is up 2.1 percent.


• Per capita, personal income is still comparatively low, though it is rising at a rate of 5.1 percent.

• Wages are still comparatively low but rising at a rate of 3.8 percent.

• Tucson was the second lowest of the 11 regions for its percentage of 25-to-34-year-olds, the “creative class, ” in the workforce.



• Average Arizona student test scores on the ACT college entrance exam ranked No. 2 among the primary competitor states.

• Research and development expenditures at the University of Arizona ranked No. 2 among the 11 cities and are 20th in the nation.

RC: Pima Association of Governments

2. Sprawl still here, needs maintenance: planner - Liberal - Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada

“What we are discussing tonight will affect the future of York Region, ” said Richmond Hill Mayor Dave Barrow, the de facto host of a public meeting two weeks ago.

“Every municipality in the region will experience some growth and we want that growth spread so people can live near where they work, ” the region’s growth manager, John Waller said, adding the public’s role in the plan is as important as the project itself.

“The key message we’ve heard from people is that intensification has to go in the right place, has to fit, has to be compatible with existing uses and it has to meet the highest design standards, ” he said, summing up the region’s recipe for success.

Mr. Waller listed the region’s sustainable efforts to date, from Viva rapid transit to a greening strategy, but conceded they are just the beginning.

“Have we done enough? No, we haven’t” he said.

You don’t need a degree in planning to see the condo market is increasingly important and the numbers bear that out. They show our population increasing nearly 60 per cent between 2006 and 2031 while the number of housing units climbs 80 per cent. It’s not the end of the nuclear family but it is indicative of fewer people living together in big houses.

“We need to build in a different way than we have in the past, ” Mr. Waller said.

Of course, you can’t just build.

You need “soft infrastructure” such as hospitals, schools and libraries to go along with all those homes and that is not a cost the region, alone, can bear.

“We can’t grow at the pace we’ve been growing without a significant infrastructure investment, ” Mr. Waller said.

Even then, we are talking about a paradigm shift where people grasp that suburbia no longer means picket fences and large tracts of land. The good news, according to Mayor Barrow, is that the changes are under way.

3. Dan Walters: Will state now shift to vertical growth? - Modesto Bee - Modesto, CA, USA

As California's population and economy expanded dramatically during the mid- and late 20th century, it did so with a unique development pattern.

California grew out, not up, and its expansive model – seemingly endless suburbs of single-family homes connected by freeways, another California innovation – was later adopted by other fast-growing states in the South and Southwest.

With the exception of geographically encased San Francisco, which adopted the vertical pattern of Eastern cities, California ignored the concept of intermingling commercial, industrial and residential development, and its urban cores withered.

Although critics frequently denounced the model as wasteful and inefficient "sprawl" that encouraged cultural and racial segregation, it appealed to newcomers because it offered opportunity to acquire real estate they could call their own.

The derisive term "sprawl" was really just "a decentralized community" in the words of Mark Pisano, who headed the Southern California Association of Governments, a regional planning agency, for three decades …

A key factor in horizontal growth was that land use was almost entirely in the hands of local governments, cities especially, and developers who had common financial stakes in converting raw land, or farmland, into profitable and taxable subdivisions.

The state could have theoretically affected land use by wielding its latent power, such as control of transportation projects and water supplies. Local officials, however, guarded land use authority jealously, not only for financial reasons, but because their voters wanted to control their communities' socioeconomic ambience. ... And with the exception of coastal development, the state largely left land use alone.

No more. When Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 375 last week, it plunged the state headlong into land use, tilting against its suburban tradition.

Under the rubric of controlling greenhouse gases, the bill, …

4. Regions creatively woo foreign tourists - The Daily Yomiuri - Osaka, Japan

With the Japan Tourism Agency inaugurated Wednesday in the hope of making Japan a "tourist nation, " cities and towns around the country are using their ingenuity to attract more foreign tourists.

Tourism has become a key to revitalizing the economy, particularly in areas outside large cities, which are facing declining birthrates and aging populations.

In the Tokai region, so-called industrial tourism has become the key to strategies for attracting more visitors to various facilities.

One such place is the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology in Nishi Ward, Nagoya. Using a brick factory built in the Taisho era (1912-1926), the museum, jointly operated by 13 firms under the umbrella of Toyota Motor Corp., displays exhibits introducing Toyota's history, including its first mass-produced passenger car.

Many foreign tourists visit the museum to find out about the roots of the world-famous carmaker. Groups of foreign visitors who book in advance can have guided tours by staff members who speak foreign languages.

The museum created a brochure written in 16 languages for the 2005 World Exposition Aichi. Although the number of foreign tourists to the museum dipped following the closure of the expo, the number of researchers visiting from overseas has recently been on the increase.

Located on the south side of the Toyota museum, the grounds of Noritake Co.'s headquarters boast a ceramic factory completed in 1904, which is open to the public.

In 2004, the company introduced audio tours in English, Chinese and Korean to deal with the increasing number of foreign tourists.

As industrial tourism in the area in general decreased in the wake of the closure of the expo, local governments have been working hard since then to reignite interest among foreign visitors.

5. State and Local Leaders Call on Next Administration to Prioritize Federal-State-Local Partnership – National League of Cities – (press release)

The elected leadership of the National Governors Association (NGA), the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the Council of State Governments (CSG), the National Association of Counties (NACo), the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM), the National League of Cities (NLC) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) – known as the “Big 7” – joined together to issue the following statement:

“The federal-state-local partnership is vital to ensuring the general welfare and well-being of our citizens and our country. As a new administration begins, it is important to recognize that the foundation of this partnership must be developed early and continuously nurtured and strengthened. To promote this relationship, the leaders of state and local government ask the next president to follow two main guiding principles.

