Regional Community Development News – June 28, 2010 [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 - .22

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet11.01 - .12

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .14

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .06

Financial Crisis …14.01 - .03

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

Bold Italic highlights search terms and/or phrases of interest.


Top Regional Community Stories

1. Rays' regional stadium plan may fall victim to cities' rivalry

The Tampa Tribune - Tampa Bay, FL, USA

Here's Stuart Sternberg's answer to how his Tampa Bay Rays baseball team can find a new stadium site: have a "regional discussion."

Sounds simple in theory, but the history and envy between Tampa and St. Petersburg, and the friction that plays out between rival cities across in the country, indicates that regional cooperation is unlikely to happen.

"When you have two cities of comparable size, you get competition, not cooperation," said Roger Noll, an economics professor at Stanford University, who studies the impact of sports teams and stadiums.

Days after Sternberg called for regional cooperation to find a better location than Tropicana Field to draw fans and generate more revenue, no one has stepped forward to kick off the discussion.


Regionalism could work in the Tampa Bay area, Baker said, but "it takes a bit of a broader-thinking political base."

A history of rivalry

That may be easier said than done.

Complicating the chances for regional cooperation here is the long-standing rivalry between Tampa and St. Petersburg. Though close geographically, the cities grew up differently, both ethnically and temperamentally.


Tampa Bay area cooperation

The two major communities in the Bay area have united in the past for a common cause. The best-known example was creation of Tampa Bay Water in 1998. The utility, successor to the West Coast Regional Water Authority, ended the decades-long water wars between St. Petersburg and Pinellas County on one side, and Hillsborough and Pasco County on the other.

..., the recession and slashed city budgets may actually foster regional cooperation, Noll said, because competition is more heated when times are flush.

Baker, the Denver businessman, said regionalism will only work if Tampa and St. Petersburg agree first on one thing.

"People need to want baseball in their community," he said, "no matter what city it's in."


RC: Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council -

2. Lincoln, 12 counties join to pursue regional economic plan

Lincoln Journal Star - Lincoln, NB, USA

It is a lovely plan.

Thoughtfully conceived and written, up-front strategically and tactically, well-bound and organized, colorful and graphically engaging.

Persuasive, with the labor of volunteer workhorses behind it, maybe even noble.

In its pages, members of what's called The Greater Lincoln Region pound their stake into the ground and define a line inside of which 12 counties, their governments and business organizations are supposed to cooperate, instead of coveting and competing, to help each other achieve prosperity by attracting investment and new, well-paying jobs.

And it should not matter whether the people go to work in Wahoo or Waverly, Lincoln or York, Geneva or Auburn.

Yeah, right, some boosters of Whateverville might sneer.

Regional cooperation is and has been for years the accepted wisdom of local economic development, especially for groups of smaller communities.

The plan ranges far and deeply in terms of strategy, tactics, education, business creation, workforce development and organization along regional lines.

But self-interest, the auto-pilot a mayor or chamber of commerce sets to get the jobs and tax base for their town, not yours, is still a very powerful force.

"We're all chasing property tax base," Lincoln Urban Development Director Dave Landis candidly told the annual …

Jason Smith used to live in a smaller community.

The vice president of the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development has been nurturing the young regional partnership along and sympathizes with his partners from outside Lincoln.

"The budget constraints are enormous and trying to prioritize is difficult," he said. "You hope to gain consensus that if you leverage each other's resources and strong points, we create a stronger region that creates jobs for people in your community, or 20 miles away.

"It's been an extremely challenging process," Smith said. "It takes a long time to build trust."

3. Local firemen prove regionalization can work

The Dispatch - The Upper Wyoming Valley, PA, USA

Of all the legacies left by small coaltown provincialism, who knew this: fire companies from town to town used different couplings and fittings on fire hydrants and fire hoses.

Fearing theft, volunteer firefighters back in the day were protective of their equipment and figured different hose couplings would be a deterrent to theft.

… This wasn’t a problem relegated to the past. Different thread couplings still exist today and adapters are still used in some cases.

The need for a fix came to a head in May of 2007 at an accident scene on I-81 … Hoses from one department could not be hooked up to a fire engine from a different department when supplying water. …”

The departments agreed to apply for a regional grant. Lampman was appointed to write the application. It was a competitive process with an estimated three million requests for the available $550 million. The regional grant prepared by Lampman was approved in November of 2008. Lampman said it was like winning the lottery.

