Regional Community Development News – July 8, 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 - .20

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .12

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .09

Custom search: region, regions, regional communities … 14


Top Regional Community stories

1. FEMA Lacks Measures of Regional Collaboration - HSToday - USA

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) lacks a means to measure the performance of urban areas to confirm that they are collaborating to build regional capabilities, therefore it lacks certainty that cities are spending their Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grants effectively, congressional investigators found.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommended that FEMA develop performance measures to determine what progress cities have made in developing the means to collaborate regionally. FEMA agreed with the recommendation, which was made public Thursday in a GAO report titled "Urban Area Security Initiative: FEMA Lacks Measures to Assess How Regional Collaboration Efforts Build Preparedness Capabilities."

FEMA has been gathering data on regions eligible for UASI grants to examine their spending on specific projects and to rate their preparedness priorities and capabilities but the agency has not taken a look at how well those regions have collaborated to build preparedness capabilities--a key goal of the UASI grants, GAO said.

GAO surveyed 49 UASI regions in the study to prepare its report. It discovered that 46 of them report having active mutual aid agreements, and 44 of them identified "training and exercises as activities they use to build regional preparedness capabilities."

The Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-53) directed FEMA to change the way it defines a geographic region when determining its eligibility for UASI grants. But the urban areas affected by these determinations do not necessary agree with how FEMA defines their areas.

Of the 49 regions in the GAO survey, 27 regions said FEMA included additional jurisdictions in their geographic area when the agency assessed risk related to UASI grant determinations. But those regions do not consider those additional jurisdictions to actually belong to their urban area.

Seventeen of those regions said …

Report PDF

2. Economic factors tap the brakes on traffic congestion - (Press release) Texas Transportation Institute - Texas A&M University System, College Station, Texas

As goes the American economy, so goes the traffic.

Though it might have been hard to notice, traffic congestion took a break from its worsening trend even before the current recession, with high gas prices in the last half of 2007 bringing about a slight reduction in traffic. The recession that took hold soon after could prolong that effect, but experts warn that the slowdown in congestion growth will be temporary. When the economy rebounds, expect traffic problems to do the same.

The most current information on the nation's traffic picture is outlined in the 2009 Urban Mobility Report, published recently by the Texas Transportation Institute. This year's installment tracks a quarter century of traffic patterns in 439 U.S. urban areas from 1982 through 2007. The report was prepared by researchers David Schrank and Tim Lomax.

Travelers spent one hour less stuck in traffic in 2007 than they did the year before and wasted one gallon less gasoline than the year before. The differences are small, but they represent a rare break in near-constant growth in traffic over 25 years.


Researchers recommend a balanced and diversified approach to reducing traffic congestion – one that focuses on more of everything. Their strategies include:

* Get as much use as possible out of the transportation system we have.

* Add roadway and public transportation capacity in the places where it is needed most.

* Change our patterns, employing ideas like ridesharing and flexible work times to avoid traditional "rush hours."

* Provide more choices, such as alternate routes, telecommuting and toll lanes for faster and more reliable trips.

* Diversify land development patterns, to make walking, biking and mass transit more practical.

* Adopt realistic expectations, recognizing for instance that large urban areas are going to be congested, but they don't have to stay that way all day long.

"The best solutions are going to be those in which actions by transportation agencies are complemented by businesses, manufacturers and commuters," Lomax says. "There's a mindset that says that this is a city government's job or a state DOT's job, but the problem is far too big for transportation agencies alone to address it adequately."


Regional Congestion Data by City Reference:

2009 Annual Urban Mobility Report Main Page:

3. Murray to follow Whitfield lead on regional commission - The Daily Citizen - Dalton, GA, USA

Murray County sole commissioner David Ridley says the county will join the new Northwest Georgia Regional Commission.

“I made it official (Tuesday),” he said. “I sent a letter to (the commission), and I sent a letter to the governor’s office.

The Northwest Georgia Regional Commission is expected to be the lead body for land use, environmental, transportation and historic preservation planning in the region. The North Georgia Regional Development Center (NGRDC) [ ], headquartered in Dalton, has been providing similar services for Whitfield, Murray, Fannin, Gilmer and Pickens counties.

NGRDC members had initially opposed state efforts to merge them with the 10-county Coosa Valley RDC [ ] into the Northwest commission. Whitfield County Board of Commissioners chairman Mike Babb said last week board members were leaning towards remaining with the NGRDC, but that changed after commission members found the NGRDC planned to challenge the state law requiring the merger.

Whitfield County is not going to have any part to do with using taxpayers’ money to sue other taxpayers’ money,” Babb said at the time. “It’s time to go ahead and follow the new state law from the Legislature and join the new commission which basically came into effect July 1. It’s time to get off the fence and decide which way you’re going to go.”

Ridley said he was waiting to see what Whitfield County would do. Local funding for the NGRDC is based on population, and Whitfield County has a little over 40 percent of the population of the NGRDC service area.

4. ARC is Philadelphia-bound - Norristown Times Herald - Norristown, PA, USA

The location of a proposed American Revolution Center (ARC) museum and conference center, the subject of numerous lawsuits and procedural objections over the past five years in Lower Providence, has been diverted from an 87-acre parcel on Pawlings Road within the Valley Forge National Historical Park (VFNHP) boundaries.

The new location will be “in the area of Third and Chestnut streets” within the 55-acre Independence National Historical Park (INHP) in Philadelphia.

Officials of the ARC announced a “land-exchange agreement” with the National Park Service (NPS) Wednesday afternoon following the signing of an agreement on Monday for the land where the one-story, 39,000-square-foot Independence Living History Center is located. …

“It’s a good day for our Lower Providence residents, and the end of a two-year (legal) battle. I’m glad that cooler heads prevailed,” said Supervisor Richard Brown. “The location in Center City in the historic district is a better location because it’s not isolated and it won’t pit competing locations against each other.”

The Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau (VFC&VB) President, Paul Decker, said the VFC&VB was “extremely disappointed that ARC leadership has moved this project to Philadelphia and out of the place in which it was conceived more than 13 years ago — Montgomery County and, more specifically, Valley Forge.”

“The bureau sees no ‘regionalism’ in another decision to stack the region’s major attractions in Philadelphia and move the museum’s potential $50 million annual economic impact to one of America’s greatest, but already attractions-rich cities,” he said. “Instead of giving visitors and tour operators another reason to extend their overnight stays in the region, this decision puts our strongest historical attractions ‘all in a row’ within a few city blocks, creating competition between them and extending Philadelphia’s long-suffered, albeit invalid, reputation as a rush-through-it, short stay destination.”

5. Business leaders ready to think regionally - The Natchez Democrat - Natchez, MS, USA

Several members of the private sector on hand at Tuesday’s meeting on regionalism said they think the local business community is ready to get the regional ball rolling.

Ronnie Bryant, president and CEO of Charlotte Regional Partnership, told the crowd of business and elected leaders that the private sector must lead the charge for a better community. In Charlotte, N.C., the private sector heads a multi-county economic development unit that has been responsible for a massive amount of growth in the area.

Delta Bank President Cliff Merritt said he thinks a change in mindset among business leaders in Ferriday, Vidalia and Natchez makes now the perfect time to start a push toward regionalism.

“We need to let the people that are in control know we are not satisfied with what we’ve been doing,” Merritt said. “It’s time for us to find bottom with our feet and push in a new direction.”


That step is one Green said he thinks the Miss-Lou business community is strong enough to do.

