Regional Community Development News – May 7, 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 of this period … 1. – 9.

U.S. Regional Communities - sub-State, State or multi-State – news articles … 10.01 - .31

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet … 11.01 - .21

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .27

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .02

Subscription access news stories … 14.01

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

Note: With this issue, RCD News is going bi-monthly. A great deal happens weekly, but other than people-related items, few ideas spark immediate action. The intent of the News is to be timely and build knowledge of practice for those engaged in regional communities efforts. This is also in preparation for giving up the day job October 31, 2008 and making Regional Intelligence – Regional Communities a full time effort. Editor

Top Regional Community stories of this period

1. Bright lights, new improved cities - guardian-co-uk – UK

Cities are back. After decades of decline and urban deprivation the metropolis (so the rhetoric goes) is the powerhouse of the 21st century post-industrial economy. In England the "core cities" – Birmingham, Sheffield, Bristol, Nottingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle – have been working together to promote urban renaissance.

A plethora of reports promoted cities and regional governance. Their thread has been devolving power from the centre to local government; a key idea is the city region, in which (with or without structural reorganisation and boundary changes) the regional development agencies, councils and private bodies work together, conurbation-wide.

But if ministers have talked of giving cities their heads on the ground there's scepticism: things are not moving, despite the recent publication of an implementation plan for last summer's subnational review. It wants to formalise multi-area agreements within regions and requires regional development agencies to devolve funds to local authorities.

And despite the talk, the core cities are still lagging. In the UK, London is still seen as the only real global city player; the rest fall behind their counterparts elsewhere in Europe. A report in 2006 identified only two cities outside London (Bristol and Leeds) in the top 61 performing European cities.

Despite the success of the London model, few cities have actually opted for a directly elected mayor; there are only 13 across the country and none in the core cities.

Dermot Finch, director of the Centre for Cities thinktank, identifies a "power gap" between London and other cities as a result. "This is definitely something the government should be responding to. The more the mayor of London accumulates power, the further away London's system of government gets from other big cities. The power gap will start to disadvantage lots of really quite large cities."

2. Steering growth to Seattle, urban areas - Seattle Times - United States

The combined populations of Seattle and Bellevue could grow by nearly 300, 000 under a plan that attempts to direct much of the region's projected growth to its largest cities.

Vision 2040, adopted overwhelmingly Thursday by elected officials from four counties and more than 40 cities, also opposes building any more "fully contained communities, " such as Redmond Ridge, in rural areas.

The Puget Sound Regional Council's 40-year blueprint for slowing sprawl and speeding up downtown renewal discourages high-density islands outside the urban growth line "because of their potential to create sprawl and undermine state and regional growth management goals."

Tacoma City Councilmember Mike Lonergan, who headed the planning effort, said fully contained communities are "an oxymoron" because they overwhelm rural roads as the new residents drive elsewhere to work, shop and attend school.

Cities and counties aren't required to comply with policies in Vision 2040, an update of the Vision 2020 plan that was adopted in 1995. But the Regional Council's role in allocating some federal road-building funds gives it influence over local land-use decisions.

Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon voted in committee last month against language discouraging fully contained communities. Snohomish County currently is considering a 15, 000-resident planned community in the rural Lake Roesiger area.

King County Executive Ron Sims, saying Redmond Ridge was a mistake, supported the Vision 2040 goals.

Sims adviser Karen Wolf called Vision 2040 "fabulous" and said it will allow King, Snohomish, Pierce and Kitsap counties to grow by 1.7 million people without moving the urban growth boundary.

The plan would locate one-third of those new residents in the region's five largest cities: Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Tacoma and Bremerton. Smaller cities would take 41 percent of the growth, and areas outside cities 28 percent.

Only one city — University Place in Pierce County — voted against the plan, …

3. Detroit needs better sense of regionalism - - Detroit, MI, USA

When Bank of America acquired LaSalle Bank last year, I was given the opportunity to return to Detroit, a city and region I care for deeply. I was delighted to return to Michigan -- …

My biggest surprise on returning was the spirit of the people in this region. Most of the people I have talked with during the past several months have been upbeat and committed to moving Detroit and Michigan in the right direction.

While living in Charlotte, N.C., for the past several years, I witnessed how growth and diversity can transform a region. Charlotte is now second only to New York in terms of the size of its banking industry. Not San Francisco. Not Boston. Charlotte.

I was impressed by what Charlotte did in terms of benchmarking and learning from others. City leaders spent a lot of time analyzing the best practices of other regions, while learning from the mistakes other cities made. They had a great partnership between the business community and the city, which opened vital doors of communication.

The people in Charlotte understood the concept of supporting the growth of a region, not just the growth of a city. We need to keep that in mind as we evaluate new opportunities for Metro Detroit. Whether we're talking about Cobo Center expansion or some other piece of infrastructure, we need a better sense of regionalism. Growth anywhere in our region benefits all of us.

So much of momentum comes from a shared sense of optimism. …

RC: Southeast Michigan Council of Governments - SEMCOG

4. Grow by collaboration, not fightng - Independent and Free Press - Georgetown, ON, Canada

Dear Editor:

Here's a perspective on growth. …

The 'fight' is rather about a town with a higher than average number of people who share a different value system - who seek a fundamental paradigm shift from the 'grow or die' theoretical model, which has brought us to this brink, toward a model of true sustainability.

