Regional Community Development News – May 27, 2009 [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 articles10.01 - .39

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet11.01 - .23

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .18

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .10

Financial Crisis …14.01 - .02

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


Top Regional Community stories

1. Erie's agenda comes into focus amid spirit of realism, optimism - - Erie, PA, USA

… town-hall forum sponsored by the Erie Times-News and … The idea going in, a couple of weeks before the municipal primary, was to turn the tables on the political candidates. Instead of them telling the rest of us what they can do for Erie and the region, we thought we'd get a conversation going about what they should be doing.

That's why we sought input from our readers, …

If one thread ran through the conversation -- in the run-up to voters in numerous political subdivisions choosing a county executive and a mayor, township supervisors and borough councils, school board members and constables -- it's that we're all in this together. That we're not competing across municipal lines, but with the outside world, and in the ways that matter in the long run we'll prosper or decline as one.

It starts at the center of things, in the city at the heart of our region's identity, history and prospects. And that leads directly to the subject of regionalism and what to do about the forces of time, inertia and outdated state law that have set up our urban core to fail.

Lawyer and longtime civic leader Jim Walczak made the case for "functional regionalism" through mechanisms such as regional authorities and an expanded role for county government. That approach targets some of the same goals and results without all of the political baggage of combining municipalities.

I'm a firm believer that a marriage arranged in Harrisburg, by scrapping a state municipal structure better suited to the 19th century, would lead to lasting happiness. But that's not going to happen, so the incremental regionalism described by Walczak and Elliott is probably the best path available -- and itself will require political vision, resolve and daring.

2. Expert urges fractured region to change - Buffalo News - NY, United States

Urban areas that are fractured into dozens of municipal governments lag far behind unified regional governments in everything from economic development and affordable tax rates to racial disparity and sustainable growth, according to a urban planning expert who spoke to a group of activists, businessmen and politicians Friday in Amherst.

And, said consultant and former mayor of Albuquerque David Rusk, New York State laws designed for a different age are a major barrier to modern governance in the Buffalo area.

It’s not that the New York Legislature has never done anything to help the cause of regional government among its many municipalities, Rusk said. It’s just that it was clear across the state. And it happened in 1897.

As Rusk explained, that was when state lawmakers had the vision to dissolve what was then the largest city in the nation—New York City — and what was then the seventh largest city in the nation — Brooklyn — add the then largely rural areas of Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island and create the modern metropolis that soon became the capital of the world.

“If they were still a bunch of little boxes, do you think their subway would have gotten into Queens?” Rusk asked. “Yours didn’t get into Amherst.”

“Little boxes” is the term Rusk uses to refer to large communities that labor under the governance of fractured municipal authorities. Only when they are merged, or at least cooperate enough, to form “big boxes” do the communities stand a chance of providing modern services at affordable tax rates and attracting and controlling the kind of economic growth that is sustainable and beneficial to all.

Rusk was the main speaker at a forum entitled “No More Business As Usual.” It was sponsored by the activist groups VOICE-Buffalo, the …

3. Ready-to-Go Regionalism - Governing

... Right now regionalism and the right-sizing of government for the 21st century are on the back burner in most metropolitan areas. They certainly are in Buffalo. One might be tempted to conclude that urban America will never get genuine regional governments, no matter how badly it might need them.

But that's only part of the story because, hard as it may be to believe, every one of the large metro areas in the country already has a regional government. It has a council called a "metropolitan planning organization." If we figured out a better way to use these entities, we wouldn't need to do anything half so complicated as Joel Giambra tried to do in Buffalo.

The history of MPOs can be told in a relatively short space. Almost every metro area has had planning bodies of some sort for the past century, often several at a time, but for 50 years they were essentially volunteer groups and those in political power paid little attention to them. In 1973, Congress changed that by requiring each metro region to designate an official MPO to participate in transportation planning and land use, and giving them some resources to help them do their research.

A couple of places took this language and ran with it. Portland, Oregon, created a metro council with broad powers and a membership directly elected by the voters. Minnesota's Twin Cities got a council appointed by the governor, but still with considerable influence over key regional planning decisions.

But those were outliers. The vast majority of MPOs spent the two decades after 1973 under the thumb of state transportation departments, which made the important choices and pressured MPOs to rubber stamp them.

Then, in 1993, … the new ISTEA transportation law offered MPOs a whole new set of tools. …

4. Regional Cooperation: A Pathway to Economic Recovery - Nation Cities Weekly - Washington, D.C.

Regional cooperation is a proven way to reduce costs, increase economic competitiveness, manage development impacts and create new opportunities and synergies between communities. This was true before the present economic crisis and is even more critical in a time of economic recession.

The long-term strength and stability of local jurisdictions depends on an economic region with a climate for growth, cultivated local assets and healthy, productive residents and businesses. As part of the national economic recovery strategy, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) supports these critical investments in regional development.

For example, …

… since 1959 the Metropolitan Development Association of Syracuse and Central New York Inc., (MDA) has been a catalyst for redevelopment of the region by working with local governments and the private sector to attract and create industries with high growth potential.

Robert Simpson, president and CEO of MDA, offered several “lessons learned” to local officials based on the success of MDA’s regional economic development plan, the Essential New York Initiative, including:

Forge a unified vision for the region;

Foster an entrepreneurial climate that encourages innovation and adaptation;

Leverage educational assets, including colleges and universities;

Facilitate collaboration within industry sectors;

Participate in regional organizations even if they cannot or do not drive the regional economic development agenda; participation builds trust and respect; and

Take advantage of the credibility and visibility of your local government by supporting the regional initiatives, even if that means following rather than leading.

Although the barriers to regional cooperation, including lack of trust among leaders in the region, disparate community goals or inability to agree on a particular regional strategy, are very real, the immediate and long-term benefits may prove worthy of the effort.

5. Regional marketing campaign launched - San Diego Union Tribune - CA, USA

In an effort to promote more outside investment in the border region, a coalition of local business and civic leaders yesterday launched a marketing campaign aimed at selling San Diego County, the Imperial Valley and Baja California as a single manufacturing zone.

The plan, developed by the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. and its counterpart in Imperial County, is to market the area as the Cali Baja Bi-National Mega-Region.

The groups hope to attract foreign investors and manufacturers with the idea of tapping into San Diego's research centers and technology clusters, Imperial Valley's inexpensive and undeveloped acreage and Baja California's manufacturing base and low-cost labor.

“We've already got some companies showing interest in the region, but this provides us with marketing tools that unite the whole area,” said Timothy Kelley, who heads the Imperial Valley EDC.

With the help of a $225,000 Commerce Department grant and $90,000 in private contributions, the EDCs have been working together since April 2008 to put together a marketing plan that would identify the region's strengths and opportunities.

Now that the plan has been developed, the next stage is to begin promoting the areas. In mid-June, the EDCs will host 25 foreign journalists from such countries as China, South Korea, Japan, Canada, Germany and France, and take them on a tour of the region, focusing on companies such as Kyocera that do business on both sides of the border.


6. Georgia town hopes to benefit from VW - Atlanta Journal Constitution - GA, USA


At an industrial park in Chattanooga, where the Army used to make TNT, VW executives reaffirmed their Tennessee commitment Thursday. More than 2,000 workers will build Passat-like, environmentally friendly sedans .

Tennessee shelled out a whopping $577 million in economic incentives to win Volkswagen. Georgia, a distant competitor for the prized manufacturing plant, gave Kia $258 million.

But Georgia officials jumped on the Tennessee bandwagon once Volkswagen narrowed its site-selection list that included Alabama and Michigan.