“The first is to consult and cooperate with state and local leaders. We are on the frontlines everyday and know the effect of national policies and programs on the delivery of services to our citizens. We ask the next administration to adopt a policy of constructive engagement with state and local government to gather relevant information about existing issues, build on innovative programs already in place at the state and local level and ensure national policies are implemented in the most effective and efficient manner possible.

“Second, we encourage the next Administration to promote innovation at the state and local level. State and local leaders can respond more quickly and experiment more widely than our federal partners. We urge the new president to strive for federal policy that encourages this innovation by maximizing state and local flexibility as we implement national policies and programs.

“To ensure a productive relationship among federal, state and local levels of government, we are calling on the next Administration to demonstrate its commitment to strengthening the partnership by taking the following actions within 60 days of taking office:

Reaffirm an Executive Order on Federalism;

Establish an Office of Intergovernmental Affairs within the White House to serve as a conduit between the President and state and local leaders immediately after taking office; and

Meet with members of the Big 7 state and local organizations to discuss how best to develop a strong partnership to address national policy.

“We are committed to maintaining a strong federal-state-local partnership and look forward to working with next administration to solve the challenges facing our country and better serve Americans.”

6. Be greater, Saint John - Telegraph-Journal - Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Saint John Mayor Ivan Court doesn't seem to realize it, but his recent comments about economic development have dealt a body blow to the cause of regional planning.

Enterprise Saint John is an arm's length agency with a regional mandate to create jobs. The mayor's attempts to bring Enterprise Saint John politically to heel do not rest well with the taxpayers of neighbouring communities. They also contribute to the agency's funding, and they want to know why Saint John's politicians feel entitled to unilaterally renegotiate the arrangement.

Council must affirm its commitment to Enterprise Saint John and regional growth. If it does not, councillors can blame themselves for throwing a new obstacle in the way of regional co-operation.

Just a few weeks ago, Mayor Court was encouraging nearby municipalities to join the city in planning for new recreation infrastructure. His sudden announcement that council might cut funding for Enterprise Saint John will lead suburban residents to think twice about new regional partnerships.

This is exactly the kind of move Saint John's neighbours have to come to fear from the city's leadership: offering to build new regional relationships when council doesn't want to pay the full tab, and cutting back on regional investments for the same reason.

For Greater Saint John to grow, this must stop.

Regional co-operation is an in-or-out proposition. If Saint John's council is serious about the need for regionally planning, the city must make firm commitments and keep them. That means, no backing out of joint funding arrangements and no crass attempts to offload the cost of poor management in Saint John to taxpayers who live outside the city.

The provincial government will soon release an independent report on municipal reform. Commissioner Jean-Guy Finn believes New Brunswick has too many municipalities to …

7. Amid questions, regional SWAT comes under review - Laconia Citizen - Laconia, NH, USA

The State Attorney General's Office has asked for an outside review of all regional special operations units following its investigation into an officer-involved shooting in Charlestown.

Deputy Attorney General Orville "Bud" Fitch read a statement from Attorney General Kelly Ayotte to the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council and told the council "it might be very helpful to law enforcement in general to have a professional, neutral set of recommendations..., " according to the minutes of an Aug. 26 meeting.

"With the increased use of these teams, not only for barricade/hostage situations but in some cases for crowd control, high risk arrests and drug raids, we feel it would be beneficial for law enforcement and the public to have an outside expert complete an independent review of the training and model standards for operational protocols of those teams, " wrote Ayotte.

Special operations units and groups have proliferated in the state since the challenges of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the increased availability of Department of Homeland Security grants. In New Hampshire, there are 10 regional teams plus a N.H. State Police unit. Six of the regional organizations are non-profits that operate with an independent board of directors.

In central New Hampshire, there are three special operations units — the Belknap County Special Operations Unit, the Central New Hampshire Special Operations Unit (CNHSOU) and the N.H. State Police SWAT. The State Police team was formed in 1971, while the Central New Hampshire unit was formed in 2001 and Belknap County's in 2002.

Formed with a $400, 000 federal grant obtained by former Sheriff Dan Collis, Wiggin said the Belknap County Team went on 12 calls last year and nine so far this year —

8. Keeping Amherst Affordable: Consolidate and graduate - Amherst Bulletin - Amherst, MA, USA

An article published in the Amherst Bulletin on Aug. 27 reported on a local effort to consolidate the 911 emergency dispatch services which are currently handled individually by the University of Massachusetts, and the Amherst and Hadley police departments.

Legitimate questions and concerns were raised in the article about the hiring and supervision of the dispatchers and who would control the dispatch center. A proposal by our town manager to hire a $16, 000 consultant to evaluate how the consolidation would work was also mentioned in that article.

As an alternative to the hiring of a consultant, I would suggest that the town manager and his committee contact the Shelburne Control Dispatch Center and the State 911 Department. Both of these groups are funded by taxpayers and have both the experience and resources to assist in any consolidation effort.

Over 15 years ago, I was part of a selectmen's group in Franklin County that studied a proposal by the state police to provide 911 emergency dispatch services in Franklin County free of charge. At the time, we had our own regionally funded dispatch system that worked reasonably well. …

In the end, 23 towns accepted the state police proposal. Voters were persuaded that the cost of updating the hardware and software systems and maintaining upgraded certification standards would be a staggering cost for the towns to fund.

To date, the Shelburne Control Dispatch Center continues to provide quality and professional services for 34, 288 Franklin County residents with no direct charges to the 23 member communities.

I urge the town of Amherst, and the other parties, to move forward with this proposed regionalization effort. Funds for the development of a new regional dispatch center could be available from the State 911 Department, reducing significantly any costs to the communities.

9. Officials mull deregionalization options - Raynham Call - Raynham, MA, USA

Superintendency unions may benefit communities that don’t want to regionalize their schools.

