Regional Community Development News – February 6, 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.

1. Guide to Evacuate Region Reveals Limitations - Washington Post - United States

More than a year after officials in the Washington area began drawing up plans for a large-scale evacuation, they have produced a guide that falls short of their original goals because of differences over turf and individual jurisdictions' plans for confronting a catastrophe.

Backed by a $1.4 million federal grant, officials intended to create a unified evacuation plan in case of a terrorist strike or other disaster. But they scaled it back to a guide for governments in the Washington area, with a database of highways, shelters, buses and other resources.

Some analysts said the document reflects a worrisome lack of coordination in one of the world's prime terror targets. But others said the original goal was too ambitious, given the absence of detailed local plans and the region's division of authority.

"What we decided was: You can't have one operational plan across state, commonwealth and District for evacuation, " said Chris Geldart, the representative for the D.C. area at the Department of Homeland Security. "But what you can do is understand what is everybody's plan and how they fit together."

He called the guide a significant advance and said it would provide the building blocks for a more integrated regional plan.

The project made clear the patchwork nature of planning for a catastrophe in the area, ...

Such differences reflect the divided authority in a region encompassing 17 cities and counties spread over two states and a federal district. New York's mayor can order his city's 8 million residents to leave, but "there is no single individual that may issue an evacuation order" for the 5 million people in the Washington region ...

RC: Metropolitan Washington COG

2. Utah County reaches outward - Salt Lake Tribune - United States

Two years ago, Utah County was in an isolationist mode, withdrawing from regional planning and economic-development groups.

But today, the county is reaching out, said County Commission Chairman Gary Anderson.

"It's an exciting time, " Anderson told the Provo-Orem Chamber of Commerce Friday afternoon. "We're back with a flourish."

Anderson and Commission Vice Chairman Larry Ellertson gave a "state of the county" report at the chamber's First Friday Forum. They plan to give a more in-depth report at the Historic Utah County Courthouse at 1 p.m. Wednesday in Provo.

Anderson said in recent years the county withdrew from Mountainland Association of Governments (MAG) and privatized its tourism-promotion efforts. Anderson said the thought was that the commission should concentrate on serving the residents of the unincorporated county and leave the rest to city governments.

Utah County, the largest financial contributor to MAG, had decided to leave the organization because commissioners felt neighboring Wasatch County was getting more services and grant assistance.

"We feel like we're whole again, " said Darrell Cook, MAG's executive director.


3. Think regionally, not provincially, about economic issues - Toledo Blade - Toledo, OH, USA

I CAME away from last Monday's downtown Rotary Club meeting, which was all about the regional economy, business growth, and what's in store for the future, not sure if the glass is half full or half empty. Our region has so much going for it - and so much working against it.

This was one of those programs the downtown Rotarians occasionally present in which club officers dispense with most of the normal housekeeping announcements and devote 45 or 50 minutes to exploring a topic on everyone's minds, and these days, few topics occupy our minds more than the state of the local and regional economy.

... I was struck by the candor of the participants. Nobody tried to suggest that everything is peaches and cream. To the contrary there was an acknowledgment that Lucas and Wood counties need to do a lot better job of working together if this region's economic fortunes are to turn around.

All three gentlemen agreed that the decision of Bass Pro to locate a new superstore in northern Wood County along I-75 was a win for the region, not just for Wood County. But how well I remember the spirited competition between Toledo and Wood County to land Bass Pro in the first place. Toledo and Mayor Carty Finkbeiner wanted it for the Marina District; Wood County wanted it for the Golden Triangle area.

From my perspective, both won.

That's always been a troublesome phenomenon for me. Sometimes the Maumee River might as well be a concrete wall dividing Lucas and Wood counties. ...

In my opinion, the same is true of the state line. ... I consider a new plant in Monroe County just as much a victory for Ohio as it is for Michigan.


RC: Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments

4. Yorkshire's graduate economy fallen behind other regions - Online Recruitment – UK

Yorkshire and the Humber’s long-term ambition to become a successful knowledge economy is threatened by its failure to retain more graduate talent in the region, according to a new research report Graduate Economies in Britain.

The report by Geoeconomics, commissioned by Graduates Yorkshire - the dedicated website for matching employers in Yorkshire & Humber with graduate talent from the region’s universities – has serious implications for local authorities and their partners who are finalising proposals in response to the Government’s Sub National Review of Economic Development and Regeneration.

