Regional Community Development News – October 28, 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 - .28

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet11.01 - .28

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .06

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .07

Financial Crisis …14.01 - .02

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


Top Regional Community stories

1. Growing Pains: Portland Metro Area's Regional Coordination Process - Northwest Hub (blog) - Ashley DeForest

Clean air and water do not stop at jurisdictional boundaries. Neither does the need for jobs, affordable housing and multi-modal transportation choices. Regional planning and coordination is often applauded as the solution to addressing region-wide problems, but even with the best of intentions, efforts at regionalism are wrought with challenges.

Civic leaders across the Portland metro area are now engaged in a collaborative planning process to consider the region’s growth patterns for the next 40-50 years. As part of this work, Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties and Metro (the regional planning body) are leading a regional effort to identify lands that will be reserved for or protected from urbanization. As with many regional efforts, the debates are heating up as the maps are being drawn.

A New Way to Plan for Growth

Portland metro area growth is now considered incrementally—every five years Metro calculates how much acreage is needed for a 20-year supply of buildable land to accommodate projected population and employment growth, and then adjusts the urban growth boundary (UGB) accordingly. To streamline this grueling, incremental process the Oregon State Legislature enacted Senate Bill 1011 (SB 1011) in 2007, enabling Metro and Metro-area counties to designate "Urban and Rural Reserves."

The urban reserves, once designated, identify where UGBs in the Portland metro region will expand to accommodate population and employment growth in the next 40 to 50 years.

It is apparent that the regional coordination process established with SB 1011 is being tested this year. The reserves process under way is a unique collaborative approach to land use planning. It is complex and challenging. To be effective, it requires people across the region to consider the interests of the larger community over the long term and make decisions accordingly. …

2. Census survey: It's a long, lonely commute – The Washington Post - Washington, DC, USA

The Census Bureau's 2006-2008 American Community Survey shows that despite more than a decade of efforts to get commuters in the Washington region to carpool, take transit or live close enough to walk to work, most people continue to drive, drive alone and drive a long way to work.

The study of that three-year span says our region had 2,221,629 workers over 16. Of them, 1,415,834 drove alone to work, while 363,334 took public transportation. The number said to be carpooling was put at 237,724. (This is a survey, not an actual count. That's just once a decade. You can see the full details for our region here. - Note: Use the “Change geography” link to get comparable Urban Area data or that of another geographic unit.)

Nationwide, the percentage of workers who drove alone to work ranged from 50.4 percent in the New York metropolis to 87.3 percent in the Jackson, Tenn., and Monroe, Mich., areas. We come in at 63.7 percent. Public transportation is the choice of 16.4 percent. (Not bad, nationwide. The figures don't appear here, but in most surveys, the percentage of public transit users rises toward the more crowded center of urban regions.)

The study says New York had the longest mean travel time to work, at 34.5 minutes, followed by us, at 33.2 minutes. Only one metropolitan area, Grand Forks, N.D., had a mean travel time to work of less than 15 minutes, the study said.

What are the implications? First, we're not doing ourselves any favors as a group, though individuals are choosing the course they think is best for them. Collectively, we're using too much gas, getting the roads too crowded and creating a demand for more roads -- expensive to build and maintain and wasteful of land.


3. Green Constitutional Engineering in Korea - Korea Times - Seoul, South Korea

Three major political concerns of Korea ― equitable economics, constitutional change and the environment ― are seldom discussed together despite being interlinked.

I suggest a method to interlink them with green constitutional engineering, widening the ``Green New Deal" toward one of political stability, demotion of corruption and more representative equitable development. Three ideas are offered for constitutional revision debates in Korea in how green constitutional engineering can solve them.

The first debate is over districting; yet, no one has offered how to avoid districting that is partisan gerrymandering. Many accuse parties involved with ``district reform'' as merely scheming to elect more partisan incumbents by ``pre-rigging'' elections with creative line drawing.

This fails to create a competitive election and merely divides opposition artificially into separate districts or stuffs ballots (residences) of one party's supporters in one district. A real electoral reform of districts would draw them in a nonpartisan manner.

The public can be assured of this by making stable watersheds as the mandated form of electoral districting. Watersheds are biophysically real lines separating different drainage basins (water catchments). Drainage basins concentrate more than water.

Since much pollution risk is waterborne, watersheds represent areas where common environmental risk experiences exist. Therefore, watershed election districts should be the durable form of environmental risk feedback into state politics.

As a publicly desired neutral, nonpartisan way of drawing election boundaries, it has positive effects on party competition by removing gerrymandering to create truly representative parties. Parties should compete to represent the people's interests, not simply win by default because of gerrymandering.

Suggestions I have are nonpartisan, multiparty enhancements with green multiplier effects. When you integrate the full electorate in this fashion, in stable watersheds of environmental risk feedback, you are on the road toward a bioregional state with a representative development policy and a stable multiparty system of legitimate government.

4. Metropolitans in the Middle - Brookings Institution - Washington, D.C., USA

Some great back and forth about U.S. federalism has been banging around the web lately, with Matt Yglesias and Ezra Klein wondering whether America actually needs states and Josh Patashnik over at The Plank defending them.

Yglesias is particularly good here when he notices that the effectiveness of American federalism suffers because while states remain predominant “we don’t really live our lives `at the state level,’” and yet “we don’t have any level of governance that addresses metro area issues.” That’s exactly right, to which I would only add that the centrality of metros to economic life makes this disconnect even more dire. So one can share Matt’s frustration when he says that “there’s not a ton that can be done about this.”

And yet, there is actually quite a bit that a smart, refocused nation can and must do to remedy the absence of middle-tier (metro or regional) government from our federalism.

To begin with, Washington (and states, for that matter) needs to recognize, deal with, and bolster the array of metropolitan actors that already exists. Yglesias is right that the Constitution doesn’t account for metros, so that there is--constitutionally--no “there there” between the localism of individual municipalities and the larger states. Yet that doesn’t mean that nothing’s happening at that level.

For example, the nation possesses 380 metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) … hundreds of other increasingly robust “metro” regional councils and other entities are also active, ranging from scores of councils of government (COGs) and myriad economic development districts (EDDs) …

… Relationships between the federal government, states, and localities need to be re-imagined to more fully realize the potential of metropolitan America. Metropolitan actors need more discretion and standing. Federal and state policies and programs need to be put at the service of metropolitan needs and priorities. Obvious intrusions into regional sovereignty need to be minimized. …

5. The northwest celebrates 50 years of regionalism - - Duluth, MN, USA

For many, regionalism is a new concept, said Myron Schuster, executive director of Northwest Regional Planning Commission []. “Here, they’ve been doing it for 50 years,” he said.

Local units of government launched the Spooner-based economic development agency in 1959. It was the first such regional planning commission in Wisconsin. Today its members and funders include Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor and Washburn counties as well as the tribal nations of Bad River, Red Cliff, Lac du Flambeau, Lac Courte Oreilles and St. Croix.

“Counties needed services and it was too expensive to provide those services individually,” Schuster said.

The regional planning commission celebrated its 50th anniversary this summer. Its original mission – “to examine problems, prepare plans and recommend solutions to community groups and governing bodies to carry (them) out” — has expanded since 1959. The agency assists members with comprehensive planning, natural resources, transportation and mapping/GIS and environmental services. More recently it has embraced economic development.

Economic development came more sharply into focus in 1984, when regional planners helped launch a Business Development Revolving Loan Fund. Initial funds came from a combination of federal and state grants, as well as private donations. The $1 million loan fund was a “pump primer,” making funds more available to small business than otherwise would have been possible through traditional lending. The focus for the fund was businesses that tapped into the region’s greatest economic opportunities — timber and wood products, tourism, diversified manufacturing and service industries.