But Bridgewater-Raynham would be the first regional district in Massachusetts to dissolve in favor of a superintendency union, a state Department of Education spokesman said this week.

“Deregionalization is very rare, ” J.C. Considine said. “We’ve only seen one community (Pembroke) leave a regional district (Silver Lake) in 15 years. That case was due to very unusual circumstances where both the community that left and the remaining towns in the regional district were both growing, and the split made sense for all parties.”

As Bridgewater and Raynham study changes in the regional agreement that could result in a K-8 split, the Raynham group is looking at superintendency unions to see if the model could work here.

Unions save towns money while maintaining local budget control over education by consolidating administrative functions under one umbrella.

There are 16 superintendency unions in Massachusetts, comprised of 49 member towns.

Raynham and Bridgewater shared a regional high school, superintendent and a grades 9-12 school committee for more than 30 years.

In 1993, they fully merged their systems for the greater regional school state aid.

The marriage has been marked by disagreements, mostly over funding. Raynham voters have typically approved more money for the schools than Bridgewater.

“Raynham is the poster child for why communities should take a very long and hard look at the funding formula, ” he said. “Raynham is the reason (towns) shouldn’t regionalize.”

Considine said state education officials believe there are more advantages to regionalization than to a superintendency union because it pools more resources.

But, he added, “We are open to hearing any proposal.”

“We would consider the dissolution of the regional district and the formation of a superintendency union as a package, ” …

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 Regional Council celebrates 40 years

Maryville Daily Forum – Maryville, MO, USA

After 40 years of service to northwest Missouri, the Northwest Missouri Regional Council of Governments celebrated with an annual dinner, speech, awards and a review of the agency’s history last week. The Regional Council was established to facilitate planning, to promote cooperative arrangements and to coordinate actions among member governments. …

.02 Regional transit concept moves in right direction

Indianapolis Star - United States

… 30 members of the Indianapolis Regional Transportation Council gave unanimous support last week for creation of a rail service between Downtown and Noblesville was a surprising, although welcome, move. Granted, the council, representing communities throughout the eight-county region, dealt only with the concept of a transit line, rather than the much more difficult issue of how to pay for it. But the united vote gives advocates a potent argument to use in the General Assembly Granted, the council, …

.03 Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce, Metropolitan Development

The Birmingham News – AL, USA

A merger between Birmingham business and economic development entities is being explored, but much work must be done before the move is made, a business leader said. Officials from the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Metropolitan Development Board and Region 2020 have started discussing a formal collaboration.

.04 EPA regional libraries reopen

EPA Newsroom

Providing public access to environmental information is key to EPA's mission. EPA shares information through a variety of mechanisms including the internet, hotlines and libraries. The re-opening of regional libraries in Chicago, Dallas and Kansas City and the library at Headquarters will help the Agency better share information. … More information about EPA's National Library Network Services can be found at

.05 President Bush Signs Great Lakes Compact
Alliance for the Great Lakes (press release) - Chicago, IL, USA

“This is a great day for the Great Lakes, ” said Alliance President Cameron Davis. “What started as just a ripple in 1998 when the region beat back a Great Lakes water grab has given rise to a cascade of support for these waters both in the region and across the country.” …

.06 Regional alliance fights organized retail crime


For the first time, retailers and law enforcement in a multi-state region are joining forces and resources to fight organized retail crime. The newly formed Law Enforcement Retailer Alliance of New England is an information-sharing network of police and retailers designed to combat a growing problem. …

.07 'World is Flat' author does it again, focuses on going green

USA Today – USA

In Hot, Flat and Crowded, his newest book, Friedman crafts a timely manifesto from separate intellectual strands on energy, the environment and geopolitics. ...

.08 Trade fears may hurt Midwest, study says

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WI

An anti-globalization and anti-trade sentiment has crept into the American Midwest just as the world's markets and economies have become more interdependent than ever, a new survey shows.... launch the Global Midwest Initiative … The survey was taken in July and defines the Midwest as all or part of 12 states. … initiative cataloged the region’s assets as well as its problems …

.09 New ideas sought to spark Michigan

Freep-com Detroit, MI, USA

there's a $100-million pot of money that the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan is starting to spend on promising new endeavors. … John Austin, hired in April to head the initiative, formed by 10 national and local foundations to help the Detroit region diversify its economy and boost innovation. Austin said first steps have been finding consensus on what's holding back economic growth in the state and studying what other regions have done. …

.10 KP towns find strength in unity

Attleboro Sun Chronicle - Attleboro, MA, USA

Plainville Selectmen Chairman Rob Rose, who helped organize the meeting, said that when he brought up the idea of regionalization, he feared nothing but "dead silence" in return. Instead, all three boards of selectmen expressed interest in finding ways to collaborate and save money....

.11 Douglas and Quebec counterpart promise cooperation

Fox44 News - Colchester, Vermont, USA

Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas and his Canadian counterpart are holding a series of meetings in the Northeast Kingdom today, vowing to keep up their cooperative working relationship on the topics of energy, the environment and border access.

.12 United upstate leaders can be successful

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle - Rochester, NY, USA

The word of the day is: regionalism. As the country faces an uncertain economic future, upstate New York must position itself in such a way that it is prepared to not only survive but thrive.... eferred to the $105 million surplus Buffalo enjoys, suggesting that Rochester and other upstate cities might benefit from a similar control board setup by empowering mayors and councils without creating another layer of government. …

.13 The Dashboard of Economic Indicators

Fund for Our Economic Future – Cleveland, OH, USA

The 2008 Dashboard found that Northeast Ohio lags behind most of the nation in those factors tied to economic growth. Not surprisingly the region's overall economic performance also lagged the nation. … While the Dashboard does show some signs of improvement, the Fund expects that it will take at least a decade to see significant signs of economic improvement, particularly as measured by per capita income and job growth. …

.14 EDITORIAL: Financial meltdown hits home

Grand Forks Herald – North Dakota, USA

Expect to read a lot more about how the meltdown is affecting the region. We’ve invited readers to share how the crisis is affecting them, their families, their jobs, their lifestyles and retirement plans. …

.15 Economic development should be high priority

Plainview Daily Herald– Texas, USA

Texas Ag Commissioner Todd Staples was here Tuesday to talk to regional community leaders about economic development. … The underlying theme of the day was encouraging community leaders to look to and prepare for the future.