The federal share of the $242,000 was $231,000. The departments had to come up with the remainder: $12,000.

The new hoses are color-coded and with lightweight nozzles are easier to handle. “The old nozzles were good for making lamps,” Lampman said with a chuckle, “but not for firefighting.”

Buoyed by their success, the departments and Lampman prepared another regional grant application for improved radio communication. It was approved for $203,000 … Lampman said the regional concept works well.

“It’s opening up projects departments could never do on their own. It’s a gateway to go from stand-alone to family, if you will. We’re proud of our success,” Lampman said. “We feel obligated to defend our turf by bringing money back home for local services.”

RC: Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance -

4. Should the governments of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County merge?

Sun Star Courier -

Perhaps not, but it does not hurt to talk about it, according to Bill Purcell, the former mayor of Nashville, Tenn., who spoke June 11 at the South Franklin Circle Dialogues series.

Purcell, the director of Harvard’s Institute of Politics, was Nashville mayor from 1999-2007.

The City of Nashville and Davidson County merged in 1963 and the combined government is run by a mayor, vice-mayor and 40-member council.

Purcell said a similar structure might not work for Cleveland and Cuyahoga County and only the people who live here can decide that.

“I didn’t come here to prescribe a course of action to you,” he said. “My role, I think, is to talk about what I know best and leave your future and your hopes and your dreams to you.”

He said people have long known the functions and services of government have little to do with administrative boundaries, citing regional transit systems, libraries, planning organizations and utility districts.

According to Purcell, there are three things a city or region must provide in order for it to attract and retain residents — education, safety and quality of life.

He said bigger is not always better, but these things can often be provided cheaper if they are not duplicated and are shared regionally.

“There are clear advantages in shared values, in engagement and in ownership of those things as well,” Purcell said. “You share the benefits across a larger area, you advance together within the area and you stop competing with each other across individual boundaries that no one quite knows where they are. At the end of the day you rise together.”

His other main argument was that, historically, the outlying areas of a region can not succeed if the core goes bad.

5. Region’s vulnerability to disaster a development deficit, says IICA official

The West Indies News - New York, NY, USA

Regional disaster risk management planning must break the “cycle of vulnerability” as without effective strategies to mitigate the risks linked to the agriculture sector, poverty reduction would not occur.

These sentiments were expressed … at the Caribbean Regional Disaster Management Symposium … by Dr Vincent Little, Coordinator of the Caribbean Technical Agenda of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). … speaking on the current situation and outlook for agricultural risk management in the Caribbean.

“Hazards do not necessarily become disasters, it is the combination of hazards and the level of vulnerability that intensify the impacts of disasters,” he said, adding that the Region’s vulnerability to natural disasters was a development deficit.

Dr Little stated that the development of appropriate mechanisms to reduce the Region’s vulnerability to disasters was crucial as the Region was characterised by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Low Lying Coastal States (LLCS). Leaving no room for comfort, he said, was the fact that 70 per cent of all economic activities took place within a two-mile radius of the coastline, and 60 per cent of the population resided in the coastal zone.

Given these realities, Dr Little stressed the need for an institutional framework to build resilience in the agriculture sector. Past experiences of the impact of disasters on the sector- the US$ 54.4 million in losses to flooding in Guyana in 2005 and the US$ 36.6 million losses in Grenada to Ivan in 2004- should inspire action, he stated.

“The Region cannot continue to rely on costly extra-regional development assistance for reconstruction after a major catastrophe,” Dr Little stated, adding that this “reactive stance” was costly.

… Symposium … presented a “defining moment” in ascertaining the role of the sector as a “fundamental mean of alleviating poverty and as an engine of growth.”


6. Beebe, state officials talk jobs at press association conference

The City Wire - Fort Smith Region - AK, USA

States with success in economic development must focus on regionalism, retaining existing jobs, workforce development and the appropriate use of incentives.

Such was the message from Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, Matt Kisber, head of the Tennessee Department of Community Development, and Gray Swoope, head of the Mississippi Development Authority, during a tri-state meeting of the Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee Press Associations.

Beebe spent several minutes talking about his overarching philosophy of economic development, which is that an educated workforce is a state’s best development tool. He said state officials in Arkansas are focused on marrying education with economic development.

“You get those things right, all the other issues are easier to solve,” Beebe said.