“I think the (private) sector is capable,” he said. “It’s probably an idea or issue that is on the forefront of people’s minds right now more than it was years ago because of the frustration of watching elected officials not work together.

“Now that we realize they aren’t going to, we’ve got to do it.”

But the private sector may not have to go it alone just yet; several elected officials in attendance at the meeting said they liked the idea of regionalism as well.

“I think we can work together,” Natchez Mayor Jake Middleton said. “Trust is the biggest (challenge); we’ve always been at each other. But if we put a board together and try to land the project, we can quit worrying about who gets the pat on the back.

Miss-Lou Region:,-91.405563&sspn=0.114512,0.222988&ie=UTF8&ll=31.575172,-91.405563&spn=0.118168,0.222988&z=13

6. Critics on the left a relief, Florida says - Toronto Star - Toronto, Ontario, Canada


MW: There’s a pretty strong preconception that your creative class hypothesis is built on class division, and that really rankles activists.

RF: But it is. One of the things my work points out is that class is becoming a more important category.

With Rise of the Creative Class, I was very reluctant to use the word “class” - my editor pushed me really hard on that.

What we said was you could divide not only between the physical working class and the capitalist class, but, taking Marx’s view that the working class worked with its physical labour, and moreover, that physical labour turned into economic value, I said to myself there are a lot of people grappling with information, knowledge, technology - what would be an analogue to this knowledge work class, what would be an analogue like physical labour?

And it struck me that it’s this thing called human creativity.

I think where people get confused. If you read the opening lines of that book, it says “every single human being is creative; the real task is to stoke the creative furnace that lies deep within every human being.”

So what I was posing is that although 30 percent of us have the great good fortune to be part of this professional, technical, artistic, entertainment creative class, the real goal in society should be to expand those borders.

What I discovered is not only is the creative economy concentrating in megaregions, because of things Jane Jacobs discovered, that when people live near one another, they’re more productive and innovative.

But within these creative centers, they’re pulling apart. Now, Canadian metros look better than U.S. on most accounts; we have families living in our cities, they’re alive, they’re diverse.

7. Mayors agree - sort of - on regional cooperation - Muncie Star Press - Muncie, IN, USA

Officials from Muncie, Marion and Anderson were asked during a regionalization workshop on Thursday to give examples of how they had worked together to attract new business to East Central Indiana.

All seven officials -- Muncie Mayor Sharon McShurley, Anderson Mayor Kris Ockomon, the Marion mayor's chief of staff and four economic development directors -- remained silent while facing an audience of 166 people. The silence was finally broken when the crowd erupted in laughter.

The speechless response showed that "Speaking Regionally: Connecting the Dots in East Central Indiana" -- the title of the workshop -- remains in the early stages.

"We are all connected," said Jim Brunner, a radio station personality and president of Marion City Council. "Maybe we need to do more things together."

Noting that attendance at such meetings is often low, McShurley said "it's nice to see this participation." She called for more group efforts among East Central Indiana cities to promote economic development and improve the quality of life.

Ockomon expects speaking regionally "to be very fruitful for Anderson and the region." The entire region is rewarded when Madison County attracts a new Nestle plant and Delaware County lands a new Brevini plant, Ockomon said.

The crowd laughed again when Ockomon said, "We like to mention Muncie and Marion when we have initial contact (with a prospective company)."


East Central Indiana is "extremely well prepared" for the clean energy economy, said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Mitch Roob, referring to manufacturers like Brevini (wind turbine gearboxes), EnerDel (batteries for hybrid electric vehicles) and Bright Automotive (hybrid electric vehicles).

The public needs to be educated about the benefits of regionalism, according to McShurley, who noted that she was criticized by some Muncie voters for her role in attracting Brevini, because it was sited six miles west of Muncie.

8. Editorial: Regional synergy needed to attract more jobs - Anderson Herald Bulletin - Anderson, IN, USA (Twitter)

Last Thursday’s meeting in Marion with representatives from a three-county area, including the mayors of Anderson, Muncie and deputy mayor of Marion, was historic in the spirit of regional cooperation.

In the past, the three cities have been protective of their area and very competitive when it came to attracting businesses. They kept their deals close to the vest and if there were any secrets to landing a business and the ensuing jobs, all lips were sealed.

That kind of attitude might be changing. The tri-county area is experiencing severe job loss, mounting unemployment, devastating assessed valuation and the accompanying revenue loss and decaying infrastructure. For the first time, city leaders are realizing that they are not in this alone and might be able to actually help each other.

The officials — Anderson’s Kris Ockomon, Muncie’s Sharon McShurley and Marion’s Deputy Mayor Stacy Henderson — were the focal point, but more than 100 others showed up to learn new ideas about cooperation.

“We’re not competing with Anderson or Grant County. We’re competing against Indonesia, Turkey and China,” said McShurley.

She’s got a point. The global economy has forced states like Indiana, and the communities within, to compete on an international scale for jobs. Most of the tri-county area had numerous automotive jobs leave and go outside the country to take advantage of low foreign wages. With those jobs gone, the communities have had to scramble to find replacement employment and, often as not, been unsuccessful.

To be sure, there will always be a healthy competition among the counties and cities. But officials realize that cooperation in education and job openings will help the residents of these counties throw off the yoke of the past and meet the future united.

9. Saint John must sell regionalization - Telegraph-Journal - Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

In its quest for new revenues, Saint John council is considering ways to tax the residents of neighbouring communities. If these measures are adopted, the results would be predictable and devastating.

Council cannot levy payroll or sales taxes on commuters without producing an exodus of jobs. The communities of greater Saint John need to move in a mutually productive direction, toward regionalization. That's where this council must focus its efforts.

The underlying problem isn't the number of people using Saint John's streets, but a governance structure that keeps residents with a common economy politically divided. In terms of work, shopping, entertainment, sports and public services such as health care, greater Saint John is a single metropolitan area. If more services were managed regionally, the overall cost to residents would be reduced - but getting there is going to require leadership.

There can be no regional governance without political accountability. If Saint John's mayor and councillors want valley residents to recognize the importance of rebuilding regional infrastructure, they need to start managing the city's operations for the benefit of taxpayers.

It's not just residents of outlying towns who believe Saint John has failed to do so. The evidence is there for all to see: in the city's annual budget, where wages and benefits eat up nearly 60 per cent of the resources; in the complaints of citizens who live in poorly serviced districts; and in comparisons of per capita service costs between municipalities.

Perhaps the best way to achieve regional goals, fairly managed, is through amalgamation. A regional consensus is possible. To achieve it, city councillors must first demonstrate they are fiscally responsible, politically accountable and prepared to treat suburbanites as equal citizens.

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 Metro crash prompts federal funding talks

Business Gazette - Gaithersburg, MD, USA

Lawmakers at every level of government have called for a dedicated funding source for the regional transportation system. Congressional members of Metro's service area introduced resolutions Wednesday to push their colleagues to make good on the federal funding portion of a Metro agreement passed by Congress last year. ... Metro's board passed a $2.1 billion fiscal 2010 budget, including $740 million in capital spending. Metro officials estimate the system still has about $11 billion in unfunded capital needs over the next decade, including the money to replace the series of cars involved in Monday's incident. While regional lawmakers continue their funding efforts, and Metro and NTSB continue safety inspections, other rail systems are conducting their own safety inspections. ...

