Regional Community Development News – June 25, 2008 [regions_work]

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

Published on line since November 11, 2003.



Top Regional Community stories … 1. – 9.

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

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet … 11.01 - .13

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .25

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .10

Subscription access news stories … 14.01

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

Top Regional Community stories

1. Regaining our Competitive Edge: A National Blueprint for Prosperity - Pop City, PA, USA

What if Washington was smart?

What if the federal government could be an effective partner—setting the framework for big issues such as transportation and sustainability—in making metropolitan areas more competitive in this new global economy?

It’s a big question, posed by Bruce Katz who was in Pittsburgh recently, that’s at the heart of the Brookings Institution's new initiative, Blueprint for American Prosperity. The premise? Dynamic global and domestic forces pose urgent challenges that are testing American prosperity, says Katz, vice president and director, Metropolitan Policies at Brookings. To compete, he asserts, the U.S. must leverage four key assets: innovation, infrastructure, human capital and quality places. Those assets are concentrated—and this is paramount—in metropolitan areas.

The problem? The federal government has not kept up with global changes and is impeding rather than promoting progress in metro areas.

Not smart.

On June 11 and 12, a summit by the Brookings Institution launched the next phase of the Blueprint for American Prosperity: Unleashing the Potential of a Metropolitan Nation. It’s a bold, long-term initiative to “reinvigorate” the federal government to promote the health and vitality of the country’s metropolitan areas. (Phase One, Katz explains, was selling the concept of a metro nation.)

‘We’re going to attempt to reimagine and redevelop a partnership with a national government that’s been adrift for decades, ” Katz says.

“This is how we think of our country, a nation of 50 states, but it’s essentially become a network of metro areas, and unless these places are healthy and vital, our ability to compete globally is at risk. “We are a metro nation, ” says Katz. “It’s time we started acting like it.”

2. Opinion: Regional growth planning can be workable - Arizona Daily Star - Tucson, AZ, USA - Note: Site registration may be required for access..

Q Given the divide in core values that separates the public, how can we develop an analysis that overcomes core fundamental differences?

A You can't. But what you can do is to identify those issues for which values are held in common (e.g., open space protection) versus those in which there real differences (e.g., rate of development).

Once commonalities and differences in values have been identified, it may be possible to identify shared interests or agendas. This process of collaboratively identifying common and different values and common and different interests goes a long way toward building trust.

Q Would regional cooperation in growth planning such as a regional land use plan that includes regional water use, transportation et cetera be enhanced by creating a city-county regional government such as Miami/Dade County, Fla.?

A There is no doubt that having some form of regional government (as in Portland) enhances a region's ability to create and then implement a good regional plan incorporating water, transport and land use issues.

At the same time, there are plenty of examples of combined city-county governments (Jacksonville, Indianapolis, and Miami/Dade) that are not doing any better job managing development than their nearby, non-combined counterparts. The core criteria is whether the regional plan enjoys sufficient support and legitimacy to be able to withstand the fragmentary nature of local politics, particularly when times are tight and municipal budgets are stressed.

Q How can the power surge of the county, cities, and town managers be channeled to provide for infrastructure planning, development and beneficial use for the region, and not just an entity?

A Probably the best way to do this is for the local council of governments to seek the authority to issue bonds to fund regional infrastructure, whether roadways, mass transit, parks and open

the communications institute Growth in the Tucson Region

RC: Pima Association of Governments

3. Editorial: Signs evidence of regionalism - The Saginaw News - - Saginaw, MI, USA

This month, Saginaw City Councilman Daniel L. Fitzpatrick was less than reverent regarding a Crime Stoppers "Wanted" billboard on Interstate 675.

Fitzpatrick said it didn't send the right signal -- "Welcome to Saginaw and help us catch our thugs" is how he interpreted it.

Maybe a welcome mat this year's Leadership Saginaw County is proposing is more to his liking.

The 31-member 2008 class wants to build a $212, 000 solar-lit, landscaped "Welcome to the Saginaw Valley" -- or whatever brand the Tri-Counties decide on -- …

Why the first exit in Saginaw County? The obvious: It's where the Saginaw Valley identity factor begins, and Birch Run and Frankenmuth are there. The outlet mall is the biggest in the Midwest, and Frankenmuth is the top tourist destination in the state.

So, it's just a sign. But beyond simple hospitality, it serves a couple of below-the-radar purposes. Tourism is a big deal in this hard-knock county, and every out-county dollar helps. It's a nice first impression for businesses considering moving this way as well a nice reflection on those already here. And, it's just a little bit of a pride and morale boost for a county in sore need of a positive perception and image.

The underpinning of it all, though, is regionalism -- the push to connect, hold and brand the stakeholders of Saginaw, Bay and Midland counties, whether it's economically, culturally, recreationally, governmentally or educationally for the ultimate benefit of all three. Survival, in our neck of the woods at least, has a whole lot to do with diminishing turf wars and territorialism.

And don't forget law enforcement. That Crime Stoppers sign may not suit Fitzpatrick or many others, but it still sends a message about working together to get one part of the job done.