Graduates Economies in Britain provides a snapshot of the region’s position in the graduate intensive “knowledge economy” and highlights the crucial role that graduates have in supporting and strengthening the knowledge intensive sectors.

Knowledge-intensive sectors are industries where at least 25 per cent of the workforce must be qualified to degree level and at least 30 per cent of the workforce must be employed in professional, managerial and scientific and technical occupations.

According to the report Leeds remains the flagship of the region’s graduate economy while Sheffield and Rotherham continue to benefit from the regenerating effect of graduate recruitment and retention. However, Bradford, York and Doncaster continue to display disappointing graduate economy trends.

... to create economic dynamism in the region, business employers – especially SMEs – will have to recruit more graduates coming out of the region’s universities and to participate more in work placement schemes.


“Overall there is an urgent need for the Region to build a strong and dynamic knowledge economy as rapidly as possible, so that graduates leaving its highly-rated and large universities have a genuine local work alternative, particularly in the private sector as the region does not offer enough jobs to meet demand.”


RC: Yorkshire and Humber Assembly

5. Ala. Black Belt region looks to rich history for economic boost - USA Today – USA

From the birth of the Confederacy to the struggles of the civil rights movement, the Black Belt region of Alabama has been the center for much of the state's — and the USA's — history.

Now, a grass-roots effort is underway to give this historic region a brighter future by getting it designated a National Heritage Area.

The Black Belt, which includes Montgomery, Selma and 19 counties, is a crescent-shaped swath of dark, prairie soil that bisects central Alabama from Mississippi to Georgia. Nationally, the Black Belt region stretches from Virginia to Texas. Originally named for its dark soil, the region has taken on a political and social definition because of its large African-American population.

Designation as a National Heritage Area — a congressional decision — could jump-start tourism in the economically depressed Alabama part of the region, says Tina Naremore Jones, director of the University of West Alabama's Center for the Study of the Black Belt.

The process can take two to three years to complete, depending on how legislation travels in Congress, says Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala., whose district covers most of the Black Belt.

Efforts by the Black Belt Heritage Area Task Force, which Jones co-chairs, have been underway for about a year.

"This is not something that will move through Congress in a few months, " Davis says. "It requires a tremendous amount of groundwork and preparation before ever making it to Congress. The area has to be defined, (and) gathering community support is beneficial. Once it is introduced, I don't foresee any trouble in it making it through the process. These are usually non-controversial efforts."

Jones says she hopes Davis can introduce the legislation in Congress this year.


6. First checkup for area's clinics - Seattle Times - United States

After years of work, lots of fanfare and a plentiful dose of disagreement, a collaboration by employers, health insurers, unions and medical providers around Puget Sound has produced a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive comparison of the medical care performed at 14 different clinic systems in the Puget Sound area.

The "Community Checkup" report, released Thursday, uses billing records for 1.6 million patients to compare the care that is being delivered to the region's health-care consumers to national standards. It covers 21 different areas, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer screening and low back pain, and rates clinics against regional averages.

"The goal here is to shine a light on our health-care delivery system, in a way that everyone can see how health care is being provided, and from there, how to make much better choices, " said King County Executive Ron Sims, who helped start the coalition, called the Puget Sound Health Alliance.

But it's not yet clear just how useful such ratings will be to the "consumers" of health care — who are sometimes patients but are more often businesses and government agencies that purchase health coverage for workers.


Long, costly process

Producing the report, along with related health-quality work, was a long, costly process — three years and $3.5 million.

The alliance began in late 2004 at the urging of a King County task force. The goal was to develop a system to improve quality — which, Sims believed, would lead to cost containment — align incentives among employers, insurers, doctors and patients, and to agree on clinical guidelines and measures to be used in a report.

The alliance now includes 160 organizations, including Boeing, Starbucks and Washington Mutual, and more than 50 people. Its board includes representatives from medical providers, health insurers, large businesses, King County, the city of Seattle, and union-employer trusts. ...

7. Bus-service funding a win for regionalism - - Des Moines, IA, USA

Thirty-five years ago, Des Moines and four suburbs created the Metropolitan Transit Authority to take over the city's bankrupt bus service and provide mass-transit service. It was among the earliest regional efforts in greater Des Moines to share local services and costs.