.16 Sand Never Sleeps

San Diego Reader– CA, USA

the San Diego Association of Governments started on the largest sand-replenishment project in state history. The $17.5 million Regional Beach Sand Project consisted of dredging up 2.1 million cubic yards of sand from 6 offshore sites and pumping it onto 12 San Diego County beaches. …

.17 Coalition gives endorsements in Richmond


The Coalition for a Greater Richmond yesterday announced it was backing two candidates in the five-way race for mayor, attorney Robert J. Grey Jr. and City Council President William J. Pantele. The coalition, a political-action committee focused on regionalism, also listed the candidates it is backing in the City Council and School Board elections Nov. 4 …

.18 Patrick plan in peril?

Berkshire Eagle - Pittsfield, MA, USA

The Readiness Project also includes a number of potential cost savers such as regionalization of small, suburban districts to avoid duplication in administrative costs.

Education Secretary Paul Reville said regionalization is at the top of his priority list and decisions will have to made fast to save money for cities and towns to be used in other areas of need. … "Some school districts are going to have to sacrifice autonomy in order to save jobs and help their students, "


.19 Districts cut buses, rely on fees: Rising fuel cost pushes schools to alter services

Boston Globe - United States

… change in bus service is just one of many steps school districts around the region are taking this fall to cope with high fuel costs. Other measures include charging transportation fees, combining classes on field trips, and joining regional fuel-purchasing groups. … "The bottom line is the purchasing power of communities working together is much greater, " Clarkson said. "Regionalization is the way of the future." …

.20 Rebuild our boroughs

York Daily Record - York, PA, USA

Pennsylvania's Balkanized municipal structure certainly presents some problems -- which we feel regionalization of services can help solve. But our boroughs are also a blessing -- if we could just wake up to that fact. ...

.21 Analysis of Regional Ballot Measures

Berkeley Daily Planet - Berkeley, CA, USA

To continue restoring urban creeks, protect wildlife, purchase/save open space, wetlands/ shoreline, acquire/ develop/ improve local and regional parks, trails and recreational facilities, shall East Bay Regional Park District be authorized to issue up to $500 million in general obligation bonds, provided repayment projections, verified by independent auditors, demonstrate that property tax rates will not increase beyond present rates of $10 per year, per $100, 000 of assessed valuation? (2/3 vote required for passage).

.22 Mayor Starkie Appointed to Long Island Regional Planning Board

Farmingdale Observer - Farmingdale, NY, USA

Mayor George "Butch" Starkie was recently appointed to the Long Island Regional Planning Board by Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi. His appointment was unanimously approved by the County Legislature. ...

.23 Mayor backs borough police force

Courier Times – Bucks County, PA, USA

Penndel Mayor Michael Sodano asked the council Monday night to consider funding its own police department, saying it would be more cost effective than a proposed regionalization that would encompass other small municipalities.

.24 Dallas Regional Chamber to open Mexico City office - Charlotte, NC, USA

The Dallas Regional Chamber is opening an International Trade and Investment Office in Mexico City on Thursday as part of an initiative to market Dallas-Fort Worth as a trading partner to businesses south of the border....

.25 Sheets for Sheets: Artist's daughter, Oceanside museum collaborate on book, exhibit

North County Times - Escondido, CA, USA

Millard Sheets began with the American Scene, a movement that emphasized American works instead of European, but he is known mostly as helping to refine the Southern California Regionalism movement, which showed the simplicity and beauty of rural America. …

.26 Freddie, Fannie Charitable Donations to DC Area May Drop-off

News Channel 8 – Arlington, VA, USA

The funding issue was first on the agenda at the Council of Governments meeting. "COG and other non-profits have joined together to urge those federal regulators to take into account the impact of Freddie and Fannie's philanthropy in this region, " …

.27 Worldchanging Interview: Bill McKibben

WorldChanging Team

EG: Do you imagine that someday in a city like New York, most people will have some chickens growing backyard in addition to going to work on Madison Avenue?

BM: No, I doubt that. I think that self-sufficiency is the wrong goal, and it feeds right into our American individualist thing. Sufficiency in a region or a locality is what we're after. Even that's not going to be total; you can't produce everything. But the trajectory should be in the direction of regions that are able to take better care of their own needs. Redefining efficiency in that direction will be really helpful.

.28 Retinal specialist urges cooperation among anterior, posterior segment surgeons

OSN SuperSite

As subspecialty encroachment becomes a more contentious issue between anterior and posterior segment surgeons, a retinal specialist here urged greater cooperation between the two groups. "There are so many threats to us as a specialty from the outside — regulators, insurance, government — that to have ... disagreements among ourselves saps our energy and takes away from what we could really be doing if we pulled together …

.29 Voting the Fate of the Nation

The Baltimore Chronicle - Baltimore, MD, USA

Regionalism is the other obvious obstacle standing in the way of attempts to mobilize the electorate on a national basis for a turning-point election. ...

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 Europe will be a success when it goes local

New Europe - Brussels, Belgium

Today, regions and cities are more important than ever in political terms. Sub-national sublic sector expenditure in the EU has reached 2 000 billion euros, representing 16% of the European GDP. Regions and local authorities are key actors in innovation, research and education. One in three euros of EU public expenditure is spent at sub-national levels. Regional policy is not only formulated in Brussels. This is why this year we are organising more than 250 local events. Indeed, Europe will only be a success when it goes local.

