Regional Community Development News – February 25, 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 - .37

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet11.01 - .27

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .22

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .09

Financial Crisis …14.01 - .03

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

Top Regional Community stories

1. Time is right for regional leaders to come forward - Fort Worth Business Press - Texas, USA

In November 2006, three of our North Texas mayors came together for a common cause: bringing one of the largest sporting events in the world to our region. The commitment of the mayors of Arlington, Dallas and Fort Worth, as well as many other individuals and organizations including the North Texas Commission, proved successful when the National Football League announced that Super Bowl XLV will be held here in February 2011. What a win for North Texas.

While the competing teams will be facing off at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, this Super Bowl will be known as the North Texas Super Bowl to further reinforce regional collaboration.

Leadership North Texas, a program of the North Texas Commission and the North Texas Future Fund, is a graduate-level leadership program aimed at educating and enabling leaders who have a strong commitment to regional growth and North Texas. Participants will be a regionally diverse group of 35 individuals from throughout the region who already have a strong understanding of local leadership and possess the desire to serve on a regional level.

As North Texas continues to grow at one of the fastest rates in the country, it is imperative that our regional leaders have a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities we face. Through nine program days, Leadership North Texas participants will learn about regional opportunities and challenges, and about the North Texas economy, our workforce and our education systems, sustainable development in North Texas, how to build a healthy region and how to move our goods and people efficiently throughout the region. …

You may be asking yourself what are the qualities of a regional leader.

A regional leader is someone who can come to understand …

RC: North Central Texas Council of Governments -

2. Region reaches high - - Cincinnati, OH, USA

After two years, more than two dozen community meetings involving the work of more than 1,000 volunteers, and a survey of nearly 5,000 people, the last thing the organizers of the Agenda 360 communitywide plan want is for their 12,000-word report, which was made public Friday, to be noted with a pat on the back, a "nice work" compliment, and then shelved.

How they plan to move this far-reaching regional agenda forward and achieve some of the goals they've set will be the key to whether the report is translated into action, results and progress - which is its intent - or whether it's forgotten.

The plan is broad and its ideas big, as it lays out a half-dozen chief priorities for the entire metropolitan statistical area, followed by 18 recommendations for realizing those goals.

One key to getting the job done will be the organizers' decision from the outset to tap into the work of existing organizations and attempt to align their work with the overarching goals of Agenda 360.

"We didn't want to re-invent the wheel when we already had good things happening," said Myrita Craig, who will lead the next steps as executive director of the Office of Agenda 360.

Agenda 360 leaders have signed agreements with several civic organizations, including the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, the University of Cincinnati, OKI Council of Regional Governments [] and the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, which have agreed to be formal partners in working toward the goals.

"We didn't want to create a new bureaucracy and another layer of complexity," said Agenda 360 co-chair Kevin Ghassomian.

In transportation, for example, OKI [ ] has already established a Regional Freight Working Group to consider ways to improve the flow of goods through the area's roads and rail lines. That work …

Agenda 360 report:

3. Network matches Northeast Ohio workers to skills - Akron Beacon Journal, OH

Thousands of Northeast Ohio workers are looking for employers.

Thousands of Northeast Ohio employers are looking for workers.

What keeps them apart is a disconnect between the skills once valued by our industrial past, and the needs of a new high-tech, service-oriented, knowledge-based economy.

Enter the Regional Talent Network, a new group charged with building a work force pipeline to fill high-demand jobs.

RTN represents the first time that businesses, colleges and work force development organizations from across the region have united to address the issue of talent development, said Greater Akron Chamber President Dan Colantone.

''We know that the market for talent in Northeast Ohio is regional, with workers crossing county lines — sometimes multiple county lines — in their daily commutes, so it is appropriate that we all work together to address the critical issue,'' he said.

The state put a spotlight on the talent gap last year, when it launched a pair of manpower efforts.

One initiative, the Ohio Workforce Guarantee Program, gives grants to relocating or expanding companies so they can train the workers they need.

The other — the Ohio Skills Bank — has been coaxing businesses and educators in 12 defined economic development regions to talk about how to build a pipeline of talent to match current and future vocational needs.

That's where RTN can have a real impact, said Eric Fingerhut, chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents.

''In Northeast Ohio, we have a special collaboration in the Regional Talent Network, …

RTN is largely funded through The Fund for Our Economic Future [], a partnership of the region's philanthropic community.

Jon Honeck, senior researcher for Policy Matters Ohio, said a lot of areas in the state are having trouble getting similar efforts off the ground because of a lack of funding.

4. How many jurisdictions does it take to run a region? - Minneapolis Star Tribune - Minneapolis, MN, USA

About 30 years ago, twinkle-eyed state Rep. James Pehler drafted a bill that, had he introduced it, would have caused a stir in his district. It would have planted a compass point on a map of downtown St. Cloud, drawn a circle with a 30-mile radius and made it the boundary of a new jurisdiction, to be aptly named "Round County." Existing county boundaries inside the circle were to be erased.

He was only half-joking, the retired legislator and educator recalls. He'd had it with the jurisdictional squabbles that were slowing the construction of the Hwy. 15-Interstate 94 junction and complicating a lot more of government's work. Pehler was prepared to make a sincere effort to put St. Cloud and its suburbs in one county if other area legislators would join him.

His contemporaries, shrewd politicians all, declined. …

In 2005, when then-state Rep. Joe Opatz had the courage to introduce a serious version of Pehler's county consolidation idea, he ran into bill-killing opposition.

"It wasn't from the public. The public gets this," recalled Opatz, who is now president of Normandale Community College. "The county commissioners were the problem."

For the encouragement, Haws and like-minded government thinkers look to the Legislature. Stearns County Board Chair DeWayne Mareck asks: What if the next biennium's local government aid went not to individual municipalities, but to regions? What if county funds went to clusters of counties?

"We need to think more as local government, not as town government, city government and county government," said Mareck. He's been elected to offices at all three levels and is convinced that there's money to be saved through consolidation.

How much, and how quickly? The tsunami of red ink headed toward every government budget is calling those questions.

5. Municipalities eye regionalization potential -New England Business Bulletin - New Bedford, MA, USA

Hathaway News Service interviewed officials from Somerset, Middleboro, Dartmouth, Fall River, and Fairhaven to gauge their mood on the subject of working together in the face of 2009's economic reality.

Their answers demonstrated that considerable thought is being given to the subject at the local level although there's still some question about what it will take to move cities and towns off the thought process and into action.

"There's lot of stuff you can do," Somerset Town Administrator Dennis Luttrell said. "You just have to think outside of the box. Towns tend to be parochial. They have a long history of working independently. There has to be an impetus for them to get together. The economy may have to be that impetus."

Luttrell worked in a regional government in Colorado where he said building inspectors, sanitation inspections and environmental positions were shared among cities and towns. He said the sheriff's department in that state handled dispatch services for police, fire and highway services. Luttrell said he was a county commissioner in Colorado, covering an area half the size of Rhode Island, which he said was similar to being a selectman in Massachusetts towns, but on a regional basis.

"It worked quite well," Luttrell said.

State Rep. Patricia Haddad (D-Somerset), … Over the next two years, she said the state will be asking cities and towns to "economize and cooperate." Regionalization is not a popular term right now with cities and towns, but she said, the state will be encouraging it more and more.

… state is giving cities and towns two years to try to arrange their own collaborations together. If none of those collaborations come to fruition, she said the state House of Representatives and Senate will file legislation to require them to work together. …

6. United Upstate could plan regionally - Greenville News - Greenville, SC, USA

Organizers of a new push for regional planning in the Upstate say they don't want to dictate the specific outcomes of the initiative but instead want ideas to bubble up from the 10 counties they're trying to rally for the cause.

An organizer said one possibility is the South Carolina Conservation Bank, a state program that protects special lands from development.

The Upstate, if it comes together for regional planning, could speak with one voice in making applications to the Conservation Bank, said Jacki Martin, who is managing the push for regional planning for the Urban Land Institute.

… possible outcome of the regional planning push is agreement among the 10 counties to coordinate development of their individual comprehensive plans.