Swoope said state officials must also find a way to work with nearby states when recruiting new jobs. He predicted multi-state regionalism “is going to be more and more a factor in economic development.” For example, Swoope said Mississippi and Alabama are working together on a plan to recruit aerospace companies to the two-state area.

Beebe agreed with idea of keeping jobs nearby, saying he would much rather see Mississippi land a new company than for it to go to Peru.

Beebe also said cities within states must work regionally to land new jobs. He said the successful effort to bring Hewlett-Packard to central Arkansas (Conway) required the “professional” efforts of civic and business leaders in Benton, Conway and Little Rock.

Swoope said the other thing states must do is build relationships with other countries. He said the recession has forced many states to reduce or end their overseas marketing operations. With many of the new plants and jobs in the U.S. representing foreign investments, Swoope said cutting costs in that area is a mistake.

“We cannot just turn our back on international activities and hope to survive,” Swoope explained.

7. Giering: Are libraries an area to use regionalism to keep a vital service and save dollars?

Press & Guide - Dearborn, MI, USA

A few months back, I wrote about the need for privatization. Running a close second, is the need for regionalism.

Libraries would serve as a great first step in this effort. In Wayne County alone there are more than 20 public libraries.

Perhaps we should investigate a consortium of libraries to reduce expenditures and increase programming in order to sustain their existence. We could use Wayne County RESA as a model for this new organization.

According to their website, “Wayne RESA is a regional educational service agency that provides a broad spectrum of services and support to Wayne County’s 34 school districts aimed at improving student achievement and maximizing economies of scale in staff development, purchasing, and administrative services.”

Why is this important to the business community? Strong communities = strong businesses!

8. Guest blogger: Transparency needed from transit agencies

Dallas Morning News - Dallas, TX, USA

Last year, Texas' metropolitan transit authorities (MTAs) spent more than $4 billion of your transportation tax dollars. If you're curious to know why, how, or on what, good luck.

Despite all the open-government reforms that have taken root in Texas the past several years, most of Texas' MTAs still don't provide the public with basic spending information online, such as budgets, check registers, and financial reports.

Of the state's 10 transit authorities, just six post their budgets online and six do likewise with financial statements. None post a check register online. Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART ) deserves partial credit for posting budgets and financial statements, although it is labeled under "investor information." But the Fort Worth Transportation Authority ("The T"), Lubbock's Citibus, and Laredo's El Metro do none of the above on their own website.

That this level of obscurity exist in today's digital world is unacceptable - especially considering that some transit authorities have bigger budgets than some small states. But it is even worse considering how other Texas local governments have started embracing transparency.

The Texas Comptroller's Leadership Circle program is a statewide initiative that recognizes local governments for their transparency efforts. So far, the program has recognized 62 cities for their open-government efforts, along with 34 counties, 64 school districts, two municipal utility districts, one river authority - but no transit authorities.

With the public largely in the dark about how transit authorities spend billions of dollars every year and a seemingly cavalier attitude among local transportation officials towards basic concept of financial transparency, the time has come for the Legislature to protect taxpayers.


9. Panel tweaks growth management suggestions - Hinesville, GA, USA

Regional growth management partners on Tuesday reviewed a draft of final recommendations for handling anticipated growth throughout Bryan, Liberty, Long and Tattnall counties and Fort Stewart.

The draft recommendations focus on specific areas affected by growth including land use, workforce development, transportation, public services and education, and were suggested both by regional stakeholders and the Fort Stewart Growth Management Partnership [ ], which has helped drive the study for the past year.

One area that remains high on the list to be successfully managed and developed is regional housing. Stakeholders recommended a tracking system for housing trends and growth management data, and an additional implementation grant is being pursued to help the partnership take the reins to manage that data and provide it to area developers.

Drake said the study conducted found not only a surplus of housing but also a need for more diverse types of housing, and that in the future developers could benefit from access to market-based housing data to accommodate residents who live outside the gates of Fort Stewart, particularly as on-post housing availability changes.

To fully understand the potential for growth, the study recommends regional entities improve their local planning capacity, primarily through the use of geographic information systems (GIS) to map areas of open space and "know where infrastructure opportunities will be for the regional community," Drake said.

Sean Martin, assistant director for the partnership, said the entity acknowledges it may not be feasible for individual municipalities to employ a full-time planner but the recommendation invites the possibility for such a position to be shared across the region. "One of the themes is to try and promote collaboration," Martin said.

That collaboration may well extend into the development of unified planning ordinances, which Drake said could prove challenging but could help ensure seamless development regionwide.