RC: East Central Michigan Planning & Development Regional Commission

4. My View: Next regionalism step: A technology council - The Saginaw News - - Saginaw, MI, USA

Most of us function as citizens of the Saginaw Valley "region." We cross ZIP codes, county lines, city limits and voting districts, daily. Thinking regionally reflects reality, since we already "act" like a region.

Business, chambers of commerce, the news media, non-profits and higher education already see the Tri-Counties as a broad marketplace. To them, regionalism is a burgeoning mindset -- and a positive outlook ripe with opportunity.

Given all this stuff, the question is how do we ensure that our region works together more effectively to compete nationally -- and globally -- during this difficult time?

I'm not quick to advocate creating another organization, but if we are serious about regional economic development, quality of life enhancement and competing for new jobs and industry, we need to create an institution that is devoted to advancing the region. We need an overarching catalyst, perhaps like the West Michigan Strategic Alliance.

The concept is to fund a non-partisan, not-for-profit, mostly volunteer organization composed of leaders from all sectors that studies our region using benchmarking tools and ultimately makes credible, inclusive plans and recommendations. It might sound boring and bureaucratic, but measuring a variety of regional indicators is the first step toward identifying deficiencies, creating new action steps and new ideas.

Benchmarking will show us where we are, where we have been and what critical areas need attention if we are to arrive where we want to go. Measuring trends and quality of life indicators is also a vehicle to communicate and engage everyone in the discussion and search for solutions.

Conceivably, we publish an annual scorecard detailing regional crime rates, governmental effectiveness, educational attainment, graduate rates, teacher quality, work force development, civic health, various economic indicators, tax burdens, poverty rates, income by ethnicity, ...

5. In tough times, officials eye shared services - Boston Globe, United States

With cities and towns confronting a grim economic climate, municipal officials are beginning to take a harder look at an idea that has been somewhat sensitive in certain quarters in years past: developing regionalized services.

Some 200 area officials attended a conference on regionalization held in Worcester last month.

Franklin Town Administrator Jeff Nutting, who attended the conference, said it doesn't make sense in many cases for communities to have separate services, such as individual libraries, pension systems, and dispatch centers, when they can share those services and realize tax savings in difficult times.

Regional services are common in other parts of the country, where county governments often fill the role of provider, Nutting said. Reluctance across Massachusetts to form such partnerships is rooted in a Colonial provincialism, Nutting thinks.

"Thinking in broader terms has never really been in our mind-set, " he said. "We've been stuck for 400 years in this village form of government."

The conference, sponsored by the Massachusetts Municipal Association and Northeastern University, featured a number of speakers who argued for a shift from localized to more regional services as a way to trim costs and maintain the quality of services.

Geoff Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Municipal Association, said some problematic barriers in state law prevent municipalities from pursuing regional agreements conveniently, a problem that has hampered some communities' efforts to regionalize services.

He said his organization is pursuing an initiative for legislation that would prevent the need for Town Meeting approvals if communities wanted to share a building inspector or a planning coordinator, for example.

Another obstacle is collective bargaining,

A shift toward regional services not only makes sound financial sense but also has the potential to improve services,

6. Economic development: Putting the pieces together - Mountain Xpress - Asheville, NC, USA

Ever wondered who’s in charge of economic development in Asheville and Buncombe County? It’s a good question, but the answer is not so simple.

In fact, there are literally dozens of players—some big, some small—that help shape the area’s economy. They include governmental agencies such as the city’s Office of Economic Development, quasi-governmental agencies such as AdvantageWest and the Land-of-Sky Regional Council, and nonprofits that run the gamut from the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Coalition for Asheville and Buncombe County to Mountain BizWorks to HandMade in America. And even that just scratches the surface. Numerous other players—such as A-B Tech and UNCA, not to mention community-based financial institutions such as the Self-Help Credit Union—also fill key roles.

All of them have vital parts to play. But as Asheville and environs grow, it becomes increasingly critical that the various players know one another, what their roles are—and, most importantly, how they can collaborate and sync their diverse agendas to ensure that local economic-development efforts remain strong and effective well into the future.

That’s the idea behind a new study that aims to identify, organize, coordinate and help focus the region’s assorted economic-development organizations. But it’s just the start of a broader effort to get all the puzzle pieces in place and create a coherent blueprint for the future. The long-term goal is to create a sustainable economy that plays to the area’s strengths in the arts, health, tourism, entrepreneurism,

The $55, 000 Economic Development Organizations Study, created and funded by Buncombe County and the Asheville HUB Alliance, is being conducted by the University of Central Arkansas’ Strategic Growth Institute, assisted by the Washington, D.C.-based International Economic Development Council. Together, they’ll assess the total framework of the area’s multiple economic-development organizations.

7. Safety Academy head's confident - News Sentinel - Fort Wayne, IN, USA

If he had his way, Bernie Beier would see the “interim” removed from his title as director of the Public Safety Academy of Northeast Indiana.