“We will benefit with the site in Tennessee just 12 miles from our state line,” says Ken Stewart, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “We have a lot of prime locations available for suppliers in Northwest Georgia, whether that be Trenton, Dalton or Rome.”


Landing a carmaker is the chest-thumping recruitment prize that governors and development officials hang their careers on. But auto-parts suppliers generate more jobs, taxes and economic well-being.

Volkswagen expects suppliers will create nearly 10,000 jobs across the region.

“We expect to share some of the suppliers” with BMW and Mercedes, Fischer said. “But there should be no doubt that Georgia will benefit. One of our main focuses is to get suppliers to be based as close as possible.”

It’s Ken Stewart’s job to lure them south.

Easy access to the ports of Savannah and Brunswick, and a competitive incentive package, should lead to a “forthcoming” announcement from a supplier coming to Georgia, Stewart says.

“Most of the manufacturers have been very smart to locate facilities close to state lines,” he adds. “That causes states to compete against each other. But we’re in the sweet spot for German auto manufacturers. That makes (Georgia) an easy sell.”

7. Is Cascadia's train coming in? High-speed rail between Seattle and Vancouver could be a catalyst for regional development, and identity - Crosscut - Seattle, WA, USA

Cascadia boosters come in two main flavors: Ecotopians and business boosters. The greens want to let the environmental and spiritual health of the bio-region guide our politics; the boosters see prosperity through trade and economic cooperation.

Thus, Cascadians might wave "Old Doug," the Cascadian flag, on behalf of separate, but sometimes overlapping, agendas. The tribes and eco-activists want to save the orcas of the Salish Sea, while the conservative Discovery Institute's Cascadia Prospectus touts the benefits of public private partnerships to boost regional development and sees cooperation as a kind of local version of globalization.

A catalyst for Cascadian cooperation could be development of a high-speed rail link along the I-5 corridor between Vancouver, British Columbia and Eugene, Oregon. (Or even extending all the way to San Diego?) The Vancouver-Eugene segment is one of the stretches eligible for some of the $8 billion dollars in stimulus package money the Obama administration wants to dole out (and the administration is requesting even more). Some of our neighbors to the north would like to piggy-back on the U.S. push for high-speed rail. Imagine Wi-fied trains speeding business commuters between Seattle and Vancouver, cutting an hour or more off the current travel time and providing an more ecological alternative than flying or driving.

In a front-page piece in the Vancouver Sun, columnist Miro Cernetig says Canada should get on board with the U.S. project for the sake of Cascadia:

It's potentially a game-changing development. We're no longer just talking about slight improvements to this unique Canada-U.S. rail link. The political will now exists in the U.S. for a real push to high-speed train travel in the corridor, much like Amtrak's Acela Express now running between Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C.

It's vital that Vancouver, the province, and Canada get aboard. …


8. Warm fuzzies all around as southwestern Michigan officials chat about sustainability - - MI, USA

… mayors of Portage, Kalamazoo and Battle Creek and a vice president of Western Michigan University gathered Wednesday at Edison Environmental Science Academy to talk about sustainability with editors from both the Kalamazoo Gazette and the Battle Creek Enquirer. A Battle Creek City Commission member and Kalamazoo's head of Public Services were also present.

This group, which was joined an hour later by the president of Western Michigan University, the superintendent of Kalamazoo Public Schools, leader of the Greater Kalamazoo Area Chamber of Commerce, the vice chair of the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners and representatives from Kalamazoo College, Borgess Medical Center and the Kalamazoo Nature Center, came together to sign the Southwest Michigan Regional Sustainabilty Covenant.

It's a simple, one-page document containing a lot of buzzwords. For example, the governmental, academic and business entities signing the agreement will work together "to ensure that the Southwest Michigan Region continues to be an excellent place to live and that each organization shall commit to the community's betterment through economic, social and environmental strategies germane to their mission for the benefit of future generations."

Or, as Portage Mayor Pete Strazdas put it much more eloquently and succinctly: "We want to leave this place better than we found it."

Now the fine citizens of Battle Creek and Kalamazoo County may have already assumed that their elected officials and business leaders were working to make the area a better place to live. Well, now we have it in writing.

On a practical level, this agreement means that all of the above groups and other businesses or organizations which want to sign on, have agreed to work together to share best practices for operating more efficiently and saving money wherever they can.


Covenant – PDF pages 89-97 -

RC: Southcentral Michigan Planning Council (Region 3)

.9 New York Statewide Wireless Interoperable Communications Network Refocused on Regional Systems - Government Technology – USA

New York state spent the second half of the Bush Administration and over $100 million developing a statewide wireless network it was hoped would provide public safety and public service agencies across the state with interoperable communications only to go back to the drawing board earlier this month.


While officials acknowledged the setback which the termination of the contact with M/A-COM presented, they were also optimistic opportunities to utilize newer technology and improve governance of cross-jurisdictional communication and data sharing would come from it. For example, instead of building a statewide communications network and offering to connect counties and other local governments to it, the state would work to facilitate the development of regional networks that connected groups of partnering counties thereby improving its usefulness.

Several counties had no desire to participate in the statewide wireless network, according to Perry. "The new strategic road map we are pursuing de-emphasizes the one-size-fits-all notion and envisions an interconnected system of systems," she said.

"Two other reasons we should continue with this new regional approach: The major emergencies that have occurred around the state are far more regional in nature than they are statewide. Whether it's a plane crash in Eerie County, an ice storm in the Adirondacks or forest fires on Long Island these are all actual incidents that required a major commitment of resources. The public safety response was far more regional in nature. A regional radio network can handle these needs more directly with better local knowledge than a statewide system," he said.

Mayberry-Stewart said the governance structure would contain both top-down oversight and bottom-up collaboration.

Governance is a major part of all of the homeland security programs now, Gallagher said. "Your governance has to be in place. If you do not have that, …

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 New activism defines road builder's efforts

Atlanta Journal Constitution - GA, USA

In the frenzied final week of the 2008 legislative session, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle broke away to take an urgent call from a key player in a highway funding debate. The caller wasn’t the governor, or the transportation commissioner or a lawmaker. It was Bill Hammack, president of C.W. Matthews Contracting Co., Georgia’s largest road builder. ... Matthews opposed basing new taxes for transportation on regional votes rather than a statewide referendum. Twice, the proposal has failed. Matthews wanted the state to let private firms build public toll roads. The idea was approved. Matthews criticized rail transit plans as too expensive. Those plans, already unpopular among lawmakers, stalled. ...

.02 National PBS documentary points to Portland transportation planning

A national PBS documentary will point to Portland as one of three cities that exemplify how the nation can use transportation infrastructure to fight sprawl, preserve the environment and promote mass transit. "Blueprint America: Road to the Future" … It uses Denver, New York and Portland - and their nearby suburbs - as examples of how national policies on transportation can shape cities. ...


.03 REGION: SANDAG adopts $1 billion budget

North County Times - Escondido, CA, USA

San Diego County's regional planning agency Friday adopted a $1 billion budget that will pump tens of millions of dollars into North County roads, including the long-delayed widening of Highway 76. Well more than 90 percent of the budget for the fiscal year beginning in July will go for regional transportation projects, the agency's primary purpose. And at the top of the list is the ongoing face lift of Interstate 15. ... SANDAG's $1 billion budget represents about a 1 percent increase from the current $990 million fiscal plan. The agency's revenue will come in from a variety of sources, including federal stimulus money, traditional federal funding, state bond money and the local TransNet sales tax. …

.04 Regional planning agency hopes to avoid 'doomsday' budget situation

Medill Reports - Chicago, IL, USA

Board members for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) are hoping they have successfully averted a budget crisis and reclaimed more than three million dollars in state funds. Six members journeyed to Springfield last week to meet with legislators and try to persuade them to reinstate the Comprehensive Regional Planning Fund. The fund provides $5 million each year for regional planning, $3.5 million of which goes to CMAP, which plans for transportation and land-use issues in northeastern Illinois. ...