The effort is supported by a broad group of civic leaders and organizations, including two prominent businessmen from Greenville: Irv Welling, former chairman of the Elliott Davis accounting firm, and Steve Navarro, president of The Furman Co., a real estate firm.

They said the Upstate stands to add 234,000 residents, 118,000 households and 203,000 jobs by 2030. The figures come from Woods & Poole Economics Inc., a research firm, and are more conservative than those from the federal Census Bureau, Martin said.

Navarro said the Upstate needs to decide how it will grow.

… Urban Land Institute has sponsored Reality Check events around the country, including one in Charleston in 2007 that Martin helped organize.

The Upstate event marks the start of a multi-year "collaborative regional visioning process" to define a shared vision for planning, organizers say. A special committee will develop an "action plan" based on ideas that surface at the April 8 event. A group called Upstate Together [ ] will then work to implement the plan.

Upstate Forever – Counties of Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg, Union -

Regional Councils -

S.C. Appalachian Council of Government - Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg -

Upper Savannah Council of Government - Abbeville, Greenwood, Laurens -

Catawba Regional Council of Governments – Union

7. Towns can consolidate their services, save money - Norwich Bulletin - Norwich, CT, USA

There’s an interesting dance at the state Capitol every year. Mayors and other municipal chief executives come to Hartford looking for more state funding and state officials do their best to oblige, recognizing the importance of municipal aid and its effect on property taxes. In good times, we find the money. In bad times, we hold the line.

And in bad times of historic proportions — where we are today — we have the opportunity to do something historic.

Towns such as Norwich are hamstrung because the property tax is the only means of raising revenue. There’s no local income tax, local option tax or local hotel tax. The property tax is it, and all of us, as property taxpayers, know that the burden is heavy.

There is a solution: regionalism. By reorganizing some local services, towns such as Norwich could save money and property taxpayers wouldn’t have to shoulder as much of the load. Regionalism makes sense. For instance, Connecticut has more separate 911 dispatch services than the state of California. Regional dispatch would save money and increase efficiency. That is just one example of a common-sense, money-saving idea through regional cooperation.

In fact, there is a proposal that would funnel a portion of the state’s sales tax receipts to cities and towns that regionalize based on a specific set of guidelines outlined by the state’s Smart Growth Task Force.

Step One: Towns would sign on to participate in regional coordination efforts including: establishing an “economic district” under federal standards; adopting a regional property tax revenue sharing plan and enacting an agreement among member towns for regional collective bargaining. As an incentive, the state would grant relief from certain mandates — providing an immediate cost savings.

Step Two: Towns, through their regions, would implement regionalization plans. As an incentive, the state …


8. Collaborative cost cutting - The Macomb Daily News - Macomb County, MI, USA

Facing a gloomy financial forecast, two Macomb County communities will consider "collaboration" to provide government services cheaper and more efficiently.

Officials in Center Line and Warren expect to discuss possible changes to the cities' libraries, district court, property assessing departments and police and fire dispatch.

The Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments [], a regional planning agency, recently told top administrators and elected officials that municipalities can expect a severe, 20 percent drop in property tax revenue over the next three years. The decline is due to the slumping housing market.

Instead of immediately eliminating or curtailing services, issuing layoffs or raising taxes when finances are tight, SEMCOG urges its member communities to consider collaboration.

"When dealing with a potential 20 percent property tax drop over the next three years, drastic action may be needed," said SEMCOG consultant Dave Boerger. "I've seen many examples of the wrong way to slash and cut. We're trying to propose the right way to do such things."

After a cursory review of the budgets of Warren and Center Line, Boerger suggested the four departments as areas where both cities could work together to reduce costs. He didn't propose the outright elimination of one service to spare the identical one in the other city, but conceded that elimination of jobs — either by attrition or layoffs — is the most significant way to reduce costs.


SEMCOG's member communities in its seven-county region are increasingly interested in collaboration ideas. Representatives of approximately 100 local governments recently attended a workshop and government restructuring. Harrison Township, for example, has asked for follow-up facilitation from the regional planning agency.

Currently, a group of five governments are progressing toward some unspecified collaboration. Boerger, the SEMCOG consultant, declined to identify the municipalities, saying they hope to proceed without fanfare until agreements are reached.

9. Turf buster: Enterprise architecture does the trick - - Falls Church, VA, USA brings services from 11 agencies under one online umbrella.

Just a few years ago, a vacation planner who wanted to learn about opportunities for camping, hiking and boating on federal lands had to look for information on several Web sites housed in three separate, unrelated agencies.

Now they can find everything they need at, a one-stop online shop that incorporates information from 11 different agencies spread across the federal government, from the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management to the Army Corps of Engineers and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Creating a Web site that combines information from multiple agencies is always difficult, especially when agency leaders become territorial about the data they supply. But the Interior Department, the spearhead of, combined a well-developed enterprise architecture with a set of strong policies to make it happen.

“Technology is probably the least of the challenges,” Coggins said. “The most significant challenge in many cases is breaking down the turfdoms which exist at agencies.” Agency leaders can balk at sharing an identity at a site such as,[] which blurs the traditional lines of demarcation and can make the exact source of information all but invisible to the casual user.

Architecture policies that work

Lessons learned from successful enterprise architecture implementations include:

* Require collaboration between business and technology specialists.

* Use segmented architecture rather than the traditional comprehensive one.

* Allow legacy systems to go unmodernized if they work well.

* Insist that action items be realistic.

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 How the Crash Will Reshape America: The Winners and Losers - THE ATLANTIC - Creative Class Group Notice

Richard Florida addresses the economic crisis in this month's cover story for The Atlantic. The crash of 2008 continues to reverberate loudly nationwide - destroying jobs, bankrupting businesses, and displacing homeowners. But already, it has damaged some places much more severely than others. America's economic landscape will look very different than it does today. What fate will the coming years hold for New York, Charlotte, Detroit, Las Vegas? Will the suburbs be ineffably changed? Find out which cities and regions can come back strong in this exclusive cover story. And which will never come back at all? Richard Florida explores how the financial meltdown will forever change our geography.

.02 Local leaders scramble for transportation money

Colorado Daily - Boulder, CO, USA

The competition is fierce: The Denver Regional Council of Governments, which is disbursing $60 million in transportation money, has hundreds of projects to choose among, with funding requests totaling $600 million. ... “The overriding criteria, the No. 1 criteria, is ‘ready to go,’ ... Boulder County’s transportation director, said county planners started aggressive work more than a year ago after voters agreed to extend a sales tax for transportation funding. ... ... We’ve been working hard to have projects on the shelf, ready to go,” he said. “Often money becomes available quickly, and you have to be able to react quickly.”

.03 Aging boomers test community planners

Atlanta Journal Constitution - Atlanta, GA, USA

A report by the ARC and the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government says “this tremendous shift will transform the region and challenge every aspect of community life. It will force local leaders to question the way billions of dollars are spent. It will affect the way public and private services are delivered, homes are built, even the way streets are crossed.” With that in mind, the ARC and a noted design firm —- Miami-based Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. —- will embark Monday on an intense nine-day workshop to plan five communities geared toward meeting the needs of older metro residents. But these urban and suburban sites won’t be age-restricted communities. Instead, they will be “lifelong communities” containing housing types and amenities for all age groups, because those are the surroundings many baby boomers prefer. ...

.04 One leader sees a green future for Detroit

Detroit Free Press – USA

The Detroit Marshall Plan is an important step in that direction, and because it has the support of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments and other regional actors, it should have enhanced appeal for Washington's stimulus planners. And the Marshall Plan's focus on leveraging transit for the city's future comes just as private interests are to embark on the first serious rapid transit efforts in decades for the region. As the plan's authors outlined in a letter seeking support from the state's congressional delegation, this isn't about looking for a handout for the city. It's about convincing the entire region that investment in Detroit could pay big dividends for everyone. A thriving Detroit could once again be the primary cylinder driving Michigan's economic engine. ...

.05 FY10 budget squeezes, eases

Barnstable Patriot - Barnstable, MA, USA

Cape Codders, your county commissioners have heard your cry for regionalization and have responded – but it will cost you. The proposed Barnstable County fiscal year 2010 budget includes $150,000 to set up an Office of Regionalization that will also employ state technical assistance funds to pay for service regionalization studies requested by towns. Those requests include examination of joint assessing operations as well as police and fire dispatch. ...