He's convinced the academy, which has been more white elephant and controversy magnet than law-enforcement hub since opening late last year, has a bright future drawing in both public safety organizations and private groups unrelated to public safety. But while Beier - named interim director of the academy Thursday - would prefer to be in it for the long haul, he acknowledges it's not his call or Fort Wayne's. It will be up to a fully staffed nonprofit board he hopes will have nine regional members. Right now there are two.

“It could be a year, two years. It could be five months or it could just be the permanent fit, ” Beier said, adding a decision on his status could come by year's end.

The 132, 000-square foot academy sits behind Southtown Centre at the old Southtown Mall site and was built with $26.9 million in state taxpayer money. It has been caught in a power struggle between its founders, who worked with former Mayor Graham Richard to get it built and wanted it regionally controlled, and Mayor Tom Henry who took office in January and essentially took over the academy last month.

In an apparent purge in early May, Brent Johnson resigned as the academy's executive director shortly after the resignation of Peter Eshelman, foundation chairman. Henry spokeswoman Rachel Blakeman said last month the city had taken over financial control of the academy which could lose up to $1.8 million in state taxpayer money if it doesn't meet its regional mission.

Beier, who will continue as Fort Wayne-Allen County Office of Homeland Security director, pledged Thursday that the academy will meet its state obligations,

RC: Northeastern Indiana Regional Coordinating Council

8. Richmond has chance to break boundaries - Palladium-Item - Richmond, IN, USA

The inclusion of Richmond-Wayne County Chamber President and CEO Dennis Andrews in a regional planning fellowship is, to be sure, a deserving personal honor for the former Richmond mayor and Wayne County sheriff.

Only 50 chamber executives nationwide were selected by the American Chamber of Commerce to participate. Andrews joins, for example, local chamber officials from such locales as Jacksonville, Fla.; Seattle; Raleigh, N.C.; Los Angeles; Houston; St. Louis; Kansas City, Mo.; Brooklyn, N.Y.; and more.

His participation also represents a great potential advance in the quest to cooperate and plan regionally rather than just locally, even where that regional planning means crossing state lines, as it does for Richmond and so many of these participating cities in this ambitious initiative funded by the Ford Foundation.

Richmond may not have a lot in common with most of these other chamber cities represented in the regional planning fellowship.

But what it does critically share in common with many of them is a state line or other geographic boundary that has often stood in the way of cooperative efforts to wisely grow a region or metropolitan area beyond just the confines of a city.

Andrews, with his considerable mix of political and leadership skills, is a good choice to represent our area. What he gains from this 12-month effort that kicks off in the fall should clearly benefit a wider region.

Regionalism already has largely triumphed over parochialism within Wayne County, thanks to the countywide representation and initiatives of groups like the Richmond-Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County and the Wayne County Foundation, to name just three.

But more can be done, and needs to be done. ...

RC: Eastern Indiana Development District

9. Fire agencies at brink of historic unification - San Diego Union Tribune - United States

San Diego County officials have purchased new fire engines and added firefighting aircraft since the 2007 wildfires, and they are expected to sew up a historic merger today and forge ahead with broader plans Friday.

But the moves do little to eliminate the duplication of fire services – which cost taxpayers millions of dollars a year – across the region.

There are 65 fire agencies serving 18 cities and unincorporated areas in the county. Despite repeated efforts since at least 1993 to consolidate smaller departments, not much has changed. Fire officials rarely are willing to give up what they control for something they don't.

The cities spend $368 million a year on fire protection, a figure that doesn't include the $9.5 million the county pays annually or the $50 million spent by fire districts and volunteer agencies.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors is expected to approve and pay for a $15.5 million plan that would merge 12 rural fire agencies by 2012, the first step in a broader consolidation plan.

But county supervisors said it would take years – and tax incentives – to redraw the fragmented system, which has left San Diego as the most populous county in the state without a regional fire agency.

In Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties, there is less overlap and fewer departments because all three operate a regional fire agency that serves unincorporated areas and the majority of cities within each county, including most of the smaller cities.

Supervisor Pam Slater-Price said she remembers county board members pushing for consolidation when she first took office 15 years ago.

“It may be the type of thing where a ballot initiative is needed because, I'm telling you, there's nothing harder to move than an entrenched agency, ” she said. “They all have their boards and their meeting rooms, stipends and the whole thing.” …


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 Allentown's 2020 vision faces realities
Allentown Morning Call - Allentown, PA, USA

The single most important part of the plan's ''Framework for the Future'' is its affirmation that Allentown must work regionally with its Lehigh Valley neighbors. Usually, there is more interest in regionalism in cities than in suburban and rural townships. That is because of the flawed perspective that collaboration is a zero-sum game -- cities win, rural taxpayers lose. A better concept is that the health of the entire Lehigh Valley depends on thriving cities. Some aspects of regionalism have been put in place …

.02 Keep water pact out of the courts - Hendersonville, NC, USA
If there's one thing that the recent drought ought to be teaching us, it is that regionalism is the answer to water problems, not setting up little fiefdoms that compete with each other and cause waste and duplication....