That authority has evolved to include an even larger regional area in the past two years, and it passed an important test of its future viability this week.

The test came in a split vote by nine members of the authority's board, which approved changing the formula for how the transit service's operating costs are divided among individual communities. The new funding formula collapses the member communities' share of the operating costs from a dozen rates to two flat-rate tiers based on levels of service.

Wednesday's vote was a critical test of whether all 21 communities in metro Des Moines see regional-transit service as a benefit worth supporting. ...

The change - which must be confirmed at a March 4 public hearing - will reduce the cost to residents in Des Moines and some suburbs while increasing it in others, some only slightly and some substantially. It's estimated that by 2011, when the full rate change is implemented, the owner of a $100, 000 home in the large cities would pay just under $20 a year, while the owner of a home of the same value in a smaller city would pay just under $4.50 a year. This change was urged by Des Moines, which has offered to additionally subsidize DART operations from its downtown parking revenues.


DART will never realize that potential as long as each community thinks only narrowly about its own needs rather than contributing to services that benefit the entire region. The three "no" votes Wednesday came from representatives of three cities ...

RC: Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization

8. Maglev vs. subway - Daily Breeze - Torrance, CA, USA

In the quest to relieve traffic in Los Angeles, two ideas are gaining some traction - and they couldn't be more different.

On the one hand, the City Council is exploring the possibility of something that's new, innovative, cost-efficient and would be a boon to the entire region.

And on the other, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is pushing an idea that's old, outrageously expensive and would drain resources from most of the Los Angeles region.

Call it maglev vs. subway to the sea - a study in contrasts.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council gave initial approval to a $26 billion high-speed, magnetic-levitation train system by creating a joint-powers agreement with neighboring cities. The train system would start at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, run through downtown, and eventually reach Ontario Airport.

When completed, the maglev would remove countless trucks from the road by moving cargo transit to rails. By including a passenger component, it would take commuters off the road, too, and facilitate airport regionalization, thus relieving pressure on the 405 Freeway and Los Angeles International Airport.

Best of all, American Maglev, an Atlanta-based firm, would cover the entire $26 billion cost. No bonds, no tax hikes. This is the sort of partnering that, if done correctly, could save the public a fortune.

Meanwhile, the MTA is using an unscientific study of responses at its own events to claim that the public wants the subway. And maybe it does - but at what cost?

9. Petulance won't help cause - St. Catharines Standard - St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Forget grace under pressure.

Here in St. Catharines, politicians have mastered something else.

Call it petulance under pressure.

I am, of course, referring to the reaction to the news last Thursday that Niagara Regional Police Chief Wendy Southall wants to move the service's headquarters out of downtown St. Catharines to somewhere in Niagara Falls.

Already fast gaining a reputation as the Crybaby Council of Niagara, members of St. Catharines city council did their best to reinforce that image by lashing out in a manner that brought to mind spats at Grade 3 recess.


Let's see, where to begin?

Well, for starters, let's agree St. Catharines city council has a right to be miffed about the chief's recommendation. It's bad enough the NRP wants to pull a large workforce out of the city core, but rubbing salt into the wounds is that it appears the chief only paid lip service to the city's stated willingness to help make a downtown location work.

More on that later. Time to examine McMullan's ongoing strategy of how to make enemies and not influence people on Niagara regional council.

Secede from the Region? Set up St. Catharines' own police force?

Where does this lunacy come from?

McMullan said "we" believe the city can provide the same quality of policing as it's getting now at the same cost.

Oh really? And just how was this determined? On the back of a napkin while having lunch with a few other councillors Friday?


The other avenue for the city to pursue is convincing the Ontario government to pressure the Region into paying heed to the province's Places to Grow Act, which encourages increased employment densities downtown and has identified St. Catharines as the administrative hub of Niagara.


RC: Niagara Region

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.

.10 Our Opinion: Walkup says: no tax boost, 'green' jobs, regional plans
Tucson Citizen - Tucson, AZ, USA
The mayor again invoked the needs for regional water planning and other regional cooperation, issues that have been and will be cited repeatedly until these ...

.11 Region's development predicted to stay stunted
Toledo Blade - Toledo, OH, USA
misperception that the region's and the nation's loss of manufacturing jobs was a case of workers being displaced by lower-paid counterparts in places like Mexico and China. "Most of the factory jobs that have been lost have been lost to technology improvements, " he said....