.06 Will 'Regionalization' Be The End To Small Towns?

WBZ - Boston, MA, USA

In Melrose, regionalization could mean health department functions or veteran's services or perhaps the duties of the town assessor are combined with other communities. But the Mayor of Melrose, Rob Dolan, says this is beyond the good idea phase. This is something towns have to do. "We have to break down the man made borders or we are not going to survive in this environment," he said. The Patrick-Murray administration is working hard to break down those borders. In fact, new legislation offers communities cash incentives to think outside their boundaries. ...

.07 Rumblings For Government Regionalism In Lower New York State: Three County Merger Suggested

News Copy, New York

Most of New York's lawmakers are still hiding under their desks when the subject of government consolidation comes up. I guess they don't want their jobs downsized out in the process. Meanwhile, Rethinking Westchester Government's pitch to eliminate the existing county government in sleepy suburbia is starting to gain some traction. ... The newest and probably most "out of the box" idea comes from Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, co-founder of the group, and he borrows from an existing MTA plan to regionalism all mass transportion in lower New York State. Feiner asks the question: Why not regionalize county governments? ...

.08 Volunteer nature of regionalism bills questioned

Norwich Bulletin - Norwich, CT, USA

Sharkey, who has introduced regionalism bills through the Planning and Development Committee which he chairs, cautioned against a “one-size-fits-all” strategy. “There are no silver bullets to this,” he said. The bills would change how local property tax and state sales tax revenue are distributed for towns that band together to save money on various services. Groups of towns would have to become certified as federal economic development districts, agree not to compete against each on significant projects, and concur on regional revenue-sharing formulas, Sharkey said. ...

.09 Dallas-Fort Worth officials ask suburbs to chip in to get transportation bill passed

Fort Worth Star Telegram - Fort Worth, TX, USA

Fort Worth, Arlington and the Tarrant Regional Transportation Coalition have agreed to pay HillCo $275,000 for its transportation lobbying efforts. The coalition and Fort Worth approved separate contracts of $100,000 each, while Arlington authorized $75,000. The transportation coalition, composed of 38 cities and four counties, is also asking for additional payments from smaller suburban cities in what it predicts will be a hefty and costly undertaking. ...

.10 48th Regional Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast at Hyatt Regency Crown Center

Kansas City

... the Regional Mayors' Prayer Breakfast will be held at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center. 115 mayors and other officials from throughout the Greater Kansas City region will be recognized. ... The Mayors' Regional Prayer Breakfast is co-sponsored by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. ...

.11 United Way Merger Talks End

KSHB-TV 41 - Kansas City, Mo.

After more than 8 years of discussions about merging, talks have ended between United Way of Greater Kansas City and United Way of Wyandotte County. In 2007, four of the five area United Ways merged ... Wyandotte County United Way has now re-affirmed its wish to continue operating alone and to end merger talks. ...

.12 Light-rail ridership exceeds expectation

The Arizona Republic

The region's light-rail system beat ridership expectations in its first month of regular service. ... Average weekday ridership was nearly 5,000 more than expected. More surprisingly, Saturday ridership was about 10,000 more than expected, and mostly attributed to special events. The numbers are important for several reasons. If light rail's popularity holds, the ridership numbers will bolster the region's claims that the federal government should help pay for light-rail extensions being planned. More riders also mean more revenue, which reduces operating subsidies from Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa. ...

.13 Bay Area Council says layoffs to accelerate

Sacramento Business Journal - Sacramento, CA, USA

The Bay Area Council said Thursday that business confidence among Bay Area business leaders has reached a new record low and "significant" new layoffs are expected in the region -- a forecast that could have repercussions for the Sacramento region, which typically has strong ties to the Bay Area. ... Founded in 1945, the Bay Area Council develops and drives regional public policy initiatives and researches critical infrastructure issues. Led by CEOs, the Bay Area Council presents a voice for hundreds of major employers throughout the Bay Area region whom employ more than 500,000 workers, or 1 of every six private sector employees in the Bay Area.

.14 Stimulus bill: $1.45B for Great Lakes wastewater

Chicago Tribune - United States

The Great Lakes region would receive $1.45 billion to modernize wastewater infrastructure under the economic stimulus package moving through Congress. ... Andy Buchsbaum of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition said Friday the stimulus funding would be an important step toward cleaning up the lakes and would immediately create jobs. ...,0,3847343.story

.15 Wheels up: Continental’s application to join the Star Alliance merits prompt approval

Houston Chronicle - United States

Welcome to the not-so-friendly skies. In 2009, the name of the game in some quarters of the ultracompetitive airline industry appears to be this: Form a powerful alliance in hopes of dominating international air service, then attempt to block your major domestic competitor from forming a partnership of its own. ... For the Houston region, Continental’s entry into the Star Alliance is an economic competitiveness issue of the first order. Continental provides Houston with unexcelled air service domestically and internationally. The airline also is an invaluable tool in attracting new businesses to this area. ...

.16 Rail Coalition says West Central Wisconsin Should be part of Planned Wisconsin High-Speed Rail Network

WQOW TV News 18 - Eau Claire, WI, USA

With the Wisconsin Department of Transportation in Eau Claire today to receive public comment on its "Connections 2030" long-range transportation plan, the West Central Wisconsin Rail Coalition is seeking changes to the plan that would include the region in WisDOT's plans for a high speed rail network. ...

.17 Big Rigs, Move Over


A pilot program that restricts big rigs from the left-hand lanes on portions of Interstate 30 in Tarrant County and Interstate 20 in Dallas County is about to be expanded. "We had dramatic reductions in crashes in those sections where the restrictions were in place," said Rachel Wiggens, of the North Central Texas Council of Governments. She said the program reduced crashes by 20 percent, increased traffic flow and improved air quality. ...

.18 Consolidation debate expected to re-emerge

Hutchinson News - Hutchinson, KS, USA

In fact, after years of debate, House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, said this week that he's hoping to finally give governments the power to merge functions without legislative approval. " ... This year's proposal comes from the Kansas Advisory Council on Intergovernmental Relations, a 15-member task force seeking to modernize government that is led by Secretary of Revenue ...

.19 Perdue names site for Charlotte office - Charlotte, NC, USA

N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue this afternoon announced that she'll put her Charlotte office in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center. ... Last month, Perdue named Charlotte's Marion Sullivan director of intergovernmental affairs. In that post, she'll serve as a liaison to local governments, constituent groups and the governor's regional offices, including the new one in Charlotte.

.20 Washington State Tourism schedules Geotourism workshops in the Central Cascades - USA

Washington State Tourism will host seven product development workshops for visitor-related businesses beginning on Feb. 9 in Cowlitz County and wrapping up in Thurston County on Feb. 20. The workshops are designed to stimulate increased visitor spending in the Central Cascades, which will be spotlighted by National Geographic’s next geotourism map due out in September 2009. ...

.21 Wiggins introduces legislation relating to LAFCO decisions on community boundaries

Lake County News - Lakeport, CA, USA

North Coast State Senator Patricia Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa) has introduced new legislation requiring local agency formation commissions, or LAFCOs, to consider “sustainable community strategies” before making boundary decisions. ... While MPOs must consider LAFCOs’ planning documents, there is no reciprocal requirement for LAFCOs to consider the MPOs’ sustainable communities strategies and alternative planning strategies. Wiggins chairs the Senate Committee on Local Government. Her legislation, Senate Bill 215, seeks to add regional transportation plans, including their sustainable communities strategies or alternative planning strategies,” to the list of factors that LAFCOs must consider when acting on city and special district boundary changes. ...

.22 Earth to City Council: Take the Cobo deal

Detroit Free Press – Detroit, MI

In most regions, regional governance would be a no-brainer for a facility that both makes significant demands on Detroit's neighboring municipalities and helps sustain them. ... The council's choice is simple: It can embrace a less-than-perfect plan that enjoys regional support, or it can persist in the delusions that Detroit is still in the driver's seat, and a more-generous Cobo deal is just around the corner.