.02 Louisville mayor talks merits of metro government

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Leaders in Kanawha County are pushing hard to unify some parts of the county with the capital city of Charleston. Metro government is when cities and counties consolidate to form one larger unit. The idea faces fierce opposition, but its proponents brought in a speaker yesterday to explain the benefits of metro government. About 200 people showed up to hear featured speaker Jerry Abramson, the mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, talk about his city’s experience enacting metro government in 2000. Louisville went from being a city of 260,000 to 700,000, which boosts them among the 20 largest cities in America. Abramson says the elimination of competing city and county governments and policies has benefited the region. ...

.03 Big City Populations Survive the Housing Crunch

Brookings - Metropolitan Policy Program – Washington, D.C.

America’s big cities, often considered to be the most demographically challenged part of our landscape, turn out to be survivors of the nation’s recent housing doldrums. New Census Bureau numbers for the 12 months ending July 2008, when the mortgage meltdown began to show its full effect, make plain that big cities on the coasts and in large stretches of the Heartland registered upticks in their growth at the same time that many suburbs, exurbs and smaller metropolitan areas saw the bottom drop out of their mid-decade growth. In fact, within the nation’s largest metro areas, rising central city growth rates are approaching the declining rates of their suburbs. … Some of this resurgence of big cities is due to inherent strengths, such as broad economic diversity at a time when smaller cities and one-industry towns are vulnerable to economic shocks. Some is also due to a "windfall" of retaining and attracting residents who are no longer moving to the suburbs, as speculative mortgage lending dried up and immigrants returned to networks in established city communities. …

.04 SEPTA to partner with Google

Philadelphia Inquirer - Philadelphia, PA, USA

SEPTA has gone Google. Schedules and routes for all SEPTA trains and trolleys will be synchronized with Web-based trip-planning program Google Transit, officials announced yesterday. On the Google Transit Web [] site, part of the larger Google Maps program, users can now enter a starting point and destination in the Philadelphia region - keywords like Independence Hall or movie theater or exact addresses - and Google will display a SEPTA route. Riders will still need to visit SEPTA's Web site for fare information. ...

.05 Local Congress brings new generation of leaders

Detroit Free Press - United States

... new Millennial Mayors Congress [ ] , representing 18 Detroit-area communities, ... pairs an elected official such as a mayor with a community resident, age 18-35. The delegations exchange ideas and develop local and regional policy recommendations. The group is assisted by researchers, technical experts and administrative support coordinated by the Michigan Suburbs Alliance, a coalition of older-inner-ring suburbs. Over the next six months, Congress representatives will develop a set of goals on regional issues, which they aim to adopt by 2010. They will then work to make those goals a reality. ...

.06 Regional Red Cross exec explains change coming

Meriden Record-Journal - Meriden, CT, USA

Last June, facing a $200 million operating deficit, the American Red Cross named Gail J. McGovern, a Harvard Business School professor, president and chief executive. With her new appointment, McGovern called for "change." According to Diane Auger, CEO of the Connecticut Region, the change is now playing out in the Meriden-Wallingford branch. ... In September, Auger traveled to Washington, D.C., as one of 30 regional heads who met with McGovern to discuss the changes that would be needed to keep the 128-year-old organization alive and out of debt. ... "She saw an organization that was disjointed," ... McGovern advised the group to restructure each region accordingly, and to balance resources across the whole region. ...

.07 A crisis in budget form

Boston Globe - United States

THERE ARE many things to like about the $27.4 billion state budget currently on the governor's desk, and much that saddens us. Although most of the heat has been directed at nearly $1 billion in tax increases needed to keep the budget balanced, the program cuts and spending reductions total $2.4 billion: more than twice as much. ... The first tentative steps toward regionalization of municipal services is encouraged with a $1 million incentive program. ...

.08 Sterman leaves job to direct new levee district

Belleville News Democrat - IL, USA

A recently formed metro-east flood prevention council has hired the long-time executive director of the East-West Gateway Council of Governments. East-West Gateway Executive Director Les Sterman has left his post after 26 years to serve as the chief supervisor of construction and works for the Southwestern Illinois Flood Prevention District Council. ...

Sterman said he decided to make the move because he feels that the new council and region's levees are vital in securing its industrial and economic core and in protecting its 150,000 people and 4,000 businesses from flooding. He said the levees are the most critical and challenging infrastructure problem in metro-east. ...

.09 Transit Bill Hearing Postponed - Outlook Perhaps Cloudy - Changing MPO boundaries

The Progressive Pulse – NC Policy Watch

S. 910 mandates that urban local governments wanting access to new funding for public transportation or local road projects align their relevant MPO’s (Metro Planning Organizations - urban transportation planning boards responsible for long range plans under Federal law) to their federal EPA (air quality) boundaries. Currently, MPO boundaries may be changed if the affected counties, municipalities and the Governor agree. This would align long-term urban transportation planning with air quality conservation and promotion. At present, they are hopelessly out of whack. This goal is desirable, but it is not the only important one for transportation planning. …

.10 William H. Hudnut III: Collaboration, not competition, is critical

Buffalo News - Buffalo, NY

But now, collaboration would be a good start toward a more regional approach to governance. Are there departments duplicating each other’s work, such as purchasing, that could be combined? How many different entities are filling potholes or plowing snow or picking up trash? Is it necessary to have so many police and fire departments, or so many sewer, water, lighting and highway districts? How many school districts are there and how many big bucks are the top people drawing? Ben Franklin graphically depicted the problem of finding common ground for cooperation when he drew a snake in 13 parts and gave it the motto: “Join together or die.” Today, Franklin might say: “Collaborate or decline.

.11 East Bay Green Corridor grows, cash pours in

San Francisco Chronicle - CA, USA

The sun is shining on the East Bay's green business climate these days, as federal stimulus money pours in and more cities and schools join a regional push for green-collar jobs. "Our region is becoming the Silicon Valley of the green industry," said Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums' spokesman, Paul Rose. "We want the East Bay to be a model for our state and for the nation." The East Bay Green Corridor, which held its second annual summit on Friday in Oakland, said it has attracted more than $76 million in federal stimulus funds for research, job training, weatherization and other environmentally themed projects. …

.12 GPCID Participating in ARC Lifelong Communities Study

Gwinnett Gazette - GA, USA

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has included greater Gwinnett Place in its unique Lifelong Communities study aimed at extending and enhancing the life cycle of metro area communities. Planners, designers and other professionals evaluated Gwinnett Place and five other areas throughout metro Atlanta with a focus on producing combined transportation, housing and healthy living features benefiting aging residents and future generations. The Lifelong Communities program ultimately produced recommendations regarding housing, pedestrian accessibility and other quality of life standards. ...

.13 Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber cuts 7 jobs

Business Courier of Cincinnati – OH, USA

The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber has laid off seven employees, a chamber spokesman confirmed Monday. The cuts represent about 9 percent of the chamber’s work force, spokesman Chris Kemper said. The organization employed 75 people before the cuts.

“Like many of our members and many businesses in the community, we have to manage this continued volatility of the economy,” Kemper said. Response to the chamber’s programs has been stronger than ever, and membership renewals are going well, too. But the organization has seen lower contributions from businesses in the form of sponsorships, Kemper said.