.12 Regional Economy Barely Growing in Jan.
Houston Chronicle - United States
For the fourth month in a row, wholesale inflation increased in nine Midwestern and Plains states, slowing economic growth to a crawl in January, ... "Over the past four months, there has been a clear downturn in the region's index, indicating that the region's growth will be zero or slightly negative for the first half of 2008." ...

.13 First LCMS disaster-response meeting
Worldwide Faith News (press release) - New York, NY, USA
... response to both enable and empower congregations and their districts to respond in a timely manner on a local, regional, or national level. ...

.14 Reversing sprawl in Hudson
Boston Globe - United States

... town would create a large septic leaching field with underground "recharge galleries." According to Martin Pillsbury of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, such dispersal is "not inexpensive, " but is increasingly seen as a way for communities to handle their waste water locally instead of sending it downstream. , , ,

.15 City manager search: Step one completed
San Marcos Daily Record - San Marcos, TX, USA
… so far stakeholders are looking for a city manager that is well versed in water rights, economic development, development growth, student issues, strategic planning and regionalism and can lift the morale among city officials. …

.16 Smaller government could lead to big savings
Indianapolis Star - United States
... Indiana ranks consistently between about 10th and 20th both in terms of the number of governments and the number of governments relative to population. ...

.17 Agency: County about to undergo major population, traffic boom
Greenville Herald-Banner - Greenville, TX, USA
In face the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) believes Hunt County could become “urbanized” in about two decades. ...

.18 SA set to clear ‘Clean Air Act’ hurdle
Seguin Gazette-Enterprise - Seguin, TX, USA
Alamo Area Council of Governments Natural Resources Director Peter Bella credited a self-imposed “Early Action Compact” local politicians entered into with ...

.19 Valley unity in the name of better transportation
Stockton Record - Stockton, CA, USA
Regional transportation planners and elected officials had at least a billion reasons to say a unified voice from the eight-county San Joaquin Valley can reap benefits for residents. ...

.20 SANDAG given AAA bond rating
North County Times - Escondido, CA, USA

The San Diego Association of Governments announced Friday that Standard & Poor's has elevated the regional planning agency's bond rating to AAA, something officials say should stretch San Diego County residents' transportation tax dollars. ...

.21 State OKs Seeking Bid For Study Of Transit Hub
TheDay - New London, CT, USA
The Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments has received paperwork from the state that allows the regional planning agency to go out to bid for a ...

.22 Collins hosts an icebreaker
Buffalo News - NY, United States
As regionalism advocate Kevin Gaughan points out, we live in a community where town councils do not even meet regularly with the councils of villages within ...

.23 Bell: Metro area made 'major' transit strides in 2007
Shakopee Valley News - Shakopee, MN, USA
The Twin Cities metro area is making “major strides” toward improving the region’s transit system and building upon the impressive ridership ...

.24 Funkhouser proposes new legislation for his regional light rail approach
Kansas City Star - MO, USA
Funkhouser has proposed legislation for Missouri and Kansas calling for a new five-county transportation district to build a regional light rail system. ...

.25 Public meetings to help define cities' plans

Moultrie Observer – GA, USA
That’s the idea behind the comprehensive plans now being updated for local cities by the Southwest Georgia Regional Development Center. A series of meetings is planned throughout this month to get public input on the plan, ...

.26 Aging population will lead to increased demand for services

The Marietta Times, OH, USA
"There's an ongoing discussion about this issue, and we're trying to identify gaps in services that may occur, " said Gwynn Clifford, communications director for Buckeye Hills/Hocking Valley Regional Development District.

.27 Hellertown rejects study that urges regional police
Allentown Morning Call - Allentown, PA, USA
Hellertown Police Chief Robert Balum, who said he opposes regionalization, told council that the state-funded study includes inaccuracies, ... Combined, Hellertown and Lower Saucon Township spend $2.9 million annually for police operations, an average of approximately $200 per person per year in the two municipalities.

.28 Regionalization of the Saginaw Valley moves forward - Flint, MI, USA

The regionalization of the Saginaw Valley took another step forward Thursday with Dow Chemical opening -- not in Midland, but in Saginaw Township....