.02 Europe needs Nation States, not disparate regions

New Europe - Brussels, Belgium

Regions are administrative units given odd sounding acronyms by pan national bureaucrats. NUTS 1, 2 and 3 seems to me to sum up the whole project. Now, of course, there are those regions in Europe that have some form of cohesion. Flanders, Catalonia and Scotland are cases in point. But I have never heard of an enthusiast for any of these regions that is driven by a desire for Euro-Region status - after all most have that already - but they are driven by a desire for national status.

.03 Regional bid to help PM's 'war cabinet'

South Devon Herald Express - Torquay, England, UK

Gordon Brown has announced the setting up of a Regional Economic Council to ensure the views of each region can be heard and acted upon by the Government. The body will support the work of the national economic 'war cabinet' also unveiled by the Prime Minister to help Britain through the financial crisis by co-ordinating economic policies across Whitehall. …

.04 Study finds all politics is global

The Canberra Times - Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

''But when the Australian economy booms, all state governments are more likely to be re-elected even although they probably can't take much credit for the boom. ''Indeed, when the United States economy does well, Australian state governments are more likely to be re-elected.'' …

.05 Balkanisation is a thing of the past, development is the region's future

New Europe - Brussels, Belgium

Stepping into the track of the former Stability Pact for South East Europe, the newly-founded Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) is now a fully operational new “voice” of this challenging and still unsettled part of Europe....

.06 Regional policy and transports: Bring regions closer, make them more dynamic

New Europe - Brussels, Belgium

Regional sustainable development and cohesion is closely linked to the achievement of a quality and efficient European transport network. Transport brings people and economies together, creates new possibilities of development for the whole EU´s regions. …

.07 Stuttgart and Munich most innovative regions in Germany

just 4 business

Greater Munich and Stuttgart are still by far the leading regions in Germany in terms of research and development. This is the finding of a study by the German institute for economic research (DIW) in Berlin. . It also turned out that urban regions are more and more becoming important for industrial research while most regions in the east of Germany with the exception of Dresden have fallen further behind....

.08 Germany seeks wider business, culture ties with Russian regions - Minsterley, England, UK

Germany has set the task of expanding business and cultural ties with Russian regions and the Tula region is of great importance to the program for Russian-German cooperation, ...

.09 Academicians demand new Central varsities in backward regions

Press Trust of India - New Delhi, India

The proposed 12 new Central universities, which received the Union Cabinet's nod on Friday, should be set up in backward regions of the respective states to meet the collective aspirations of people, academicians have said.
Such a move would lead to socio-economic integration of the regions and give the traditionally deprived ones a unique opportunity to compete with confidence at the national level, they said....

.10 China’s regional governments support troubled markets

By Gareth Powell

China’s regional governments have begun to support their troubled property markets. If it does not do this it is unlikely the nation will sustain growth at more than 8% a year. Real estate comprises about 25% of the China’s fixed asset investment, which is in turn a major driver of growth....

.11 Lack of a single currency a challenge for regional small businesses

Barbados Advocate – Barbados

“It is believed that the varying exchange regimes, that is, controls, rates and currencies are barriers to trade both internationally and regionally and reduces the competitiveness of the region, particularly with respect to the attraction of foreign direct investment, " said Jordan. He, therefore argued that regional governments should continue to strive towards the vision of a single currency for the region.

.12 $300M for regional development over 4 years, Harper says - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

… the money would flow over four years to federal development agencies: the department of Western Economic Diversification, the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, and ACOA. …

.13 Raising rural regional exports and rural incomes

Daily Monitor - Kampala, Uganda

Today I will look at regional trade and how it impacts on agriculture. Figures from the Uganda Export Promotion Board indicate that trade between Uganda and its neighbours has been increasing over the years in favour of Uganda.... The trade in food items with the region shows that our rural people are benefiting, hence raising rural incomes.

.14 Pirates of the high seas

Independent - London, England, UK

"That's the fault of governments whose strategic, commercial interests are being threatened. … He is shocked that the problem has not previously drawn more international attention, as 14 ships and more than 300 sailors are currently being held to ransom worldwide. …

.15 Reshuffled supply chains

Sustainable Industries - San Francisco, CA, USA

Some call it regionalization; others refer to it as building local economies; still others, in the parlance of the food industry, peg it as a growing ...

.16 Council backs desal plant review

ABC Online – Australia

The Gladstone Regional Council says it welcomes an independent agency looking over its handling of the controversial desalination project at Agnes Water, on the Queensland coast between Bundaberg and Gladstone.

.17 Free bus rides for the oldies

Scene Queenstown - New Zealand

All that’s holding up the works here is for Connectabus to hook up with Otago Regional Council’s ticketing system, says McCammon.

.18 South Asian Regionalism is an Elusive Myth

Energy Bangla - Dhaka, Bangladesh

The long years of the existence of SAARC and its inability to make any substantial progress in preventing conflict or contributing substantially to economic development of the South Asia region is a vivid indicator of the stark reality that the region is not yet ready politically for the type of regionalism that prevails in Europe.

.19 POLITICS: South Korea’s Persistent Dream of Regionalism

Inter Press Service - Rome, Italy

Northeast Asia is a critically important locus of geopolitics, but it lacks a regional security structure. The Six Party Talks -- involving the United States, the two Koreas, China, Japan, and Russia -- offer one potential model for regional collaboration. …

.20 Pentagon establishes regional command center in Africa

Austin American-Statesman, TX

For decades, Africa was seldom more than an afterthought for the Pentagon, but last week, its newest regional headquarters, Africa Command, was established for the coordination of U.S. military affairs there. …

.20 Wales beats English regions on wind power


Wales generates more electricity from wind power than any region in England, a new government report says.