.05 Temple City considers re-joining the COG

Pasadena Star-News - Pasadena, CA, USA

Four years after withdrawing from the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, city officials are now considering re-joining the organization. Other than the small and largely gated city of Bradbury, Temple City is the only municipality in the San Gabriel Valley that is not a paying member of the umbrella agency, which lobbies on behalf of area interests. Temple City Mayor Judy Wong said she supports joining COG again. "I truly believe that a voice from a group, rather than a voice from a single person, is much stronger," Wong said. Wong voted against withdrawal in 2005 but was outnumbered by her former City Council colleagues, who chose to leave the COG. But a new City Council has come to power since elections in March - one that could be more COG-friendly. ...

.06 Governor "My Man" Mitch Daniels Dismantling Indiana Government

Daily Kos

Indiana State, municipal and local governments are under threat from Governor Mitch Daniels ... If a state budget isn't passed by June 30th, the Hoosier state will shut down, and government services will no longer be available. ... more concerning has been the accusation by some that Governor Daniels in fact hopes that a budget does not pass due to a government consolidation proposal that was voted down. It is possible the Governor is seeking to starve the government of funds as a way to force consolidation. ...

.07 Metro: Where do we go from here?

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - St. Louis, MO, USA

The Missouri Legislature recently authorized a $12 million lifeline for the St. Louis region by voting in favor of an appropriation to restore some of the much-needed access to the region's transit system. As president and CEO of Metro, and on behalf of the approximately 100,000 individual customers we serve each week, I thank our state legislators and the many business leaders, community leaders, local elected officials and other constituents, including our customers, who aggressively supported this unprecedented action. ... since March 30, the region has come together as never before in an unparalleled dialogue about the importance of public transit in metropolitan St. Louis. ... In the near future, Metro, in cooperation with the East-West Gateway Council of Governments, will host a series of public meetings to discuss regional transit needs and opportunities. ...

.08 Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments names environmental policy head

Washington Business Journal - - Charlotte, NC, USA

Jay Fisette, vice chair of the Arlington County Board, was tapped to head the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments' new regional environmental policy committee. The panel was created in response to a recently released regional climate change report by the COG’s climate change steering committee. ...

.09 Local companies partner for community health

Arkansas Online

Wellness Works is a collaborative effort between White River Health System, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences North Central Area Health Education Center and White River Planning and Development District [ ] and funded by a $363,000 grant from the U.S. Health and Human Services Administration. It is one of only two projects funded in Arkansas.

.10 Take a trip upstate Pennsylvania without ever leaving your home

Scranton Times - Scranton, PA, USA

You don't have to go to New York to visit Upstate anymore. You're already there - in Northeast Pennsylvania. Five regional tourism agencies on Wednesday will unveil an 11-county marketing strategy promoting Northeast Pennsylvania as "Upstate PA." ... "We're not trying to re-brand Northeast Pennsylvania," said Tracy Barone, executive director Lackawanna County Convention & Visitors Bureau and president of the Upstate PA board. "It's an advertising campaign that is tied to our new regional name for tourism's sake." ...

.11 TBARTA board adopts regional transportation master plan

The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority board has adopted its regional transportation master plan. ... Now the TBARTA board will begin to discuss priorities and funding options in the coming months, beginning in June 2009, it said in the release. The Florida Legislature created TBARTA in 2007 to plan and develop a multimodal transportation system that will connect the seven counties of the Tampa Bay region.

.12 Aerotropolis becomes hot topic for regional leaders

Crain's Detroit Business - Detroit, MI, USA

Fireworks flared Friday at the annual leadership luncheon of the Eight Mile Boulevard Association — but once the dust settles, Southeast Michigan's “Big 4” plan to be back to work on regional cooperation. ... Cobo was a passing topic of discussion Friday, but not nearly the lightning rod that Ficano's push for tax incentives related to the aerotropolis proposal turned out to be. ...

.13 Six Businesses to Be Recognized During 9th Annual Leading Edge Awards

Southern Maryland’s leading businesses and executives will be honored at the ninth annual Leading Edge Awards ceremony, ... The annual event celebrates individuals and businesses that spur economic growth within the region, and this year’s honorees exemplify the qualities synonymous with business success: performance excellence, innovation and an unwavering dedication to customers and staff. ... Silver sponsors include Charles County Technology Council, Constellation Energy, Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) and Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland. ...

.14 Thrive: Madison region promoted at international biotech conference - Madison, WI, USA

For the second year in a row, a regional coalition (including the cities of Fitchburg, Madison, and Middleton; Madison Gas and Electric; Alliant Energy; Thrive, the Economic Development Enterprise for the eight-county Madison Region and the UW-Madison, new to the coalition this year) will promote the Madison Region’s biotech strengths at the BIO International Conference, scheduled in Atlanta May 18-21, 2009 ( The annual BIO shows are the biotech industry’s largest event, typically attracting a global audience of more than 20,000 scientific and executive leaders. ...

.15 Quebec company seeks $200M loan to build biofuel plant in Mississippi

... , the company has signed a letter of intent with the Three Rivers Regional Solid Waste Management Authority, which owns and operates a regional landfill that serves Calhoun, Itawamba, Lafayette, Lee, Monroe, Pontotoc and Union counties. Three Rivers has agreed to supply Enerkem with about 189,000 tons or 60 per cent of its solid waste annually as feedstock. ... Randy Kelley, Executive director of Three Rivers Planning and Development District, said while he is excited about the Enerkem project he is still "cautiously optimistic." "Is it a done deal? No," said Kelley. ...

.16 Consolidation of Belleair Bluffs, Largo fire departments could set example, chief says - St. Petersburg, FL, USA

Facing an $18.5 million deficit in its upcoming Emergency Medical Services budget, Pinellas County is looking at consolidation as a cost-saving option. Starting with the upcoming fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, the county has canceled the final three years of five-year contracts with the 15 municipal fire departments and four fire districts that it contracts with to provide emergency services. The contracts are being renegotiated, said Mike Cooksey, the county's fire division manager. ...

.17 Regionalized dispatching can still deliver

Scarlet Scuttlebutt - East Brunswick, NJ, USA

Green Brook officials are exploring plans to join a regional police dispatch service that would save money through eliminating four local dispatchers. And, as seems to nearly always be the case when such sensitive consolidations are considered anywhere in New Jersey, residents and other critics have been up in arms at a feared loss of services ... At the heart of this debate is an entirely unrealistic expectation by the public that government should be able to maintain and improve top-notch services at permanently low cost, and any failure to do so is merely a function of egregious government waste. ...


Belmond Independent - Belmond, IA, USA

County extension director Bev Peters talked about the big changes coming to Iowa's extension education system that were announced May 1. The 99 county directors in Iowa will be replaced by 20 regional directors by the end of 2009. Each county will still have an extension office, but the executive functions will be regionalized. ...