This theory is over 35 years old and still drives many business strategies today, but should it extend to the model for human co-existence?

Development interests, despite their delusions of grandeur, CANNOT and WILL NOT bring about this paradigm shift on their own.

Generally speaking, this is not their purpose. They exist to assimilate green fields. They exist to fill empty business space.

They exist to create wealth only for a very select group of people - the owners and related stakeholders. In their eyes all other people exist to feed their continued growth.

In who's best interest is it to propagate the 'grow or die' model?

Have the so-called pre-packaged buzz-words 'sustainable community' and 'smart growth' revolutionized the way you live or are they often lip service cloaking yet another 'grow or die' proposal?

What has it really done for you?

Check your own reality as you go through your day tomorrow with this in mind; look at your local parks, look at the traffic and road conditions, compare the price of a routine purchase to a few years ago.

Remove yourself from the daily humdrum and look at your community from a different perspective. A perspective where you educate yourself about the world your children will inherit and are empowered by the realization that people like you have the collective ability to impact the real world around you by compelling real and candid collaboration between ourselves, local business, and government.

5. $ marks the spot - Worcester Telegram - Worcester, MA, USA

Modern-day cartographers, using a mouse and geographic information systems instead of a compass and sextant, have been mapping already inhabited and charted territory: The Blackstone Valley.

It is not to help people navigate the 11 towns in the region, but to help businesses buy into the Blackstone Valley.

The Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission, with the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce, is working with the towns to map the region’s infrastructure and zoning to plan for future work and market the towns in the present.

Under way for about two years, the project has been an exercise in regional cooperation for the common good. Individually, the small towns in the valley have been hindered by size and resources. Collectively, they have been able to pool their resources and work on a regional economic development approach aimed at ultimately creating a Blackstone Valley Economic Development Council. …

Several years, millions of dollars and much effort have been invested in cleaning up the Blackstone River and marketing its namesake, the Blackstone Valley.

… valley communities want to be careful not to compromise under residential tax pressures and undo the positive work that has been done.

“For the most part, this region has always been fending off the lower-paying , lower-skilled jobs that don’t bring any prestige to the area — medical waste, landfills, asphalt plants, ” said Ms. Woods. “If we market ourselves differently and do a better job positioning ourselves, maybe we’ll attract a higher-quality-type business.”

CMRPC has budgeted $28, 000 for the infrastructure mapping project, which is the foundation for the larger Blackstone Valley Economic Development Council. The funding is through the state’s Chapter 43 D Smart Growth initiative to expedite the permitting process.

… most intriguing part of the process has been watching the region’s leaders and municipalities working together.

6. Atlanta leaders learn lessons on regionalism in Denver - - Charlotte, NC, USA

A delegation of about 110 civic leaders from Atlanta on Friday wrapped up a three-day visit to Denver to study its regional approach to solving problems, including its unusual metro-wide tax surcharge for cultural programs and the redevelopment of Aurora's Fitzsimons Army Medical Center.

The Atlanta delegation is examining the workings of Denver's 19-year-old sales-tax surcharge to support cultural programs as a possible model for the Georgia city. The tax funds are administered by the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.

In 1989, voters in the seven-county Denver area approved the tenth-of-a-cent sales-tax hike to support more 300 arts, science and cultural services in the region, including the Denver Art Museum, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Denver Zoo, and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

SCFD annually distributes about $40 million to cultural groups.

… the group is impressed with the Denver arts-funding model and other examples of regional cooperation on services, such as RTD.

"The region supports an ecosystem for the arts, " Bankoff told the newspaper.

"The refreshing thing to me that I'm hearing from my colleagues on this trip is: 'Couldn't we do something like this in the Atlanta region?'" Bankoff added.

He cited "a perception of regionalism here that is clearly a reason why some of these initiatives have been able to get done. The difference between Denver and Atlanta is that we talk about regionalism. We need to get the leadership to work together in Atlanta in the same way that it has come together here."

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper addressed the Atlanta group Wednesday evening.

The Atlanta Regional Commission, a regional planning agency, each year organizes trips by area leaders to other cities to examine solutions to urban problems under what is called the LINK Program (Leadership, Involvement, Networking, Knowledge).

7. Ghost Towns In Sprawl Land – The Cleveland Free Times

The truest true fact of American politics is that no candidate running this year is going to upset or even challenge the suburban sprawl industry. Sprawl is the endless increase in housing supply, the endless outward redistribution of population from cities and older suburbs, the endless federal subsidy for roads, and the endless chatter about "good schools" that is just a code for "schools without poor, visible minorities" that dominates American political life.

A major 2007 initiative of the Brookings Institution's Center for Metropolitan Studies was to get thought-leaders across many disciplines to start thinking about cities again - not as enclaves but as the indispensable centers of metropolitan regional economies. Economies, not municipal boundaries, are the issue. Metro areas, the Brookings thinking suggests, have to be thought of the way we used to think of Athens and Rome - as city-states.

But still, the politicians' paradigm of cities as defined within old boundaries, rather than as regional economies that need to be managed, governed, planned, invested in and serviced regionally, persists.

Governmentally, cities remain isolated. Dying cities, in the words of former Albuquerque mayor David Rusk, are dying because they are trapped within "iron boxes."