.21 Some variation but one uniform language

The Australian - Sydney, Australia

The pronunciation is generally uniform across the country, with no variations that amount to a dialect in the usual sense of the word. In the search for any significant regionalism in Australian English we are, therefore, left primarily with the vocabulary. ...

.22 Regions first green campus in Malabe

Ceylon Daily News - Ceylon, Sri Lanka

… South Asian Institute of Technology and Management (SAITM) at Malabe. … construction of the complex which is the regions first ‘green’ university has already begun ...

.23 UK Power Suppliers May Have to Cut Bills in Home Regions

Bloomberg – USA

Iberdrola SA and Electricite de France SA's U.K. units and competing utilities may be forced to cut power prices in their home regions of Britain or raise bills for consumers elsewhere, the U.K. energy regulator said. …

.24 TERENCE GOMEZ: Why indigenous people of the world are losing out

New Straits Times - Persekutuan, Malaysia

The primary cause for the numerous discrepancies between the rhetoric and reality of these charters and legislation is the support of governments and IFIs ...

.25 Decoding the opportunities in DTVs - USA

"The transition to digital broadcasting has been delayed in some regions and countries, allowing time for underlying technologies to advance further, " Lawson said. "Many of those countries will reap a benefit from their deferral, since it has afforded them an opportunity to begin their digital terrestrial TV service with more advanced and more bandwidth-efficient systems based on the latest signal-processing technologies. Regions such as Eastern Europe and Scandinavia …"

.26 Wholesale internet prices decline globally; vary sharply across regions

TeleGeography - Washington, DC, USA

Wholesale prices around the world have been declining rapidly, due to competition and declining equipment and transport costs. Somewhat surprisingly, prices in the US and Europe are falling as fast as, or faster than, prices in many more expensive regional markets. …

.27 Mayor furious at secret council merger talks

Wairarapa Times Age - Masterton, New Zealand

"It would involve taking over the regional council role and all that goes with it like flood control, pest control, public transport and the rural water ...

.28 Munich Agreement papers declassified

Moscow News – Russia

... Tarantella" and "Unknown Separatism, " and took part in the compilation of a collection of documents, entitled "The Baltic Countries and Geopolitics. ...

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 The Draft Regional Transportation Plan - The future takes shape


Metrolinx gave the media a preview of the draft regional transportation plan - the vision which will guide transportation investment for the next 25 years. They also released the draft investment strategy, which outlines how to pay for these improvements. The plan can be summed up in “Eight Big Moves” - bold steps to transform the way we move around the Greater Toronto & Hamilton area

About Metronauts

Metronauts is an open community of people from across the greater Toronto region (and beyond) who care about the future of our cities and the role transportation has in our lives. Metronauts originates from Toronto Transit Camp, held in February 2007.

.02 Mayor's Corner: A Lazarus Moment Needed to Revive Consolidation

By Laurent Gilbert

This was confirmed by representatives from Canadian communities that participated in our November, 2007 conference on regionalization. Regionalization efforts in Canada are more advanced than in Maine and the rest of the United States. ...

.03 Roanoke and New River Valley MSAs - How do we Promote Regionalism? Part 1 of 5

Connecting People
We were recently asked to talk to a group about regionalism between the Roanoke and Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford MSAs. What would it take for the two to operate more like one region? The simplest answer is to have more people working in one sub-region and living in the other. Attached is the formal process to combine MSAs… combine-msas. ...

.04 Linking the Chicago climate plan to the broader region

Kaid Benfield's Blog

the metropolitan region has an outstanding framework, vision, and process in place to shape how "Chicagoland" as a whole can develop sustainably. Beginning with The 2040 Regional Framework, regional planners earlier this decade anticipated growth of two million more people and over a million new jobs in the Chicago region and provided a blueprint for guiding that growth efficiently into city and town centers and transit corridors throughout the region, while protecting open space and farmland. Although not written explicitly to address climate concerns, the framework's effect would clearly minimize them by reducing driving per capita. …

.05 Metropolitan Richmond Day Features Mayor of Charlotte

By John Sarvay

Richard Vinroot, mayor of Charlotte, will be the breakfast speaker at one of the region's more essential annual events -- the 2008 Metropolitan Richmond Day community breakfast hosted by Hope in the Cities. … Dr. James Crupi said 'Regionalism is not just about projects but about relationships.' These events will further our region's "honest conversation" on: Building Trust in the Region....

.06 No Merger: The New Suburban Politics


... the fewer incorporated suburban areas there are the more likely are regional approaches to shared services. Already the county sheriff could be seen as a “metro police department” as it provides law enforcement across multiple townships. One can see a similar approach to public works. Paradoxically it seems merger would be a step away from regionalism and a victory for suburban self-aggrandizement.

.07 what we vote for when we vote for good food

By Sage

Change the current goals which frame the system- currently the goal is cheap calories, shift this to health (of humans, communities, planet) and food sovereignty; Keep the process of feeding people properly connected to the health care system and ensure local control through national policies that support the regionalization of food. ...