.29 Towns to jointly purchase office supplies
Portsmouth Herald News - Portsmouth, NH, USA
Then, during one of the joint meetings with Kennebunk and Arundel we talked about regionalization and what we all could do." With that charge, Treasurer Leo Ouellette examined the situation. He got in touch with his counterparts in Kennebunk and Arundel. "I did a survey here, " Ouellette said. "We use 15 different vendors among the three towns." ...

.30 Chipotle Divides Business Into 5 Regions
Houston Chronicle - United States
Chipotle said it will now operate in the Pacific, Rocky Mountain, South, Central and Northeast regions. Previously, it had divided its operations into the ...

.31 Goodell: Buffalo Bills Will Play Regular Season Games in Toronto
WIVB - Buffalo, NY, USA
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, "They have regionalized throughout western New York, and that's helped the team be more successful from a business standpoint, and marketing themselves more effectively. ...

.32 Grove wants pact before it supports casino
Tulsa World - Tulsa, OK, USA
"Until an intergovernmental agreement can be reached through good faith negotiations, the city of Grove, Oklahoma, cannot support the acquisition of land by ...

11. Other regional community news for our Local Planet.

.10 The benefit of doling out bags of cash, region by region
Globe and Mail - Canada
The late US Speaker Tip O'Neill was only partly right. All politics is not local. In Canada, it is above all regional - except in Ontario, where it's always national, even when it's local. If you needed a reminder of this truism of Canadian democracy, Industry Minister Jim Prentice provided one last week as he flew from coast-to-prairie touting the regional benefits of Ottawa's decision to spend billions on new, U.S.-built C-17 cargo planes from Boeing …

.11 Region questions need for airport
St. Catharines Standard - St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
Regional taxpayers won't fund Niagara District Airport this year, despite a $500, 000-a-year request from the facility's commission. Instead, regional councillors asked staff Wednesday to review what role, if any, Niagara Region should have in supporting any Niagara airport. ...

.12 The new Russian regional policy
Barents Observer - Archangel, Russia
The strengthening of the Russian Ministry of Regional Development marks the start of a new period in Russian regional affairs, …

.13 Kozak's New Macroregions
The Moscow Times – Russia

... proposals include a plan to give the regions maximum authority in areas that have a direct impact on the local investment climate. They grant the regions 300 million to 4 billion rubles from the federal investment fund and stipulate the establishment of between seven and 10 economic "macroregions." These regions would be similar to the seven current federal districts but would focus exclusively on economic issues. ...

.14 Use of space varies in different regions
Wellington Times - Wellington, New South Wales, Australia
We have all heard stories about city-centric people who do not understand country folk or the lives they lead. There can be problems with city-based do not understand country folk or the lives they lead....

.15 Community Policing announces regional chairs committee
Welland Tribune - Ontario, Canada
Sergeant Neal Orlando of the Niagara Regional Police Community Services Unit said, “Reinvigorating our community policing groups is essential if we are to ...

.16 Transcribing jobs for Atlantic region
Peter MacKay is hoping $1 million from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency will be enough to create 200 medical transcribing jobs in the Atlantic region. Prudential Consulting Inc., a Toronto information technology ...

.17 GM canola 'contaminated' Canadian farms
The Age - Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
The pair also said buffer zones, which were designed to stop the spread of GM canola across farm or regional boundaries, did not work. ...

.18 Arts governance: survey shows report is off beam


... reported that non-profit governance on charity and arts boards was "bad" with "little accountability". ... This report found that non-profit boards were inept at strategic planning and financial management, were ineffective at dealing with government and had been put there because of their political connections. ...Gettler also reported that arts boards tended to fight with chief executives, interfered with management, got involved in petty issues and were self-serving. ...

.19 Region 'not a dumping ground for unskilled'
Gulf Daily News - Manama, Bahrain
... warned that the region was being flooded with foreign workers, brought in to do the simplest of tasks ... Bahrain should not be a "dumping ground" for unskilled workers, said Pakistan Embassy community welfare counsellor Habib Gilani....

.20 S'wak Corridor to be launched on Feb 11
Borneo Bulletin - borneo, Brunei Darussalam
"Every Sarawakian has a role to play in the regional development concept. Human capital development is one of the main emphasis and it is up to us how we want to make ourselves useful, " …

.21 Collaborative effort
Smart Business Network - Cleveland, OH, USA
... it’s how you structure what the tasks are, who you have come together on a certain project so that people get used to working across boundaries. ...