.19 Earthtrepreneurship. It may be tough to pronounce but the term is a great description of green rural growth opportunity

Rural sustainability needs to be built on an earthtrepreneurial middle class that understands how to create, use, and sell appropriate technologies and services at home and around the world. In some cases, this might well be social earthtrpepreneurship, dedicated to helping others through a nonprofit organization. But it might also involve ways of profitably, but responsibly nurturing and cultivating the earth’s natural heritage. Earthtrepreneurship is based on respectful, earth-centered ingenuity. Earthtrepreneurs understand and love their own backyards. But they also understand that their ideas have markets elsewhere. They serve their communities, building sustainability at home. They also serve the world, building global sustainability. ...

.20 How much to seek in override? That is the question for officials

South Coast Today - New Bedford, MA, USA

"I would like to challenge the region," Lakeville School Committee Chairman David McQueeney said. "We in Lakeville are in favor of regionalization (which would include the elementary schools). The region should be able to function as if we were fully regionalized in fiscal 2010. It would mean the fourth grade would remain at (George R. Austin Intermediate School) and the region would have to sacrifice more." The $560,000 and $1 million override plans each are based on the $390,000 coming back to the town from the regional school. "If you're trying to save your elementary school on the backs of the region and if you're waiting for the region to come to your rescue before voting $1 million, I can't support it," Rodrigues said. ...

.21 In Our Own Words: You and Me and National G

Ukiah Daily Journal - Ukiah, CA, USA

Question: What is National Geographic doing in Mendocino County? Answer: The esteemed Society has allied with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the North Coast Tourism Council to plan a digital map guide to natural and cultural resources of several counties from Marin to Del Norte, including our own. National Geographic's Center for Sustainable Destinations has produced "geotourism" guides for other regions throughout the world and will edit and design the North Coast map based on input from local communities. That means YOU! ...

.22 Lake Chelan wine designation a big win for region's commerce

The Wenatchee World Online - Wenatchee, WA, USA

Lake Chelan’s recent designation as the state’s newest Agricultural Viticultural Area (AVA) is bringing new attention to a region already popular as a prime summer recreation area. The recognition will extend the tourism season and help the area grow and thrive more months of the year, say those in the wine and tourism industries. "It will literally put us on the map," ...

.23 Food Export USA Northeast - Westport, CT, USA

Food Export USA Northeast,, is a non-profit organization that promotes the export of food and agricultural products from the northeast region of the United States. The organization, in conjunction with the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and its member states, provides a wide range of services such as export promotion, customized export assistance, and a cost-share funding program to facilitate trade between local food companies and importers around the world. ...

.24 Bad economy drives down accident rate

The Detroit News - Detroit, MI, USA

… poor economy, higher gas prices and motorists driving fewer miles are all key contributors according to a traffic-crash report that found there were 6,675 fewer traffic crashes in southeastern Michigan in 2008 than in 2007 -- a decline of about 5 percent. "Michigan is in the news a lot for being at the bottom of the list for a lot of different things. But in terms of traffic safety, we're one of the national leaders," said Carmine Palombo, director of transportation planning at Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. "It's great news anytime you can decrease the number of people dying, the number of crashes, the number of injuries." ...

.25 Northern Rockies Protection Act Preserves Land, Saves Money, Creates Jobs

New West - Missoula, MT, USA

... the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA) was drafted by local residents of the Northern Rockies bioregion, including political leaders, wildlife biologists, economists, scientists, business owners, sportsmen, sportswomen, conservationists, and concerned residents who fully recognized the need for, and the benefits of, protecting the Northern Rockies ecosystem. ...

.26 Former Ford plant site nears Phase 1

Atlanta Journal Constitution - GA, USA

Recession aside, work appears to be on track to redevelop the Hapeville site, to be called Aerotropolis Atlanta, into a mixed-use project adjacent to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. ... Aerotropolis Atlanta is zoned for office space, hotels, retail, restaurants, a light industrial business park and a 4,000-space airport parking facility. Buildout is expected to take 10 years. ...

.27 Towns find obstacles to saying 'I do' to mergers

The Associated Press

New Jersey lawmakers believe they've found a solution in having their cash-strapped state act as an ersatz for towns looking to merge. The state is offering to pay for studies and give a property tax credit to homeowners whose taxes would rise. The aim is to save money and escape Gov. Jon S. Corzine's plans to slash aid to more than 300 towns with fewer than 10,000 residents. If that doesn't work, these towns risk losing state aid. ...

.28 The imperiled fields of Michigan

Detroit Free Press - United States

In 2003, Gov. Jennifer Granholm joined a busload of Michigan farmers on a tour of Maryland communities. She saw acres of green fields that surrounded new homes on small lots. Development there was dense, not sprawling. ... Since then, tiny Maryland has invested $200 million in its PDR farmland preservation program. Michigan has invested $14 million. ... for now, PDR may be the only tool available for areas that want regionalism, want development to happen within cities, want towns to stop fighting with the one next door and want to maintain what is probably now Michigan’s No. 1 industry. ...

.29 Irving sees red over possible changes to DART's plans for Orange Line connecting to D/FW Airport

Dallas Morning News - Dallas, TX, USA

Irving leaders are hopping mad about last-minute changes DART may make to the Orange Line that will connect Dallas and the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. ... Regional plans have long called for Irving's Orange Line and the Cotton Belt line just north of the airport to individually connect near terminals A and B. ...

.30 PV processing applications for home repair grants

Prescott Daily Courier - Prescott, AZ, USA

… Sengstock said his staff referred perhaps 25 applicants to the Northern Arizona Council of Governments office in Flagstaff to determine whether they may qualify instead for a weatherization program. ...

.31 Let's blow up whole notion of cities and towns

Boston Globe - United States

... place our focus not on how cities and towns can raise more money to continue these anachronistic administrative systems, but on how to deliver essential public services more efficiently. The answer is to significantly expand the regions within which services are delivered. But regionalization will not come easily. Past efforts have demonstrated that pursuing it is not in the vested interests of cities and towns, so it may take more stick than carrot. We could take a lesson from the way the Obama administration is dealing with US automobile manufacturers. If our cities and towns are faltering financially but in the aggregate are too important to fail, then, in return for financial support, perhaps we should require some closed "dealerships" and some "industry consolidation."

.32 Guest Column: County plays important role

Lewisboro Ledger - Lewisboro, NY, USA

In New York state, as well as 47 other states, county government serves two purposes: to be the regional delivery arm of state and federal services, and to provide regional services that would be too costly for the local municipalities to provide on their own. Currently, roughly 70% of Westchester County services are mandated by the state and federal governments, yet they contribute only 25% of the county budget. ...

.33 Fort Worth, region rank among top places in world for business Development

Fort Worth Star Telegram - Fort Worth, TX, USA

A two-year study recently released by the Dallas Regional Chamber concluded that Dallas-Fort Worth ranked 10th in overall global competitiveness compared with 20 international metropolitan regions, including New York, London and Tokyo. ... With more than 260,000 students enrolled in college in the Metroplex, we are creating a new generation of highly educated and skilled workers. It is imperative that Fort Worth and the region continue to develop the current and future work force pool by encouraging college completion, pursuing Tier 1 university status and working to retain our best talent. …

.34 New 'coffee table' book offers views of Lakes Region

Laconia Citizen - Laconia, NH, USA

"Why don't you do a book of great photographs of the Lakes Region?" For years Lakes Region bookstores have been stumped by a simple question: "Do you have a book of great photographs of the area?" ... "The Lakes Region of New Hampshire: Four Seasons, Countless Memories" became available in local bookstores on Memorial Day weekend ...

.35 The exit interview: Retiring county chief John Zeunik on what's next

Bloomington Pantagraph - IL, USA

Q: Is the recession a catalyst for more cooperation and intergovernmental agreement among mclean County, the town of Normal and city of Bloomington?