.14 America's 4 Nastiest Regional Housing Busts

U.S. News & World Report

As homeowners everywhere search frantically for signs of a real estate recovery, it's worth taking a look at how markets recovered from previous regional busts. To that end, the Federal Housing Finance Agency--that's Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's spanking new regulator--has released a research report examining just that. By looking at real estate crashes that occurred between the first quarter of 1975 and the first quarter of 2009 in inflation-adjusted terms, researchers uncovered some ominous findings: First, house price downturns have tended to be long. The median time required to return to prior peak prices was 10½ to 20 years. Second, it tends to take longer for prices to rise from the trough to their former peak than it takes prices to decline from peak to trough. While the difference is small for Census Divisions and states, FHFA’s Metropolitan Statistical Area and Division (MSA) indexes suggest that the time from peak to trough tends to be about 3¾ years, whereas the median recovery period (from trough to prior peak) was 6 2/3 years. The paper went on to examine four distinct regional housing busts in greater detail. ...

.15 Working together seen best approach

Laconia Citizen - Laconia, NH, USA

Belknap County Commissioners discussed the importance of communities working together within the county referring to a word that grown in popularity in the past few months; regionalization. ... State Rep. Bill Johnson, D-Gilford, said he would like to see the state take a more proactive approach in the way of regionalization, suggesting that many small problems can be solved at the county level. Selectman Kevin Hayes posed the question, what if county government was done away with completely. Boothby said the State could possible take over in some areas such as the county jail and nursing home, but do this wouldn't be such a great idea since the level of service would not be the same. ...

.16 Atlantic City Transportation Plan Misses the Point

Mobilizing the Region - Tri-State Transportation Campaign

In May, Governor Corzine signed Executive Order 141 creating the Atlantic City Regional Implementation Group for Housing and Transportation (AC RIGHT), a task force designed to streamline land use and transportation planning in Atlantic City. Under the current system, these responsibilities are shared by 15 local, regional, and state bodies. AC RIGHT’s stated goal is to speed up implementation of the Atlantic City Regional Transportation Plan, released by the Casino Redevelopment Authority in May. The plan includes mass transit, bike and pedestrian improvements, but its primary emphasis is on a series of road expansion projects. ...

.17 Regional cooperation may be key to ballpark

Richmond Times Dispatch - Richmond, VA, USA

A long-term ballpark solution will be addressed by the city and neighboring counties after the new franchise has formally relocated and the ownership group can join discussions. ... Regional cooperation is vital to a long-term solution, in the estimation of William J. Pantele, a former City Council president. "At the end of the day, we need to look at what a baseball stadium or that activity really is, and it's a regional entertainment event. That's worth contributing to. It's not worth breaking the bank over," Pantele said. "So wherever [a new or transformed ballpark] is located West End, Boulevard, someplace else -- it's got to have a fiscally feasible model, and I don't think you'll ever get to that kind of model without the regional governments getting together." ...

.18 Barberton may join county in health

Akron Beacon Journal - Akron, OH, USA

Barberton soon might contract with the Summit County Health District rather than continue its own health agency. Mayor Bob Genet presented a report at this week's City Council meeting recommending the switch. The move could save the city about $500,000 per year and result in more stability for public health services and the employees who provide those services, Genet said. ''Everybody is strapped right now,'' he said. ''I think regionalism provides a better opportunity to serve people.'' ... Barberton Health Commissioner Paulette Kline said she supports exploring consolidation. However, she said, she's concerned whether ''a cluster of poverty'' within Barberton will continue to receive much-needed services. ...

.19 Health Care - Not Affordable

The Seminal - Chicago, IL, USA

Health Care for America Now and the Institute for America’s Future have teamed up for a report on affordability. The Institute for America’s Future has a state-by-state interactive map ... The geographical distribution of the data is interesting. States like Maine are faring the worst - meaning that Maine’s Senators might have a real duty to fix the problem. And how do we fix that problem? For families purchasing health insurance, subsidies based on the federal poverty level must be regionally adjusted to account for drastic cost-of-living variations among urban and rural areas. ...

.20 MNREM Honored with EDAM Partnership Award

Minnesota REM - Marshall, MN, USA

The Economic Development Association of Minnesota (EDAM) announced winners of the organization’s annual Economic Development Awards on June 17, 2009, at the organization’s Summer Conference. ... Non-Metro: Renewable Energy Marketplace – Alliance for Talent Development. The “Renewable Energy Marketplace – Alliance for Talent Development” [ ] is an industry-led consortium of economic development, workforce development, education and workforce leaders that provides the framework and commitment to transform the 36-county region of South Central, Southwest, and West Central Minnesota from primarily agriculture-dependent to a knowledge- and innovation-based economy that capitalizes on the region’s strength in agriculture and renewable energy.

.21 Funding to aid health care costs for area residents

Waxahachie Daily Light - Waxahachie, TX, USA

Efforts to assist Medicare beneficiaries who are likely to be eligible for help paying their health care costs and prescriptions will be stepped up in North Central Texas, thanks to special funding awarded to the North Central Texas Area Agency on Aging. ... The NCTAAA is a program of the North Central Texas Council of Governments. North Central Texas is one of six area agencies on aging in Texas to receive the funding, made available through the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Provider Act. ...

.22 Yahoo! decision to build here may attract others

Buffalo News - NY, United States

State and local government leaders are betting that their aggressive efforts to capture Yahoo!’s new $150 million data center for Niagara County will convince other high-tech firms to consider Western New York, bringing investments and jobs to the struggling region. ... Government officials and Yahoo! executives said the region already has a strong, educated, skilled work force, a cadre of colleges and universities, a diversity of possible sites, a fiber-optic network and appropriate infrastructure, and competitive low-cost hydropower — all of which played a role in landing Yahoo!. “Lockport and the Greater Buffalo area have all the resources to build and run a world-class data center operation,” said David Dibble, Yahoo! executive vice president of service engineering and operations, and a Chautauqua County native. ...

.23 Michigan Suburbs Alliance aims to regionalize stimulus money - MI, USA

The Michigan Suburbs Alliance, an association of 31 localities in southeast Michigan, is working to form a regional Energy Office to coordinate spending of federal stimulus funding earmarked for energy conservation. The group is also developing a "Redevelopment Ready" program to help 10 struggling cities streamline their permitting and approval processes to make development easier. ... How does southeast Michigan compare to other parts of the country in that regard? Generally, as a region we are average compared with other places around the country, but way behind in terms of what we could be doing in terms of innovation. We're just not competitive, not doing a lot of things identified as best practices. ...

.24 South Mountain Freeway looking more likely

East Valley Tribune - Mesa, AZ, USA

In recent weeks, the Maricopa Association of Governments has unveiled its plans on how to build the next round of transportation infrastructure despite near-crippling economic woes. ...

.25 Town applies for regional dispatch grant

The Landmark - Holden, MA, USA

... Sterling Fire Department has applied for a $100,000 grant that could be used for consulting purposes in forming a regional dispatch center that would also include the Sterling Police Department, as well and 12-13 other area communities. "The grant would essentially fund a feasibility study on the proposed regionalization, which could add up to big savings for the towns involved in the long run. In these economic times we have to look at all options. The money will be used to hire a consultant with an eye toward actual implementation," ...

.26 Kemper won't support regionalized senior services Merger talks

The Daily News of Newburyport - Newburyport, MA, USA

A plan to regionalize services for senior citizens with Merrimac stalled last week when selectmen Chairman Glenn Kemper issued a public statement saying he would not support it. ... "It has the appearance of saying 'the process is over,'" Cushing said of the letter, "I think you've jumped the gun; we're not done." In addition to exploring the COA proposal, Cushing said his board needs to establish a general protocol for how decisions about any type of regionalization are rendered. "I'm just giving you my opinion," responded Kemper. The fact that the COA voted unanimously against the idea and indicated they will all resign if selectmen pursue it is a clear indication of how seniors feel, he believes. ...