.22 Council meeting pushes for drought initiatives unity
ABC Online - Australia
… even though the regions are fighting different battles in drought conditions, they agreed at the meeting to work together to address the short and long-term problems. ...

.23 Regional council not working to protect our water
Newsdurhamregion-com - Durham, Ontario, Canada
At its meeting March 7, 2007, Durham Regional council endorsed a resolution presented to it by Kairos Durham Chapter. It was one of over 120 Canadian cities ...

.24 China, Australia hold dialogue
China Daily - China
... care about the sensitive issues of both sides; and the fifth was to strengthen regional cooperation to mutually promote regional peace and stability. ...

.25 Nature rules regionally

Nature Reports Climate Change
... compared heat-content measurements in the North Atlantic region from 1950 to 1970 and from 1980 to 2000. Over the 50-year period, the North Atlantic as a whole heated up moderately, but finer-scale changes were more complex, ...

.26 Education in Arab world falling behind other regions: World Bank
One reason is that the "quality of instruction in the region is too low for schooling to contribute to growth and productivity." …

.27 East Africa: Time to Start Implementing Some Unifying Regional Issues - Washington, USA
... our education standards and how best to transform the sector, university students have started campaigning for a uniform regional education syllabus. ...

.28 Regional Municipality of Durham gets $2.5 million for development of transit strategy

Daily Commercial News and Construction Record - CA
Among the strategy’s goals are to develop a multi-modal transit ridership and traffic forecasting model for Durham region and develop alternative transit network strategies, including rapid transit technology options and improved linkages with other transit networks in the Greater Toronto Area. …

.29 Labour to strip rural voters of their right to stop green belt destruction
Daily Mail - UK
Under his plan, the regional assemblies dominated by elected town councillors would lose planning powers. These would go to Regional Development Agencies,

.30 Net change in components of human well-being between 2000 and 2050
By UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Order from Strength, which focuses on reactive policies in a regionalized world, has the least favorable outcomes for human well-being, as the global distribution of ecosystem services and human resources that underpin human well-being ...

.31 Training: Funding opportunities from IPA, the Instrument for pre-accession assistance
By European-Agenda
... the IPA five components ( transition assistance and institution building; cross-border cooperation; regional development; human resources development; and rural development) and their availability according to the country status, ...

12. Blogs

.10 GLUE in the Blogosphere
By Jim Russell(Jim Russell)
I doubt we can engineer a Great Lakes knowledge economy, but regions within this mega-region could functionally benefit from innovation spillovers. As this map suggests, there are coherent economic regions within the Rust Belt. ...

.11 Press Release: Cities mean business
By myscmanews
From ads in local papers to editorials, proclamations and business receptions, local officials and business leaders are coming together to bring awareness to regional cooperation and economic competitiveness. ...

A blog by newvaconnects for young professionals in the NewVa region
Six weeks after Roanoke Valley officials pitched their 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness, a coalition today unveiled a second proposal that offers some quick-fix solutions as well as long-term goals. ...

.13 R is for Regionalism and Roads.
Earlier this week (in a different context) Erica made the case that bi-partisanship is shorthand for diluting the Democratic majority in favor of the Republican agenda. A similar phenomenon defines "Regionalism." Regionalism—as Sen. ...

.14 Depressing Growth Management News
That's really bad news, because it means the Puget Sound Regional Council, which did the projections, expects sprawl to continue unchecked in the formerly rural hinterlands of Snohomish and Pierce Counties. ...

.15 When Regional Non-Cooperation Masquerades As Regional Cooperation
By James Rowen(James Rowen)
Milwaukee County Executive Dana Vrakas raised Double-Speak to a new high in these parts, saying that he supports the Great Lakes Compact...but sides with the Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce that calls for gutting the Compact of its ...

.16 From Mega Trends to Association Trends to Meeting Trends
By Peter Turner
Global Strategy; Standard Product Development; Business Metrics & Measures; Customer Attention Deficit; ISO Credible Sources; Customer Experience Management; Regionalization (Planning/Infrastructure); Hot Regions ...

.17 Global Forum on Reinventing Government
By Chief Mind Unzipper(Chief Mind Unzipper)
The conference also aimed to promote better international and regional cooperation, while giving government officials an opportunity to exchange good practices and experiences. Participating in the Forum were Heads of State, ...