.03 Study: Dial-A-Ride leaving riders in lurch

Fragmented Dial-A-Ride services for the Valley's disabled forces frail passengers to transfer at jurisdictional boundaries where they endure long, solitary waits in public places for another vehicle, according to a study commissioned by Valley Metro. At a recent Chandler Transportation Commission briefing, Valley Metro executive Carol Ketcherside said the organization is urging cities to support regionalized service similar to those in other major metropolitan areas like Dallas, Las Vegas, Denver, San Diego, Salt Lake City and Tucson. ...

.04 A chance to drive transit forward
Cincinnati Enquirer - Cincinnati, OH, USA

All of this is pushing the public toward a tipping point where it might support new initiatives to improve mass transit on a regional basis. We urge the politicians, not just in Cincinnati and Hamilton County, but throughout the region, to make the most of this opportunity and not blow it on petty, partisan bickering. ...

.05 Gridlock A way of life
Worcester Telegram - Worcester, MA, USA
The study, led by the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, will focus on Interstate 495 and the interchanges... The cities and towns along I-495 have seen rapid growth over the past 20 years, according to the 495/MetroWest Corridor Partnership, a public-private advocacy group. …

.06 Mayor Nickels expands his horizons
Crosscut - Seattle, WA, USA
This one is about metropolitan regionalism. The mayor is joining a national crusade by the Brookings Institution, hoping to steer more and wiser funding to American metropolitan regions. ...

.07 Editorial: The promise of regionalization
Amherst Bulletin - Amherst, MA, USA
Pelham's financial woes may turn out to provide an opportunity not just for the town but for other communities in the Pioneer Valley. Faced with a budget squeeze, and the challenge of overcoming voter resistance to a Proposition 2½ override, Pelham officials are exploring the idea of cutting costs by working with other municipalities, including Amherst, to provide town services under a regionalization scenario. ...

.08 Team response to abductions
Attleboro Sun Chronicle - Attleboro, MA, USA
Police say the regional response is crucial because smaller cities and towns do not have the personnel or financial resources to deal effectively with a child abduction search and investigation....

.09 Collison: Denver mayor promotes development, cooperation, sustainability
Kansas City Star - MO, USA
Now comes the part where his philosophy fits nicely with the mission of MARC, which is all about regional cooperation. Hickenlooper, like his predecessors, ...

.10 Partnership maps gaps in broadband
Lynchburg News and Advance - Lynchburg, VA, USA
But Region 2000’s leaders are taking more interest in the white areas on the map, the “no man’s lands” of broadband. The white areas include swaths of land ...

.11 Montpelier gets out of 9-1-1 biz
Barre Montpelier Times Argus - Barre, VT, USA
... have to do all of that and manage our 9-1-1 intake… So much money is being spent on communications, if ever there was anything that could be regionalized."

.12 Calls for municipal combining resurface
Roanoke Times - Roanoke, VA, USA
Last month, the new study paid for by the Alleghany Foundation indicated that the region's struggling economy could save more than $7 million annually if Alleghany County, its two towns, Clifton Forge and Iron Gate, and the independent city of Covington -- with a total population of less than 25, 000 -- consolidated into one government. ...

.13 Development group critical, officials told
Waynesville Daily Guide - Waynesville, MO, USA
If that doesn’t happen, “Pulaski County is going to miss out, ” Prager said. “It’s just not equipped to do things together on a regional level, ” Prager said. “The absence of that organization really hurts this county.” …

.14 Group has been working to Keep Tahoe Blue for 50 years
Tahoe Daily Tribune - South Lake Tahoe, CA, USA

In the 1950s and early '60s, development was largely unchecked, with local authorities having complete control over all growth. The Tahoe Regional Planning Commission (forefather of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency but with no enforcement powers) created a plan in 1964 to envision what Tahoe would look like in 1980. …

.15 Regional partnerships meld education, workforce development
Herald Review - Grand Rapids, MI, USA
... first-hand about existing regional partnerships between the business community and the school community, as well as some new and upcoming initiatives. ...

.16 McLarty: Match vision with resources
Hope Star - Hope, AR, USA
Hope and Hempstead County must provide for a more regional approach to economic development that is matched with dedicated resources to successfully compete with other regions in Arkansas, ...

.17 Arizona, Mexico enjoy partnership
Arizona Republic - Phoenix, AZ, USA
... becoming a regional athletic tradition. Athletes from Arizona and Sonora have faced off twice a year since 2006 in conjunction with the commission's ...

.18 Houston's jobs pace hints at economic slowdown
Houston Chronicle - United States
"It's across the board, " said Barton Smith, director of the Institute for Regional Forecasting at the University of Houston. The slowdown shows up in key ...

.19 Tourism officials aim close to home
Baltimore Sun - United States
Nancy Hinds of the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association said the group is thinking regionally in its efforts to attract visitors to the city ...