Rusk's challenge to the paradigm isn't new. He and others spoke in the mid-1990s about how Cleveland, Cincinnati, Buffalo and most other cities in the Northeast and Midwest cannot annex their suburbs and have no planning power over their suburbs, and so remain isolated. That means that suburbs get to make their own planning and spending decisions as if they were independent, supreme, self-sustaining entities rather than components of regional economies.

Towns are the problem. Towns disrupt regional planning. Towns insist on going it alone. Towns poach development from cities and from each other. And towns demand that subsidies flow, in the form of direct government-to-government aid from the state and in road and highway maintenance from counties, the state and the feds. State and federal highway funds pour into suburban towns in amounts that dwarf the funds invested in cities.

So in a marketplace where there is already a huge oversupply of housing, the availability of county, state, and federal funds to build new roads and to maintain an already-overbuilt infrastructure leads to …

More sprawl.

8. Economic growth main topic at Regional Leaders Breakfast - The Randolph County Herald-Tribune - Chester, IL, USA

The Regional Leaders Breakfast was held on Thursday, April 24 at the American Legion in Chester.

Keynote speaker for the morning was Dr. Robert Pittman, Executive Director of The Strategic Growth Institute and Community Development Institute at the University of Central Arkansas.

"Manufacturing jobs are down and service jobs are up, " he stated. "There is a global economic trend and it is effecting everyone."

He stated that manufacturing and service companies have to compete in the global marketplace - the same is true for communities. It is not just labor costs, it is also productivity. Labor costs cannot be measured by hourly wages and benefits alone. U.S. workers are among the most productive in the world.

"You need to deal with it, by community development, workforce development, community strategic planning and regionalism, " he stated. "Having a developmental ready community is critical for economic development success."

Community development is a process and an outcome. Making the community a great place to live, work and play is essential in this plan.

"If you don't have a skilled workplace, then you don't have a workforce, " said Dr. Pittman. "We have a workforce mismatch right now. We need to re-tool our workforce to be compatible with changing times."

Every community should start a community assessment that includes goals, strategies and a marketing plan.

"Regionalism sends a positive message that communities are working together, " stated Dr. Pittman. "All communities win when a company relocates or expands in the region - no matter where it locates, " he added.

Representing Southwestern Illinois College, Karen Stallman spoke to the crowd.

"It is a different kind of energy when you bring leaders together, " said Stallman

She went on to recognize the Regional Leadership and Development Committee …

9. Minding our business - Gaston Gazette - Gastonia, NC, USA

It may be rare to see a political candidate not campaigning during the week before a primary election, but it happened Friday at the monthly meeting of the Gaston Association of Realtors.

Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory was the speaker, appearing not as candidate for governor, but as our neighbor mayor and talking about growth, regionalism and what makes our shared corner of the world work.

McCrory gave local real estate agents a sneak preview of what he planned to say in a National Public Radio interview scheduled for later in the day on why this area's real estate market hasn't crashed.

Regionalism works for us, he said. Mayors across the state agreed years ago that North Carolina cities should not compete with each other, but should think of cities around the world as the competition.

Part of the secret to avoiding wide swings in the local economy is to work constantly to identify gaps in our industrial base and recruit companies to fill those gaps, McCrory said. A diverse economy makes us more resilient, he said, adding, when one industry slows down, others may help to buffer the blow to local employment and incomes.

As we grow, McCrory said he wants us to retain our quality of life - big-city opportunities and small-town values.

For the bad news, McCrory said there are three neighborhoods in Charlotte where half the homes are foreclosed.

McCrory closed with three points he said we all need to remember:

1. Never stop recruiting for economic development. Look for the industry niche that fits us best.
2. Keep public safety at the top of the list. It's vital to our quality of life.
3. Develop transportation in anticipation of growth, not in reaction to it.

RC: Centralina Council of Governments

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 Our position: Sparse attendance at regional water summit speaks to a larger problem

Orlando Sentinel - Orlando, FL, USA

Those who did -- no more than 16 total -- deserve a lot of credit. Leaders of the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, representing governments including Orange, Lake, Osceola and Seminole counties, and of the North East Florida Regional Council, representing governments including Jacksonville and Clay and Nassau counties, arranged the Friday meeting -- the first between the two regional planning agencies in 18 years.

.02 Madigan and Mexico Board of Selectmen Open to Regionalization & Merging of Public Services
The Rumford Reporter -

.03 It all depends on what they mean when they trumpet 'regionalism'
The Morning Journal - Lorain, OH, USA
''Regionalism'' is the buzz word these days when it comes to improving the economy and governance in northeast Ohio. The friction comes when different communities have clashing interpretations of what regionalism means. ...

.04 Mayors to announce plans to land new hospital in Stow
Akron Beacon Journal - Akron, OH, USA
Rather than compete against each other for the economic boon a new hospital could bring, the three mayors decided to sweeten their offers by sharing the costs as well as the potential tax revenues. … ‘‘We feel it will show to the entire community that a regional community hospital is very viable, ’’...

.05 Watching paint dry
Virginia Business Magazine - Richmond, VA, USA
Virginia is a top-rated business state, but we will not stay in this position without investments in infrastructure. Effective state government requires that partisan politics and regionalism be overcome. Collaborative thinking is a fairly common characteristic among successful business leaders. ...