.18 Optimal Expansion Strategy for a Sewer System under Uncertainty
By damageva
But regionalization policy confers uncertainties and risks upon cities while planning for future events. Following the philosophy of smart growth, this paper presents several optimal expansion schemes for a fast-growing city in the ...

.19 World Trade Centers Association Meets in Edmonton
By Dale Bennett
Building Local & Regional Community - a great example of getting the purpose right before applying the technology - Connection2Edmonton - here's a link to my blog post that tells the C2E story in detail ...

.20 The Silicon Valley disadvantage
By John Fensterwald
Teachers in Silicon Valley and Orange County receive among the highest teachers’ pay in California. And yet their districts can’t pay them enough to compete with comparably educated workers in their regions. ...

.21 Coworking Brings Community to the Workplace
By Tony Sirna
The Coworking Community Blog defines coworking as: "a movement to create a community of cafe-like collaboration spaces for developers, writers and independents." Mother Jones ran an article on Coworking describing its origins in San ...

.22 Sacramento Green Conference
By Dave Lukenbill(Dave Lukenbill)
Officials of Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District and Sacramento Area Council of Governments said they organized the event to help locally elected officials better represent community interests as state regulators and ...

.23 Inclusive Nationalism not Regionalism
Issues like regionalism and casteism are an impediment to this potential rise of the country. The leaders of our country need to get over the narrow considerations of caste and coalition compulsions and ensure that the State and state ...

.24 [allegiances] regions within regions
By Bretwalda Edwin-Higham(Bretwalda Edwin-Higham)
Are your allegiances to your town, region, county, state or nation? Prodicus noted:. A town is too small. A continent is too big and lacks tribal or quasi-familial bonds strong enough to hold it together - an empire likewise. ...

.25 Ridership up regionally, A Tipping Point for Transit?
By Andrew Austin
The Seattle Times reported in a feature story last week, that Metro’s ridership was sharply up in 2007, hitting near record levels. The buses handled an estimated 110 million boardings last year, nearly a 7 percent increase over the ...

By schotline
He currently serves as a member of the Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments. He has also served on the Myrtle Beach Friendship Team for many years, recently formed the new Myrtle Beach Republican Club and is a member of St.

.25 What Can Brown Do For You?
By Rusty Weston
The topic was explored last summer in a fascinating Fast Company article called Rise of the Aerotropolis. The article makes the case that in the future some employers will assemble teams of workers at or near giant airports. ...

.26 Can we establish an ASOPA successor?
By Keith Jackson AM
... the impact of global warming in the South Pacific; using the mass media as a means of development; economic development and migration in the South Pacific; and promoting educational opportunity through regional cooperation. ...

.27 Photo Contest "Water without Borders. Water for Existence"
... Foundation announces the photo contest, “Water without Borders. Water for Lives.” The objective of the contest is to draw public attention to trans-boundary water issues in the South Caucasus and the necessity of regional cooperation.

13. Announcements and Regional Links

.10 FEMA Grants and Assistance Programs - 2008

Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program (RCPGP)

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program (RCPGP) is an important component of the Administration’s larger, coordinated effort to enhance emergency planning and strengthen the nation’s overall level of preparedness. RCPGP provides funding to advance catastrophic incident preparedness to Tier I and designated Tier II Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) Urban Areas. The goal of RCPGP is to support an integrated planning system that enables regional all-hazard planning for catastrophic events and the development of necessary plans, protocols, and procedures to manage a catastrophic event.

FY 2008 RCP Program Guidance and Application Kit (PDF )

.11 Environmental Stewardship Regional Practices – Renewable Energy

The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation released the final report of a Land-of-Sky Regional Council (LOSRC) project in regional energy and fuels planning. Under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the NADO Research Foundation is working to research, support and examine issues related to regional economic development and environmental stewardship. The report and project outline was compiled by the Land-of-Sky Regional Council in Asheville, North Carolina as part of the NADO Research Foundation initiative

The report, Getting Starting in Regional Energy and Fuels Planning: Sharing the Land-of-Sky Experience, provides a brief overview of the project. It provides an outline for other regional development organizations and their local partners to follow as they begin work on regional energy and fuels planning. It also demonstrates how the topic fits well within the EDA Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS) process.