The planning agency presently manages $11.5 million in revolving loan funds, …

Northwest Wisconsin Regional Economic Development Fund. … The commission created the fund in 2005 after the Wisconsin Department of Commerce selected the agency as pilot project to pool resources and better use 23 small revolving loan funds in those seven participating counties.

6. Cities in planning spotlight - The Australian

AROUND the world, nations are grappling with the challenge of planning for the cities of the future. The forces of the global economy are driving rapid urban growth and requiring governments to rethink their approach to the planning and development of cities.

Last year, with very little comment, the world passed a remarkably significant milestone. For the first time in history, (most) humans live in cities and towns, rather than rural areas. In other words, we have tipped the scales and become an urban planet. Or, as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says, we have entered the urban century.

As the (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's) 2006 report on Competitive Cities in the Global Economy argues, national economic strategy can no longer ignore the characteristics of cities that shape economic performance, social cohesion and environmental conditions.

"National urban policies in the past have been reactive and remedial, not proactive and dynamic. Urban issues (must) be given greater visibility and higher priority in national policy."

Australia, famously, is one of the most urbanised nations on earth. …

Cities connect our farms, mines and rural areas to world markets. They often hold the corporate headquarters of regionally based companies.

One of the mistakes in debates about infrastructure and planning is thinking that cities and regional areas are in competition and governments must favour cities or the regions. Having spent most of my early years growing up in country Australia, and most of the past three decades in different cities, I'm convinced this is a myth.

The prosperity of urban, suburban and regional Australia are strongly interlinked. Our cities and regions depend on each other, so that planning for the separate needs of regional Australia and metropolitan Australia is in the interests of the whole nation.,25197,26268755-7583,00.html

7. Metro Atlanta's regional identity beginning to take form - Atlanta Journal Constitution - Atlanta, GA, USA

Maybe it’s global warming, I don’t know. But you can almost hear the ice beginning to crack and melt around us. It may be the sound of things finally breaking free, the sound of movement.

The first sign of thaw came last spring with the decision by the 10-county Atlanta Regional Commission [] to redirect $25 million in federal money to MARTA. That not only represented a tangible, financial commitment to transit, it marked an equally important commitment to the concept of metro Atlanta as an entity that has shared needs, obligations and resources.

The elected officials on ARC, many of them far removed geographically from MARTA’s service area, acknowledged by their vote that the ability to think regionally and act regionally has become critical to competing in a global economy.

It was, you might say, metro Atlanta’s Declaration of Interdependence.

As MARTA officials made clear, though, that $25 million was only a temporary fix. The agency’s looming budget crisis began long before the economy cratered, and its causes have little to do with mismanagement, corruption or other issues. The truth is that broad-based transit on the scale required by a major metro region simply cannot be sustained through local sales tax revenue and federal dollars, as Georgia tries to do. No other state in the country takes that approach.

If transit is to play its necessary role in metro Atlanta’s future, either direct state financial aid or a regionwide funding mechanism will be essential. And with the state budget already under enormous strain, the regional approach to financing transit seems inevitable.

“It’s not like the water issue,” Millar said. “We don’t have three years to do something. We have to do something now.”

8. Working Across Boundaries is guide for planning large regions - Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (Press release)– Cambridge, MA, USA

Today’s environmental challenges require planning initiatives that transcend municipal, county, state, and even international boundaries, according to a new publication of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

Working Across Boundaries: People, Nature, and Regions, by Matthew J. McKinney and Shawn Johnson, is a guide for citizens, practitioners, and policy makers seeking to implement regional solutions, underscores the importance of the support of a broad range of stakeholders and the ability to measure results.

“Our challenges today don’t fit neatly inside city limits or state lines,” said Armando Carbonell, senior fellow and chair of the Department of Planning and Urban Form. “The appropriate framework is more likely to be a watershed, or an ecosystem, or a megaregion that can benefit from a larger land conservation or infrastructure plan. Working Across Boundaries is a kind of ‘missing manual’ for working effectively at this scale.”

The examples of successful regional collaboration in the book have been studied and field-tested over nearly a decade as part of an ongoing joint venture between the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the University of Montana Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy (formerly the Public Policy Research Institute).

Regional collaboration can appear complex and difficult, given diverse stakeholders and conflicting interests that play out across complicated geographies. An example that runs the gamut of regional land use, natural resource, and environmental issues is Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Calgary is at the core of a metropolitan region of 19 municipalities struggling with serious urban-suburban conflicts over rapid growth, including water supply and wastewater issues, played out in a landscape of massive resource extraction, such as oil sands, and important habitat for moose, bear, and beaver. Other case studies and examples from across North America help to illustrate the principles, processes, and outcomes of diverse efforts by local officials and a host of networks, partnerships, and regional institutions to close the regional governance gap by working across boundaries.

Regional collaboration draws heavily on its sister field, consensus building, which is based on the theory of mutual gains negotiation. One shared insight is that these processes, to be sustained, need to fulfill an expectation that the benefits to participating stakeholders will exceed the costs. In the long run, regional efforts need to be measured by regional results.

The companion Web site for the book, Regional Collaboration can be found at:

9. Valley faces unique set of challenges - Merced Sun-Star - Merced, CA, USA

In many ways the Central Valley's 19 counties are a land apart.

What applies to the rest of the state often does not apply to this 25,000-square mile-region. Culturally, geographically and economically, this region runs by its own rules.

Indeed, if it were a state it would rank near the bottom nationally for per capita income yet the top for agricultural production.

So says a newly released report on the Valley's economy, which illustrates in stark numbers the Central Valley's distinct insularity. The report not only reinforces how much the Valley lags behind the state and nation in terms of income, but also illustrates the unique challenges the region faces in coming years.

The report, "Assessing The Region Via Indicators," looked at a series of economic indicators, from unemployment and transportation to agricultural productivity and housing, to see where the Valley stacks up compared to the state and nation. The Great Valley Center [ ], the nonprofit that conducts the annual study, broke the Central Valley down into four regions and outlined the major economic forces currently at work in each.

While the region, already below many state averages, was hit hard by the recession, much of the report's findings point to the area's preexisting internal contradictions. It has some of the highest population growth, yet the widest income disparity. It has some of the state's highest unemployment rates, lowest wages and highest growth.


The report was not all negative, in fact it recommends a series of actions. The Valley must improve the quality of its work force with job training and economic development. It also recommends the continued backing of the agricultural economic base. … region should diversify its economy … it recommends that rural communities not be ignored. Their specific needs and attributes should be nurtured instead.

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 Calm before the storm

San Diego CityBEAT - San Diego, CA, USA

Senate Bill 375, a piece of sweeping anti-greenhouse-gas-emissions legislation signed in September 2008 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, may mean a future of fewer automobiles on California’s roadways and future development projects that create tighter-spaced, denser communities tied to public transit. It could also mean more court battles over future land use. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is scheduled to finalize its greenhouse-gas reduction targets by Sept. 30, 2010. San Diego was chosen as the first region in the state to begin work on achieving the goals of the bill. SB 375 specifically names the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) as the lead regional agency to develop a plan for implementing the guidelines. ... The politically problematic issue of increasing density in neighborhoods is where SB 375 could muddy questions over who controls growth. “We have 18 sprawl-based communities in this county connected by a series of freeways that only increase traffic,” said Duncan McFetridge, president of the environmental group Save Our Forests and Ranchlands (SOFAR), who spearheaded lawsuits against the county in the mid 1990s. “None of the politicians in those communities want to consider the effects sprawl and pollution from car traffic have on the region as a whole. SB 375 was a start in the right direction.... It has flaws, and it’s not the whole picture, but it begins the process of San Diego thinking regionally.” ...