.06 Denver's Mayor Welcomes Atlanta's LINK
Atlanta Journal Constitution - GA, USA
... a dinner Wednesday evening, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper told about 110 metro Atlanta leaders that he has worked hard to build regional cooperation. ...

.07 Panel calls for consolidating governments, services
Poughkeepsie Journal - Poughkeepsie, NY, USA
“What we have wound up with is an every expanding malaise of different types of governments, ” Paterson said. ... Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness issued its final report Wednesday that recommends dozens of ways local governments could save money, such as centralizing services by county governments ...

.08 State commission on government efficiency has early local support
Mid-Hudson News - Newburgh, NY, USA
Taking a county-wide or regional approach to services that are now being performed by individual counties would save money for local taxpayers and should be explored, according to the report by the State Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness. Ulster County Administrator Michael Hein said the commission is on the right track. …

.09 New era of infrastructure — Broadband key to growth of rural regions
Bluefield Daily Telegraph, WV
The Southwest Virginia region around Roanoke and Blacksburg came in dead last in a Scarborough Research report that measured broadband use in 79 US markets, with only 29 percent of adults reporting high-speed Internet connections in their homes. ...

.10 Light rail: visionary or too soon?
Northwest Arkansas Times - Fayetteville, AR, USA

Of the approximately 60 regions that have light rail, about half are brand new, Luoni said, and many have a similar population density to Northwest Arkansas. "Our density is not conducive in terms of transit, " Pumphrey said. The national standard to even consider a fixed bus route is seven residential units per acre, he said. "You see arguments up here, I'm talking in the urban area, about whether they ought to allow four units to the area, " Hawkins said.

.11 Chandler makes the grade

East Valley Tribune - Mesa, AZ, USA

Chandler recently earned the only A+ grade on the Valley Forward 2008 Environmental Report Card. Valley Forward, an organization that has worked regionally for nearly 40 years to improve environmental quality while encouraging economic growth in Valley cities, produces the report card every few years.

.12 Detroit-area 'aerotropolis' gains momentum, supporters say - MI, USA

"We're putting together a blueprint on how to connect everything, " … The potential to make the connection marks Detroit Metro as unique in the U.S. "These ideas of aerotropolis in other parts of the country are nonsense except in Detroit, " said Mike Boyd, president of The Boyd Group, a Colorado-based aviation forecasting and strategic solutions company. "You can literally draw a line from Windsor to Jackson that's going to be the growth corridor, and the aerotropolis is right in the middle. ... You have a skills base, an industrial base, jobs base and resource base - it does work." In addition, he said, "the intellectual capital in the region is huge, plus you have a tremendous amount of established industrial activity along I-94 already in place."

.13 Regional Action Council Calls Montville Home - SERAC to aims to help communities fight addictions

SERAC, the Southeastern Regional Action Council. Formerly the Citizens’ Task Force on Addictions, the nonprofit organization is one of 14 Regional Action Councils created by the Connecticut Legislature in 1989. …

.14 Regional Economy Studied

Buffalo Rising Online – Buffalo, NY, USA
Traditional methods of interpreting regional economic conditions, such as employment data, paint a useful but incomplete picture of economic change in the 21st century, according to the University at Buffalo Regional Institute's latest ...

.15 Synergy urged by candidates
News Virginian - Waynesboro, VA, USA
Council candidate Rusty Ashby wants to see regional cooperation between the governments of Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County. ...

.16 Candidates ignore the states
Seattle Post Intelligencer - USA

How can we jump-start a national debate that recognizes the intergovernmental realities of the U.S. system of governing? Let's have the first presidential debate in which the candidates face a panel of state and local officials, nonprofit organization heads or others who are on the firing line in real life, and let them ask the questions. ...

.170 Regionalism? What's that?
Belleville News Democrat - IL, USA
St. Louis and Missouri leaders found their way to China; now if only they knew their way to the Illinois side of their own region. They recently signed a memo of understanding to turn Lambert Airport into a cargo hub for China. …

.171 The "unthinking oaf approach to regionalism"

Ahh! What a short memory the Belleville News Democrat has sometimes. Let's see. Mo./St. Louis supported the first extension of Metrolink to East St. Louis. Without that support, there would be no Metrolink in St. Clair county.

.18 Regional effort on autism planned
Richmond Times Dispatch - Richmond, VA, USA

For the first time, 15 school districts and Virginia Commonwealth University will combine efforts to address the growing need for educating students with autism disorders. … plans for a Regional Autism Education Consortium.…

.19 Harned ready to move LEAD forward; New director wants group to work with other organizations in region

News-Democrat & Leader - Russellville, KY, USA
“I am a big believer in regionalism, ” Harned said. “I am convinced through actual experience and through observing that we can be much more successful working together on a regional basis than we can trying to go it alone.”...

.20 No new emissions rules — yet
Colorado Springs Gazette - Colorado Springs, CO, USA
New emissions regulations won't be imposed in El Paso County this summer even though the region is on the brink of violating new federal smog standards. Instead, the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments, the regional air quality authority, is counting on voluntary conservation and the weather. ...