Also of interest from Land-of-Sky Regional Council: Restorative Economy

The Council is exploring a new "lens" through which to view rural economic development in its regional strategic plan, Regional Vision 2010. This element of RV 2010 is called the Restorative Economy Project. RV 2010 is funded by EDA as a model CEDS (Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy) for its Economic Development Districts. AdvantageWest is a co-funder. The North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center is funding the Restorative Economy Project.

.12 Working Hard And Working Smart: Industry Sectors Strategy Institute - Oklahoma Department of Commerce

Here you'll find:

  • A brief recap of Working Hard and Working Smart: Industry Sectors Strategy Institute held Jan. 22-24, 2008 in Norman;
  • Presentations from the Institute;
  • State and federal grant funding opportunities and other grant resources;

Oklahoma, like many states, faces critical workforce shortages as well as workforce skills shortages. Through regional partnerships of educators, economic developers, workforce professionals, businesses, and other stakeholders, solutions are being designed to meet those needs today and in the future. Business leaders from health care, manufacturing, aerospace and energy industries also attended the Institute. Each addressed the critical shortages of qualified job seekers within their industries with team members.

.13 ‘Culture, Cohesion and Competitiveness: Regional Perspectives’ 48th Congress of the European Regional Science Association, 27 – 31 August, 2008, Liverpool, UK

The 2008 ERSA Congress will be jointly hosted by the Department of Civic Design at the University of Liverpool and the British and Irish Section of the Regional Science Association International.

.14 Call for papers - Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation (CASC)


Cooperative Renewal: Cooperatives in the Twenty-First Century

Cooperatives and theories of cooperation have successfully adjusted to extensive social, economic, and political challenges over the more than a century and a half of since the writings of Robert Owen and others influenced the founding of the Rochdale Cooperative in 1844.


.15 RRCDC: Rochester Regional Community Design Center

RRCDC, our region's only non-profit community-driven advocate for quality planning and design. Rochester Regional Community Design Center. Rochester, NY.

14. Subscription

.10 Regional Airport Authority Disbands - Los Angeles Business Journal (subscription) - Los Angeles, CA, USA

The Southern California Regional Airport Authority, the entity revived by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in 2006 to promote regionalization of L.A.’s air traffic, is no more.

The group, meeting for just the second time in the past ten months, voted Thursday to disband itself amid waning interest from representatives of Riverside and Orange counties who don't want to see additional traffic at their local airports.

… officials have been trying for more than two decades to distribute it throughout the region.

… chairman of the authority, suggested that a new panel may be formed that would promote alternative ground transportation projects, such as high-speed rail.

.11 I-95 Corridor Coalition to roll in real time - Fleet Owner (subscription) – USA

The I-95 Corridor Coalition has announced that it will begin a multi-state program that will combine both GPS technology and road sensors to collect and distribute traffic information, providing speed data and travel time to drivers along Interstate 95, the key North-South thoroughfare on the East Coast.

"The member agencies of our 16-state Coalition identified multi-state availability of real-time traffic data as a key element of achieving our goal to improve transportation services through information sharing and coordinated management and operations, " said George Schoener, executive director of the coalition.

The group has awarded a multi-million dollar, multi-year contract to Inrix to provide the technology, which will initially cover approximately 1500 center line miles of freeways and 1000 center line miles of major arterials from New Jersey to North Carolina. Inrix’s contract is initially slated for three years, but can be extended to up to ten years.

Inrix projects the technology will be operational and available to the general public by the summer of 2008. It hopes to eventually expand the system throughout the entire Eastern seaboard, spanning I-95’s entire distance from Maine through Florida.

According to Inrix, the data will be available through travel times on signs, 511 systems, incident management systems, Internet-based travel services, congestion performance measures and other applications.

The company claims this will be the first public-sector program to seamlessly cross state borders to provide real-time traffic information to drivers, ...

The I-95 Corridor Coalition is a partnership of transportation agencies, toll authorities and other organizations such as public safety, port, transit and rail organizations from Maine to Florida which aims to improve travel conditions for passengers and freight. According to the group, the region handles 565-million long distance trips and 5.3-billion tons of freight per year, representing $3.95 trillion of the nation’s GDP.

15. Google News for “Regional Community”

Other menu sections available from this link include: regions, regional, regional community, region, Regional Council, regional development and other search terms. They can be sorted by date or relevance. These are among the 50 search terms I use to produce this newsletter.

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

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

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

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

To read and search previous issues go to:

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

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

For the Google Groups version go to:

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

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

Please e-mail the editor:

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