.20 Crime Stoppers goes regional
Longmont Times-Call - Longmont, CO, USA
A dwindling budget has prompted Boulder County Crime Stoppers to branch out regionally to try to tap new funding opportunities. … Three weeks ago, Boulder County Crime Stoppers officially became Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers. The rebranded organization will be dedicated to handling tips for northeastern counties,

.21 Schwenksville axes police department
Montgomery Newspapers - Fort Washington, PA, USA
During the June 12 meeting, borough council voted 3-1 to dissolve the department, which consists of one employee, Chief Tim Hoppes. … "It was first brought to light to me when the police needed a new vehicle, " Giunta said. "We should take a step back and look at this need. It is time to start thinking about regionalization. I am confident that the State Police can assist us on a full-time basis. Regionalization is the way to go. Municipalities need to work together. …

.22 Medical society gets grant to boost broadband access
Central Penn Business Journal - Harrisburg, PA, USA
In addition, the grant will fund regionally specific projects in northwest Pennsylvania and the Bucks County area.

.23 POLITICAL LANDSCAPE: Group opposes airport curfew
Burbank Leader - CA, United States
“This is something that should be done regionally, not one airport at a time, ” Valley Vote President Joe Vitti said. “This is just shifting noise to another area. This doesn’t solve the problem, it just shifts it. ...

.24 UUA team studies resource distribution to congregations
uuworld-org - Boston, MA, USA
The idea was that a regional structure would be able to offer more comprehensive services than a district, much in the same way that a regional medical center provides more varied services than a local clinic. ...

.25 Lowbrow Writ Large
Willamette Week - Portland, OR, USA
a distinctly Northwestern point of view—insular, terrestrial, studiously unstudied—and prove that regionalism is alive and well. This is a good thing if you define regionalism as “reflecting indigenous concerns, ” a bad thing if you define it as “provincial.” ...

.26 Same home with a new ZIP code can cost you
Houston Chronicle - United States
"It makes sense to use boundaries that are fixed, such as county boundaries, to ensure predictability for policyholders that have similar risks. "By relying on fluid boundaries like ZIP codes, you run the risk that policyholders can be doing all the right things and have nothing change but their ZIP code, and they're left with a higher bill as a result." …

.27 Lack of power lines seen as obstacle in wind development
The Hill - Washington, DC, USA
… without enough transmission lines to carry the energy from the windy but remote regions where it is produced to the cities that consume it, wind power will continue to play a relatively small role in the nation’s energy mix, according to testimony this week at a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee,

.28 Regional report touts wind power for mountain area
Watauga Democrat - Boone, NC, USA
“North Carolina has probably one of the best inland wind resources of any state in the Southeast. It has a real opportunity to develop jobs and resources to serve the entire region. On the other hand, if we wait five or 10 years, we’ll find that development has happened in other states.” …

.29 Economic developers want brand for region
Place Marketing Group
"The focus of the regional economic development initiative is the recruitment, retention and creation of high-wage jobs in targeted high technology industries, such as health, life and environmental sciences, information technology and ...

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 Sonia launches poll campaign; calls to fight regionalism
Hindu - Chennai, India
"Regionalism is being encouraged here (in Maharashtra) and we have to fight these forces which are dividing society for their vested interests, " she said, ...

.02 Australia's future in the region and the world
The New Nation - Bangladesh
However, to build a new regionalism in Asia Pacific requires the reinvigoration and retooling of the existing architecture. Such efforts will need to take ...

.03 Unprecedented co-operation possible among governments amidst crisis
AntiguaSun - St' John's, Antigua and Barbuda
We will achieve much more in addressing this crisis through intra-regional co-operation than we can ever achieve by going alone. ...

.04 Roundup: African integration to be stepping-stone for stronger growth
Xinhua - China
According to Tomlinson, "regional integration and cooperation also offers possibilities to ensure much improved and more sustainable management of shared ...

.05 South-East European States Agree At UN Summit to Use Waterways to Promote Peace

The Athens Declaration, adopted by seven Heads of State and two high-level representatives, emphasizes the importance of rivers, lakes and maritime routes in contributing to regional cooperation.

.06 Does regionalization make sense?
EMSNow (press release) - Stetchworth, England, UK

We defined regionalization as "manufacturing products on the continent on which they are sold." … regionalization was common practice before the mass migration to China in the last 1990s. Now with higher oil prices and exchange rates that weaken the US dollar, we wanted to know if Forum members - OEMs and Contract Manufacturers - were considering returning to a regional strategy and whether it would become more common practice in the future. …

.07 Slovenians vote in favor of regionalization

B92 News
The Slovenian government proposed the division into 13 provinces because it wanted to reduce the differences between the country’s regions, and bearing in mind Slovenia is the only EU country without this type of territorial division. …

.08 The Greater Significance of the 2008 EU-LAC Conference
Council On Hemispheric Affairs - Washington, DC, USA
... Euros to the region for purposes of development, consolidation of economic interests to create a single common market, stronger regional cooperation, ...