A: When I started in this position in May 1988, one of the things I quickly noted was that there was a strong commitment towards intergovernmental cooperation, certainly among the three elected leaders. I don’t think there wasn’t a day that went by or an issue that went by that (then-County Board Chairwoman Nancy Froelich) didn’t think in terms of intergovernmental cooperation. ...

.36 Chagrin police could

Chagrin Herald Sun -

Chagrin Falls mayor Tom Brick questions why the police station levy failed May 5. In my opinion it failed because citizens in these hard times are no longer willing to tolerate the provincial and egocentric attitudes of our local governments. Does it make any sense for our mayors and councils to be paying lip service to regionalism while aggressively moving forward with wasteful, duplicated projects such as non-cooperative police stations, service departments and other facilities that could be shared and effectively run if our leaders were realistic, innovative and protective of the trust we have placed in them. ...


Government Technology - USA

Beth Noveck, Obama’s open-government guru, looks to boost civic engagement through technology.

Open Government Initiative:

.38 Genius of Common Sense: Jane Jacobs and the story of The Death and Life of Great American Cities. By Glenna Lang and Marjory Wunsch. Publisher: David R. Godine, Boston 2009.

Spotlight - Regional Plan Association

When it comes to status-affirming events, there is one that may even surpass a Nobel or a Pulitzer: having a children's book written about you. ... In twelve short chapters comprising a bit more than 100 pages, Authors Glenna Lang and Marjory Wunsch, both from Boston, lay out the essence of Jacob's life and the contribution she made to how people view cities and the way people think about them. They recount how she grew up in Scranton; ... her gradual immersion in cities and planning; her ground breaking publication of Death and Life of Great American Cities; and her fights against the establishment to stop highway projects. ...

.39 New York City Wireless Network Goes Live Citywide

Government Technology - USA

New York City first responders have high-speed wireless connectivity anywhere across the city's more than 300 square miles, thanks to the newly deployed New York City Wireless Network (NYCWiN). The price tag was $500 million, paid to vendor Northrop Grumman to build the network, then operate and maintain it over the next five years. The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) initiated the project with the vendor in 2006. ... "We covered the city with 380 cell sites. If we did Wi-Fi it would have taken 20,000 Wi-Fi transmitters,"...

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 Choosing Our Imaginary Communities and Identities

Ethical Technology

In June 1983 I arrived in Sri Lanka with a starry-eyed commitment to grassroots Buddhist social change, and a lot of romanticism about national liberation movements and Asian Buddhism. The Sri Lankan civil war that started five days later forced me to confront how dangerous all identities and communities are unless we understand that they are fundamentally imaginary. My two years in Sri Lanka convinced me of the desperate need for a new project of global citizenship. ... To build this new imagined community requires new political and cultural projects equal to the nation-building of the last centuries. We build global citizenship when we focus on the need for global governance to address global threats, and provide global affluence. ...

.02 Expert slams Supercity plans

The Government had "taken one of the headlines of the Royal Commission's report but removed many of the mechanisms that would have achieved better regional governance." He said the Government should go back to the original Royal Commission report instead of its own Making Auckland Greater proposals. ... "The Royal Commission's proposal is the result of 18 months of research, over 3500 submissions, and discussions with leading international advisors on metropolitan governance. It is a solid piece of evidence-based work," Mr Wilson said. In contrast, the Government had "fundamentally misunderstood" the problem in Auckland. He said Rodney Hide seemed to think he needed to "fight parochialism and crack heads together," but that wasn't the issue.

.03 Auckland reorganisation: Removal of Democracy bill

The Local Government (Auckland Reorganisation) Bill should be renamed the Removal of Democracy Bill, said Progressive leader Jim Anderton in parliament today. He was speaking on the proposal to create an Auckland ‘super city’. “The Local Government Act would have given Aucklanders a say in one of the most significant changes in local government in their region they will see in their lifetime, but they are not going to have a chance to have that say”, ...

.04 Brand makeover for Trade Centre

Dubai's World Trade Centre (DWTC) was once the tallest building in the Middle East. As competition has mirrored the economic growth in the region, it's 38 stories were soon outmatched. In November of last year, however, a leading London branding company began their work on keeping the Centre competitive on the world and regional stage. ... Increased competition within the UAE and GCC region is a major driving force behind the pair's work. "They [DWTC] recognise that there's more competition from the likes of ADNEC [Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre], interregional competition, so they're upping their game," said Daines. As a result, it's about selling more than a huge building to use for international conventions, he explained. It's about selling Dubai. The emirate's nightlife and infrastructure creates a formidable competitive advantage, he believes, when considering what really pulls people to events. ...

.05 16500 km towards a safe nation

Mid-Day - Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

A prosperous businessman from Mumbai, Lal has launched an organisation called United Force of India to defeat the opposing forces of regionalism and religion. "I decided to spread the message by travelling to the border regions while meeting soldiers and people living in these far-flung locations. As a nation we are indebted to our soldiers and I wanted to pay my homage to them," he said. ...

.06 Pochury Regional Council NNC dismisses one

The Morung Express - India

Dimapur - The Pochury Regional Council of the NNC has terminated one Lutsütu, s/o Yiteli of Phor village from “active service of the Pochury Regional Council NNC” with effect from May 25 “on Anti-National activities ground”. ... neglected the “National Days and consequently for gap of 2 (two) years, he did not indulged or perform any nation activities of the Pochury Regional Council, NNC”. The two also stated that Lutsütu “distort, dismantle, defeated” and did not honour the “good office of the Pochury Regional Council”. Besides, the note alleged that Lutsütu, without the knowledge of the concerned “Region Government”, randomly collected revenue and taxes. The note also cited the use of alcohol and other intoxicants, “provoking the Regional workers and the Region Government”, “misconduct, misbehaviour” and “committing proxy anti-national activities” …

.07 Economic man is dead. Time for rebirth - UK

Step forward Unesco. The oldest UN agency, during the era of economic man, has been pushed to the sidelines. Its emphasis on education, on the physical, human and social sciences, on culture and language, on the sustainable use of natural resources, as the mainsprings of human development and wellbeing, has seemed quaintly old-fashioned in an era of aggressive profit-seeking. But a restatement of those goals and values is now overdue. We can now assert, amid the wreckage created by economic man, that we are more than economic agents, and that Unesco's preoccupations point the way to a more complete and empowering sense of where our future lies. ...

.08 The logic of illogical - Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

We are a diverse nation. Coalition government is the norm of the day. The question is what is optimum diversity for an effective coalition? For example, a coalition government can be constituted with 2 or 20 different political parties. What should be the optimum number of parties for the coalition to be most effective? What is better – a smarter group or a diverse group? ...

.09 Jordan king wants Mideast to be economic powerhouse


The process should begin with "a region-wide consensus on action - a home-grown, home-based approach to unity, progress and peace," Abdullah said, urging Middle Eastern countries to work together. "To succeed, we must build regional multi-sector, multi-skill partnerships. No single entity owns the region's most pressing challenges - or their solution," the king said. ...

.10 Council gathers at forum

As parliament debated combining Auckland's councils, the territorial authorities that make up Horizons Regional Council came together for a regional forum. The theme was working together for efficiencies, and that echoed throughout the opening addresses. Horizons chairman Garrick Murfitt said it was vital local authorities worked together. ...