.02 Klohs: 'We are all joined at the hip' - Michigan

Birgit Klohs sees a partnership with her counterpart in Newaygo County as an example that she hopes can lead to greater cooperation between economic development organizations in West Michigan. ... Klohs believes there is much more West Michigan’s economic development groups could do together via some form of marketing collaborative across a wide region or another initiative that leverages and furthers collaboration. After all, she said, companies from outside the area and the state that are looking at a possible business investment in West Michigan aren’t too concerned with geographic and political boundaries. “Borders are artificial barriers. They don’t mean anything,” Klohs said. “We are all joined at the hip. And if we do not act as if we are all joined at the hip, our competitors will have our lunch. It’s that simple.” Klohs cites, for example, the Indy Partnership in Indianapolis that consists of a number of economic development organizations in central Indiana. The Indy Partnership serves as a single source of data and markets a 10-county region. “We should, in this region, work toward that kind of a partnership. There’s no doubt about it,” she said. ...

.03 Study Urges Regional Focus on Rural Schools

Education Week News (subscription) - USA

State and federal programs aimed at helping underprivileged students often miss their mark in high-poverty, rural schools, in part due to inaccurate stereotypes, according to a report on rural schools released today by a national research and advocacy group. The report, by the Rural School and Community Trust [], an Arlington, Va.-based nonprofit organization, also finds that a regional approach—instead of a statewide approach—might be the best way to make improvements in high-poverty, rural school districts. Nearly 10 million students in the United States attend school in a rural district, or about 19 percent of the nation’s total public school enrollment, according to the report. ... The report features a map highlighting 900 of the highest-poverty, rural school districts in the country and grouping them regionally, instead of by state. The districts were grouped into seven regions, identified by shared economic and natural histories or by racial and ethnic populations. The federal government, in particular, should consider strategies that focus on geocultural regions rather than state lines, ...

.04 About Time: Simsbury's Upstart Politicos Talk Regionalism

Hartford Courant - Hartford, CT, USA

When a Republican and a Democrat can get together and agree to do some things differently, that's progress. When they are willing to talk about regionalism and breaking down the ridiculous centuries-old walls that divide all the small towns making up Connecticut, even better. Which is why I'm intrigued with what the 2-year-old Simsbury Citizens First party is up to this election. I met up with the group's bipartisan leaders — Republican Susan Bednarcyk and Democrat Kirsten Griebel — because I wanted to see if they were about more than the usual suburban whining about property taxes and school spending. The party's slate of candidates is all about cutting spending, tax relief, "zero-based budgeting" and so forth. But it's what Bednarcyk and Griebel have to say about looking beyond town borders to plan for the future that matters. It's the first sign of the small town walls cracking. Bednarcyk and Griebel say they want to talk about "working collectively" (!) with neighboring towns. They want to see cooperation on economic development instead of every little town in the Farmington Valley going its own way. ...,0,5283315.column

.05 Vote 'yes' on Issue 6: Cuyahoga County needs a government that works for the people, not just the insiders -- editorial

Plain Dealer - Cleveland, OH, USA

Change is never easy. But with Election Day approaching, Cuyahoga County needs to pull the plug on a county government that's cumbersome and corrupt and choose something new. ... Issue 5 is no answer. Designed to sow confusion, it dangles the prospect of some change, someday -- but promises nothing. ... Issue 6 offers real change: Accountability. Checks and balances. Diverse representation. Budgeting to meet community priorities, not to sustain insiders' power. Hiring based on merit, not connections. The county would be led by an elected executive and council -- much like governments at every level in this country. ... Comment: ... My fear is that the passage of Issue 6 will mean the strip mining of the few assets (Water Dept, Hopkins Airport) the City of Cleveland still controls, leaving an even weaker city under an even more iron-fisted county - all under a guise of regionalism. ...

.06 Newspapers endorse because they have a stake in their communities

Plain Dealer - Cleveland, OH, USA

Earlier this month, the Atlanta Journal- Constitution, a newspaper that's been publishing in some form since 1868, announced it would no longer endorse in political races. ... This enthusiasm to bury newspapers' political voice dovetails with a dispiriting tendency to devalue all of the benefits that daily newspapers bring their hometowns and regions. The Atlanta paper's rationale for abandoning a traditional editorial voice for political accountability and change was wanting. Newspaper endorsements are not intended to "tell" readers how to vote. Rather, they're a visible sign of a newspaper's commitment to and stake in its community. ... this newspaper tried hard this year to endorse in all contested judicial races and mayoral contests in our home-delivery area. Often that meant doing original research in political races that hadn't garnered much attention in our newsroom. And because of that effort, the editorial board of The Plain Dealer gained new insights into the political and economic dysfunction in some area communities, the anti-regionalism tunnel vision that exists in others and the deep political cynicism inhabiting parts of the city of Cleveland. ...

.07 Give Us Your County and No One Gets Hurt

Cleveland Scene Weekly - Cleveland, OH, USA

The political orgy known as Cuyahoga County reform — Issues 5 and 6 — finally climaxes November 3. It's a fight for control and power. Labor-backed Democrats want to keep the tight grip they've historically held on elected county posts. They face challenges from rogue Democrats, millionaire Republicans, do-good reformers and businesses interests, who all say the system needs to be changed. The drama stems from a decidedly dry proposal. Issue 6 transforms county government by introducing a new county charter. ... Proponents of competing Issue 5 are calling for less radical change. ... Proponents of Issue 6 have criticized the commissioners' countermeasure as a stall tactic to keep labor Democrats in power. They say the new charter creates a clear leader, more accountability and an improved focus on putting people to work. Zanotti says he is interested in fostering regionalism and that change has been a long time coming. "I really believe our region is dying and the one engine we have to turn that around is the county. I felt this was our time to reform government."


.08 LA homeless population drops despite recession, county study finds

Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles, CA, USA

Los Angeles County's homeless population has dropped 38% since 2007, according to a survey conducted this year by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. The count, which was conducted over three days in January, pegs the region's homeless population at 42,694, down from 68,808 in 2007. “We know that things are changing,” said Michael Arnold, executive director of the authority. … The numbers are striking because they come during a major economic downturn. The recession fueled concerns that more people who lost their jobs would become homeless. And although there has been an increase in people seeking aid from charity groups, the report says the recession has not translated into more people living on the streets. Arnold said one explanation for the drop in numbers may be that people have moved out of the region to more affordable areas. Los Angeles, he said, “is a hard place to be homeless. ... The report said the most important change is "a paradigm shift. ... Programs are centered on housing placement of homeless families and individuals and providing the tools and skills they need to stay housed." ...

.09 Government Reform Coalition Submits Measures to Call California Constitutional Convention

Repair California - Press Release - California

Today, Repair California, a group of everyday Californians, reformers and advocacy groups turned in ballot language to call the first Constitutional Convention in California in more than 130 years. Citing a broken system of governance, the measures would call a limited Constitutional Convention to reform four areas of the constitution: the budget process; the election and initiative process; restoring the balance of power between the state and local governments; and, creating new systems to improve government effectiveness. The Convention is specifically prohibited from proposing tax increases or from considering changes to social issues such as marriage, abortion, gambling, affirmative action, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, immigration, or the death penalty. Voters will decide on calling the Convention on the November 2010 ballot, the Convention would be held in 2011 and its proposed reforms would require voter approval in one of the three scheduled statewide elections in 2012.


.10 Local energy alliance makes its debut - Cincinnati, OH, USA

An 18-month-old Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky alliance to spur home energy efficiency improvements could be the model for a new national "Recovery through Retrofit" program launched by the federal government. The Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance [ ] funded with more than $1.6 million in private and federal energy efficiency and recovery act block grants, is applying for a portion of a $390 million Department of Energy competitive grant to improve energy efficiency of individual homes and create so-called "green jobs" in the process. The local alliance, led by executive director Andy Holzhauser, formally introduced itself Tuesday to the community during a briefing for state and local officials from both sides of the Ohio River at the Theodore Berry Friendship Park Pavilion in the East End. Holzhauser said federal officials have told the alliance - funded by seven local governments on both sides of the river, Duke Energy and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation - that their multi-community effort is unique in the nation. ...