.21 800 buildings in DC region to be renovated to save energy
Forbes - NY, USA

… two public-private partnerships that promote green building, the Energy Efficiency Partnership of Greater Washington and the Chesapeake Crescent. …

.22 Renewable energy is focus of meeting
Deseret News - Salt Lake City, UT, USA
... WREZ project will unfold in four phases, starting with identifying zones of renewable energy. After that, the group will develop transmission plans for the energy and support development of a regional market for renewable energy. The last phase will be to build interstate cooperation to facilitate permitting and resolve "multistate cost-allocation issues.". ...

.23 Towns look to curb effects of growth
Daily News - Galveston County - TX, USA
As Galveston County residents look to escape urban confines, city leaders are calling for a smart-growth plan to help Santa Fe retain its charm of country living and low taxes. The Houston-Galveston Area Council predicts 17037 people will live in Santa Fe in 2028, a roughly 7000 population increase during the next 20 years. ...

.24 Will waterpark spring up in Buford amid drought?
Atlanta Journal Constitution - GA, USA
Georgia has entered the third year of its drought. Atlanta area residents and businesses are coping with outdoor watering restrictions. Georgia is battling Florida over how much water the state can store in Lake Lanier, the Atlanta region's main source of drinking water. And, Georgia officials are pushing a proposal to move the Tennessee border farther north to get access to the Tennessee River. ...

.25 Towns must decide on sharing regional water - Lexington, KY, USA
It's put-up-or-shut-up time for the towns around Lexington that have talked for years about sharing in a regional water system. At a Bluegrass Water Supply Commission meeting … The big question: Which towns are willing to make a commitment? …

.26 County officials discuss cooperative efforts

Coshocton Tribune – OH, USA
Coshocton County government and economic development officials visited their counterparts in Muskingum County Tuesday to discuss ways they can cooperate in regional development efforts.

.27 Preserving the spoken word focus of linguistics project
Online Athens - Athens, GA, USA
Kretzschmar is director of the Linguistic Atlas Project, which is really a series of studies dating back to the 1930s on how Americans use everyday language. … Some predicted, years ago, that regional speech patterns would die out and Americans would all begin to sound alike, thanks to the homogenizing influence of television. That hasn't happened, Kretzschmar said. In fact, one respected sociolinguist said the accents of working class people are more different today than they've ever been. … Some linguists talk about dialects, distinguishable speech patterns with definite regional boundaries. But the reality of American language is much more complex, said Kretzschmar, who is a little skeptical of the idea of dialects. …

.28 Your vision can help improve Topeka
Topeka Capital Journal - Topeka, KS, USA

Heartland Visioning, invites area residents to contact his group to share their likes and dislikes about this community, as well as their hopes and dreams for making it better. Beteta quoted civil rights leader John Lewis in explaining why now is the time to develop a vision for Topeka and Shawnee County. …

.29 Council of governments consider ways to make tourist routes themselves draws to the area

Beaufort Gazette - Beaufort, SC, USA
Reynolds, Smith and Hills, a consultant to the Lowcountry Council of Governments, began crafting the Lowcountry Scenic Highways Corridor Management Plan in 2007 and presented its findings to The Lowcountry Scenic Highway System Plan Corridor Action Group ...

.30 Not Always LEEDing the Way
Plenty Magazine - New York, NY, USA
LEED needs to be regionalized—hard to do when what we’re trying to do is make is applicable to as many folks and places as possible, true. ... We should build with local materials, install graywater systems, grow cacti on the roof, yes, and that stuff should indeed be compulsory (as well as tailored to a region).

.31 Editorial: New website is key to region's sales effort
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN
The website is an important new economic development tool for the Twin Cities region, although it's not exactly cutting-edge, admitted Todd Klingel, president and CEO of the Minneapolis chamber. "We're anything but early to this -- we're late.'' Nevertheless, credit goes to the chamber for working through the logistics and political maneuvering necessary to convince a consortium of public and private partners that collaborating on a website that touts the entire region is just as important as pursuing individual community interests. …

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 Varied views emerging on shape of the future
New Zealand Herald - New Zealand
A wide variety of views are emerging from the more than 3000 submissions to the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Auckland Governance. The Herald continues a snapshot of who is thinking what.… Auckland must be recognised as a polycentric city/region in which the needs of communities are recognised as being as important as the needs of the whole region. …

.02 Ontario premier slams regional subsidies
Vancouver Sun - British Columbia, Canada
McGuinty also lashed out at the federal system of regional subsidies and transfers, saying Ontario should not be paying as much as it is -- between $20 and $21 billion more than it receives -- to subsidize other provinces, many of which are booming because of high commodity prices....

.03 English need referendum on a national parliament, not rule by false 'regions'

Scotsman - United Kingdom
The so-called English regions, apart from Yorkshire, have no cultural or historical relevance. They are completely artificial. They do not have nor do they require a political identity. ...

.04 The lifecycle of regions
Journal of Turkish Weekly - Ankara, Turkey
Economic geography models suggest various relationships between innovation and spatial concentration, from benefits of diversity in cities to agglomeration gains in specialised industrial parks. This column summarises empirical research that uses these theories to explain various stages of “regional lifecycles.” ...