Lakefront Hartwell - Hartwell, GA, USA

... leaders from the Tri-County area met to discuss the effects of the economic downturn on our region and to forge a partnership focused on mutually beneficial collaboration and joint economic development. Council Chairmen from Oconee, Pickens and Anderson Counties met with Tri-County Technical College President Ronnie Booth and Tri-County Vice President for Economic Development John Lummus with the mission to form a cohesive vision for the economic advancement of the Tri-County region and to work toward resolution of issues dealing with the Tri-county Landfill. …

RC: South Carolina Appalachian Council of Governments

.28 Lack of transmission capacity stymies deals with wind developers

Casper Star-Tribune Online - Wyoming

... problem is that most power lines are built by utilities to carry their own electrical generation, leaving little room for third-party generators to get their power onto the grid. ... The first major expansion of transmission capacity in the region may be the Wyoming-Colorado Intertie Project, which is on track to be in service in 2013. ... However, most of that additional capacity is already under contract. ... there is a gap between companies that want to develop wind energy and companies that want to build transmission lines, and that's where the Infrastructure Authority tries to make connections. "That role of facilitation is absolutely critical," … "But we need to do it without taking away the competitive nature of the transmission projects.

.29 Spec building going up at industrial park

The Times and Democrat - Orangeburg, SC, USA

Representatives of the Southern Carolina Alliance and several economic partners broke ground for a new speculative industrial building at the Cross Rhodes Industrial Park near Bamberg on June 18. The building is being constructed and marketed by the Alliance, a nonprofit regional economic development organization representing Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell and Hampton counties. ...

.30 Regional event to benefit Mt. Vernon

Mt. Vernon Register-News - Mt. Vernon, IL, USA

A new event which will be held in Salem this fall will mean big tourist dollars for Mt. Vernon. “It’s part of our push toward regionalism,” Mayor Mary Jane Chesley said. “It helps everyone.”

The World Coon Dog Championship will be held at the Marion County Fairgrounds in October, but the city of Salem doesn’t have enough hotel rooms for the competitors and spectators expected to attend the event, according to Mt. Vernon Tourism Director Bonnie Jerdon. ...

.31 City Leader Heads State Municipal League

Fort Smith Times Record - Fort Smith, AR, USA

Gary Campbell, at-large director and vice mayor of Fort Smith, acquired a new title Friday when he ascended to the presidency of the Arkansas Municipal League at the end of the group’s summer conference in Hot Springs. ... He said he hopes to promote regionalism and economic development. ...

.32 Baker Chosen to Develop Regional Assisted Evacuation Plan in Ohio

Business Wire (press release) - San Francisco, CA, USA

Michael Baker Jr., Inc., an engineering unit of Michael Baker Corporation (NYSE Amex:BKR), announced today that it has been selected by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) for a contract to create a seven-county regional emergency preparedness and evacuation plan that will improve emergency preparedness, disaster response and disaster recovery for populations with specific mobility needs. ...

.33 Work Beginning to Pick Up at Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport

Parabolic Arc

When the Minotaur rocket carrying the TacSat-3 military satellite blasted off last month from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, one of the people who helped it happen was a Saxis native and mother of two whose job it is to ensure spaceport customers have everything they need to succeed. ...

.34 Editorial: ER in south Lee County ... Bonita Springs plans hold hope for care, cooperation

Naples Daily News - Naples, FL, USA

Lee Memorial Health System and NCH Healthcare System are sticking with plans for a stand-alone emergency room in Bonita Springs. The plan remains alive even though the two medical organizations’ current joint venture at Bonita Community Health Center — actually in Estero — is losing money. ... Sometimes vision and patience are summoned — and rewarded. Although the service area is the emerging epicenter of Southwest Florida, for now it is on the tail end of the Naples- and Fort Myers-based medical marketplaces. We, along with lots of residents of Bonita and Estero, hold out hope that the emergency care project can move forward and succeed. Think of it: An example of collaborative regionalism actually working for the public’s benefit.

.35 Interdependence Day - Wilmington, NC

... developing strategies to address problems we 'rugged individualists' can't solve alone. Even if I don't agree with the solutions, I agree with the approach that is rooted in the belief that government can play a limited positive role in our lives. We're too interdependent to survive on 'rugged individualism' alone. Actors depend on audiences. Businesses depend on buyers. Buyers depend on employers. Employers need healthy educated employees. Healthy workers need health insurance. We're all virtually and really part of the world wide web. It's a proud day ... Maybe one day we'll be able to celebrate 'Interdependence Day.'

.36 “Reading the West” Gets the Word Out About Regional Books

New West Books & Writers - Missoula, MT

“I shamelessly copied from my fellow regional bookseller associations,” Knudsen said, noting that the Midwest and Great Lakes Bookseller associations sponsor similar programs. The Reading the West program makes advance copies of the featured books available to booksellers, as well as materials to use in their display and promotion. The authors are also available for readings at regional stores. ...

.37 Cooperation gets results for region

Detroit Free Press - MI, USA

Just when we thought regionalism was losing ground, there has been a spate of good news recently that provides hope for those of us who believe that regional cooperation is vital to the growth of southeast Michigan. I want to point out three examples of the potential of regional cooperation to create jobs, increase entrepreneurism, and improve the region's image. ...

.38 The Rise of Megaregions

The American Prospect

… , the RPA, America 2050, and others in the planning world seem to have gotten their point across. Infrastructure development is a big part of the federal stimulus package, and back in April, President Barack Obama announced a $13 billion plan for a regional system of high-speed rail. The promoters of megaregions and modern rail systems seem to have a winning formula, one that offers a fresh conceptualization of the spatial workings of economic growth and is glamorous and high-tech (not to mention, green). To say the least, this formula is politically convenient, given how well it responds to concerns -- magnified by the recession -- about America's economic future. The time has come for a closer look. ...

.39 Comprehensive Ocean Protection Plan Introduced

The President has established an Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, led by Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley, to recommend a national policy, as well as the framework for implementation of the policy, within 90 days for the protection and restoration of these waters. The Task Force will make coastal and marine spatial planning recommendations, looking at development activities including offshore drilling. President Obama stressed the importance of a unifying framework under a clear national policy to succeed in protecting the oceans, coasts and Great Lakes. ...

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 Create single airspace, task force urges

Trinidad & Tobago Express - Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

THE only way to action the idea of a single airspace across the eastern Caribbean is for the merger of the two existing airlines, Caribbean Airlines and LIAT, and for the adoption of an open skies policy among the countries involved, the Task Force on enhanced regional unity has recommended. It says further that if these and other related recommendations are accepted, this would lead to the following outcomes. Not only would the countries involved have strengthened their air transportation sectors, but they would have taken a giant step towards strengthening their economies, given the inescapable relationship between air transportation and tourism, and the highly important role of tourism in these countries. ...

.02 PM: Region under threat

Trinidad & Tobago Express - Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago and the rest of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) are under threat from criminal activity which is set to grow worse because of the impact of the ongoing international financial crisis. This is the stern warning Prime Minister Patrick Manning gave to the region as he called on all Caricom member states to come together to deal with the crime threat since "the war cannot be won alone". He did so in St Kitts on Monday night after he told members of the ruling party on Sunday mass illegal immigration due to the worsening state of economies in the region and an increase in drug activity pose a serious threat to this country as he promoted regional unification as a solution. "We are under threat. There is no doubt about it," Manning said. ...

.03 Could CARICOM Come Crashing Down Over The `Ethnic Cleansing` Of Guyanese From Barbados?