.11 Was the G-20 good for Pittsburgh?

Pop City - Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Global Pittsburgh has since received twice as many inquiries from international countries who are interested in bringing delegations here, said Tom Buell, panel moderator. World Environment Day is a win for the region, giving Pittsburgh a chance to stage the festivals and celebrations that it should have had during the G-20. Pittsburgh is poised to build on the momentum as it turns its focus toward making the region an energy hub, said Certo. "We're in a better position to move forward now on all these fronts – talent attraction, energy hub efforts and regionalization."

.12 Aldermen suggest regional focus

Danville Commercial News - Danville, IL, USA

Ward 5 Alderman Jerry Askren and others listed instead: health care cost increases by having employees/unions step up to the table to pay more; the city, township and county working together regionally and possibly combining duties such as police and having a fire district; and other cuts before aldermen consider any sales tax increase or a utility tax on electricity, natural gas and water. “We just can’t put more fees and taxes on the people. They just can’t come up with any more (money),” Ward 6 Alderman Steve Nichols said of residents. “A small percent of the taxpayers pay a large percent of the (property) tax.”

.13 Blueprint offers action plan for achieving goals

The Desert Sun - Palm Springs, CA, USA

The Coachella Valley Economic Blueprint [ ] is a 106-page strategy viewed by proponents as a living, breathing document for change. Critics say it's too layered, and may be unwieldy. But those who have created the plan say it was designed with layers and moving parts, so elements can be plugged in as needed. It's set up to achieve four main goals for the valley: Regionalism, economic diversification, workforce excellence and quality of place. To help achieve these goals, there are four key target segments, with action plans and strategies for each. Here are some of the strategies. ...

.14 Plan to create valley jobs gets $2.5M commitment

The Desert Sun - Palm Springs, CA, USA

Coachella Valley leaders have talked about the need to diversify the desert's economy for years, but on Friday they laid out specific goals to create thousands of local jobs over the next five years. Leaders who helped create the Coachella Valley Economic Blueprint also announced to a crowd of nearly 650 people gathered at the Renaissance Esmeralda in Indian Wells that the plan has received funding commitments of more than $2.5 million. That's about 20 percent of the $12 million that will be needed to carry out the regional strategy over five years, they said at Friday's 2009 Coachella Valley Economic Summit. The investors include the valley's three hospitals, leading energy providers, the hospitality and tourism industry, building council, local media and government organizations. ...

.15 County council urges voters to oppose RTA

Chesterton Tribune - Chesterton, IN, USA

The Porter County Council on Tuesday took a stand in opposition to the proposed Northwest Indiana Regional Transportation District. In the final portion of Tuesday night’s county council meeting, Council Member Rita Stevenson, D-2nd, read a resolution urging voters to vote “no” to the establishment of the new transportation district in the Nov. 3 referendum. The statement called the referendum “nonsensical” and “unnecessary.” “We cannot afford another tax,” said Stevenson. ...

.16 Freetown parents warm to full regionalization

South Coast Today - Massachusetts, USA

Full regionalization might not be such as bad idea after all, said the majority of parents attending a Freetown Elementary PTO meeting, where superintendent John E. McCarthy gave a presentation on the likely educational and financial benefits of such a change. "Last year at this time, I was against full regionalization. I love Freetown Elementary, and I thought everything would be fine," said parent Lauren O'Connell. "This year, my son has 33 kids in his classroom. The teacher is wonderful, but the fact is, there are 33 students in the room, so because of that I have done an about-face." ... According to the study, the optimal class size for kindergarten through third grade is 13 to 17 pupils. Older grades are more able to handle class sizes in the 20s. If class sizes in those earliest grades are not made more manageable, McCarthy said, the district is likely to see a decrease in MCAS scores and an increase in students needing special education services. ...

.17 Barrett: Cooperation needed to fuel growth

The Business Journal of Milwaukee - Milwaukee, WI, USA

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said Tuesday that regional cooperation between the city of Milwaukee and its suburbs is critical to drawing more jobs to southeastern Wisconsin. Speaking at a meeting of the Granville-Brown Deer Chamber of Commerce in Brown Deer, Barrett said he had worked to improve regional cooperation since becoming mayor in 2004. "I didn't have a natural hatred of the suburbs because I represented several of them while I was in Congress and I couldn't develop it overnight," he told about 100 business executives. "People don't care what side of 68th Street you are on. What they want is economic development that will bring more jobs to the area. Creating jobs is what it is all about." In fact, a recent poll by The Business Journal found for the first time in 13 years, the lack of jobs ranked as the most important issue facing the Milwaukee area. ...

.18 Harrisburg region among 40 strongest economies, study says - Pennsylvania, USA

The greater Harrisburg area was ranked 16th among the 40 strongest U.S. metro economies, according to a recent study at the Brookings Institution. The institution analyzed 100 largest metropolitan areas during the second quarter in 2009 based on four key indicators: employment change, unemployment change, gross metropolitan product and home price change. The top rated cities scored the highest when those factors were averaged together. Pittsburgh was the only other Pennsylvania city to be ranked among the top 40, but the commonwealth bucked the trend — most of the strongest metros were in the Midwest. Metros that specialize in health care, higher education and banking fared best. ...

.19 NOAA and Four States Form South Atlantic Ocean Alliance

Environment News Service - USA

State government representatives from the Southeast coastal region have formed a partnership with the federal agency responsible for oceans to better manage and protect ocean and coastal resources, ensure regional economic sustainability, and respond to disasters such as hurricanes. Representatives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, and the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida announced their new partnership during the annual meeting of the Coastal States Organization [ ] last week in Charleston. ...

.20 Jindal, Gulf Coast governors team up in bid for aerospace project

Louisiana Politics & Government - LA, USA

Gov. Bobby Jindal has teamed up with his counterparts in Mississippi and Alabama to establish an organization called the Aerospace Alliance to advocate a bid for an aerial tanker plant in Mobile, Ala., and to promote aviation and space industry development in the Gulf Coast region. The new lobbying group is backing a bid for the Air Force mid-air refueling KC-X tanker project submitted jointly by Northrop Grumman and the European defense firm EADS, which would build the aircraft factory in Mobile, Ala., and create an estimated 48,000 direct and spin-off jobs.

.21 Cooperation would work

Barre Montpelier Times Argus - Montpelier, VT, USA

At the Vermont Farmers' Forum for Dairy Farm Survival (Oct. 16), expert panelists explained that dairying would be profitable now if all dairy farmers cut their milk production by as little as three percent, whether by feeding their cows a bit less or culling a few, either of which would reduce their costs, adding to their profits as the price of raw milk rose. ... Winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize for Economics Elinor Ostrom's work has demonstrated that cooperation prevents the "tragedy of the commons," where none benefits because all competed to maximize theirs. ...

.22 Regional Center Partnership of Somerset County Web site offers regular updates

Scarlet Scuttlebutt - New Jersey, USA

The Regional Center Partnership of Somerset County Web site at

now makes available detailed reports on major initiatives of the Regional Center Partnership and affiliated organizations. Reports recently posted to the Web site include Bicycle/ Pedestrian/Greenways Systems Connection Plan, Route 202 Corridor Assessment & Multi-Mobility Plan and Fostering Growth in Emerging Industries. The Regional Center Web site provide user-friendly access to the mission, accomplishments and agenda of the Regional Center Partnership, the organization that serves as the local planning forum for the communities of Bridgewater, Raritan and Somerville. ...