Note: See 13.02 Agriculture at the Metropolitan Edge

.08 Booth: Theory of World Security

By Jonathan(Jonathan)

Booth claims that we live in a world that is quite different from the worlds that had existed before. We have the capability to destroy on a larger scale than is easily conceivable. We have the ability to work with precision in our destruction. All of this operates within a milieu of globalization, regionalization and generally conflictual trends. … Booth, K., 2007. Theory of World Security

.09 Regional Worlds in a Post-Hegemonic Era

By Amitav Acharya(Amitav Acharya)

Keynote Speech, 3rd GARNET Annual Conference, Bordeaux, 17-20 September 2008. GARNET stands for Network of Excellence on Global Governance, Regionalisation and Regulation: The Role of the EU, a research program funded by the European Union. … I also use the term regional world to cast a broader net than either regional order, which is largely security-oriented, or regionalization, which has a heavy economic undertone, or regionalism, which carries a serious political and institutionalist bias. Regional world subsumes regional order and regional institutions, as well as economic regionalization. Moreover, regional worlds are not just material constructs. They offer sites for ideational and normative contestations, resistance and compromises, involving both states and civil societies which transcend regional boundaries and overlap into other regional and global spaces. Regional worlds are not autonomous entities, nor purely subsets of global dynamics. They create, absorb and repatriate ideational and material forces that make world politics and order. …

.10 Asian Regionalism: New Poising Architecture for Global Financial and Economic Cooperation

By Gadis Ranty

Regionalism can be the stabilizing factor when crisis occurs. The regionalism intended to be an open regionalism (not necessarily mean keeping business opportunities in Asia for Asian only) in which ASEAN becomes a hub for regional cooperation. ASEAN in particular oriented outwardly to all over Asia. This regionalism designed to instigate the maximum participation for all countries and use the liberalization as merely tools for countries development. By strong leaderships and innovation or technological competitiveness improvements, this design directed to share wealths amongst the regional components. The world financial crisis had piled-up the significance of Asian Regionalism which not only market led but orderly managed by governments. …

.11 Answers in Regional and International Cooperation, Not Isolation

By mbanai

[F]or the Middle East to live in a stable and lasting peace, it is incumbent on us to review and re-evaluate our regional outlook, and the possibility of developing new regional frameworks to overcome our long-standing challenges. It is now the time to consider the possibility of establishing an organization that would include all states in the Middle East, without exception, to discuss long-standing issues openly and frankly, in the hope of reaching a stable and durable understanding between all parties.” ...

.12 Which Way Forward for World Trade?

By Jessica Thorn

Regionalism is a building block to free trade, advocates argue, insofar as PTAs help consolidate the political support of manufacturers, farmers and other exporters, making those key domestic lobbies more likely to fight for lower trade ...

.13 Danuta Hübner calls for a European Danube Strategy

Mouth to Source

A one-size-fits all approach doesn’t work in an EU of 27 Member States and 271 regions. We need a targeted policy for the Danube that meets its ecological, transport and socio-economic needs, ” …

.14 Green Paper on Climate Change and Energy Options for the State of Florida [Revised}
Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition
That feat is to determine the acceptable limits of development within regions of the State—both those limits which are inherent in its natural resources, and those more elevated limits which we are able to attain through inputs of ...

.15 Clean energy 2030

The Official Google Blog

Google’s data centers draw from a U.S. electricity grid that relies on coal for 50% of its power. We want to help catalyze the development of renewable energy that is price-competitive with coal. At least three technologies show tremendous promise: wind, solar thermal, and advanced geothermal. Each of these is abundant and, when combined, could supply energy in virtually every region of the U.S. …

.16 Affirmative Action Dilemmas in India

Far Outliers

The 'social federalism' of a caste-based society is also reflected in the pattern of regional parties whose rise was discussed in an earlier chapter. The notions of hierarchy associated with a caste system have vanished from political life where the manifold patchwork of regionally dominant peasant castes is much more important than notions of hierarchy and hegemony. But one particular element of stratification has survived

.17 "Global Language, Local Cultures, " Annual Meeting, American Comparative Literature Assocaition

By Richard L. W. Clarke

The theme of “Global languages, local cultures” can offer avenues into many lines of inquiry: explorations of “minor literatures”; regionalism and transregional relations; empires and postcolonial situations; interactions of literature ...

.18 The Challenges of Merging

By Alex

On the other hand, Ellenbrook is a growing regional hub, and I believe the challenge is to think both locally and regionally if we’re to be relevant. In reality, we already have a number of families who don’t live in Ellenbrook proper. ...

.19 Immobile Radio

By Jerry Del Colliano

Syndication, regionalization and duplication are in. Barter the time period and really cut costs. Pay one jock to be on several stations -- that will turn on the bean counters. Rebroadcast a day part in a later day part. ...

.20 A Legislative Agenda for the First 100 Days

Burning Cane

A Marshall Plan for US cities and depressed regions. The Hurricane Katrina disaster and the 2007 Minneapolis bridge collapse exposed significant problems with our political leadership, economic choices, and the basic US infrastructure ...

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 2008 European Week of Regions and Cities – Presentation Downloads

The OPEN DAYS 2008 programme title is "Regions and cities in a challenging world". The working sessions are grouped under four themes:

1. Innovating regions: Promoting research, technological development and innovation

2. Sustainable development: Regional responses to climate change

3. Cooperation and networking: Exchange of best practice in regional development

4. Looking forward: A European cohesion policy for tomorrow

.02 Agriculture at the Metropolitan Edge - University of California Berkeley

Recognizing the importance of agriculture to the culture, health, and sustainability of metropolitan regions, the University of California Berkeley this year launched Agriculture at the Metropolitan Edge (AME), a program within the Center for Global Metropolitan Studies.

AME explores issues at the interface of rural and urbanizing areas with the aim of understanding the values, economies, and policies impacting these most vulnerable of landscapes.

[PDF] Agricultural Conservation Development Projects A G R I T O P I A

.03 Multi-Municipal Planning Grant – Local Government Academy – Pennsylvania

The Local Government Academy is pleased to announce the 2008 Multi-Municipal Planning Grant Program. To date more than $485, 000 in grants have been awarded to 22 groups of municipalities. The purpose of this program is to support the creation and implementation of multi-municipal plans in conformance with the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC). Applicants are eligible for grants up to $8, 500 per municipality. The program is being administered by the Local Government Academy (LGA) with funds from the Heinz Endowments. All grants are contingent on receipt of funds by LGA.