.23 Ideas shouldn't go to Pierre to die

Rapid City Journal - Rapid City, SD, USA

The Legislature is aggressively searching for ways to generate revenue but at least two creative ways to save money and heighten efficiency in state operations aren’t getting much attention. ... Brian Dreyer, also a Rapid City Republican, sponsored a resolution to put a massive county consolidation plan before voters in the 2010 general election. ... It marked the third unsuccessful attempt to study county consolidation. Pierre shouldn’t be a place ideas go to die, yet that’s exactly what happened — neither proposal made it out of its respective legislative committee. ...

.24 Cuomo pushes consolidation

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle - Rochester, NY, USA

... archaic and cumbersome state laws make it difficult for government leaders and citizens to reorganize and consolidate. Cuomo is touring the state, touting his plan to reduce property taxes and improve efficiency by making it easier to consolidate. His plan offers three voluntary tracks, initiated either by a county executive, town board or citizen petition. ....

.25 Consolidation often efficient

Charlottesville Daily Progress - Charlottesville, VA, USA

... At this very moment Albemarle County is constructing school additions, while Charlottesville classrooms are being underutilized. Consolidating affordable housing programs would be simple compared to consolidating schools. Huge logistical, political and emotional obstacles may loom. But not even this option should be off the table.

.26 Inter-library cooperation at risk

Hingham Journal - MA, USA

In response to the need to make sometimes drastic, townwide budget cuts, municipal officials are beginning to take a broader look at developing regionalized services. “Ironically, one of the most enduring and best examples of integrated regional delivery of services is at risk as cities and towns slash library budgets,” Corcoran said. “State aid standards have worked extremely well in better times and even in mild downturns, but the current basis for interlibrary cooperation could be an unintended victim of today’s financial dislocation.” ...

.27 How safe are our restaurants?

South Coast Today - New Bedford, MA, USA

Regional inspection services Another concept in the front of everyone's brain right now is regionalization, with the state championing proposals to have communities work together to provide certain services, perhaps even enhancing current efforts. It could be beneficial in food inspection services, Condon said. Following a recent survey of public health officials, "we've seen a pattern that suggests some of the approach taken at the local level needs to be enhanced, perhaps by promoting regionalization efforts," she said. "The platform has been laid down. Some of the vehicles are in place. Now it's a matter of working with people across the state." ...

.28 Eldridge will be chairman of regional government committee

The Beacon-Villager - Concord, MA, USA

“As Chair of the Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government, I look forward to examining ways to create cost savings for towns and cities and encourage regionalization of services. As our communities are facing cuts to local aid, it’s more important than ever that we take a hard look at municipal reforms to support our towns and cities,” said Eldridge. ...

.29 State of the States: Importance of Religion


The United States is generally a religious nation, although the degree of this religiosity varies across states and regions of the country. A robust 65% of all Americans (across the entire U.S. population) reported in 2008 that religion was important in their daily live. ... The map demonstrates that the relative importance of religion in Americans' lives has interesting geographical differentiation. ...

.30 Appeals court overturns new mountaintop mine rules

The Associated Press

... Janet Keating, executive director of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, the lead challenger of the Corps' permits. "We are deeply disappointed. A half dozen environmental groups, including OVEC and the Sierra Club, blasted the ruling, saying in a news release it will allow up to 90 more mountaintop mines to devastate the region. Already, the groups say more than 1,200 miles of streams have been buried. ...

.31 Regional council plans more health care for kids

Arizona Republic - Phoenix, AZ, USA

Increasing access of health care for Ahwatukee, Chandler and Tempe children is one focus for a regional council that is part of a statewide organization created when voters approved a 2006 initiative to improve early childhood development in Arizona. More than $5 million will be funneled into the Central Maricopa Regional Partnership Council of First Things First beginning in July. First Things First, which draws its funds from an 80-cent tax on packs of cigarettes and other tobacco products, relies on 31 regional councils to identify and then tackle issues specific to their areas. ...

.32 Juvenile facility planned for area

The Daily Advertiser - Lafayette, LA, USA

"This facility marks a major step for juvenile justice reform in this state, implementing best practices for regional services that improve care and outcomes for young people in the juvenile justice system," Jindal said in the statement. ... a major component of the reform effort is a move toward regionalized secure care in therapeutic facilities, as well as establishing a community-based, school-based and regionally-based system of progressive sanctions and services for juveniles who have committed delinquent acts. …

.33 Attorney wants action on Thompson cases

Cherokee Scout - Murphy, NC, USA

... county is denying responsibility in the matter. County attorney Scott Lindsay previously said there is government immunity for the state and county if they haven’t purchased insurance. The county has not waived government immunity concerning the septic issue. “The county should have major liability,” Steinbronn said. “The board of health is one of those freakish entities that cross jurisdictional lines. The county has responsibility to make sure people get what they pay for. ...

.34 Wolf Web site unveiled

Montana's News Station - Missoula, MT, USA

The Western Wolf Coalition, comprised of 17 conservation and wildlife organizations, launched Thursday. The Web site features data and reports from wildlife agencies in the states of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, top wolf biologists, and news sources from around the region to dispel myths about wolves in the northern Rockies. ...

.35 Study: Big regional differences in Medicare costs

The Associated Press - U.S.

"There are no financial rewards for collaboration, coordination or conservative practice," the study said. The study found that among the 25 largest hospital-referral regions, Manhattan was the costliest, at $12114 per patient in 2006. Minneapolis was the least expensive, at $6,705 per patient. Among states, New York spent the most per Medicare enrollee: $9,564 per patient. Hawaii spent the least: $5,311. .... On the Net: Regional comparisons:

.36 Mayors meet with Obama, Office of Urban Affairs created

American City & County

More than 80 U.S. mayors met with President Obama Friday, the day after the president signed an executive order creating the White House Office of Urban Affairs (OUA). OUA will coordinate policies on urban development across all executive offices of the president.

The mayors, under the leadership of Washington-based U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) President Manny Diaz, met with Obama and Vice President Biden, along with several other members of Obama's cabinet. The meeting was held to discuss cities' role in implementing the recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and how to get money from the stimulus plan flowing to cities. ...

.37 Nationally, Home Price Declines Closed Out 2008 with Record Lows According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Prices Indices

Standard & Poor’s – Press Release

New York, February 24, 2009 – Data through December 2008, released today by Standard & Poor’s for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, show that the prices of existing single family homes across the United States continue to set record declines, a trend that prevailed throughout all of 2007 and 2008.


Historical list of reports:,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,3,1,0,0,0,0,0.html

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 National Geographic Geotourism Contest Seeks Top Innovators in Sustainable Tourism

Media News International

The National Geographic Society and Ashoka’s Changemakers today opened the entry process for the second annual “Geotourism Challenge” to showcase how tourism done well sustains, enhances and preserves local culture and the environment. The competition will identify individuals worldwide who have introduced the most innovative practices in tourism and destination stewardship. ... accept online applications at through May 20, 2009. ...

.02 Stanford case deals 'reputational blow' to offshore markets

Jamaica Gleaner

... end of the Cold War effectively cast the Caribbean adrift and led to an understanding that overcoming smallness would require future development to occur through regional economic integration and global competitiveness. But well before achieving any adequate form of integration or regional governance, external pressure led the Caribbean to join the WTO, liberalise its economies and unquestioningly embrace the Washington consensus before having fully adjusted to the rapid reduction in its dependence on preference and external aid. The global recession throws this experience into sharp relief and may well force the region to confront the unresolved contradictions of its historic commitment to social provision and equity, with its apparently universal commitment to growth, the market and a desire to consume in the image of the US.

.03 Russian president fires four regional governors

Reuters - USA

Medvedev signed decrees relieving the governors of the Oryol, Pskov and Voronezh regions and the Nenetsky autonomous district of their jobs. A Kremlin spokesman said all the governors had asked to step down. ... Russia has 83 regional leaders. A senior Kremlin political advisor acknowledged a link between the personnel changes and a global slump which has hit Russia harder than many comparable emerging economies. ...