.23 Incumbent Says His Work With the City Is Not Done Yet

The Ledger - Lakeland, FL, USA

Howard Wiggs wants just one more term on the Lakeland City Commission. ... Wiggs, 62, said he wants to implement and expand a plan that he says will keep a high level of city services during harsh budget times. "I want to increase volunteer programs because of the revenue shortfalls so that we still have lots of people helping the city and keeping services at an acceptable level," he said. ... He at times has been on the losing side of a 6-to-1 or 5-to-2 vote on an issue, including last spring when he opposed the decision of a majority of commissioners to withdraw support for state Sen. Paula Dockery's fight against CSX. ... "We had folks (commissioners) who in the name of unity and regionalism say, 'Let's don't make anybody mad, let's don't rock the boat,' and were willing to capitulate Lakeland's position," he said. ...

.24 Williams receives Lakes Region Community Leadership Award

Laconia Citizen – Laconia, NH, USA

… second year that the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Lakes Region has teamed up with Leadership Lakes Region [ ] to offer an award to an individual who has made a significant impact in his/her community and who has contributed significantly to its quality of life in the Lakes Region. The Charitable Foundation and Leadership Lakes Region decided to offer this award in order to recognize the efforts of our community leaders who have gone above and beyond in creating a better community, and by doing so, hopefully encourage others to become involved. …

.25 BG Area Chamber of Commerce wins economic development award

Bowling Green Daily News - Bowling Green, KY, USA

The chamber won first place for its menu of services program, which helps ensure that every county in the region is served by either its own economic development professional or by the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce. The chamber unveiled the program in July 2008 after it recognized that counties that did not have economic development professionals were behind in terms of readiness for industry projects and economic growth. “Our chamber staff works diligently with our regional partners to provide a top quality menu of services program because the chamber understands the value of the regional approach to economic development,” ...

.26 A for buildings, F for urban community

Dallas Morning News - Dallas, TX, USA

The Financial Times' architecture reviewer weighs in on the new Arts District. He likes the buildings, but says they do nothing to create the urban community Dallas claims to want. Excerpt: Both the new Dallas buildings function well; they do what was asked of them and provide genuinely world-class facilities by star architects. The problem lies more with the conception of the Arts District. ... The Dallas Arts District will never be a part of a conventional city in the European sense: it is closer to the existential isolation of the convention centre or the starchitect-designed airport. It is both unique and unsettling, a glimpse of a future in which architecture and culture are imported to save a city from itself.

.27 America's Safest Cities

Forbes - USA

These metros have the lowest rates of violent crime, workplace deaths, fatal crashes and natural disasters. ... Minneapolis tops our list of America's safest cities, and not just for its crime rate. In ranking the cities on our list, we looked at workplace fatalities, traffic-related deaths and natural disaster risk; the City of Lakes ranked in the top 10 of all four categories. It's also one of America's best places to live cheaply and offers easy access to some of the most scenic drives in the country. Full List: America's Safest Cities

.28 Manufacturing expands in Central Atlantic region

Industrial Distribution - Waltham, MA, USA

Manufacturing activity in the central Atlantic region expanded for the sixth straight month but at a more moderate pace in October, according to the Richmond Fed's latest survey. All broad indicators-shipments, new orders and employment-continued to grow but at a rate below September's pace. ... All firms surveyed are located in the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and most of West Virginia.

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 Australia, Japan pitch rival plans for new regional community

Radio Australia

As the ASEAN summit wrapped up on Sunday, Asian leaders heard competing plans from Australia and Japan for an EU-style economic and political bloc. Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has his grand vision for an Asia Pacific Community by 2020, but now there's a rival plan offered by Japan's new prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, for a so-called East Asian Community.

Presenter Sen Lam

Speaker: Malcolm Cook, Director of East Asia program at the Lowy Institute

COOK: Yes, there is one very large difference. The Australian proposal, the Asia-Pacific community focuses a lot of its attention on getting the US-China relationship right and embedding it within a larger regional setting. That was a key focus of Kevin Rudd's foreign affairs article, that was not actually published. If you read the Japanese prime minister's writings on his idea for East Asia Community, it is focusing on helping to get the Japan-China relationship right within a more narrow East Asian focus and it is still very unclear whether the United States has any formal role in Hatoyama's idea for East Asia Community and of course the United States is the largest power in the world, with about a quarter of the global economy.

LAM: So is there a dire need to alter existing arrangements, just to continue this dialogue with the United States?


.02 Lack of zoning, improper land use blamed for Cordillera tragedy

Manila Bulletin - Manila, Philippines

The Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC) here blamed the lack of zoning and appropriate land use as the major causes of landslides in the different parts of the region which caused the loss of numerous lives and damage to billions of properties over the onslaught of several typhoons that visited the Cordillera. Because of such pressing concern, the RDC-CAR ordered an investigation on the issues on zoning in the formulation of the appropriate development plans for the Cordillera in the future. ...

.03 Coalition crisis continues to reverberate

Winnipeg Free Press - Winnipeg, Manitoba, CA

... Canadians and their politicians cling to a "first-past-the-post" electoral system that rewards regionalism and sectionalism in an already dangerously regionalized nation. The system routinely elects "false" majority governments that command support from only a minority of Canadians. Russell's statistics tell the tale. Canada has had 14 "majority" governments out of 27 elected since 1921. Only three were genuine, that is, chosen by over 50 per cent of Canadians. Even given first past the post's tendency to reward regional concentrations of political support, fully 13 of Canada's 27 federal governments since 1921 have had to depend on one or more opposition parties -- usually briefly -- to stay in office. ...

.04 Muhith urges swift activation of SAARC food bank

Bangladesh News 24 hours - Bangladesh

Finance minister A M A Muhith on Monday called for immediate activation of the SAARC food bank to guarantee food security in the region in view of the global food crisis. Muhith gave the call from a two-day symposium titled 'Food security: the role of the SAARC central banks' he inaugurated, organised by Bangladesh Bank. "Almost all global nations today face food insecurity in the face of climate change all over. "Poverty reduction programmes also suffer grievously due to the same menace and this reality presents the SAARC Food Bank as a necessity which, if rendered effective, may prove a great boon," said the minister. The food bank will act as a regional food security reserve for the SAARC member countries during normal time food shortages and emergencies. It will provide regional support to national food security efforts, foster inter-country partnerships and regional integration, and solve regional food shortages through collective action. The agreement to establish the food bank was adopted by the SAARC during its 14th summit in New Delhi in April 2007. A decision was taken in the 2005 SAARC summit held in Dhaka to implement the food bank, but to no avail. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh have endorsed the agreement. ...

.05 Japan, New Zealand Business Leaders To Further Economic Partnership

Leaders from prominent Japanese and New Zealand companies will meet alongside senior government officials and leading academics in Tokyo at the second Japan New Zealand Partnership Forum ... Mr Jacobi said the Forum would also consider how Japan and New Zealand can enhance their economic partnership to build a more prosperous region through expanded trade and investment. "With the new Japanese Government openly promoting the concept of an East Asian Community including New Zealand and an official process examining the basis of closer economic relations already underway, now is a good time to be in Tokyo" said Mr Jacobi."

.06 Bye, Caricom & WI cricket

Trinidad & Tobago Express - Port of Spain, Trinidad

LET me declare my interest: I've long supported Caricom and West Indies cricket. But anyone can see the writing on the wall unless they're wilfully blind. First, Caricom. Caricom has exhausted itself. Caribbean regionalism is not so much in retreat as it is irrelevant. Caricom leaders have absolutely no interest in regional integration other than what petty benefits each can gouge out of it. Most of them, except for the cheapskates and freeloaders, are slowly realising that they get out less than they put in. Caricom is no longer a win-win situation, but a zero-sum game. ... The Caribbean people are far ahead of their political leadership. They have become globalised while the politicians can't even get regionalised. Investors and skilled workers no longer need the CSME. It's totally irrelevant. World events have simply overtaken Caricom. It's dead. The question is whether anyone will have the decency to bury the corpse. Regional institutions like the University of the West Indies will soon be able to decide their fate purely on educational and financial grounds without being encumbered by irrelevant objectives. ...