.05 Gov't signs $3-million agreement to stage regional conferences
Jamaica Observer - Kingston, Jamaica

Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in an effort to reproduce some of Jamaica's local government best practices across the region. …

.06 ASIA: 'Neglect of Farming Led to Rice Crisis'
IPS – Italy

… Asia-Pacific arm of the Pesticide Action Network (PAN), a global environmental lobby, has been raising the alarm about an impending rice shortage for years. … ignored by governments in the region, home to nine of the world’s top 10 producers of the grain. They are China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, the Philippines and Japan. The only non-Asian in this rice league is Brazil. ‘’Governments refused to listen to our concerns. In the last five years we have been saying that we are in rice crisis, that food security and food sovereignty were being undermined, ’’ … primary concern was the push towards rice cultivation on an industrial scale that promoted monoculture, …

.09 Fueling the Debate: Agrofuels, Biodiversity, and Our Energy Future #7
IRC's Americas Program - Albuquerque, NM, USA

The biotechnology industry's massive move into the energy sector brings together major social and ecological issues in the region, such as agrofuel promotion, genetically modified (GM) crops, and the growth of agribusiness monocultures. … Biotechnology companies have become some of the main movers in promoting the use of farm crops like corn, soy, and sugar cane to make fuel for motor vehicles. Faced with increasing public resistance to human consumption of their GM crops, the biotech industry sees its salvation in the production of GM agrofuels. …

.10 No Decisions Yet on Regional Governance
CKFR - Kelowna, BC, Canada
BC's Community Services Minister says, she hasn't made a decision yet as to what direction she wants regional governance to take in the Okanagan. ...

.11 Calgary shortchanged on health funding: critics
Calgary Herald - AB, Canada
Alberta Health officials, however, note Capital Health serves more patients who come from outside its regional boundaries than Calgary, costing the Edmonton authority $162 million more than CHR. Premier Ed Stelmach also defended the funding formula Friday, noting it is based on the health-care needs of the authority's population. "The two regions vary considerably in terms of the kind of patients they serve, different economic and socio-economic positions of the various patients, " Stelmach said....

.12 Major Cities Unit: Stemming the sea change
Australasian Bus and Coach – Australia

"By major cities, I mean more than our eight capital cities. For example, regional centres like Townsville, Newcastle, the Gold Coast and Geelong are also experiencing enormous growth."

.13 Spanish regions seek to control immigration - Philippines
The regions are acting as Spain faces its first economic slowdown since it transformed itself over the past decade from a country of emigration to a magnet for immigrants, mainly from Spanish-speaking Latin America....

.14 Regional Workshops: Positive Planning Through Regional Partnership
NHS Networks News
The workshops aim to ensure that the housing, care and support needs of vulnerable people are captured at a regional level and inform the relevant regional strategies, and regional/sub-regional commissioning and planning. ...

.15 Western Regional Coordinating Council honours 13 of its staff
The Ghanaian Journal
The Western Regional Coordinating Council (WRCC) on Thursday presented awards to 13 of its staff for their dedication to duty for the years 2006 and 2007. … an administrative officer, won the first prize of a deep freezer while … an executive officer, won the second prize of a double-door refrigerator. …

.16 How The Regions Celebrated The May Day - Accra, Ghana
From Bolgatanga. AA Mbord reports that hundreds of workers in the Upper East Regional capital yesterday thronged the Ghana Telecommunication’s yard to ...

.17 Brand Executive - South West, BBC English Regions
Media Guardian - UK
Working within a broader marketing strategy, you’ll manage individual brand campaigns and promotions, as well as the day-to-day marketing requirements for the nine local radio stations and three regional news programmes ...

.18 Academic Module: Regional Monetary Integration
Council on Foreign Relations
Meade, coauthors of Regional Monetary Integration, along with other resources to supplement the text. In the book, the authors seek to explain why governments contemplate regional monetary integration and why some country groups are ...

.19 ISO20022/UNIFI is the Answer – What was the question?
Banktech - USA
Historically, these movements (or messages) evolved into standard formats based on national or regional boundaries, market participant initiatives, or standards mandated by specific industry utilities such as SWIFT. These message standards developed around silos of automation based on market practice or geographical locations, and the message standards were not compatible. ...

.20 Michael Daconta | The ROI of good governance - Washington, DC, USA
And that higher level of operation requires the formal governance of core organizational processes. Governance is the combination of people, processes and ...

.21 Monarchists take aim at mayor
cairns-com-au - Cairns, QLD, Australia
MONARCHISTS have described the removal of the Queen's picture from its prominent position in the Cairns Regional Council as "republicanism by stealth". ...

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 Why Regionalism Never Works
For as long as I can remember, there has been a great deal of talk around the Roanoke Valley about regional cooperation, but in my lifetime I have witnessed very few concrete results. The current debate over the location of an intermodal freight facility in Elliston gives us a clear example of why progress is so hard to come by, and why results are so few and far between....

... for the region to boost its economic prospects and deal with the costs of fragmentation. The 23-member group studied the model of regionalism in the Twin Cities, and are expected to recommend a similar strategy of regional

.03 2020 Erie Regional Education Vision
What no one knows yet …
In 2005, Erie County schools started the Regional Choice Initiative (RCI). Born in the crucible the potential of charter wars in 2003-04, RCI blossomed into a collaborative effort to maximize individual district resources, and minimize ...