RCs: Coastal Regional Commission - Counties - Bryan, Liberty, Long -

Heart of Georgia Altamaha Regional Commission - Tattnall County -

10. U.S. Regional Communities - sub-State, State or multi-State - in news articles.

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 HUD Regional Planning Grants


HUD has released its Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the $100 million in FY2010 funding for the regional planning grants under the Sustainable Communities Program. This $100 million in new money is in addition to the $40 million for HUD community challenge grants and U.S. DOT TIGER II grants announced earlier this month. As noted in the HUD announcement: “The Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program will support metropolitan and multijurisdictional planning efforts that integrate housing, land use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure investments in a manner that empowers jurisdictions to consider the interdependent challenges of: (1) economic competitiveness and revitalization; (2) social equity, inclusion, and access to opportunity; (3) energy use and climate change; and (4) public health and environmental impact. Today’s notice announces the availability of approximately $100 million for Sustainable Community Regional Planning Grants. Of this amount, $2 million will be reserved for capacity support grants distributed separately, and not less than $25 million shall be awarded to regions with populations of less than 500,000.” Read the full announcement for specific eligibility requirements. The document notes that for applications covering "non-defined areas," RPOs or rural COGs that exist in the region must be included in the applicant consortia, and in metropolitan areas, the MPO must be included.

.02 Transit plans will stall again without leadership, compromise

Detroit Free Press - - Detroit, MI, USA

The Big Four will confer with top leaders in the state House and Senate soon on plans for a much needed regional transit authority for southeast Michigan. Without real leadership from these elected representatives, transit bills now before the state House will languish and die. Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, Macomb County Commission Chairman Paul Gieleghem and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing must work out their differences, including labor and employment issues, and get regional transit legislation to the governor this year. Action can't wait until next year, when the plan for a metro Detroit transit authority would face an even more uncertain future under a new governor and Legislature. Delaying a regional authority also would jeopardize millions of dollars of federal transportation aid -- and the jobs and economic development that come with it. … Now the bills call for a sensible -- but controversial -- measure providing majority-vote approval for the five-member board, with one member each appointed by Detroit, the governor and Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties. To move the plan forward, leaders could instead require a supermajority -- four of five members -- for certain tax and budget actions, or even retain the simple majority while expanding the board to include county commission and Detroit City Council appointees. … These issues are difficult, but not insurmountable, if the top leaders of southeast Michigan get engaged and work with an appropriate sense of urgency. Nearly eight years after outgoing Gov. John Engler vetoed the first plan, metro Detroit can't afford to wait any longer.

.03 Gordon and Wagner: ‘Glaring example of inefficiency,’ Teterboro should be dissolved - NJ, USA

State Sen. Bob Gordon and Assemblywoman Connie Wagner represent the 38th Legislative District of Bergen County. THE CURRENT budget crisis has focused attention on the need to reduce the cost of government at all levels. Since local aid represents much of the state budget, the governor has made severe cuts in funding for schools and municipalities. … We can take the first step here in Bergen County by eliminating the most glaring example of inefficiency. Earlier this month, we introduced legislation to dissolve the Borough of Teterboro and merge it into the four surrounding municipalities of Moonachie, Little Ferry, South Hackensack and Hasbrouck Heights. Teterboro has been called the “Cayman Islands of New Jersey.” This one-square-mile industrial enclave is little more than a tax haven. With a population of about 40, nearly $382 million in property values and few in-house services, Teterboro can offer its 60 commercial property owners the lowest property tax rate in the state. In terms of property values per resident, Teterboro, a collection of mainly factories and warehouses, is the wealthiest town in New Jersey. … The question we would ask is this: At a time when most local governments are under extreme financial pressure as evidenced by layoffs and skyrocketing property taxes, does maintaining an industrial tax haven make any sense? … We say no, and that is why we introduced the Meadowlands Regionalization, Efficiency and Property Tax Relief Act. Our legislation will eliminate the $5.3 million now spent in Teterboro, and will reallocate its $382 million tax base and over $3 million in tax revenues to the surrounding towns. …