.09 Eat, while it's still possible
Globe and Mail - Canada
Roberts applauds the efforts of urban gardeners, local food enthusiasts and those who work outside of the industrialized system to build a "regionalized food economy." Their efforts are commendable, much like the initiatives of those who advocate alternative energy strategies in the world of oil. But, he writes in his bleak conclusion, there must be broad-based, government alternative food plans - a virtual de-industrialization - if humanity is to survive "the end of food."

.10 Private sector to take the lead in putting Aberdeen back on track
Sunday Herald - Glasgow, Scotland, UK
TOM SMITH, the newly appointed chairman of the Aberdeen City Forum (Acsef), has promised to use the city's recent
EconomicShireand spate of bad headlines as a "catalyst for step-change" as the private sector consolidated its unique leadership role in the region's economic strategy. ...

.11 EU offers closer ties to eastern neighbours
Reuters South Africa - Johannesburg, South Africa
European Union leaders backed plans on Friday to offer closer ties to the bloc's eastern neighbours, partly to match a more ambitious project for the Mediterranean region. The Eastern Partnership plan is to offer new areas of cooperation to Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and, subject to domestic reforms, Belarus. …

.12 A work force model to support the adoption of best practice care in chronic diseases
7thSpace Interactive (press release) - New York, NY, USA
The model takes a geographic region as the planning frame and combines data about the health status of the regional population by disease category and stage ...

.13 Independent Regional Intelligence Straight to Your Desktop
Place North West (subscription) - Liverpool, Merseyside, UK
Place North West is a niche business website for the commercial property and regeneration communities of the North West. ... Place North West employs a network of regionally based journalists and commentators, including: ...

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 Details: King County Sheriff’s budget warning (and jail talk)
West Seattle Blog - Seattle, WA, USA
Rahr declared in no uncertain terms that such “consolidation” should come in the form of the county’s Regional Justice Center in Kent expanding to meet the space crunch that has the county saying it won’t have room for cities’ misdemeanor offenders. “We have capacity to build out the RJC, a lot of capacity for more jail beds … if we were to build it out for full capacity, if the staffing level could increase so all wings could be opened, we would have hundreds more jail beds, but the exec and council need to make that decision to build it out . … My opinion is that the county should have the regional responsibility for providing jail service.”

.02 Regional Planning, Mired In Yesteryear, Does Not Include Re-Thinking The Language, Either

By James Rowen(James Rowen)
I'd argue that genuine regional planning would constantly include studying and embracing changes in the very definition of "region, " and "regionalism" and "regional planning" by the regional planners and their existing agency themselves ...

.021 Editorial: Secession is a cure worse than the alleged disease
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Milwaukee, WI, USA
There is no good reason for Milwaukee County to withdraw from the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. It is in the best interest of the ...

.022 Region must use planning to work for benefit of all
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Milwaukee, WI, USA
This consensus is reflected in the emergence of cooperative regional efforts such as Milwaukee 7. And one of the most important resources we have in this ...

.03 Regional Cooperation
Impact Group
Then there are bold ideas and initiatives which truly address the core ideas, goals and objectives of “regionalism”. Not simply an academic exercise or theoretical study, but an aggressive and revolutionary approach to joining forces as ...

.04 Regional Economic Review Study - Latest Information on the Study Northeast Ohio

Video Clips – Myron Orfield answers questions – topics: The Economy of Northeast Ohio, Prognosis if Nothing Changes, Cooperation Amongst Ohio Cities and Municipalities, What is Regionalism, Is Regionalism Consolidation of Government?, What is Land Use Planning?, What is Revenue Sharing?, Minneapolis St. Paul's Fiscal Disparity

.05 Regional economies are green economies
Working in Maine
The world’s largest organic retailer, Whole Foods, is doing what it’s never done before—buying its northeast produce from regional producers. In the past, their justification against this practice went to a variety of reasons, ... The cost of energy is changing that dynamic, and making regional options much more viable...

.06 EMS Discussion :: RE: How to fix the mess that is NJ's EMS system

Regionalization is the only way to help. Working up there, lets see, every municipality has it's own 911 system. They answer the call. Those dispatchers would call if they felt a medic unit was necessary, which most of the time it was ...

.07 Reading history and culture

Wen-Wen’s Story
When talking about development of a region, there are two clues that we should notice: one is bottom-up process which called regionalization; the other is top-down process which called regionalism. Regionalization is mainly led by economic driving force and regionalism is no doubt influenced by government policy....

.08 No Laughing Matter
By Daniel Larison
Spanish regionalism seems absurd because the regions in question are almost laughably small and self-sufficient, from a large-country perspective, only in a petty and dissatisfying way. Back in the old days, Western political theorists ...

.09 The Fate of Federalism
By James Poulos
Yet I want to emphasize the difference between American and European sectionalism or regionalism — which is marked out by the historical and political relationship among the States and the Union. I’m sure I’m in agreement with Daniel ...

.10 Regionalization a Success
Planet Jackson Hole - WY, USA
Simpson and Senator Schiffer was the concept of “regionalization”, in that we assure that the 5 major regions of our state all of access to the same ...