.04 Moscow's Policies are Transforming Regionalists into Separatists

Georgian Daily - New York, NY, USA

Even as the EU seeks to promote a Europe of the regions, Moscow in its drive to make the Russian Federation into a nation-state is transforming regionalists, who could be an important source of cohesion, into separatists who threaten the territorial integrity of the country, according to a Russian specialist on federalism. In an essay posted online yesterday, Vadim Shtepa, who writes frequently on the interaction of central policy, federal arrangements and ethnicity in Russia, argues that just as Moscow borrowed the idea of the nation state when Europe was giving it up, so too the Russian government has failed to understand the nature and utility of regionalism. ...

.05 Fish migrating to cooler waters, study says


A new study predicts that by 2050, large numbers of marine species will migrate from tropical seas toward cooler waters -- specifically the Arctic and Southern Ocean -- at an average rate of 40 to 45 kilometers (about 25 to 28 miles) per decade. ... "Catch will decline in countries along the tropics like Malaysia where the conditions are too hot, and high-latitude countries like Russian and Norway will win," said Daniel Pauly, director of the Fisheries Centre at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. The migrations could have economic and political implications if fish eventually drift across boundaries into waters controlled by neighboring countries, he said. ...

.06 Cisco Systems unveils global blueprint for cities

ZDNet Asia, Singapore

Technology has made possible better management of cities and their amenities so that citizens can enjoy better quality of life. To this end, Cisco Systems unveiled in Bengaluru city on Thursday, its "Intelligent Urbanization" blueprint. Through this global framework, Cisco plans to help cities around the world use the network as the next utility for integrated city management, better quality of life for citizens and economic development. ... the Incheon Metropolitan City in South Korea and it will collaborate to transform the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) into a center of globalization expertise in the Asia-Pacific region. As part of this collaboration, Cisco will provide its experience and technologies around creating "intelligent urbanization" for the Korean city.,39044192,62050971,00.htm?scid=rss_z_nw

.07 Korea Must Stamp Out Regional Factionalism - South Korea

... there was a marked preference in favor of people from the Gyeongsang region, with 8 out of 10 executive positions at the personnel office of Cheong Wa Dae coming from there. Regionalism, in other words, has reared its ugly head once again in Korean politics. Previous governments have been criticized for favoritism in terms of blood ties, academic affiliations or social ties. ...

.08 Regional water system a must

Lac du Bonnet Leader - Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba, Canada

There seems to be a million reasons why regionalization can’t happen. It’s just not feasible, the public is told by politicians and engineering firms, , the latter of which are getting big dollars to sell water plants. There’s too many rocks in the ground to lay pipe. It would cost more to lay pipe than it would to build an entire water plant. Then there’s the biggest whopper of all — that the Lac du Bonnet water plant, which runs only four hours a day yet is designed to run 24/7, is too small to supply water to other communities. ...

.09 Van Dongen challenges mayor on metro police force

Globe and Mail - Canada

B.C.'s Solicitor-General yesterday challenged Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson to build support among other mayors for his idea of creating a Metro Vancouver police force to deal with gangs. John van Dongen said he isn't opposed to a regional force that would knit together the varied police departments that serve the Lower Mainland, but he doubts there is support for the proposal. ...

.10 Brong-Ahafo Region is 50yrs … But planned celebration in danger

Ghanaian Chronicle - Accra, Ghana

The absence of a substantive Regional Minister, is thwarting efforts by the chiefs and people of the Brong Ahafo Region, to plan the Golden Jubilee celebration for the creation of the region. Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, on April 4th 1959, created the Brong Ahafo Region. ...

.11 Tees Valley working well to continue growth

Gazette Live - Teesside, Middlesbrough and the North East, UK

Tees Valley Unlimited is the partnership of public, private and voluntary interests which co-ordinates activities to improve the economic performance of the sub-region. The conference brings together key figures from the public and private sectors, along with regional and national organisations to discuss the progress made in developing initiatives to drive the economy - and the bid to become a pilot for the City Region programme. ...

.12 Talks on UNSC expansion to begin in earnest: Diplomat

Hindu Business Line - Chennai, India

UNITED NATIONS: After more than 16 years of futile discussions, the issue of expansion of the Security Council is headed for serious inter-governmental negotiations, ... India along with Germany and Japan are strong contenders for the permanent seats in the expanded Council. ...

.13 Regionalism a path to development

PRESS TV - Tehran, Iran

Tehran will host the Summit of the leaders of member states of the Economic Cooperation Organization(ECO) on Mar.11, 2009. This summit, given the global economic crisis, is of great significance and the decisions it makes and the policies it works out will certainly have important impacts on the life of more than 300 million people of this region. Iran, together with Turkey and Pakistan was one of the founders of the organization, and has always attached a great deal of importance to this regional body, ...

.14 Mumbai terror attacks highlight need for regional cooperation, says Dhaka

Associated Press of Pakistan

... the terror attack in Mumbai taught the region a lesson that there was a growing need for regional cooperation as the terrorists “are very good in forming transnational linkages and partnership” where the intelligence agencies of the South Asian countries still lacked “unfortunately” for want of the expected cooperation among the governments. ...

.15 Council holds boundary realignment meeting

ABC Regional Online - South Australia

The District Council of Mount Remarkable is holding a public meeting tonight about a proposal to realign the boundaries of two of its communities. ... A South Australian Government panel is deciding whether to further investigate Port Germain and Weeroona Island becoming part of the Port Pirie Regional Council. ... "The boundaries facilitator will actually call a public meeting and they will chair it and it will be a proper forum to see both sides," ...

.16 New boundaries proposed for tourism areas

Lake of the Woods Enterprise - Kenora, Ontario, CA

The need for increased investment was the key finding in the Ontario Tourism Competitiveness Study chaired by the former Minister of Tourism, Greg Sorbara. ... the most important factor in his report suggests dividing the province into 11 tourism regions, tentatively slicing the Northwestern border to the East of Thunder Bay. Both he and Minister of Tourism, Monique Smith indicated stakeholder meetings are still to take place to ensure the practicality of regional boundaries. …

.17 Rwanda: Regional Fine Coffees Conference Opens - Washington, USA

At the opening of the conference, Makuza stressed that the government is optimistic that the function will be significant in developing the coffee sector in Rwanda and the region in general. "It is an excellent opportunity to transfer knowledge and new technology into developing the coffee sector. This has proven fundamental to economic development. Rwanda produces about 25,000 tonnes of coffee, which contribute close to 20 percent of the country's foreign exchange revenue," he explained.

.18 Are Global Protest Movements Becoming Regionalized? The Case Study of the 2008 G8 Summit

Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center Dispatch - Stanford, CA

In activist communities worldwide, globalization has had an enormous impact, both in the composition of activist groups and the content of their messages. At the same time, regional concerns are playing a significant role in the ways protests are organized, managed, and deployed. ...

.19 APRC and the Bioregional vision

Lankaweb – Shri Lanka

Why Sri Lanka needs Bioregions Sri Lanka is witnessing today the adverse impact of unwise decisions taken by politicians who are now dead. In the 1940s, Dr. S.A. Wickremasinghe was a lonely voice advocating not to build one large reservoir but to develop a series of upstream small water reservoirs under the Gal Oya development project. The economic and environmental costs of ignoring his advice were enormous. ...

.20 Human rights body proposed for Pacific

“A separate Pacific regional mechanism is important because it would be owned by Pacific Islanders who increasingly see their destinies as separate from Asia”. ... Regional human rights mechanisms already exist in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and under the auspices of the Arab League in West Asia and North Africa. The Asia-Pacific region is the only region without a regional human rights mechanism.

.21 Almost $2 million lost on Beckham


Hopefully the Auckland Regional Council has learnt a lesson with its $1.79m loss on David Beckham’s LA Galaxy team, playing at Mt Smart. ... The NZ Herald calculates that is a loss of $22,375 for every minute of the game.

.22 Brazil: World Bank Approves US$46 Million for Regional Urban Development

“The Cidades do Ceará project is an important part of the State’s broader regional development strategy, which will improve the quality of life and economic prospects in the interior of the State,”said Cid Gomes, Governor of Ceará. ... After studies through cluster analysis and identification of economic potentials of different regions, the government developed a regional integration strategy aiming at promoting the growth of secondary and tertiary urban centers outside the capital, Fortaleza. The project approved today will advance the state regional integration strategy through work in three main areas: ...