.07 Laurier-based council funds research on governance over the Caribbean Sea

Exchange Morning Post - Canada

The Laurier-based Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) is funding a research project on sustainable governance over the Caribbean Sea with a $100,000 donation from the Arsenault Family Foundation. The Caribbean Sea is a distinct ecological feature of economic, social and environmental importance to the more than 20 countries of the Caribbean. “This project is extremely important, not only for the people of the Caribbean, but for people grappling with the challenge of regional governance all over the world,” said Dr. Patricia Goff, executive director of ACUNS and a Laurier political science professor. “This is especially true where the environment is concerned because environmental challenges cannot be confined within national borders.” ...

.08 Tribalism and regionalism - Zambia

It is worrying to hear our leaders peddle politics of regionalism and hope to unite a nation. Time is now for us to say enough is enough to this type of archaic and dangerous politics of division because it will never build our nation. None of us chose to belong to the tribes that we belong to. How can anyone in their right senses use tribe as a tool to bring division by preaching tribalism and regionalism? There is only one Zambia and there is only one nation. Those that preach tribalism have no place in this society. We need politics that is issue-based and meritorious. ...

.09 Rights body launched

Straits Times - Singapore

ASEAN launched a regional human rights commission on Friday, signalling a strong intent towards promoting and protecting human rights in the region, as its leaders gathered in Cha-am for the grouping's 15th summit. … Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, the current Asean chair, described the commission as “another important milestone in Asean's dynamic regionalism” and said it has placed human rights at the centre of Asean's agenda. But critics have derided the AICHR over its lack of sanction powers against rights abusers and its adherence to Asean's traditional principle of non-interference, ...

.10 Exploitation of unstable regions fuelling Europe's drug problem

Deutsche Welle - Germany

New figures on the state of the drugs problem in Europe will be released by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) in the first week of November. The figures, which in recent years have seen stabilization in addiction figures and even reversal of some drug trends, are likely to be impacted by increasingly fluid security situations around the world. ... The flow of cocaine - the favorite narcotic among Europe's 15-34 year olds - is also being aided by instability in transit regions which smoothes its progress to European users. UN figures show that in the last two years, around 40 tons of cocaine has been entering Europe annually through Western Africa. ... "South American cartels are very flexible and have taken advantage of African hubs to target Europe as an alternative market to the US. The bulk now goes to Spain and Italy, Europe's main entry points for cocaine, and huge increases of cocaine uses have been recorded in both countries over the past 10 years." ...,,4825991,00.html?maca=en-en_nr-1893-xml-atom

.11 [Silver Prize] Innovative Thinker in Modern History

Korea Times – Seoul, South Korea

... Ahn defied the existing extremist views and adopted a more moderate and innovative perspective of combining nationalism with regionalism to fight off Western imperialism. This is in agreement with a recent thought in international relations that a geographical region takes precedence over a single nation-state but is subordinate to the world as a whole. Therefore, collective action across East Asia can balance powers vis-a-vis the West. The reality of the 21st century confirms the validity of this thought. The most representative case of regionalism, the European Union (EU), has a single market and a common currency. ...

.12 Academe says MEDA to go beyond regionalism, should strengthen research

Philippine Information Agency - Manila, Philippines

The academic sector in Mindanao pushes for the creation of an agency that has a vision broader than the regional perspective and can improve the link between development and peace in the island-region. "We need an institution that has a vision and a mandate broader than the tribal divisions within Mindanao and more focused than national, helicopter planning … an institution bigger than the regional, ethnic, geographical divisions," said Fr. Albert Alejo, of Ateneo de Davao University's Mindanawon Initiatives for Cultural Dialogue. ... Alejo said that pushing for Mindanao-specific issues and concerns has remained a problem especially that the national perspective is different. ...

.13 Ethno-nationalism: theory and practice

The Hindu - India

The reorganisation of States on a linguistic basis took the edge off strident regional assertions. However, regionalism has since taken other, more complicated, forms — some deriving and, in turn, contributing to other ideological and theoretical formulations. In Assam and its environs, regionalism as an idea almost inevitably evolved into demands for political autonomy and, in course of time, more militant forms of nationalist assertion. The reasons for such evolution are rooted in both geography and history. ...

.14 Vojvodina politician "ready to pay price"

B92 - Beograd, Serbia

Director of the Center for Regionalism Aleksandar Popov was also present at the forum where he was heard saying that centralism “never left the heads” of the political elite in Serbia. “Why don’t they give Vojvodina essential autonomy so the Kosovo Albanians could see what they were missing?” Popov asked. ...

.15 Russia Needs a Nationalities Ministry to Prevent Assimilation, Eurasian Group Says

Georgian Daily - Tiblisi, Georgia

In order to stop the nations of Russia from “disappearing quietly and without notice,” the Russian section of the International Movement for the Defense of the Rights of Peoples has called for the creation of an ombudsman to defend these groups and also the re-establishment of a ministry for nationality affairs. ... The Volgograd session focused on two other issues – the nature of Eurasianism in Russia today (Zarifullin was the leader of the Eurasian Union of Youth) and the meaning of “cultural regionalism” in Russia, a phenomenon in which ethnic communities share some elements at the regional level while retaining their clearly defined identities. ...

.16 Conseil Régional de Basse-Normandie Deploys IPv6-Ready Collaboration Technologies to Simplify IT Infrastructure, Increase Operational Efficiency and Stimulate Innovation

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced that the Conseil Régional de Basse-Normandie (CRBN) has deployed Cisco® Unified Communications Manager, running the new version of Internet Protocol (IPv6), to simplify its communications infrastructure. The deployments will facilitate the implementation of new IPv6-based collaboration applications and services and help improve operational efficiency. The new system will operate with the council's VIKMAN research and education network, which uses the IPv6 protocol to provide a high-speed Internet connection between all of the region's research and training sites. CRBN is one of the first councils to deploy the latest version of Cisco Unified Communications Manager, running IPv6.


La Région Basse-Normandie:

Google translation to English of La Région Basse-Normandie:,1017348.shtml

.17 New Study Show Rise of Regional Marketing - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

From an agency point of view this draws into question the role and need for regional agency teams and processes. Regional marketers spend three times more time working with their regional agency teams - usually based in Hong Kong or Singapore - compared to local agency teams on the ground, so those networks with great internal processes, knowledge banks, management of internal conflict and communication fare much better in servicing the needs of regional business and providing better client satisfaction. ...

.18 Calls for regional development blueprint

ABC Regional Online - Australia

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy has called for the drafting of a blueprint to guide development in regional Western Australia. The chamber's president, Kim Horne, called for the blueprint at the Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia forum in Kalgoorlie-Boulder yesterday. Mr Horne says the State Government should set up a task force to look at which regional centres need attention over the next 20 years. "We should all then commit to putting our resources and facilities there and then the industry will be very happy to use those facilities for our people into the future," he said. "If we do not adopt that sort of plan, I think it will remain very ad-hoc and therefore inefficient." ...