.11 Chinese Economist: Yuan Should Be Regional Currency to Rival Dollar

BusinessWeek - USA

Yu Qiao, an economics professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, says the best way for China to rescue itself from a dollar trap is to gradually transform the renminbi into a regional currency on par with the dollar and the euro. ... if China is to continue to benefit from, and encourage, globalisation. This may not offer much solace to Asian investors currently stuck in a dollar trap, but it does provide a roadmap to a potentially more stable currency framework for China and the world.

.12 Coalition wants region for northern Volta

Joy Online - Accra, Ghana

Mr Isaka Buraima, President of the Coalition for Peace and Development in Buem (COPADIB), has called on the government to create a region for the northern part of the Volta Region to facilitate the development of the area. ... Mr Buraima stressed that “the creation of a new region would ensure the rapid realization of government’s decentralization policy and equitable distribution of the country’s resources in line with the Directive Principle of State Policy as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.” …

.13 Five regencies in Papua lack infrastructure, clear boundaries

Jakarta Post - Jakarta, Indonesia

Regencies of Paniai, Mappi, Puncak, Asmat and Mimika are facing many challenges to their development, and are lagging behind other regencies in Papua province, particularly in terms of autonomy and budget issues. ... the underdeveloped regencies are prone to conflicts as they have yet to have clear boundaries in mapping, and tended to claim their territories through a variety of methods. This may trigger fears among residents. ...

.14 ScanBalt approves affiliated membership

Informationsdienst Wissenschaft (Pressemitteilung) - Bayreuth, NRW, Germany

Affiliated members can ie be regions, companies, networks and institutions which are not physically located within the original ScanBalt BioRegion but would like to strengthen ties with Life sciences on Top of Europe for mutual benefits. ...

.15 Sierra Leone/Liberia launch Trans-Boundary Peace Park

Awareness Times - Freetown, Sierra Leone

... launching of the park. This he said will actualize a long dream for the conservation of the natural beauty and wild life between the two sister countries. ... The Trans-Boundary Project, he informed, will also help provide serious security zone where no more rebels or dissidents will hibernate to wreak havoc. ...

.16 Government to resurvey boundaries

Monitor Online -Kampala, Uganda

In bid to end the escalating disputes over boundaries in the districts of Butaleja, Tororo, Mbale and Budaka, the government has sent a team of surveyors to carry out fresh surveys and re-demarcate the local inter-district boundaries. This comes barely a month after President Yoweri Museveni directed the ministries of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and Local Government to draw a road map and find way of resolving the disputes over the inter district boundaries between the four districts. ...

.17 Curbs on hammour sales to save stocks

The National Newspaper - United Arab Emirates

Hammour is one of a number of species highlighted as a priority for protection by the Regional Commission for Fisheries (RECOFI), following a dramatic fall in its population over two decades. Hammour stocks are estimated to be down to just three per cent of their natural levels, and scientists have blamed overfishing and a lack of regulation or regional policies that take into account migratory patterns. ...

.18 On the International Day for Biodiversity, some great resources for exploring the topic - USA

There are a lot of valid ways to look at the world's biological richness. Should biodiversity be measured by country, despite the vast differences in size between nations? Or should it be measured by bioregion, regardless of national borders? In the end, I decided that a ranked list was not important. Instead I've chosen to offer some useful sources for exploring the topic of biodiversity. ...

.19 Back to plastic? Reusable grocery bags may cause food poisoning

National Post - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Get out your bleach and launder those reusable fabric grocery bags after each use. You're not clogging up landfill with plastic throw-aways, but your environmental conscientiousness could make you sick. A microbiological study — a first in North America — of the popular, eco-friendly bags has uncovered some unsettling facts. Swab-testing by two independent laboratories found unacceptably high levels of bacterial, yeast, mold and coliform counts in the reusable bags. "The main risk is food poisoning," ...

.20 Come Together now - Yangtze River Delta Region

Alibaba News Channel - New York, NEW YORK, USA

The Yangtze River Delta includes Shanghai, eight cities in south Jiangsu Province (Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou, Zhenjiang, Yangzhou, Taizhou and Nantong) as well as seven cities in north Zhejiang Province (Hangzhou, Ningbo, Jiaxing, Huzhou, Shaoxing, Taizhou and Zhoushan). The 16-city region is one of the areas of the country with developed economies. With only 1 percent of the country's land and 6 percent of its total population, the region accounted for 19 percent of China's GDP last year, 25 percent of fiscal revenue and 37 percent of total exports. During the past 30 years, nearly half of all the country's foreign investment has gone to the region. ...

.21 Deloitte report urges governments around the world to step up cybersecurity efforts or face the threat of disruption and isolation within the global economy (press release) - Dubai, Umm al Qaiwain, United Arab Emirates

... role of Governments around the world in meeting this challenge is one of the issues raised by the report. The Deloitte member firms specialists interviewed agree that the public sector should set standards that build better security and protection, should develop new laws on data privacy that align with the new reality, and should create reliable metrics for internet service providers, equipment manufacturers and software designers to secure the online environment and to empower users against cyber crimes. ...

.22 Are computers transforming humanity?

Computerworld Australia - North Sydney, NSW, Australia

"Today, with technology, we can enable people to act collectively across boundaries. And one of the things that is different today isn't that we can just act collectively very quickly, but we act across heterogeneous groups," Earl says. She points to the collective actions taken to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina as an example. ... And it doesn't take an emergency for new and different types of communities to emerge. "Technology changes the whole idea of who we belong with," says anthropologist Ken Anderson, a senior researcher at Intel Corp. ...

.23 The New Socialism: Global Collectivist Society Is Coming Online

Wired Magazine

… 2008 book, Here Comes Everybody, media theorist Clay Shirky suggests a useful hierarchy for sorting through these new social arrangements. Groups of people start off simply sharing and then progress to cooperation, collaboration, and finally collectivism. At each step, the amount of coordination increases. ... How close to a noncapitalistic, open source, peer-production society can this movement take us? … Every time that question has been asked, the answer has been: closer than we thought. Consider craigslist. Just classified ads, right? But the site amplified the handy community swap board to reach a regional audience, enhanced it with pictures and real-time updates, and suddenly became a national treasure. Operating without state funding or control, connecting citizens directly to citizens, this mostly free marketplace achieves social good at an efficiency that would stagger any government or traditional corporation. … Who would have believed that poor farmers could secure $100 loans from perfect strangers on the other side of the planet—and pay them back? That is what Kiva does with peer-to-peer lending. …

Comments: … Oh. A connected free form network of individuals cooperating freely, with no centralized planning... You actually meant the title to be "The New Liberalism: Global Individualist Society Is Coming Online", right?

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 A different path toward regional decisionmaking?

Milwaukee Talkie

... putting aside the legitimate issue of composition, could a SEWRPC that was the direct recipient of federal dollars and that was empowered to enforce its regional land use and transportation plans inch us closer to a regional approach to governing that would make us more cohesive and competitive? The answer largely depends on whether one believes that our existing government structure is ineffective and outdated, and that the collective needs of the region should trump the desires of existing municipal and county units of government. ...

.02 Sub-Regionalism Run Amok

Seattle Transit Blog

... Thankfully, Sound Transit’s sub-area equity protects sub-regions from having to pay for other areas’ attempts at regional one-ups-manship. But nothing could be worse for transit expansion and riders than political stances that ensure that high-cost, low-ridership extensions and routings there just to appease interests that want their section to be special or underground just to compare well to Seattle or be more glamorous for potential investors. If the city of Bellevue tries to force Sound Transit to pay for the tunnel, which would have virtually the same ridership of the at-grade alignment, at the cost of a delayed opening or a truncated line. It’s something that commentators are already arguing for and against and this would already be the second leap in a short time down into the abyss of sub-regionalism, something that really played out last year with Sound Transit’s Snohomish County delegation. ...