.23 Co-ordinated regional response now urgent

Jamaica Observer

... the Caricom needs to meet at the level of heads of government to approve a co-ordinated response. This cannot be relegated to an agenda item at the next Heads of Government Summit in March. Such a meeting needs to be preceded by serious technical work. This task is too important to be left to a task force of the regional institutions which, in the first place, allowed the region to be bereft of structural, institutional and policy resilience. The lack of a co-ordinated regional response so far is evidence of the lack of genuine commitment to regionalism at the highest political levels, and the lack of leadership in key regional institutions, notably the Caricom Secretariat. The people of the Caribbean deserve more than this.

.24 Commission increases flexibility of structural funds in response to financial crisis

Európai bizottság

In response to the financial and economic crisis, Regional Policy Commissioner Danuta Hübner has announced a package of decisions by the European Commission aimed at giving Member States more flexibility in their use of the structural funds. The changes will extend the deadline for EU countries to use up their allocations from the 2000-2006 funding period and ensure that every available euro can be used to maximum effect. ...

.25 Police hampered by "obsolete structure"

Reuters UK

The report by Reform said London's Metropolitan Police should take national responsibility for dealing with crimes involving drugs and guns, and that regional forces should be split up into smaller units to concentrate on local issues. "The threat of crime is changing and growing," said Elizabeth Truss, Reform's Deputy Director. "But the police response has been hampered by the obsolete structure of 43 regional forces." ...

.26 APNIC 27 to focus on IPv4 exhaustion

CIOL - India

Paul Wilson, director general, APNIC, said: "The process of transitioning the world's networks to IPv6 is underway as we face the inevitable exhaustion of the IPv4 address pool. However, the IPv4 protocol will remain an important part of the Internet for many years and strong demand is predicted to continue long after the free pool of unallocated resources is exhausted. There are justifiable community concerns that the remaining free pool of unallocated address space is distributed fairly in accordance with the global and regional community's wishes." ...

.27 Coming to the aid of an interdependent world

The Dominion Post – Wellington, NZ

… World Bank: "Every 1 per cent drop in world growth adds 20 million people to the poverty count." A fall from 4 per cent growth last year to 0.5 per cent this year will push 70 million back into poverty on top of the 100 million last year's food crisis pushed into extreme poverty. Mr Deutscher's argument was blunt: "Development co-operation is no charity. It is a strategic investment in a common future that we can only shape collectively." The "we" are the nation-states. A common future requires global agencies, acting globally, not nations acting separately. ...

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 Scott Bernstein details the benefits of transit expansion in southeastern Wisconsin

Launch Milwaukee [beta] - Awareness and Action for the 7 County Milwaukee Region

... nationally recognized speaker and transit expert, Scott Bernstein, delivered his presentation, “Building Wealth: Creating and capturing the benefits of investing in transit in southeastern Wisconsin,” regarding the highly researched economic and social benefits of an integrated, well funded, regional transportation infrastructure. Wisconsin is falling in the rankings of desirable development areas, and local residents spend an increasing amount of income on transportation. Increased transit and commuter rail could be a solution to those problems, claims Bernstein. Also on the program, Ken Yunker, Executive Director of the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission presented a status update on transit in SE Wisconsin. ...

.02 Detroit and the Tragedy of the Commons

Build Detroit

• We must explore the creation of a regional government entity to spend a regional tax base in a fair and equitable manner. This regional government entity would also be in charge of managing our common, cross-jurisdictional assets. This entity must have a robust leadership structure with broad public representation, a strong decision-making executive leadership, a true operating Executive Committee, and input from the private sector. ...

.03 Some “stimulating” transit expansion ideas

Its Our City - WHYY

It's Our City is a project that uses TV, Radio and Web to promote civic engagement in the Philadelphia region. This is a partnership of WHYY & The Philadelphia Daily News.

... Point 4 ties very closely into what I was talking about yesterday in my post about saving the suburbs. You can have all of the density and walkability you want in this new vision of a sustainable suburbia, but without a reliable and convenient form of transit to carry people to other destinations in the region, fewer people will want to live there. From the report, here’s a vision of what the “virtuous cycle” of transit expansion looks like: …

.04 Industry And The Urge To Cluster


What drives industry to locate in one region and not in the next? … New Economic Geography (NEG) theory would argue that agglomeration advantages lock business activity into core regions. The core also supports the existence of intermediate industry in the periphery, and so specialized input-suppliers co-locate close by. For instance, think of Detroit’s production of automobiles and the auto-parts manufacturers who locate in geographically proximate Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. …

.05 Support Your Local Dispatchers

John Linko

Regionalization / Consolidation - GJRCC functions at a higher level of overall efficiency because of its' county-wide scope of operations. However, the idiosyncratic nature of multiple independent agencies creates additional stress on regionally-based personnel. A dispatcher forced to remember how an animal complaint or runaway report is handled in Grand Junction vs. Clifton vs. Fruita vs. Palisade, because they may all be handled differently, is going to have an increased stress level in comparison to processing those calls the same way for everyone. Better yet, having one metropolitan police department across the Grand Valley would appear to make enormous sense from a fiscal and operational standpoint, regardless of obstacles such as politics, parochialism, and hubris that stand in the way of even a meaningful discussion. ...

.06 E911 Consolidation, Working Together Regionally

Hampton Roads Partnership

A big decision regarding the future of E911 Emergency Communications is in the works.

Not long ago, the City and York County began to explore the possibility of consolidating Williamsurbg’s E911 Center with York’s and using the James City County 911 Center for mutual back up. The advantages are many: .... Very importantly, our goal is to protect the jobs of our current staff and accomplish the staff reductions from 13 to 9 over time through attrition. ...

.07 Atlanta, DeKalb win smart-growth grants

Fresh Loaf

The hardest part about making progress in metro Atlanta is fixing the mistakes of its past — namely, the sprawl created in part by an auto-dependent lifestyle and cheap land stretching out in all directions. Thankfully, the Atlanta Regional Commission has some idea of how to turn that sprawl into walkable and livable areas — places you actually want to be. Today, the commission announced several new sites for its Livable Centers Initiative [] ...

.08 Heart of The Triad meeting that got no reports from local media


... Piedmont Triad Partnership is working on a PTIA/Aerotropolis project, Robbie Perkins let that out of the bag now we will want to have 2 aerotropolis in the same vicinity of each other and Robbie Perkins want regional cooperation and we come to find out that the airport wants it's own aerotropolis. ...

.09 Dynamic Legislative Process: Part One

Long Island Idea Factory

Dynamic, Collaborative and Sustainable Meta-Regionalism ... How can we take some of the "One Long Island" concepts and apply them to a "dynamic" legislative process? Not only for the federal government, but for state and local entities as well. The above diagram is just a quick first draft. ...

.10 Group completes Discovering a Sense of Place study circle

g.a.l.a. - global awareness local action

community members concluded their study circle titled, Discovering a Sense of Place

[ ] ... designed by the Northwest Earth Institute. This particular course focused on how to develop a strong sense of place and use that sense of grounding toward making a positive impact in your community. … This seven-session course is organized chronologically by the following topics/chapters: … 3. Knowing Your Bioregion: Your bioregion is a unique place with its own watershed, soils, climate, plants, animals, and history. How much do you know about it?; …

.11 round 2 of the fair wheat fight

agrarian grrl's journal

"A WHEAT disease that could destroy most of the world's main wheat crops could strike south Asia's vast wheat fields ... leaving millions to starve.. has spread from Africa to Iran, and may already be in Pakistan...(which is)the gateway to the Asian breadbasket, including the vital Punjab region". ... We have to have local food security as primary goals of regional food production and regional governance in these matters. We need to get at this fast. In other words, we need to stop GMO wheat by/and having alternatives in place.

.12 192021 – Measuring the same data, across 19 cities


Richard Saul Wurman presented 192021, his new project to tackle a simple problem – the world does not currently measure comparative data on key indicators related to the world's most populous cities. He believes that not having this data makes it much harder to improve them, collaborate between them and develop solutions that work in specific, or all, contexts. Here's the basic premise:

"While some say the world is flat, supercities are rising - vast, intensely urban hubs will radically redefine the world's future macroeconomic and cultural landscape. Most of the world's population right now lives and works in cities. Many more will. It's critical to gain a truer understanding of what's happening: the rise of supercities is the defining megatrend of the 21st century."