.11 What is Regionalism?
By Laurel(WRLT Lightning 100)

cumberland region tomorrow's strategic planning session. it was an educational, inspiring, and productive 5 hour session with high stakeholders in our region's future. we mapped out our goals for the next 1, 3 and 5 years. CRT is a fantastic organization that is pioneering talk and decision making on regional and global levels- check them out at

.12 Regionalization a Success
Planet Jackson Hole - WY, USA
The concept created by Rep. Simpson and Senator Schiffer was the concept of “regionalization”, in that we assure that the 5 major regions of our state all of access to the same services. So that the delivery of mental health and substance abuse services are community oriented rather than through state institutions such as the Wyoming State Hospital. …

.13 On European Nationalism
3) Regionalism should not be a tactic to evade racial issues out of a fear of appealing to race and civilization. If there is a compelling regional identity, that's great, but fear of being "white" causes a defensiveness that will lead ...

.14 Fixing affordable housing
By Hank Kalet

The mechanism, called a regional contribution agreement, were designed to allow developing communities to limit the impact at home of the state-mandate, but in my view violated the spirit of the Mount Laurel decisions. ...

.15 Kevin Rudd’s vision for Asia Pacific institution-building
East Asia Forum

Openness reflects the objective of open regionalism to ensure that decisions to promote the objectives of APEC are transparent and avoid any discrimination. Equality implies that activities should not only be of mutual benefit to all ...

.16 New wave in the globalisation of education
By Christopher Findlay

Regional cooperation can play a vital role in ensuring that the region’s peoples can participate in today’s increasingly competitive global economy. Student mobility remains important. Some forecasts predict that Asia will account for 70 per cent of the volume by 2025. …

.17 The Curse of the Party System
Blog Skaneland
... poke its nose into the citizens’ private business. Those of us who are involved with regionalism in Europe or human rights on the global arena has to think twice before putting friends abroad in jeopardy by sending them emails.

.18 Why Progressives Should Be Supporting Mayoral Academies
Rhode Island’s Future
If they can design an intelligent model for regionalization while they’re at it (as the authors of the Mayoral Academy plan have done) so much the better. But, in the meantime, since there are honest but distinct disagreements about ...

.19 The Job of President
Free Liberal - Woodbridge, VA, USA
The way around this is to homogenize regional boundaries across agencies and create regional vice presidencies and regional congressional caucuses to handle most of these affairs (from base closings to regional economic policy). Regional VPs could be elected by the electoral college, with each nominee appointing a slate and the winner of the most votes in that region elected to office. In other words, in New England/New York, you would likely have a Democratic RVP. In Dixie, you would have a Republican, etc. The stability would be good for government. ...

.20 Sludge to biodiesel
By natescape
This research will be conducted as part of EPA’s Office of Research and Development’s Regionally Applied Research Effort program. The project is expected to have environmental benefits for the air, land and water. ...

.21 Pathways to Organizational Communities

Interaction Associates
… focused on the vital importance of creating communities, in both the civic and organizational senses. Nothing provocative there, but his unique approach to building communities questioned some existing assumptions about how best to mobilize effective action. Rather than aggressively trying to address the "problems" experienced by various communities, Block suggests inviting potential participants to engage in dialogue about the possibilities they can create together. …

.22 Of the community, by the community, and for the community: the rebirth of Old North Saint Louis

By Kaid Benfield
This won’t be the case in Old North, because much of the community’s planning has been shaped by the residents themselves, working with the regional community development alliance. Affordability and diversity are hallmarks of the ...

.23 They Want to Be a Part of It . . . .
Fault Lines

Acacia Village wants to be a part of Utica, NY, that is! Really? SOMEBODY actually WANTS to be part of Utica?
… didn't get the support of the City of Utica or Oneida County. It's just disappointing in a time for regionalization." But, Mr. Wallace, Annexation IS Regionalization . . . the way it should be.

.24 Comment on Nationalism: Positive or Negative? by Toque
By Toque
Nationalism, if you discard the racial claptrap that certain folk ascribe to it, is no more menacing than regionalism. It’sa way of ordering society - in our case the boundaries of our democracy. Where it breaks down, perhaps, ...

.25 thinkwest
By thinkwest
THINKWEST is a cluster of 8 community centres located in the western suburbs of Melbourne. Their collaboration has made them one of Victoria’s most innovative group of Adult Community Education providers. Their commitment to social ...

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 The Summit for American Prosperity: Washington and Metro Areas Working Together

Brookings's Metropolitan Policy Program hosted The Summit for American Prosperity: Washington and Metropolitan Areas Working Together at the Washington Hilton on June 11 and 12, 2008.

This Summit launched the policy phase of the Blueprint for American Prosperity: Unleashing the Potential of a Metropolitan Nation, an ambitious, multi-year initiative to build long-term U.S. prosperity by reinvigorating the federal role in promoting the health and vitality of America's metropolitan areas. This Summit builds on the Blueprint's earlier efforts to demonstrate that the nation's assets are concentrated in our metro areas, and are the vital engines of the U.S. and global economy.