.03 Bipolar regionalism is no regionalism at all

The Center for Michigan

... The region can't support two major air transport/logistics systems or two back-biting regional economic development strategies. Coming on the heels of the Cobo debacle, this bipolar regionalism is just one more sign that it's going to take a new generation of political leaders to move ONE region forward. Metro Detroit's young professionals have received much love and good press as they've begun to organize in the past couple of years. This is their challenge.

.04 More Thoughts on the State

City Manager's Blog

... The Ventura City Manager Blog posted a great essay yesterday on the upcoming election and some of the ideas floating around to reform state government. He talked about a group called "Common Sense California". ... Common Sense California doesn't claim we can solve our budget, transportation, economic and environmental challenges with a three point panacea. Their mission is "to help solve California's public problems by promoting citizens' participation in governance. We work with city governments, school districts, regional governance associations, and non-profit organizations to both support and promote legitimate civic involvement." It is a long way from the digital OK Corral of virtual bloggers who never listen because they have all the answers. Which is why a revival of healthy civic involvement is so promising. ...

.05 Local economy Tech clusters will keep us prosperous

Hampton Roads

... the Hampton Roads Research Partnership comes in. We’re in our ninth year and are currently a consortium of seven colleges and universities, two federal laboratories and a research institute ... We at the research partnership think, and are betting on, the viability of Hampton Roads clusters to create not just a small-scale nexus of prosperity, but a model for the regional economy. Our premise in creating clusters in 2004 was to gain the power to compete on an equal footing with other areas in the country by leveraging existing strengths in judiciously selected disciplines. The three technology clusters that we chose – bioscience, modeling and simulation, and sensors – have a critical mass of expertise and proven economic viability in Hampton Roads, ...

.06 Northeast Ohio Group examines possible regional approach

Greater Ohio

... Regional Prosperity Initiative (RPI) taking place in Northeast Ohio appears to have the most headway in creating a new conceptualization of how Ohioans do business. The Regional Prosperity Initiative is composed of multiple drill down teams which collaboration to create policies that, once implemented, “will provide the structure for region-wide land use planning and new growth revenue sharing in the 16-county Northeast Ohio region. ...

.07 A Reality Check Comes to the First Coast

According to research performed by the GeoPlan Center at the University of Florida and the Northeast Florida Regional Council, the First Coast area is expected to projected to add 1.6 million people and 650000 new jobs by 2060. The visioning exercise conducted at the May 21 event was designed raise awareness as to the projected levels of region-wide growth, and to lay the foundation fort the development of a concrete list of next steps to meet the region’s future job, housing, transportation, infrastructure and recreational needs. To that end, over 275 of North Florida’s political, business and non-profit leaders gathered to share their vision of what the First Coast can become. ...

.08 Why a Referendum on County-Wide Planning Will Win

The 1950s was when county government in New York State began to take on some elements of modernity, as Erie County did when it got an elected executive and a legislature to replace the unwieldy amalgam of town supervisors and city councilmen. The Buffalo library got melded into a county-wide library system. Local health departments, several local police functions, most social service functions, clean-water and wastewater systems, and other services started migrating from the town and city level to become county functions. And then the evolution toward regionalism stopped. Abruptly. Why? Simple. It was because political operatives (i.e., the market-savvy people who take these wind-up toys known as politicians and tell them what to say) saw the opportunity, the business opportunity, in keeping things local. ...

.09 Fed, local officials say they'll fight to keep Atlanta-Griffin rail funding

Creative Loafing

Dave Williams of the Atlanta Business Chronicle managed to sneak into the Atlanta Regional Commission's commuter-rail sitdown today at the Henry County Chamber of Commerce. He reports local and federal officials say they support the Atlanta-Griffin project: ...

.10 More 'aerotropolis'

Piedmont Publius

I'm not sure what I'm missing here, but I thought anticipating Piedmont Triad International Airport's conversion into an 'aerotropolis' was what Heart of the Triad was all about. Now we have the Piedmont Triad Leadership Group, which has a plan of its own. Funny, it sounds just like HOT’s plan: ...

.11 Car-Free in America?

Room for Debate Blog – - USA

... While walkable communities have become common all over the United States in the last 15 years, going car-free is another challenge altogether. Is this a realistic goal in a car culture like ours? We asked some urban planners, developers and other experts to comment. ... Reader comment 13. ... Most of the carless zones in Europe depend on close services and foot transport rather than transit and this has been historically true for regions without cars. ...

.12 Intergovernmental Relations Manager: Ottawa Area

Recreation Jobs & News

As a member of FCM’s Advocacy team, the Intergovernmental Relations Manager will work with a team of experts in municipal-federal policy making, government relations and communications, to represent and advance the interests of cities and communities with the Government of Canada. ... Please apply by mail, fax or email by June 1, 2009 to: ...

.13 Amerikan Expose The Threat of Agenda 21 - Sustainable Development

Freedom Fighter Radio

Regional Governance - Undermining state sovereignty and control is essential to the implementation of Agenda 21. Learn how regional governance essentially eliminates state borders and bypasses elected officials in favor of unelected bureaucrats. ...

.14 The Regional National Taxonomy

Id - The Entity Within

... More interestingly meeting a person of an Indian origin in Thailand also makes one forget the regional boundaries. It does not matter there if the person hailed from the same state or hailed from the one diagonally opposite to yours. Being an Asian in countries like US and the UK has also made several people forget the history of bloodshed between India and Pakistan and even China to some extent. Thus as the distance from one’s native land increases, one tends to forget the differences and dislikes that lie within regional boundaries. ...

.15 Maps

This isn't a regional map, people. This is the WHOLE WORLD. Look at Europe. It's just a sort of, “Yeah, Europe, it's *vague hand gesture* up there… somewhere.” It totally reminded me of that famous New Yorker cover of how New Yorkers see the world. ...

.16 Regional Economy Part I

Daily Kos

I believe North America can describe well what happenned to the Regions, in United States, in Canada and in Quebec (what is left of Nouvelle France). Of course the first Inter-Regional Communications Pathways were the rivers, and it is via those rivers or huge lakes that Inter-Regional exchange happened, so far so good as they then say. The North brought Venison, Furs, Cold Medicines and firm flesh fishes and exchange them with the Southern Regions for what was consider as exotic fishes and meat, a lot of vegetables and fruits, etc. ...

.17 Why Geotourism Fits the Inclusive Tourism Model

Rolling Rains Report

Just as there is a very specific definition of the term "Inclusive Tourism" (definition: "the application of the seven principles of Universal Design to the products, services, and policies of the tourism industry at all stages of their lifecycle from conception to retirement and introduction of a replacement") there is also a precise definition for "geotourism": ...

.18 Power Plugs of the World Map


Power plugs by regionNote: many comments.

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 Rebuilding and Renewing America Forum - June 19, Los Angeles - America 2050

The forum will aim to build support for a national infrastructure plan needed for America to respond to the big challenges of rapid population growth, our dependence on foreign oil, climate change, global competitiveness, and deteriorating infrastructure, and identify the major transportation, energy and water infrastructure priorities in the Southwest Megaregion that are issues of national significance.

The forum will take place at the Davidson Conference Center on the campus of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles on Friday, June 19 from 8:00am to 3:30pm. Register online. There is a fee of $25.00 to attend.

.02 Call for Papers - 56th North American Regional Science Association International (RSAI) Conference - San Francisco, November 18 - 21, 2009

The Conference is sponsored by the North American Regional Science Council (NARSC) and the Western Regional Science Association (WRSA). It is easy to register. Click on the link to the conference section for general information on the conference.