The website is currently the presentation. The project is a multi-year initiative to collect, organise and package information on population's effect on urban and business planning and its impact on consumers around the world. ...

.13 Roger Cranville of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance posts from Vietnam

Vietnam Business Finance

From Feb. 14 to Feb. 21, a delegation of 15 business and academic leaders from the Pittsburgh region will be in Vietnam, exploring first hand the opportunities to secure new business and to begin developing partnerships that have the potential to create jobs and prosperity here at home. Via an e-diary in the Pittsburgh Business Times, the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance’s senior vice president for global marketing, Roger Cranville, will be reflecting next week on the roars of an emerging economy from Ha Noi, ...

.14 Message from Australia: Four messages from Western Australia

World Streets

3. Regional planning to ensure regional transit systems and associated TODS.

Transit Oriented Developments have begun to work well in US cities but they are scattered rather than in coherent corridors, rather like the transit systems which sometimes defy rationality in the routes they take. This is because regional planning is weak in US cities. The MPO system could be strengthened as in Denver and Portland where coherent regional solutions are now happening. Australian cities, and Perth in particular, has strong regional governance on its transit and land use planning. It works.

.15 Regionalism in Flight

this material world

We seek our identity in strange places, in strange reflections. We seek it in sports teams and local newspapers, on water towers and postcards. Regional airlines, too, play on ideas of hometown pride and local boys done good. (Alaska is “proudly all Boeing.”) We take these planes as confirmation of our self-worth, players as they are in an anonymous system larger than any of us. If these airlines can make it out there in the world, then so can we. We carry our homes with us, in our hearts and in our liveries.

.16 Fourteen Future Trends for Business in 2009 and Beyond

DaVinci Institute

2. System Crisis. ... Many of the global systems we currently have in place are on the verge of breaking. Most global systems have evolved out of a patchwork of kluged-together national systems, and have not been designed to properly manage the speed, volume, and excessive nature of today’s society. We are in need of a complete systems overhaul, transitioning us from national systems to global systems. ... 7. The Green Movement Loses Steam. As with the life cycle of any cause, the Green Movement has passed its prime. The weight of any overarching philosophy becomes unwieldy over time, so as a result, many of the movement's core tenets will break into niche groups that will soon supersede the rapidly diffusing Green Movement. Also reaching the end of its useful life is the overly vague concept of Sustainability. To be sustainable, the Earth's resources must be used at a rate at which they can be replenished. While we all want to preserve the beauty of nature, the movement’s current approach remains an ineffective method for curbing excessive consumption, especially when regional and national economies are at stake. ...

.17 Ignoring the ‘virtuous circle’ - ignorance or arrogance?

By ddeighton

Whilst not making an observation as to the desirability or otherwise of the proposals in the document discussed below, we no longer have the reserves, as a society, to make continual and seemly random changes to our institutions and governance. ... Speaking about the role of regional governance Gideon Amos added: “The proposal to scrap the RDAs raises a number of important questions such as what will happen to key infrastructure and development projects for which Regional Spatial Strategies provide the key route to permission. A Conservative government would need to figure out new ways to deliver regional partnership projects whose aims are more than just local. ...

.18 Conservative proposals on Elected Mayors

By Andy Sawford

The Conservative Local Government Green Paper “Control Shift” published today includes proposals for referendums in the twelve largest cities after London to have a directly elected city-wide Mayor. The cities are: Birmingham, Leeds, ... There is little detail in the Green Paper. It does clarify that the Mayor will cover the existing unitary authority area, rather than a ‘city region’ or other sub regional area. ...

.19 Our Friends In The North

The Futurist

To date, our view of the recession has been dominated by its economic impact. It is also changing the shape of global geopolitics and we need to be mindful of this. One area in which there could be profound geopolitical realignment is in the Arctic. ... One of the interesting consequences of the current financial crisis is the potential it has for strengthening the Federalist case in Europe. The direction is towards a tighter and more co-ordinated foreign policy for Europe, with a tightening of the institutional framework to give it substance. ...

.20 10 Social Psychology Tips for Managing Online Communities

Leadership in Social Networks

Let’s take a scientific approach to managing online communities. The following tips are based on the science that describes the nature of human interactions - social psychology.

1. Beware the Fundamental Attribution Error ...

.21 Make Your Idea a Reality! Consider Hosting Your Professional Meeting, Conference, or Event on Campus


Ithaca College departments, faculty, staff, and students are in the position to host local, regional, and national conferences on campus. Ithaca College community members are also encouraged to consider entrepreneurial ideas that could bring value to the institution. When Ithaca College serves as the host location for an event, or college community members work to create a new entrepreneurial endeavor, the following benefits are possible: ...

.22 Collaborative Writing

Sharley Ross' Blog

Collaborative document development is a great way for administrators to work with others in creating documents about new technology as well as getting others to work together on projects. ... acting globally in Tapscott and Williams’ definition, “. . .has no physical or regional boundaries. It builds planetary ecosystems for designing, sourcing, assembling, and distributing products on a global basis. ...

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 Executive Order: Establishment of the White House Office of Urban Affairs

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to take a coordinated and comprehensive approach to developing and implementing an effective strategy concerning urban America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. About 80 percent of Americans live in urban areas, and the economic health and social vitality of our urban communities are critically important to the prosperity and quality of life for Americans. Vibrant cities spawn innovation, economic growth, and cultural enrichment through the businesses, universities, and civic, cultural, religious, and nonprofit institutions they attract. Forward-looking policies that encourage wise investment and development in our urban areas will create employment and housing opportunities and make our country more competitive, prosperous, and strong. In the past, insufficient attention has been paid to the problems faced by urban areas and to coordinating the many Federal programs that affect our cities. A more comprehensive approach is needed, both to develop an effective strategy for urban America and to coordinate the actions of the many executive departments and agencies whose actions impact urban life.

Sec. 2. Establishment. ...

.02 2007 Census of Agriculture – U.S. Department of Agriculture

Results of the 2007 Census of Agriculture were released February 4, 2009.

.03 “Geography of Emerging Industries” Regional Studies Annual Lecture - Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting - Las Vegas, March 22-27

Lecture will be presented by Professor Maryann Feldman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Sunday, March 22. A reception sponsored by the Regional Studies Association follows immediately after the lecture. For more information and description of the lecture material:

Other Regional Studies Association events:

Association of American Geographers -

.04 2009 Hampton Roads Civic Engagement Summit “Our Region, Our Future” - April 4 - Old Dominion University’s Virginia Modeling, Analysis & Simulation Center - Suffolk, VA

Hosted by the Hampton Roads Center for Civic Engagement; you should attend if you are concerned about:

* Having a high-achieving and well-governed region

* Defining “high-achieving” and “well-governed”

* Responsibility and accountability for our common future

.05 FEMA/NIBS HAZUS (Hazards US) software - HAZUS User Groups

HAZUS-MH is a powerful risk assessment software program for analyzing potential losses from floods, hurricane winds and earthquakes. In HAZUS-MH, current scientific and engineering knowledge is coupled with the latest geographic information systems (GIS) technology to produce estimates of hazard-related damage before, or after, a disaster occurs.

The mission of is to focus on the promotion and development of HAZUS applications via the development and documentation of best practices, implementation guidelines, standards and outreach. This is accomplished through the support of HAZUS User Groups, the operation of the web site and information sharing.

HAZUS User Groups (HUGs) are popping up all across the country. To see what is available where you are, click on your FEMA Region ..

.06 Tri-State Transportation Campaign - Transportation Reform in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut Metropolitan Region

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to reducing car dependency in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Leading environmental and planning organizations formed the Campaign in the early nineties as a response to the mounting economic and environmental costs of automobile and truck dependence and promising reforms in federal transportation policy.