Guyana Inquirer - Georgetown, Guyana

There seems to be the mother of a row brewing over the seeming discrimination, early morning raids on their homes and the `ethnic cleansing` of illegal Guyanese immigrants in Barbados. So far this month four Guyanese have been deported from Barbados … Eminent regionalist, Sir Shridath Ramphal, also of Guyanese origin, in an apparent reference to the Barbados deportations, told a meeting in Trinidad on Thursday that it was sad that the Caribbean was experiencing a period when both policies and practices are deepening divisions and he cautioned that `we forget our oneness at our peril.`... New York-based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy President, Rickford Burke … halt all draconian immigration practices and confer with his regional counterparts to conceptualize a more `altruistic, uniform and progressive` immigration policy that is congruous with the spirit of Caribbean integration and free movement of peoples, as envisioned by the revised Treaty of Chaguramas.`

.04 COMESA launches its Customs Union despite concerns for peace and Security situation in the region

Shaebia - Eritrea

The 13th Summit of Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) Heads of State and Government took place in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, from 7 to 8 June 2009. "Consolidating Regional Economic Integration through Value Addition, Trade and Food Security" was the theme of the Summit. Preparations for the launch of the COMESA Customs Union started way back in 1997. Under the COMESA Treaty, the Customs Union was to be launched in 2004; but this was postponed. However now, according to the secretariat report, the key requirements for the launch of the Customs Union are in place. Nowadays there is a global move towards regionalism. ASEAN, FTAA, NAFTA, MERCOSUR, APEC, and EU are the widely known regional blocs. ... As the Secretary General, COMESA, Sindiso Ngwenya puts it “ Without working together, in an orgainsed and orderly manner that brings us ever closer as a region, we will not successfully face the world as it is now”. ...

.05 Un Reports Calls For Interregional Trade To Boost African Economic Development

Journal of Turkish Weekly - Ankara, Turkey

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development says African countries can boost their economic development by expanding inter-regional trade and strengthening road and telecommunication systems. In its annual report on Economic Development in Africa, UNCTAD says regional integration is essential for sustained development. ...

.06 What's next for Amazonia?

Latin America Press - Lima, Peru

A moment of calm took over after lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to revoke two pro-investment decrees on June 18. Their decision came on the heels of more than two months of protests by Amazon indigenous groups, demonstrations that turned bloody on June 5, when police moved in, that left 24 officers and at least 10 protesters dead, according to government figures. But now the government and native groups from Peru´s Amazon are scheduled to sit down and discuss the region´s development. Participating in the group is the Inter-Ethnic Development Association of the Peruvian Amazon, or AIDESEP, the umbrella organization of Amazon indigenous groups that first called the protests on April 9. …

.07 'Boom and bust' of deforestation

BBC News

"It is generally assumed that replacing the forest with crops and pastureland is the best approach for fulfilling the region's legitimate aspirations to development," said Dr Rodrigues

"We found although the deforestation frontier does bring initial improvements in income, life expectancy, and literacy, such gains are not sustained." ... The research was possible only because Brazil has good data on human development and on deforestation, which these days is measured by satellites. But Ana Rodrigues believes the conclusions probably hold true for other countries stocked with tropical forests in southeast Asia or west Africa. "I would be very surprised if we didn't see this boom and bust pattern emerging in these areas as well," she told BBC News. ...

.08 ALBA Bloc Grows by Three New Member Countries at Summit - Caracas, Venezuela

The strengthening of the ALBA is a functioning example of a burgeoning "pluripolar world," said Chavez. "The ALBA is no longer a theoretical proposal, but a platform of political, territorial, geopolitical power."To symbolize this, it was agreed that the acronym ALBA, which means "dawn" in Spanish, will stand for Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, rather than Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, from now on.

.09 International nature park rises in Palawan - Philippines

An international project seeks to build friendship parks in countries bordering the Pacific Rim, an area that used to be the playground of “imperial politics.” The latest park to be put up is in Palawan, a showcase of the glories of nature. ... A vision that dispels the notion of the “Imperial Pacific Rim” moved American sculptor Jim Hubbell to begin the Pacific Rim Parks Project in 1994. Its aim is to construct parks in all of the countries that border the ocean. ... Whether unique to the Filipinos or not, regionalism is a common archipelagic bane, precisely what the Pacific Rim Project wants to address in their mission “to build parks and community spaces that bridge political, cultural, environmental and spiritual boundaries.”

.10 Think Regionally Act Locally

Scoop Independent News - New Zealand

The North Shore City Council is doing all it can to assist local community groups to prepare for the new “super city” governance structure, says Councillor Tony Holman, Chair of the council’s Community Services and Parks Committee. “Our community groups number in the thousands and are the lifeblood of the North Shore,” he says. “They are mainly resourced by volunteers, and include sports clubs, environmental and arts groups and frontline support services. “We need to ensure that these extremely valuable networks are not overlooked when a new, much larger council is put in place in only 16 months’ time.”... “Our North Shore groups and organisations are looking at ways in which they can build and enhance regional networks, without sacrificing their local relationships and responsibilities.” ...

.11 UK police chiefs mull regional cybercrime squads

The Register - UK

British police chiefs are drawing up plans to set up regional “cybercrime” squads along the lines of existing teams tasked to handle anti-terror operations. The idea - still in its formative stages - is the brainchild of the Association of Chief Police Officers, and reflects concern that existing efforts are not enough to keep auction fraud, malware, hacking and other forms of cybercrime in check, ...

.12 Region fights for higher profile

BBC News - UK

The creation of a South of Scotland Forum is being considered to help the area attract increased investment. The group would be used to represent the interests of organisations across Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders. A joint meeting between the councils for the two areas has been suggested in order to consider the proposal. Dumfries and Galloway's regeneration director Tony Fitzpatrick said it was time to address the "low level of priority" afforded to the region. The two councils already work together under the umbrella organisation, the South of Scotland Alliance. ...

.13 Gilgit Baltistan: Response To Pakistan's Lack Of Collaboration

UNPO - The Hague, Netherlands

The right of legislation in Gilgit-Baltistan rests with the people of the region. “The government of Pakistan’s proposals to make laws and bring constitutional packages for the region are unlawful and hold no ground at all, as the region does not fall under Pakistan's constitution of 1973,” said Chairman Gilgit-Baltistan United Movement Manzoor Hussain Parwana. He spoke at a consultative workshop titled “Gilgit-Baltistan's constitutional status and the government's constitutional package” organized by the Human Rights Advocacy Network and Sangi Development Foundation . ...

.14 Algebra Capital confident of regional economic upturn

AME Info - United Arab Emirates

'The short-comings of the regional markets in terms of lack of transparency, and the short-comings of the regulatory environment, such as effective bankruptcy regimes, have been brought to the surface and will need to be addressed in the very near future to re-establish trust and confidence. Budgetary spending, which was already at record levels prior to the crisis, has been maintained to continue funding much needed infrastructure. This, combined with crude oil at over $50 per barrel, means that budget deficits can be kept to a minimum; above $70 per barrel and many in the region will be back in surplus accumulation mode,' ... the Mena region remains one of the fastest growing areas in the world with substantial wealth, relatively low levels of leverage and falling inflation. These, he says, 'Are strong and attractive attributes in this uncertain global economy.' ...