To register for the conference or submit an abstract/session online you must first login to the User Area. If you are not in our database, you will need to register for a free NARSC user account and then you will be able to register for the conference and submit an abstract.

If you have questions about the program, local arrangements, or submitting a paper or session, or experience any difficulties, contact the 2009 Program Chair, Serge Rey Email:

For local arrangements issues, please contact the 2009 Local Organizing Committee Chair, David Plane,

.03 Call for Papers - Global Recession: Regional Impacts on Housing, Jobs, Health and Wellbeing - London, November 27, 2009 - RSA Winter Conference

Contributions are welcomed on the following themes:

• Health and welfare at the local and regional scale

• Happiness and wellbeing: definitions and indicators

• Poverty, exclusion and wellbeing

• Social impacts of housing

• The personal, social and financial costs of housing

• Funding public health, housing and care

• Social justice, quality of life and standards of living

• Healthy lifestyles and healthy living

• Jobs, employment and wellbeing

Please submit offers of papers in the form of 400 word abstracts through the Regional Studies Association on-line conference portal by Tuesday 30th June 2009. Your MS Word file should contain your name, telephone, fax and e-mail details.

To submit: follow Winter Conference Call for Papers link.

.04 “Data Governance Part III: Frameworks – Structure for Organizing Complexity” - National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO)

NASCIO is pleased to announce the release of its new research brief. NASCIO is continuing to build its series on enterprise IT governance and data governance in particular. This report will present several leading frameworks and calls to action for the state CIO. This issue brief is available at

Contact Eric Sweden, NASCIO Senior Enterprise Architect

.05 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - Office of Program Planning and Integration – Regional Collaboration

NOAA is expanding upon existing regional coordination and communication efforts with a shift toward Regional Collaboration, which adds the component of integrating program activities to address NOAA’s priorities at both the national and regional scale. The purpose of regional collaboration is to improve NOAA’s productivity and value to customers, using existing authority and accountability structures. This effort does not entail any changes to NOAA’s organizational structure. Rather, it seeks to identify and apply NOAA’s full range of capabilities, within and across regions, to design the best, geographically specific solutions for customers.

.06 Regional Cooperation - Michigan Suburbs Alliance

Regional cooperation is essential to strengthening and uniting older suburbs and to improving the viability of metro Detroit. Michigan is one of the most governmentally fragmented states in the nation and, inevitably, interdependent. While our fragmented system offers many benefits like smaller, more accessible governments, it often results in local interests superseding the welfare of the region. ... Look to our Creating Collaborative Communities project to learn how city leaders, municipal service providers and finance directors are approaching joint service delivery. …

.07 National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD)

The “dialogue and deliberation community” is a community of practitioners, organizations, researchers, public officials, activists, artists, students, and others dedicated to solving problems through honest talk, quality thinking and collaborative action. NCDD provides the infrastructure needed in this community so we can work together to increase both our individual and our collective impact.

If you or your organization actively practices, promotes, or studies collaborative, transformative communication, we encourage you to join the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation. …

.08 Wolfram|Alpha – Places & Geography

Wolfram|Alpha's long-term goal is to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone. We aim to collect and curate all objective data; implement every known model, method, and algorithm; and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything. Our goal is to build on the achievements of science and other systematizations of knowledge to provide a single source that can be relied on by everyone for definitive answers to factual queries. …

Note: Regions are not yet a defined data set. Ed.

.09 Intergovernmental organization - Wikipedia

An intergovernmental organization (IGO) is an organization comprised primarily of sovereign states (referred to as member states), or of other intergovernmental organization. Intergovernmental organizations are often called international organizations, although that term may also include international nongovernmental organization such as international non-profit organizations (NGOs) or multinational corporations.

.10 Nassim Nicholas Taleb: A Crazier Future -

The Long Now Foundation - Stewart Brand Hosts Seminars About Long-term Thinking. Nassim Nicholas Taleb discusses his book, "The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable" in relation to predicting the future, learning from the consequences of the unknown, and the power of randomness.

14. Financial Crisis. Contents

.01 Prudent Chile Thrives Amid Downturn - Wall Street Journal - USA

During the emerging economies' commodities boom a few years back, Chilean Finance Minister Andrés Velasco was a wet blanket at the fiesta. Chile, the world's largest copper producer, was reaping a bonanza from the quadrupling in the metal's price. Mr. Velasco insisted on squirreling away a large chunk in a rainy-day fund.

As the savings swelled above $20 billion -- more than 15% of Chile's economic output -- Mr. Velasco faced growing pressure to break open the piggy bank. In September, protesters barged into a presentation by Mr. Velasco, carrying an effigy of him and shouting, "The copper money is for the poor people."

The 48-year-old Mr. Velasco, wary that a flood of copper income could generate lending and consumption bubbles, stood his ground, even as the popularity of the center-left government withered. Latin American history, he cautioned, was full of "booms that had been mismanaged and ended badly."

Today Mr. Velasco looks like a prophet. Since the onset of the global economic crisis, copper prices have fallen by 50%, in line with the sharp decline in other commodities. Emerging economies that got too giddy in the good years are now coping with nasty hangovers. Soybean-dependent Argentina is facing a possible debt default while oil-rich Russia has been stuck bailing out banks and companies that got in over their heads in debt.

Thanks to Mr. Velasco's caution, Chile is now in a position to try to bootstrap its own recovery from the global recession. Mr. Velasco's preemptive moves have kept Chile's government from having to spend a single peso on bank bailouts. Having paid down foreign debt during the fat years, Chile is now a net creditor nation, with a debt rating that was upgraded by Moody's Investors Service in March.


.02 Thriving Norway Provides an Economics Lesson - New York Times - USA

When capitalism seemed on the verge of collapse last fall, Kristin Halvorsen, Norway’s Socialist finance minister and a longtime free market skeptic, did more than crow.

As investors the world over sold in a panic, she bucked the tide, authorizing Norway’s $300 billion sovereign wealth fund to ramp up its stock buying program by $60 billion — or about 23 percent of Norway ’s economic output.

The global financial crisis has brought low the economies of just about every country on earth. But not Norway.

With a quirky contrariness as deeply etched in the national character as the fjords carved into its rugged landscape, Norway has thrived by going its own way. When others splurged, it saved. When others sought to limit the role of government, Norway strengthened its cradle-to-grave welfare state.

And in the midst of the worst global downturn since the Depression, Norway’s economy grew last year by just under 3 percent. The government enjoys a budget surplus of 11 percent.

Norway is a relatively small country with a largely homogeneous population of 4.6 million and the advantages of being a major oil exporter. It counted $68 billion in oil revenue last year as prices soared to record levels. Even though prices have sharply declined, the government is not particularly worried. That is because Norway avoided the usual trap that plagues many energy-rich countries.

Instead of spending its riches lavishly, it passed legislation ensuring that oil revenue went straight into its sovereign wealth fund, state money that is used to make investments around the world. Now its sovereign wealth fund is close to being the largest in the world, despite losing 23 percent last year because of investments that declined.

Norway’s relative frugality stands in stark contrast to Britain, which spent most of its North Sea oil revenue …

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 2,095 regional related sites as of May 27, 2009. Entering the term regionalization returned 559 items; regionalized returned 313 items.

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

Making visible such cross-boundary planning, collaboration and cooperative action at multi-jurisdictional networked regional scales, public, private and NGO is my 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 of 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 excerpts and 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.

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