.19 Promulgation of the outcome of the 'Planning Study on the Co-ordinated Development of the Greater Pearl River Delta Townships'

7thSpace Interactive (press release)

The Development Bureau and Planning Department, today (October 28), held a joint seminar in Macao with Guangdong Provincial Department of Construction and the Secretariat for Transport and Public Works of Macao for the promulgation of the outcome of the "Planning Study on the Coordinated Development of the Greater Pearl River Delta Townships". ... A spokesman of Planning Department said, "The GPRD Study is the first strategic planning study undertaken jointly by Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao. The objective of the study is to formulate a regional development strategy by taking a forward-looking perspective to consider the opportunities and constraints of the Greater Pearl River Delta region under the 'One Country, Two Systems' framework. ...

.20 N. Ireland Department for Regional Development Launches Corporate Social Responsibility Policy

eGov monitor - London, UK

Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy today pledged his Department's commitment to helping staff make a personal contribution to the community. The Minister was speaking as he launched the policy on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) which outlines initiatives in the areas of community engagement, environment sustainability, responsible procurement and the workplace. The Minister said: “I am very keen to support Department for Regional Development (DRD) staff to make a personal contribution to the community. One of the ways we can achieve this is through involvement with Business in the Community, which allows us to participate in schemes such as Time to Read and Opportunity Now. ...

.21 Brainstorming on Omaheke regional development

New Era - Namibia

Young professionals from Omaheke Region have plans to jolt their fellow residents’ minds to identify investment and business opportunities worth exploring within the region. They intend to do this through an economic conference in Gobabis. They also believe that young professionals of other regions could likewise use the idea in their regions, and subsequently bring about a reduction in rural-urban immigration. ... Another objective of the conference is to place the region ahead of Government development plans. Among the many development projects that Government has planned for Gobabis, for instance, is the dry port. ...

.22 Vancouver area Evergreen rapid transit line gets green light

Journal of Commerce - Burnaby, BC, CA

The $1.4 billion Evergreen Line project will connect Coquitlam to Vancouver via Port Moody and Burnaby. Construction of the 11 kilometre line is expected to begin in late 2010 and be completed in 2014. The federal and provincial governments have contributed about $800 million. However, TransLink, the regional transportation authority, is having difficulty finding the funds to maintain and expand transit services over the next 10 years. Despite the bookkeeping shortfall, it’s full steam ahead on the project. ...

.23 University of Liverpool launches Confucius Institute


The University of Liverpool is to launch a Confucius Institute that will teach Chinese and promote understanding of Chinese culture. The Institute – one of only 12 in the UK – will act as a hub for the Liverpool city region’s growing relationships with China, working closely with local schools, businesses and the community. Founded on the University’s existing base of Chinese language teaching, the Institute will be based in the University’s Management School, and will benefit from a dedicated resource area – including a library – in the University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning. …

.24 Good case for a regional mayor

Yorkshire Evening Post - Yorkshire, UK

THERE is indeed a healthy debate in the Conservative Party about the potential value of elected mayors. Nationally there are some good examples, and others that are less encouraging. My purely personal view is that we should be seeking an elected mayor for the Leeds City Region – the whole of West Yorkshire and a little beyond it – just as the Mayor of London serves an area with many separate local authorities. In Britain the prosperity gap between the national capital and the regions is greater than in any other developed country. A single town or city is too small for this challenge, and the Yorkshire and Humber region is too large and too diverse. A Boris Johnson figure speaking up for the city region, and attracting public and private investment, could make a difference – if the right person could be found. hat approach would fit well with Coun Andrew Carter's reported support for shared back-up services at the city region level. ...

.25 West Yorkshire Police may miss regional unit deadline

Yorkshire Evening Post - Yorkshire, UK

... West Yorkshire force is investigating setting up an organised crime unit in conjunction with forces in North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and Humberside. Whitehall chiefs are demanding that police forces across the country have "specialist operational ability to support their regional intelligence unit" by early next year. But a meeting of the West Yorkshire force's specialist policing bosses heard the four forces may struggle to meet the Government's deadline. ... "Aside from this, we are one of four regions who do not have a regional operational capability and consequently could be accused of being a region failing to properly equip itself against the threat of organised criminality to address serious organised crime." ...

.26 EuroCloud Gathers Europe's First Ever SaaS and Cloud Services Community

ebizQ - New Rochelle, NY

EuroCloud offers the opportunity for cloud players to create a regional community or get involved in existing EuroCloud communities. Candidates can create a new local organisation under the EuroCloud brand. Any company worldwide that has operations in Europe and a strong interest in SaaS and cloud services can apply and be a player in one or all local EuroCloud communities.

.27 Most People Use the Web to Talk to People Nearby

Fast Company - USA

Ever use email to talk to the person sitting one office down? You're not alone. Most people use the Web to talking to people within their own city, not far-flung contacts, according to a new study by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The study says that while the Web has developed a reputation as a tool for geo-commerce and penpalling, the main utility has been to increase communications hyper-locally. In fact, the abstract says, "the volume of electronic communications is inversely proportional to geographic distance." The finding puts a new spin on Stanley Milgram's controversial 1963 hypothesis that every American is connected by roughly six mutual acquaintances. Apparently, our most-used connections--even aided by Facebook and all our other techno-tools--still have more to do with geographic distance than personality, work, politics or other uniting factors. ...

28 Google Rides Collaboration Wave

Small Business Computing

Collaborating with co-workers can be challenging enough when you’re all in the same office, but even more so when you’re scattered across the state, the country or the globe. Troy Dreier at takes a look at Wave, a collaboration application and one of the latest innovations from the folks at Google.

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 Where Things Are Made

AFL-CIO Now Blog

To our nation’s peril, the free trade orthodoxy continues to ignore a fundamental economic fact: It matters where things are made. Over the past decade, the U.S. industrial base has suffered an unprecedented decline. The loss of more than 5 million manufacturing jobs and the closure of over 50,000 manufacturing facilities have undermined our nation’s technical capacity to innovate and to make things, while at the same time decimating our middle class. ... Over the next decade our nation is poised to invest $2 trillion in health care, infrastructure and a greener economy. The nation must take tough and strategic steps to create good jobs, fix our trade and tax laws and rebuild our productive capacity. Governments must restructure and regulate financial systems so that long-term investment is rewarded and gambling is not subsidized. We must use our financial resources to develop and deploy domestically-produced technology and, if there is better technology overseas, use our financial leverage to get those production systems located here. We must think strategically and regionally about industry development so we utilize existing pools of displaced skilled workers, engineering talent and idled plants. And, finally, we must never again lose sight of the fact that it matters where things are made.

.02 Regional Radio, Where Art Thou?

Daily Yonder - Keep it Rural

A few weeks ago I took a trip across six southern states in as many days. I logged 2,000 miles alone in my rental car, just me and the FM radio. Where I come from in Wyoming, one can hit a car radio’s Seek button and enter a trance as the digital numbers fly from 88 to 107 without alighting on any sonic islands. Knowing I would need to rely on barrels of Diet Coke and constant radio chatter to keep alert on this long trip, I decided this was an opportunity: to discover if regionalism were still alive in Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Texas or Arkansas, at least on the airwaves. Working from left to right on the dial, as the days rolled by I noticed the lower numbered stations tended to be public and community radio stations. ...

.03 Community newspapers thrive by offering hyperlocal content

Shaping the Future of the Newspaper Blog

"Our franchise is local information," President and CEO Thomas Shaw was quoted as saying on Nightly Business Report. "Everything else in the electronic age is world news, national news, even regional news has become a commodity and people can get it just about anywhere. But people cannot get the information we provide our community anywhere but from us."

In Europe, a Scottish newspaper recently taken over by its staff has enjoyed similar success with the same recipe. ...

.04 Partnerships Create Wine Incubator for @IdahoWines


Love when various groups come together for a greater good – and for the good of all of us who love wine and Idaho’s burgeoning industry! In this case – federal, state, regional and community groups pulling together to create a Winery Incubator in Caldwell. Just got the below information courtesy of Congressman Minnick's office - an event to showcase the Incubator and the various roles each organization played to bring it together. ...