.07 Want to fight Metro cuts? Build a coalition

Greater Greater Washington

The Transit First coalition is a group that intends to work with our elected officials to ensure that we find a solution to funding something that is so vital and interwoven with every aspect of our region. From commuting, to recreation, to social events, to reducing sprawl, to connecting our region, Metro rail and bus services are an inseparable part of the Washington metropolitan region. Even those who don't ride Metro greatly benefit from reduced congestion, increased property values, increased economic activity due to mobility, less smog, and a regional identity. ...

.08 Advanced Regional Spatial Data Infrastructures in Europe - European Commission (EC) Joint Research Centre (JRC) [ ]

Executive Summary:

“This report presents the findings of the workshop on Advanced Regional Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs) organised by the European Commission Joint Research Centre in May 2008. The objectives of the workshop were to review the state of progress, analyse the different organisational models established with local and national stakeholders, and assess the social and economic impacts of the regional SDIs. Eleven regional/sub-national SDIs in Europe are presented in the report: Lombardy, and Piedmont (Italy), Catalonia and Navarra (Spain), Wallonia and Flanders (Belgium), North-Rhine Westfalia and Bavaria (Germany), Northern Ireland (UK), Brittany (France), and Vysočina (Czech Republic).

These experiences are set in the context of the broader European framework provided by the INSPIRE Directive, the national State of Play studies, and international experiences in the USA and Australia. A key finding of the report is that these regions are indeed leading actors in the development of SDIs in Europe, adopting state-of-the art technologies, standards, and models and often setting the pace through example for others to follow. Crucially important is their role in coordinating and organising developments at the local level through a large array of partnerships and organisational models.

This organisational work is challenging because it involves a very large number of stakeholders operating at the local level, and requires long term political, organisational, and personal commitment. However, the evidence available at the present time indicates that it is at the local level that the largest social and economic benefits of an SDI can be found, supporting operational day-to-day applications affecting millions of citizens and local businesses. To achieve these benefits there is no alternative but to engage locally, and invest in building and maintaining relationships and trust.

From this perspective, the main lesson of the European experiences, supported by those in the USA and Australia, is that Spatial Data Infrastructures are foremost social networks of people and organisations, in which technology and data play a supportive role. The technology is cheap, data is expensive, but social relations are invaluable.”

4.1 MB report download:

.09 Reclaiming Vacant Properties: Building Leadership to Restore Communities - June 1-3, 2009 Louisville, Kentucky

Choose from 30 breakout sessions, plus mobile workshops featuring some of the most exciting initiatives in Louisville, and all new this year, in-depth training seminars on key strategies. Network and share your expertise with others working to build strong, healthy communities across the country.

The National Vacant Properties Campaign exists to provide everyone – individuals, advocates, agencies, developers, non-profits, and others – with information resources, tools, and assistance to support their vacant property revitalization efforts.

14. Financial Crisis. Contents

.01 Repairing the World's Financial System - The Futurist - World Future Society, Washington, D.C., USA

Where do we go from here? Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator of the Financial Times and author of the recently-released book Fixing Global Finance, has some surprising answers.


Futurist: Looking ahead even more long-term, one of the thing I like about your book, you write that the United States is as much a victim of others’ misfortuntes. You talk about global savings and how developing nations in particular have fallen into this strange habit of giving surplus money to the United States in the form of loans, but really they should be spending it domestically, and developed nations should be spending more in developing nations. …

Wolf: … this is seen as a controversial view. In response to a financial crisis of an earlier decade, they pushed up deficits and gave themselves large export services and large export capital, to sustain large export surpluses particularly in the case of China but not only China. That, in my view, created strong deflationary and recessionary pressure in the United States You think about it, the import surpluses are withdrawal from a country, domestic demand going abroad. The U.S. Federal Reserve, not totally consciously, chose to offset this deflationary pressure by greatly expanding domestic demand; it was purely accidental. The same thing followed from the Bush tax cuts in the early part of his administration. The United States was responding to these external pressures. I don’t think it responded intelligently, unfortunately. It allowed this later financial mismanagement.

… It would have been better for the United States to run bigger fiscal deficits in this period and invested the proceeds in bridges and roads and railroads and whatever capital investment makes sense. The investment it did undertake was to build houses that nobody needs. It’s a sad story. …

.02 IMF Outlines Dire Consequences if World Fails to Act on Banks - International Monetary Fund

IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn pressed governments around the world to act urgently and decisively to reverse a slump in global trade and industrial activity by cleaning up the banking system, restructuring the financial sector, and reviving the global economy in a coordinated manner. ... SEACEN governors welcomed the call to double the size of the IMF's resources. They supported the idea of the Fund establishing co-financing schemes with regional groupings to address regional financing needs. Governors supported the more inclusive approach by the IMF to ensure that decision making on global issues takes into account the implications for emerging economies. H

.03 Albert H. Gordon Lecture: Comments on the Current Financial Crisis - Remarks at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government - Richard W. Fisher, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas


There are plenty of armchair quarterbacks who now claim to have seen all this coming. Indeed, we must acknowledge that many in the financial community, including those at the Federal Reserve, failed to either detect or act upon the telltale signs of financial system excess.

Paul Volcker told me recently that in his day, he knew that a bank was headed for trouble when it grew too fast, moved into a fancy new building, placed the chairman of the board as the head of the art committee and hired McKinsey & Co. to do an incentive compensation study for the senior officers.

Paul Volcker is the wisest of men. Yet, I believe the following, written by another wise man, provides a more fulsome and insightful description of what we recently experienced. This is a long quote, so bear with me, as it perfectly captures the circumstances that led up to our current predicament:

"Every now and then the world is visited by one of these delusive seasons, when 'the credit system' ... expands to full luxuriance: everyone trusts everybody; a bad debt is a thing unheard of; the broad way to certain and sudden wealth lies plain and open; and men ... dash forth boldly from the facility of borrowing.

"Promissory notes, interchanged between scheming individuals, are liberally discounted at the banks.... Everyone talks in [huge amounts]; nothing is heard but gigantic operations in trade; great purchases and sales of real property, and immense sums [are] made at every transfer. All, to be sure, as yet exists in promise; but the believer in promises calculates the aggregate as solid capital....

"Speculative and dreaming ... men ... relate their dreams and projects to the ignorant and credulous, dazzle them with golden visions, and set them maddening after shadows. The example of one stimulates another; speculation rises on speculation; bubble rises on bubble....

"Speculation ... casts contempt upon all its sober realities. It renders the [financier] a magician, and the [stock] exchange a region of enchantment.... No 'operation' is thought worthy of attention that does not double or treble the investment. No business is worth following that does not promise an immediate fortune....

"Could this delusion always last, life ... would indeed be a golden dream; but [the delusion] is as short as it is brilliant."[1]

That was not written by Martin Wolf of the Financial Times or Paul Gigot of the Wall Street Journal or David Brooks of the New York Times or Ellen Goodman of the Boston Globe. It was written by Washington Irving in his famous "Crayon Papers" about the Mississippi Bubble fiasco of 1719.

Irving, mind you, had never heard of a subprime mortgage or a credit default swap or any of the other modern financial innovations that are proving so vexing to credit markets today. ...

I am tempted to end this cheery talk by saying "Have a nice day!" and walking off the stage. However, I would hate to leave this podium with your having concluded that I am just another sourpuss. I am, as I said, paid to worry. But I am a red-blooded American, as are all my colleagues at the Fed. I draw on the wisdom of Marcus Nadler, one of the great minds of the Federal Reserve from a period when our economy endured an even greater "stress test." To counter the intellectual paralysis and down-in-the-mouth pessimism that gripped the financial industry after the Crash of '29, Nadler put forth four simple propositions:

First, he said: "You're right if you bet that the United States economy will continue to expand."

Second: "You're wrong if you bet that it is going to stand still or collapse."

Third: "You're wrong if you bet that any one element in our society is going to ruin or wreck the country."

And fourth: "You're right if you bet that (leaders) in business, labor, and government are sane, reasonably well informed and decent people who can be counted on to find common ground among all their conflicting interests and work out a compromise solution to the big issues that confront them."

This became known as "Old Doc Nadler's Remedy," and for my part, it is spot on. Every one of us preoccupied with what ails us should keep it in mind. ...

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 1,194 utilizes regional related sites as of February 25, 2009. Entering the termregional crisis” returned 127 items; “crisis response” returned 258 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.

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