.15 Regional hub for business

Gulf Daily News - Bahrain

Bahrain is a regional centre for trade, Economic Development Board chief executive Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa said yesterday. This comes after the kingdom was ranked high on an index that tracks countries with most liberal trade procedures. It jumped 13 places on the Enabling Trade Index (ETI) of The Global Enabling Trade Report 2009, reflecting the world-class services the kingdom offers to local and international investors. The report was released by the World Economic Forum and assesses the extent to which countries have implemented policies to enable trade. ...

.16 Saudi worst media pirates in Mid-East

Rapid TV News

“The Arabian Anti-Piracy Alliance has highlighted the growing grey market, where DTH platforms from outside the region are illegally sold within it. The Alliance estimates that there are 60,000 illegal ‘subscribers’ to India’s Dish TV in the Middle East. These subs pay US$13 per month for what would cost US$140 per month across the legal Middle East platforms. Similarly, South Africa’s DStv has an estimated 40,000-70,000 illegal users in the region. They pay US$50 per month for what would cost US$140 per month from the legal platforms.” ...

.17 Fresh ADB initiative to promote sub-regional cooperation

The New Nation - Bangladesh

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has undertaken a fresh initiative in their ongoing efforts to promote South Asian sub-regional economic cooperation, with the new government of Bangladesh taking over office. Visiting ADB director general for South Asia Kunio Senga called on Finance Minister AMA Muhith at the Finance Ministry on Tuesday, apprising the Minister of the possible benefits of cooperation among Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan. "We believe all the countries in the sub-region can be benefited through mutual cooperation," Senga told reporters after the meeting. ...

.18 ABU starts new collaboration on Early Warning Broadcasting Systems

Media Network

The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) is to begin a new collaboration on Early Warning Broadcasting Systems (EWBS) with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). ... the new funding is a continued acknowledgement by multilaterals of the effective and critical role that ABU and its broadcasters can play in sharing with their audience's appropriate information and highlighting the challenges that are facing the region.” ...

.19 Competing Paradigms On Russian-EU Cooperation

The global economic crisis can be a window of opportunity for enhanced cooperation between Russia and the West. But whether this opportunity can be seized depends on how the whole world reacts to the crisis. If it pushes actors toward global solutions and close regional cooperation, it will naturally facilitate the further integration of Russia. But if actors move toward more intense national politics, it will strengthen the pursuit of national interest and reinforce the zero-sum model. ...

.20 IBM to collaborate with city of Rotterdam for smart water and energy management

NewNet News - London

The Dutch city of Rotterdam has announced a collaboration with IBM on the design and testing of a monitoring and forecasting system for smarter water and energy management. With this collaboration with IBM, ... 'We are committed to reducing carbon dioxide by 50 percent and reaching a climate adaptive situation while also strengthening our region's economic condition by 2025,' said Paula Verhoeven, Rotterdam Climate Office Director. ...

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 BROOKINGS MetroMonitor

Bacon's Rebellion

... The primary message to take from MetroMonitor? These data document that there is NO one nation-state-wide policy that will improve the economic, social and physical well being of all Regions. Further some of the most often touted “policy alternatives” (aka, ways to spend federal money) will damage many Regions. Three examples drive home this point: It is painfully apparent that MainStream Media and most Governance Practitioners are still dreaming that the Great Recession will be eclipsed by the two principle economic forces that have been relied on to end every recession since World War II. (It is worth noting in passing that it was World War II, and not specific economic policies that ended the Great Depression.)

The sale of cars and houses have pulled citizens and their Organizations out of every recession over the past 64 years. ...

.02 Sane planning? Not for transportation

The Naked City - Mary Newsom on growth in the Charlotte region

Gather a bunch of people interested in urban regions – as opposed to just cities – and it's only a matter of minutes before the acronym MPO comes up, and the grumbling starts. MPO means Metropolitan Planning Organization, and it's a federally mandated way to plan "transportation" "regionally." Those quote marks are intentional. To too many MPOs, "transportation" means only roads, and of the highway genre, not of the city street genre and certainly not transit or pedestrian or bicycle paths. And for an alarming number of MPOs, including in the Charlotte region, the "regional" part is a farce. ...

.03 New Report on Old Roads Uses Old Assumptions

... On its face, the report sounds like an argument for prioritizing road repair and modernization over new construction, which is certain to be a flashpoint as Congress works on a new federal transportation bill. But some of the upgrades that the authors suggest rely on outmoded assumptions about driver safety -- not to mention pedestrian safety, a concept never mentioned in the report. ... Taking its origins and questionable assumptions into account, however, two maps in the report tell an interesting tale of the regional toll exacted by traffic. ... California and most of the northeast corridor rank high in crash costs per roadway mile (see below) and much lower in costs per million VMT (see above). The study's authors, who hail from the Pacific Institute of Research and Evaluation, attribute the trend to "traffic density" -- making a powerful argument for giving special attention on expanding transit options, including high-speed rail, in California and the northeast. Put simply, the problem in those areas isn't a shortage of road miles; it's a surplus of demand for the movement of people and goods. ...

.04 Auckland City's regional governance submission

Auckland Blog

Yesterday at the Regional Governance committee, the Auckland City submission was signed off and will go to council for final ratification before we present to the government. Here's what was passed at the meeting:

- A maximum of 21 wards for locally elected councillors

- A minimum of 8 at large elected councillors

- A Mayor, who is able to appoint their own Deputy, as well as the major committee chairs

- The Mayor determining the high level vision for the city


.05 Regional Knowledge Ecosystems

URENIO Portal: Innovation, Environments of Innovation, Intelligent Cities & Regions

In the article “Regional Knowledge Ecosystems: Laying the Groundwork for Future Technology-Based Economic Development”, published in the newsletter of the International Economic Development Council, Dr. Anthony Townsend, Research Director of the Institute for the Future, writes about the growth of regional approaches to technology-based economic development. According to Dr. Townsend, we are just beginning to see the outlines of this approach, which involves many partners – research parks, large research-driven companies, startups, universities, investors and professionals – working together to develop regional knowledge ecosystems. ... the strength of regional knowledge ecosystems is that they can adapt faster than national systems, which are dictated by federal politics, and they can scale up successful enterprises much more effectively than individual research parks or municipalities. ...

.06 Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech

The Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech, (SRCTec), was founded in 2006 and is supported by key Regional strategic partnerships, including Chilliwack Economic Partners (CEPCO), City of Abbotsford and Community Futures for South Fraser. The role of SRCTec is to actively attract technology companies to the Fraser Valley Region, which includes; the City of Abbotsford, City of Chilliwack and City of Mission, located just east of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. SRCTec has exclusive responsibilities for economic and educational development specific to the high tech sector. ...

.07 Let's Think Regionally in this New Energy Era

Emerging West - Colorado

I’ve attended meetings, participated in conferences, tried to keep up to date with the latest developments regarding alternative and renewable energy – or as it’s called “the new energy economy.” Not once at these many meetings, attended by those who want to share in a piece of this promising new economy, has anyone talked about the regional needs and opportunities that require collaboration among many different entities. I first became aware of the regional issues facing energy developers, state governments and power distributors when I served on the board of the Wyoming Business Council ... But there seems to be a parochial view, at least in Colorado, that we stand unto ourselves. ...

.08 Two Great Articles Via Blogs We Love

Sixty Feet, Six Inches

Most people outside the region don't even know St. Petersburg exists. They think Tampa Bay IS the city name. I'm sure at least one person reading this did not realize that. Tampa Bay is a region and the area is composed of St. Petersburg and Tampa along with other smaller cities/towns. Now, I can only speak of my time spent in Tampa Bay on and off since 2001, but here's how this relationship works: Tampa gets all the recognition due to the fact their city name is in the regional name. St. Pete suffers from a bit of an inferiority complex. Here's a fictional conversation between the two cities that will help explain: ...