.04 Mega more

New York Times Blog – NY, USA

Comments: First, I think the concept of a ‘mega region’ is too elastic for useful economic analysis. You suggested in your earlier post that a feature might be a common wage rate - thanks to common or multiply overlapping travel-to-work areas. But the mega regions …

.050 Recreational Bike Trails in Dayton
For the Love of Dayton
Dayton, OH – The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) is pleased to announce the publication/arrival of the Miami Valley Recreational Trails Map, 2008 Edition. The Miami Valley offers a wonderful system of recreational ...

.051 An Agenda for Regionalism: Step 1
Democratic politicians are also quite open to the issues of regionalism, once they understand them. Democrats tend to represent cities, at-risk suburbs, and bedroom-developing suburbs. Most, if not all, metropolitan Democratic districts ...

.052 Myron’s Maps, Metropolitics and Miami Valley Metropatterns
His book, American Metropolitics, is a must-read for those concerned with center cities, suburban sprawl, and regionalism. American Metropolitics. I’ve read the book for leisure and then in college. I’ve decided to revisit Orfield and ...

.053 An Agenda for Regionalism: Step 2
The regionalist movement would benefit from the formation of an association of at-risk suburban governments that would educate the public about the consequences of social separation and sprawling development and advocate for reform ...

.06 Someone Call the Doctor—Regions Without Borders?

Midwest Economy – Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
From farm to factory, from small town to metropolis, Longworth tells stories of the region, its places, and its people. To gather his observations, he spent months traveling around the region. And, having been born and raised in ...

.07 Where Do All the Neurotics Live?
By Richard : Social Theory
Understanding regional personality types can add to our understanding of what makes regional development tick. Economists argue that technology (in the form of great universities and high-tech company clusters) and human capital ...

.08 Thoughts on the Les Paul Exhibits
Fox Head
What kind of galls me about this whole thing is Milwaukee’s continued drumming for regional cooperation. They want more buses to be regionally cooperative, they want a train to be regionally cooperative, and they want more money to be ...

.09 Regionalism: Calling All Entrepreneurs
Smart Communities
Regional economic strategies too often rise and fall on what you can attract rather than what you can grow. While an instant cluster of an industry with high-wage jobs is certainly desirable, it rarely happens that way. Even if your...

.10 The 1967 Grand Rapids riot
the road before us
Grand Rapids avoided Detroit’s post-1967 fate due to regional cooperation and economic growth. The suburbs continued to capture a large share of commercial and residential growth as the city’s population levels remained static. ...

.11 Urban growth: Governing towns

History Zone
History, as A.J.P. Taylor reminded us, gets 'thicker' as it approaches modern times[1]:'There are more people, more events, and more is written about them.' Social history gets particularly ‘thick’ because more attention is paid to the lives of ordinary people, more of them were literate and more join the debate. There is a flood of evidence for urban conditions in this period -- reports, Blue Books, surveys, memoranda, diaries, books[2]. So what were urban conditions like in the 1830s? In what ways did those conditions change in the next eighty years and why?

Urban planning and administration

For example, the reformed Poor Law of 1834 created a framework of 624 Unions focused on old market towns and regional centres, a pre-industrial pattern of functional regionalism that had to be constantly adjusted to meet the changing ...

Greater Manchester Fabians
... Agreements or Single Transport Authorities (combining Local Authorities’ powers as in a current bill), and improved co-ordination of the powers of Highways and Regional Development Agencies in future Single Regional Strategies? ...

.13 Legislative Report Card: Rep. Leslie Combs, Rep. Scott Alexander
The Rural Democrat
The number one problem we have in this region is regionalism and county isolationism, we have no concept of the meaning of the word team. Opportunity for Southeastern Kentucky comes in gaps in years and we missed a golden opportunity

.14 Don’t Help….Yellowstone geotourism map
Ralph Maughan’s Wildlife News
The project’s centerpiece is, “a community based process will create a National Geographic ‘Geotourism MapGuide’ for the region centered on Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, and including communities and private and public ...

.15 Support Dugout-Canoe Project at the Geotourism Challenge
Soomaa-com Blog
We are very excited to be entrants in the National Geographic Ashoka's Changemakers Geotourism Challenge: Celebrating Places, Changing Lives. This is a global competition to surface and recognize innovators in geotourism, ...

.16 [BRIEF NOTE] Those damned transnational regions!
By Randy McDonald(Randy McDonald)

The misreading seems to rest on the false assumption that the sub-national regionalism and transnational regionalism promoted, occasionally, by the European Union, is capable of threatening the integrity of established nation-states. Given the relatively few powers that many of these regions have and the indifference with which these are used and their attachments to their national states, that's more than a bit laughable. …

.17 What is Integrative Leadership?
Nonprofit Resource Center
Here’s the definition: “Integrative leadership fosters collective action across boundaries to achieve the common good.” So why are we talking about this and what’s different? As explained by the Center: “The integrative leadership ...

.18 Designing Chemical Safety Models for Community Organizations

Environmental Justice Blog
Offer tools for increased collaboration between community-based organizations, state and local preparedness officials, and business and industry. Methods: Using the Computer-Aided Management of Emergency Operations (CAMEO) suite and ...

.19 EPL: counties or regions?
King Cricket
Whether they go down the county or the region route, we’re sure of one thing. 18 first-class counties is too darn many to have in one league. We spend more time than most reading about cricket and we’re having trouble getting to grips ...