.04 Travel and Tourism Research Association Annual Conference – April 22-24 – Rotterdam and Breda, The Netherlands

The European Chapter of the Travel and Tourism Research Association invites you to participate in its 2009 annual conference on Transport and Tourism: challenges, issues and conflicts, organized by InHolland University of Applied Sciences and NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences. The sub-themes are: global transport developments, transport and logistics at destinations, ICT in tourism and transport, ethical issues and sustainable development. …

.05 Association of Cities and Regions for Recycling and sustainable Resource management (ACR+)

ACR+ is an international network of members who share the common aim of promoting the sustainable consumption of resources and management of waste through prevention at source, reuse and recycling. It currently has about 90 members, mainly local and regional authorities as well as national networks of local authorities representing around 750 municipalities. ACR+ also welcomes other key players in the sustainable resource-product-waste management, such as NGOs, academic institutions or private organisations, as partner members.

.06 Auction Program Manager : Regional Greenhouse Gas Inititiative - NARUC

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Inc. ("RGGI, Inc.") seeks to hire an Auction Program Manager to be based in New York City. The Auction Program Manager will be responsible for managing the activities associated with the auction of CO2 allowances under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. … Closing Date: October 24, 2008 – Note: Additional positions - Administrative Manager, Offsets Program Manager

.07 Call For papers: The regeneration of image in old industrial regions: agents of change and changing agents - The fourth annual meeting of the Old Industrial Regions research network (affiliated to the Regional Studies Association), 15-17 February 2009, Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences, Monchengladbach, Germany

In order to better understand the role of image and regeneration in old industrial regions, in this research network meeting, we wish to explore the changing images of old industrial regions, and of particular agents and actors in those shifting images. We welcome all papers which deal with one of the following topics, but we also welcome other papers which help to provide balance and interest to the final programme:

- Global pipelines, local buzz: the role of universities and higher education in regenerating regional image

Driving image changes: large industries’ changing fortunes in the images of old industrial regions (especially the automotive industry)

Experiencing image regeneration: the role of sports, events and the experience economy in the changing image of old industrial regions

Financing image rebuilding: the role of inward investment and venture capital in shifting regional images in old industrial regions

Placing a new image: building the icons and landmarks of a rising regional star

Image for who? Social inclusion and participation in new regional cultures

Culture and creativity in the public, private and third sectors as a driver of regional image regeneration.

Other topics which fall within the general scope of the meeting theme.

The DEADLINE for the submission of abstracts is the end of December 2008.

To submit an abstract, or for further information, please contact one of the three seminar organisers:‑

- Paul Benneworth, Newcastle University -

- Gert-Jan Hospers, Twente University -

- Rüdiger Hamm, Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences

.08 New Zealand Travel Guide: Regions of New Zealand

Below are the 28 major regions of New Zealand. Select a region from the list on the left, or use the map on the right. …

.09 Regions of Japan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The regions of Japan are not official administrative units, but have been traditionally used as the regional division of Japan in a number of contexts. For instance, maps and geography textbooks divide Japan into the eight regions, weather reports usually give the weather by region, and many businesses and institutions use their home region as part of their name …

14. Subscription access news stories. Contents

.01 Self-confident China continues to invest in infrastructure - Logistics Briefing - Transportation Intelligence

Airbus is to open an assembly line … A vendor village has been established close to the final assembly line and this, combined with inbound components from other suppliers around China, will provide a huge new impetus to the regional logistics industry. Some 100 new aircraft will be built a year by 2010. The message which is being clearly signalled is that whilst the rest of the world is taken up with its financial woes, China is getting on with the business of building a world class transport infrastructure, which will support its economic growth for years to come.

.02 Can you hear me now? - Frederick News Post (subscription) - Frederick, MD, USA

Think things have been bad so far? In a Sept. 25 announcement Gov. Martin O'Malley said he's calling on state agencies to get to work identifying "hundreds of millions of dollars" in spending cuts in an effort to re-balance the state's much-battered and increasingly revenue-deprived budget.

The governor's move also is a pre-emptive, loin-girding strike against what he predicted will be an "extraordinarily difficult budget next year" owing to the present "economic crisis" …

The call for cuts has not yet gotten down to specifics, but "most likelies" have been short-listed. According to The Post, O'Malley aides said on-the-table items include "health care, the University System of Maryland and funding for local governments;" the last item, alone, constituting some 40 percent of the state's budget.

What's a Maryland county to do?

If you number among the "Big 7" state charter governments — Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George's counties and Baltimore City — you will open your Big Gun arsenal and loose the high-powered lobbyists therein on state legislature powers-that-be in order to ensure protection and promotion of your local priorities.

If, like Frederick, you have neither arsenal, nor Big Gun one, you will need to rely on your board of county commissioners for ammunition and a plan to supplement Frederick's two-senator, six-house-delegate presence in the Maryland General Assembly when its kicks off the legislative session in January.

They have not let us down.

The commissioners recently decided to designate an as yet unidentified staff person from the county manager's office to assist County Attorney John Mathias in monitoring the status of county bills and championing local priorities. He/she shall be deemed "legislative coordinator" and additionally liaise with the county's 12 municipalities and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

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 crisis returned 381 items; revenue returned 626 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 bi-monthly, as of May 7, 2008, based on news reports as of Wednesday of the publication week. It was published weekly through April 23, 2008. At the start, it was twice-weekly.

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 search previous issues since 2003 go to:

The term “Development” was added to the name in January, 2006 and the Group was renamed Regional Community Networkers & RCDNews as of March 10, 2008.

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Thomas J. (Tom) Christoffel, AICP -

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