.04 Berkley officials ‘delighted’ by override results

Tauton Daily Gazette - Taunton, MA, USA

Tears of relief were shed by teachers and school supporters at the Berkley Community School after all three override votes passed Saturday after a three-question proposition 2 1/2 override vote. With a vote 670 in favor and 526 against, the town can balance its budget, kindergarten through eighth grade can fund it’s operational budget after a 705 to 496 vote and the plan to regionalize Berkley with Somerset will move ahead after a vote of 801 to 403. Berkley School Superintendent Thomas Lynch was very busy fielding calls once word got out. “I’m delighted,” Lynch said. “It’s remarkable all three passed. It’s fabulous.” Lynch credited the hard work done by the Berkley Education Alliance along with the teachers. ... The next step for regionalization Machamer said, is to form an interim school committee that will last for a year before the yearly election. Each school committee will appoint two of their own members and two more from each community, planning will begin from there. The question to approve regionalization for Berkley was passed at town meeting held June 7. Somerset approved the same question at their special town meeting held June 21. That vote was 996 in favor and 646 opposed.

.05 Opinion: Non-profits blaze regionalization trail

The Sun Chronicle - Attleboro, MA, USA

… This space has frequently contained words of encouragement for regionalization of public services. To say the results have been mixed would put it too kindly. The recent agreement for regionalized Norton-Easton veterans services is a rare triumph, and a small one. A similar proposal for Foxboro and Walpole was dropped last week in the face of veterans' protests. Situations like extending the King Philip regional school system to grades K-12, which is frequently mentioned and always put off, are more common. Legislation has been passed to encourage and make regionalization easier, we noted here last week. We'll see. But non-profit organizations have seen the regionalization light. Our area's Chambers of Commerce and United Ways are among those who have followed the bigger bang for the buck theory; now the Arc joins them. On this subject, the public sector has a lot to learn from the private.

.06 GUEST COLUMN: Area regional sewer plan progressing

The Sun Chronicle - Attleboro, MA, USA

BY REP. F. JAY BARROWS - Across the commonwealth, cities and towns are faced with shrinking municipal budgets while still having to provide a multitude of basic services. Regionalization, the idea of sharing local resources between neighboring towns to save money without sacrificing the standard of living for residents, has become more widely embraced by town officials over the last few years as a potential cure to these fiscal woes. Foxboro, Mansfield, and Norton saw the potential early on in regionalization. I have had the pleasure of working as a facilitator between the three communities as they embarked on an attempt to regionalize the sewer plant to not only expand its capabilities but lessen the financial burden on ratepayers and taxpayers. The Regional Sewer Study Commission began in 2007 when all three communities expressed the desire to find a way to expand capacity for homes and businesses while keeping sewer bills reasonable for everyone. As state representative for the three communities on this project, I worked to secure a waiver to the Inter-Basin Transfer Act by the state Water Resource Commission, a first in Massachusetts, and something the commission needed to proceed. In addition, a $75,000 earmark from the state was secured to test a re-charge area to make sure this plan was even feasible before going any further. ...

.07 Community Foundations Merge - Hampton Roads, VA, USA

The Southeast Virginia Community Foundation has formed as a result of the merger of The Portsmouth Community Foundation (PCF) and The Heron Foundation (HF). This collaborative, regional, non-profit community organization is committed to helping the people of southeast Virginia make a positive impact on their communities. “This is a time of tremendous excitement and opportunity for non-profits in the region,” said Foundation Board member Cliff Hayes. “The Southeast Virginia Community Foundation now will help unify civic engagement efforts in both Chesapeake and Portsmouth, elevating the profile of everyday philanthropy in the entire region and bringing much needed resources to the Chesapeake community as a result.” ...

.08 Community Foundation Leaders Participate in Regional Learning Forum

Oneida County Courier - Utica, NY, USA

The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties’ President & CEO Peggy O’Shea and Director of Philanthropy Corinne Ribble recently participated in a Regional Learning Forum on Community Leadership at The Boston Foundation. The forum was presented by national bodies: The Council on Foundations and CFLeads. Attendees came from throughout the Northeast and consisted of more than 100 community foundation senior staff and trustees. The forum focused on the leadership roles many community foundations are undertaking. This trend is largely due to community foundations’ unique ability to bring together representatives of not-for-profit organizations, businesses and municipalities to work together toward common goals and to provide financial support to achieve those goals. The Community Foundation has most recently played crucial roles in literacy assessments for both Herkimer and Oneida counties and a two-county community indicators project.