Speeches and Presentations from the event are available at this link as well as Blueprint Reports and Policy Briefs.

.02 NADO Issues Summary Report of USDA Rural Development Provisions Under Final 2008 Farm Bill – PDF download

The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) released a special report outlining the funding and policy provisions related to USDA Rural Development programs under the final 2008 Farm Bill passed by Congress this week. The report includes an overview of the three rural development programs slated to receive mandatory funding, as well as the portfolio of rural development programs subject to the annual appropriations process.

In addition, the new NADO report highlights congressional intent to establish three new federal-state regional commissions modeled after the Appalachian Regional Commission: Northern Border Regional Commission, Southeast Crescent Regional Commission and the Southwest Border Regional Commission.

For additional information, please contact NADO Legislative Representative Amy Linehan at 202.624.8817 or

.03 Ireland’s vote on the Lisbon Treaty – What does it mean? - European Union - Delegation of the European Commission to the United States

The Irish “No” vote is a problem, but it is not a crisis.

The EU is continuing to function, and to function remarkably well, under the pre-existing Treaties. ManyEU Council Session feared that when the EU enlarged to 25 members in 2004 that there would be institutional deadlock, arising from the unwieldy size of the membership. It is fair to say that most of those fears have not materialized at all in the past four years.

.04 Contesting and Sustaining the City: Neighborhood, Region, or World - Renaissance Chicago Hotel - March 4-9, 2009 - 39th Annual Meeting- Urban Affairs Association

The Urban Affairs Association (UAA) is the international professional organization for urban scholars, researchers, and public service providers. UAA exists to:

* Encourage the dissemination of information about urbanism and urbanization

* Support the development of university education, research, and service programs in urban affairs

* Provide leadership in fostering urban affairs as a professional and academic field

.05 Greater Washington 2050

Greater Washington 2050 is a new regional initiative to improve the quality of life for Washington area residents in the next 50 years by fostering stronger regional awareness, leadership and action today and in the next few years. Led by COG and a coalition of public, business, civic and environmental stakeholders, Greater Washington 2050 will build on what many people now believe is an opportunity for convergence of agreement on big issues of growth, transportation and the environment. Greater Washington 2050 will identify actions that advance areas of agreement, assess progress and measure performance. In short, Greater Washington 2050 seeks to shape the future by supporting sound regional action today.

Sharon Bulova
Chair, Greater Washington 2050 Coalition
Vice Chair, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

.06 Transportation for America

The next transportation authorization is anticipated to occur in 2009. The T4America Campaign is just kicking off, and we invite you to join us!

Our collective goal as the T4America Campaign is to ensure that the next generation of transportation investments helps to make our country more competitive globally; improves mobility options for people of all ages, incomes and geographic areas; maintains our existing transportation assets in good and safe working order; and, helps our nation reduce its carbon footprint.

.07 Baltic Sea Region Glossaries

In this section you will find information about the 11 National Glossaries elaborated within the COMMIN project.

In addition, a European Glossary has been compiled explaining terms which are relevant for spatial planning and development at the European level.

Supplementary Frequency Lists have recently been provided. They give an overview of the variety and overlapping of national terms from all 11 countries after its translation into English.

Countries: Belarus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden

.08 WREN - Washington Regional Equity Network - Metropolitan Washington, D.C.

The Washington Regional Equity Network (WREN) brings together non-profit organizations throughout Metropolitan Washington, DC, to create greater economic and social equity across the region. Our goal is to define and work towards a set of specific near-term initiatives that increases the commitment of regional leaders to equitable development and that places equitable development at the center of regional priorities.

.09 Regional Governance - California Center for Regional Leadership

Regions are the modern construct for our economies, our environment, and our society. They are where local government, state government, and regional agencies meet in collaboration to work out solutions to problems, including economic competitiveness, housing affordability, and environmental protection, that do not respect our traditional city and county boundaries.

.10 Forum of Regional Association of Grantmakers

Regional Philanthropy

A regional association of grantmakers connects all types of grantmakers in a specific geographic location to improve the quality of life of individuals and communities in that area. It is a staffed organization that serves grantmakers in a metropolitan area, a single state, or a multi-state region. A regional association's membership can include a variety of grantmaking institutions and programs, including:

  • community foundations
  • corporate grantmakers
  • family foundations
  • independent and private foundations,
  • and public foundations

14. Subscription access news stories. Contents

.01 Big-Think Regionalism: a Critical Survey (CEPR DP6874)

Centre for Economic Policy Research Note: Server problem at test before emailing.

Abstract: Economic thinking on regionalism has traditionally focused on the Vinerian question: Would a nation gain from joining a trade bloc? Since 1991, "Big Think Regionalism" considers the broader question of regionalism’s impact on the world trading system focusing on two questions: Does spreading regionalism harm world welfare? and Does regionalism help or hinder multilateralism? This paper syntheses and critiques the theoretical literature in an attempt to identify the insights that are useful for thinking about regionalism’s systemic impact in the new century.

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 regionally returned 637 items; regionalize returned 102 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.