By Aurora
Let’s stop beating around the bush. There is going to be a global government. … The world will no longer have nations, but states and regions under regional heads and those regional heads will report to one central, federal government. That government is going to have one …

.21 Increase the powers of the Committee of Regions
By Consejo Federal Español del Movimiento Europeo
We need to increase the powers of the Committee of Regions. In the first place, the CoR should have the Right of Appeal to de ECJ. This means revoking all or part of Art. 263 TFEU. In the second place, as the CoR only plays a ...

.22 Editorial: The Importance of International Hydrology
By John Daly(John Daly)
As in other places, rivers in Africa often make for more neighbourliness, not less; the more countries a river passes through, the greater the regional co-operation. Indeed, as that UNDP report came out, Namibia and Botswana amicably ...

.23 de Prado: Global Multi-level Governance: European and East Asian Leadership
International Law Reporter
De Prado presents four case studies of political, advisory, economic and social multi-level governance centred in Europe and East Asia. These cases examine government actors advancing traditional agendas through formal regional institutions and flexible intergovernmental processes; …

.24 Pimentel’s Federalism Proposal
Briefly, the State boundaries will cut across the present regional boundaries. We recommend that the States be constituted out of bigger political territories to provide the environment for competitiveness and sustainability rather than ...

.25 The curtain falls
One thing I've always found most compelling is that sense that national and regional boundaries are no longer the barriers they were. … What is developed to stop piracy can soon be turned to stop political movements. It should be the job of government and individuals across the world to strenuously protect the benefits of the internet. …

.26 Liberating Voices! A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution
Conversational Support Across Boundaries *. John Thomas IBM Research Hawthorne jcthomas at us dot ibm dot com. As Herb Simon (1962) pointed out in the ...

.27 Revolutionary Proposal to Build Region

Advance Northeast Ohio

Instead of having all of the region's communities compete with each other for business growth, they are recommending we plan together for that growth and agree to share a portion of the benefits of that growth with each other. …

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 National Community Tax Coalition Regional Learning Summit

Creating Change: Building a Future, Leading a Movement (Memphis, TN; May 19-20, 2008).

During this summit, NCTC will:

  • Address regional needs related to free tax preparation, asset building, and the state of low-income workers.
  • Conduct training to build policy and leadership skills.
  • Provide tools and resources that you can utilize in your work.
  • Connect programs doing the same great work.

For more information and to register, visit

.02 Observe Enterprise Facilitation® at Work – Sirolli Institute – June 17, 2008 – Littlefield, TX

In June 2008 the WesTex Allied Communities Enterprise Facilitation® project will be celebrating three years of successful operation. Laura Hardin (Enterprise Facilitator) has visited with over 160 people in Lamb and Hockley County about starting businesses. Laura, Bret Mills (Chair of the project) and 50 local volunteers have helped start or expand 23 businesses, created 48 jobs, and helped retain 10 jobs. In addition, sales tax revenue has increased by 27.63% in Lamb County alone. And 100% of these businesses are still open! How do you harness the passion of a community? This is your invitation to find out.

RC: South Plains Association of Governments

14. Subscription access news stories. Contents

.01 Leaders Want to Raise Kitsap's Profile on Regional Council - Kitsap Sun (Subscription) - WA, United States

The Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council voted on Tuesday to work on increasing its clout with the Puget Sound Regional Council in lieu of an alternate proposal to consider withdrawal from it.

The council was to consider at its monthly meeting a proposal from its executive committee to spend the next six to eight months evaluating Kitsap's membership in the regional council. The PSRC oversees the distribution of state and federal transportation funds in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties.

KRCC members opted to cut the discussion short and focus instead on increasing Kitsap's effectiveness within the PSRC.


Congratulations to the leftists/socialists who won another round. Abdication of authority to regional government (bureaucrats in downtown Seattle, Bellevue, and Tacoma) is here and will most likely stay provided the lefties are able to keep their 26-year-old commissioner and his fellow travelers in power. The professors of UC Berkeley will be proud of their graduates.

Prepare to tear up your fences in rural areas. PSRC demands removal as fences interfere with the migration of animals.

Prepare to get out of your vehicles and ride the transit bus. PSRC and the recently passed Climate Change bill will force you to hoof it.

Prepare to live in high density, crime ridden areas. Don't even think about living where THESE elected officials live in the rural areas (defined as hypocrites).

Posted by BlueLight on May 7, 2008 at 2:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

When Chinook salmon was listed as a "threatened" species, Kitsap County government insisted we had to craft our own recovery plan, we couldn't join the tri-county effort which consisted of King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties. Oh no! Kitsap was not-at-all like those urbanized counties! If we signed up for the tri-county effort, those larger juridictions would dictate to little old Kitsap and we just couldn't have that!

But now being part of a regional body makes sense.

Why the change? Simple. Money.

With salmon, our local government saw more grant money could be gained by building their own empire; going it alone.

Now they see more money to be had by being a part of the PSRC.

It's not about coordinated , cohesive planning; just as it wasn't about saving fish.

It's about MONEY. And if they haven't sold you down the river yet, it's only because the reserve bid price hasn't been reached. Yet.

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 light rail returned 313 items; regional rail returned 480 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 read and search previous issues go to:

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

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