.09 There and Here

The Way of Improvement Leads Home

...these days everybody has a good word for regionalism and the sense of place. But it remains to be seen whether the balance between Here and There is actually being redressed, or whether universal culture, more powerful than ever, is merely donning a few quaint local costumes now that they're fashionable and benign. I've never visited a "neo-traditional" town like Seaside, the planned community on the Florida panhandle celebrated for its humane postmodern architecture and sense of neighborhood, but I can't help wondering if the experience of sitting out on one of those great-looking front porches and chatting with the neighbors strolling by doesn't feel just a bit synthetic. ...

.10 TTTMS#12 (Things That Threaten My Sanity): Regionalism

Country California

Local and regional music scenes are great. There’s a lot to be said for communities of artists, promoters, and fans forming support systems to enable success outside of the mass mainstream model that so often squelches the independence of its stars. Or forming support systems to help catapult local/regional acts to that national level so that they can have their independence squelched (if that’s what they want). In his excellent Red Dirt: The Power of Infrastructure at The 9513 last year, Ben Cisneros (himself active in the Southern California scene) concluded: I, for one, hope that not only does Red Dirt music continue to thrive, but that folks in other regions of the country follow Texas/Oklahoma’s example, get organized, and work together to enable regional success for independent artists playing new, original country music. Amen to that. I’m all for getting organized and supporting the music. I’m not as crazy about the insular, myopic attitudes you sometimes find within these scenes. Like rabid Red Dirt fans loudly proclaiming the superiority of everything Texas to everything anywhere else (especially everything Nashville). ...

.11 Collaboration - Sooo Hard to Do - Is there a good example?

Tales from the Trenches

The word “Collaboration” is on everyone’s lips these days. But as anyone who has tried to “Collaborate” knows, it’s hard to pull off. It’s a bit like eating healthy: we all know we should do it but it is easier to eat the wrong things. Collaboration will be essential, however, if Americans are to help each other in their communities to get through the Mortgage Crisis. Where is there an example of how to do this better? Surprisingly, because I thought the state would be all about Rugged Independence, I found one via Rocky Mountain PBS in Denver. The Colorado Foreclosure Hotline has been working full tilt since 2006 ...

.12 Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s Geo-Political and Geo-Strategic Dynamics

Overseas Pakistani Friends

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is emerging as yet another player in a crowded web of diplomatic and military ties. For many in the region, particularly the smaller nations, this jockeying promises benefits of all sorts, whether measured in aid, security guarantees or energy investments ... The SCO is the only organization in the modern world which has enough potential to put forward an alternative to the Western style of socio-economic development. The SCO embraces most of the territory of the continental geopolitical center of the world. It can either rise to the level of a geopolitical center that would make other countries follow, or run into geopolitical non-existence and collapse. ...

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago - 2009 Upper Midwest Planning Conference - September 24-26 - Chicago, IL

July 2009 marks the 100th Anniversary of the 1909 Plan of Chicago, familiarly known as the Burnham Plan—after its principal author, architect and city planner Daniel H. Burnham. A legacy planning document that influenced and shaped the entire planning profession, it looked at the metropolitan area from a regional perspective.

The annual Upper Midwest Planning Conference, whose sponsorship rotates between Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota Chapters of the American Planning Association, will consider the 100 years of planning practice since the Plan of Chicago. To re-integrate professional fields that have become too often separated from planning, the American Institute of Architects and Landmarks Illinois have partnered in the conference design. It while critically examine the trajectory of the planning profession for the next 100 years.

This conference is designed to make participants “think big!” The mobile workshop-centric program will get participants out and about in one of the world’s greatest metropolitan areas. The goal is to expand the way attendees view their work in shaping regional growth, development, and re-development.

For information and online registration:

.02 Surviving the global economic downturn—how supply chains and logistics providers need to evolve in a changing economic environment - Ti (Transportation Intelligence) Europe Conference - October 6-7, Brussels, Belgium

Within a dynamic and evolving market the need to keep up to date with the distribution strategies employed by world class companies has never been greater. How manufacturers and retailers organise their supply chains, the political, economic and social influences on their decisions and the effectiveness of the execution of their strategies is critical to competitive advantage.

Moreover understanding the strategic development of the myriad of service and infrastructure providers is essential to the facilitation of best practice.

The conference focuses on the importance of nodal choices: cross-docking, warehousing, logistics platforms or indeed direct to consumer approaches. It takes into account the latest trends of inventory management mitigated by best practice in customer service.

.03 - Advance Northeast Ohio

Advance Northeast Ohio, the region's economic action plan, unites our 16-county region to accelerate positive changes that create jobs, increase incomes and reduce poverty. Launched in 2007, more than 80 organizations, institutions and leaders from business, philanthropy, government and the civic arena are united behind this movement to strengthen the economic competitiveness of Northeast Ohio.

- Fund for Our Economic Future

The Fund for Our Economic Future is a collaboration of philanthropic organizations and individuals that have united to strengthen the economic competitiveness of Northeast Ohio through grantmaking, research and civic engagement.

- EfficientGovNow

Efficient government: A system of local governments that meets the needs of citizens in a way that is cost-effective and cooperative. EfficientGovNow is what the 16-county region of Northeast Ohio needs to compete in the global economy.

EfficientGovNow attracted project ideas from hundreds of leaders across Northeast Ohio to help the region’s governments increase collaboration, save money and enhance the economic competitiveness of Northeast Ohio.

Now, the residents of the region get to choose which three projects from the below finalists most deserve a piece of $300,000 in awards provided by the Fund for Our Economic Future. Voting is open July 1 – 31, 2009.

Make change happen. Reward efficient government in Northeast Ohio by following the three simple steps of this ballot.

.04 Administrative Divisions of Countries ("Statoids")

A table of internationally recognized codes for countries and territories, showing their dependent status where applicable.

.05 Religious Intelligence Weekly Summary – Religious Intelligence

Security List Subscribers can now also refer to Religious Intelligence’s list of current conflicts, to be found below the security list. This list does not record the countries with the worst security situations, rather those most volatile countries where there is the greatest likelihood of escalated violence in the immediate future.

The Security Newsletter, a detailed analysis of ongoing conflict around the world, is available. To subscribe to the Security Newsletter send an email to: with the subject Security

.06 e² the economies of being environmentally conscious – PBS

e² transport includes programs on congestion pricing in London, free bicycle use in Paris, tearing down a freeway to open a stream in Seoul and the Portland, Oregon approach to transportation. Go to webcasts

.07 A Europe of the Regions? - OpenLearn - The Open University

Introduction - This unit discusses the future of Europe, and it looks particularly closely at what may happen to the smaller political units presently existing below the level of the nation-state. These include nation-regions like Scotland and Wales, larger entities like the German Länder, and smaller more recently created regions with less existing cultural unity. Despite the very large differences between them, for our purposes all these political entities are called ‘regions’. The unit takes a historical glance at how they came into being, and assesses how they are being affected by political and economic developments like globalisation and the growth of the political institutions of the European Community. For the fate of the ‘regions’ depends not just on the nation-states of which they are a part: it cannot be separated from the future of the European Community (EC) itself. Time: 8 hours Level: Intermediate

14. 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 2,107 regional related sites as of July 9, 2009. Entering the term environmentally conscious returned 346 items; environmentally safe returned 371 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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Thomas J. (Tom) Christoffel, AICP -