.05 DMOZ: A Solid Directory Or The Great Pumpkin Of Search?

search engine land

When I heard Bob make this comment: “the lion’s share of agency sites are directed and listed in the Regional area of the site, which is where a lot of the editors in this area are spending their time and effort.” The word “regional” caught my ear. I’ve been following Tim Armstrong since he came on board as AOL’s CEO and understand he (and now AOL) have a strong interest in It’s interesting to note is a regional, community specific platform showing news and events from specific cities and towns. Seeding with regional results from a respected directory would make a lot of sense, so if you’re bricks and mortar based, now might be a good time to submit your business to DMOZ.

.06 What Comes After The Cloud?

ElasticVapor-Life in the Cloud

... there is a disconnect between the highly connected western world and highly socially interconnected emerging economies. In looking at the opportunities for technology in the coming decades and beyond, stop focusing on the specific features & functions within technology. Look to the opportunities for social change on an individual basis. The enablement of those who previously were not enabled. I believe that the biggest opportunities will be for enabling those with the least. So my prediction is simple, Want to Get Rich? Sell to the Poor. Places like Brazil, China, India and Malaysia are in the midst of rapid and amazing transformations. These transformations are being brought about by access to technology that was previously unavailable. Access to information and affordable technology will be at the heart of this transformation. Feed this hunger and you will empower the people within these economies. Rather then focus on globalizaton, focus on regionalization. Focus on how technology will effect that single human being. ...

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 Core Cities Summit 2009 - 3rd & 4th November, BT Conference Centre, ACC Liverpool, United Kingdom

The Core Cities Group is a network of England's major regional cities: Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield. They form the economic and urban cores of wider surrounding territories, the city regions. The Core Cities work in partnership to enable each City to enhance their economic performance and make real advances within a highly competitive international market, increasing their comparative standing and - in different ways - securing positive identities as places to live, work, visit and do business.

The Core Cities Group is a strong cross-city and cross-party collaboration with a track record of more than 10 years. Leadership across the Cities takes in all three major political parties. It is a self-selected and self funded group. The work of the Core Cities Group has demonstrated the critical economic role of these Cities . They are major centres of business and wealth creation that in turn power the economy of the surrounding region. They sit at the heart of travel networks, surrounded by towns and rural areas that are economically dependant on each other and across which people travel to and from work; functional economic areas that have developed city region partnerships to work across boundaries.

.02 Open Days: European Week of Regions and Cities – Regional Studies Association

2009 Open Days presentations for Regional responses to the global economic crisis and Understanding and promoting territorial cohesion - addressing the challenges of the Green Paper plus video clips.

.03 Governing The Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action - CoCo The Cooperation Commons

Summary of: Governing The Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action – Ostrom, Elinor

Any group that attempts to manage a common resource (e.g., aquifers, judicial systems, pastures) for optimal sustainable production must solve a set of problems in order to create institutions for collective action; there is some evidence that following a small set of design principles in creating these institutions can overcome these problems.

2009 Nobel Prize for Economics Prof. Elinor Ostrom and

.04 “Green” Policy and Regional Development - EMSI -

Over the past year, EMSI has been fielding questions from local planners (workforce boards, community colleges, and economic developers) on how to look at green jobs, particularly at the regional level. To respond, we’ve been doing our best to link labor market information (LMI) to potential green sectors (e.g., renewable energy, energy efficiency, green construction, etc.) so people can gain an understanding of trends, earnings, education levels, and even things like skills associated with “green occupation clusters” in their own economies. In doing so, we have made three general observations:

1. Many of these jobs are going to fall within the construction and manufacturing sectors (e.g., welders, roofers, HVAC installers, etc.),

2. Based on a lack of understanding, concrete information, and large scale demand, “green jobs” can be a very difficult development mission for local planners, and

3. It is vital to speak “from the data” as much as possible for the basic reason that if plans are being made on tenuous assumptions that cannot be supported, real people’s lives, careers, and families could be harmed.

Our purpose in this piece is to examine these observations at a little more length—especially with regard to regional economic and workforce development. ...

05. Stewart Brand: Rethinking Green - a discussion of his book: "Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto" - may begin at "02. Introduction"


... power is shifting to the developing world, where 5 out of 6 people live, where the bulk of humanity is getting out of poverty by moving to cities and creating their own jobs and communities (slums, for now). He noted that history has always been driven by the world's largest cities, and these years they are places like Mumbai, Lagos, Dhaka, Sao Paulo, Karachi, and Mexico City, which are growing 3 times faster and 9 times bigger than cities in the currently developed world ever did. The people in those cities are unstoppably moving up the "energy ladder" to high quality grid electricity and up the "food ladder" toward better nutrition, including meat. The second dominant global fact is climate change. Brand emphasized that climate is a severely nonlinear system packed with tipping points and positive feedbacks such as the unpredicted rapid melting of Arctic ice.

.06 Trendsmap - Real-Time Local Twitter Trends is a real-time mapping of Twitter trends across the world. See what the global, collective mass of humanity are discussing right now. To get started, move/zoom around the map and click on topics for additional information. To see an overview of Trendsmaps' features, view the Screencast. See some recent events as they unfolded on Trendsmap, on the Events page. We've just launched! Please let us know if you discover any bugs or have any suggestions. Currently only English language tweets are used by Trendsmap, but we are in the process of adding more. Trendsmap is the loving work of Stateless Systems, creators of RetailMeNot amongst other things. This remarkable vision couldn't exist without our extraordinary software engineers, Twitter's open data policy, Google Maps, What The Trend and anyone who ever tweets.

.07 Looking ahead: scenarios – Shell Energy Scenarios to 2050

Shell uses scenarios to explore the future. Our scenarios are not mechanical forecasts. They recognise that people hold beliefs and make choices that can lead down different paths. They reveal different possible futures that are plausible and challenging. Our latest energy scenarios look at the world in the next half century, linking the uncertainties we hold about the future to the decisions we must make today.

'Scenarios: An Explorer’s Guide' is written for people who would like to build and use scenarios, and also for those who want to enhance their scenario thinking skills. We visualise our audience as people who are curious by nature, who want to make a difference, and who are highly motivated to acquire a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them.

14. Financial Crisis. Contents

.01 David Cameron in Conversation with Nassim Taleb – FORA.TV

Nassim Taleb is the best-selling author of Fooled By Randomness and The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. So called 'Black Swan Events' are climactic, random and hard-to-predict events that have been entirely unexpected, and often hitherto perceived to be impossible.

At this breakfast event chaired by Danny Finkelstein, Comment Editor of the Times, Nassim Taleb explains the relevance of his ideas to the economic crisis, and argue for measures to create a more Black Swan-robust society. David Cameron responds and takes part in a discussion with the audience.

.02 What In The World Is Going On? -Australian Broadcasting Corporation - FORA.TV

With a new administration in the US government, and a global financial crisis, where do we stand now? Robin Niblett is director of the UK's prestigious Chatham House, arguably the world's foremost international affairs think tank.

Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs) is concerned with global security, prosperity, and is a source of independent analysis and ideas for decision makers in government and the private sector. Professor Stephen King and The Age's Daniel Flitton respond to Robin Niblett's speech and The Hon Michael MacKellar chair's the discussion.

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

To search on topics like those in Regional Community Development News use this custom search engine which utilizes over 2000 regional related sites.

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.

To search previous issues since 2003 go to:

For the Blog and RSS feed go to:

To join Regional Community Networkers and get a free subscription use this email link – no additional information required:

For the Google Groups version go to:

Questions, comments or items to feature in Regional Community Development News?

Please email the editor:

Thomas J. (Tom) Christoffel, AICP -