.09 Region may have model, ally in downstate agency

Gary Post Tribune - Gary, IN, USA

Creation of a Regional Transportation Authority was one of the recommendations to come out of a 1999 study on regionalism for central Indiana. The RTA was formed in 2004 and started out as just Marion County. Today it is known as the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority and includes 10 counties. In February 2009 the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, the Indiana Community Foundation and the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership founded the Central Indiana Transit Task Force -- made up of 20 business leaders -- to evaluate the costs and recommend the best return on investment in terms of public transportation -- rail and bus -- for central Indiana. Based on a positive recommendation from the task force, CIRTA launched IndyConnect to do a more specific study and make recommendations. Ehren Bingaman, the CIRTA executive director, said the intent is to have an operational plan and funding recommendation in place by year's end for consideration by the 2011 General Assembly. …,cirta.article

.10 Leadership, unity focus of regionalism meeting

Natchez Democrat - Natchez, MS, USA

In order for Adams County and Concordia Parish to work well together, leaders should reach across the bridge and get to know each other. Vidalia City Manager Ken Walker said it is difficult to work with leaders in Natchez and Ferriday when they have never met. “(Miss-Lou leaders) should get to know each other on another level so you recognize each other on the street,” Liz Brooking said. Walker and Brooking are two of the 19 community members and leaders from Natchez, Vidalia and Ferriday who discussed leadership at a Miss-Lou Regional Initiative subcommittee meeting Thursday at the Vidalia Methodist Church. The subcommittee was formed to address housing and community development with emphasis on leadership and race relations. The 19 people in attendance brainstormed ways to get the most out of community leaders, including elected and appointed officials and spiritual, youth and business leaders. One suggestion to improve communication in Miss-Lou included a ...

.11 Rep. Clark Seeks to Revive Regional Wastewater Treatment Bill

WFPL - Lousiville, KY, USA

The number two man in the Kentucky House is among a bipartisan coalition of Louisville lawmakers trying to revive a regional wastewater treatment bill that died in this year’s General Assembly. Legislation allowing a Louisville-area pilot program on regionalization of wastewater treatment passed the House this year, but died in the Senate. House Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark, who’s trying to revive the bill, says building more and more local treatment plants limits growth, and it’s not an environmentally sound strategy. ... Georgetown Sen. Damon Thayer says regionalization just creates another non-elected board with the power to set rates that are difficult for consumers to challenge. Thayer says if the regional approach is taken, an entity like the Public Service Commission should have final say over rate hikes.

.12 Proposal would merge three Dakota County parks into one new regional park - MN, USA

Miles of bike and walking trails tie together Kaposia Park and Kaposia Landing in South St. Paul and Thompson County Park in West St. Paul. Between them, the three parks offer lake and river access, a forested ravine, interpretive centers and amenities such as a dog park, disc golf course and picnic shelters. South St. Paul and Dakota County officials are looking at converting them into one 230-acre regional park. The move, they say, would draw regional visitors and open the door to Metropolitan Council money for operation, maintenance and capital expenses. "If you look at a map, this could make sense," said Chris Esser, South St. Paul's director of parks and recreation. "The three parks string together through the regional trails." Dakota County has asked the Met Council to look at the idea's feasibility, and last month the agency's Metro Parks and Open Space Committee recommended the inclusion of such a study in the 2030 Regional Parks Policy Plan. ...

.13 Carnegie Mellon University And Bombardier Join Forces To Launch

The New Pennsylvania Smart Infrastructure Incubator

Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, PA, USA

... "This is a wonderful opportunity for both industry and the state as we move forward to highlight this region as a hotbed for advanced infrastructure technology and the jobs these technologies will create," said State Senator Jay Costa, (D-43rd District) a primary sponsor of the RACP grant. Matthew Sanfilippo, executive director of the PSII, said: "Tomorrow's infrastructure will blend traditional concrete-and-steel physical infrastructure systems with cyber-infrastructure systems such as computers, networks and sensors in ways that are just emerging. Pennsylvania has a wealth of companies, universities and institutions that are inventing many of these emerging technologies that will build or re-build the world's infrastructure. We intend to bring these organizations together to leverage and highlight this new resource to help make Pennsylvania a visible leader in these critical emerging technologies." ...

.14 Regional Stewardship extends grants to community, outreach grows

Murry State University - Murry, KY, USA

After two successful years of project work, helping over 16,000 people in the 2009-10 academic year alone, Murray State University’s Office of Regional Stewardship & Outreach will now be accepting applications from regional organizations for grants to be used toward programs focused on improving the quality of life in the region. Projects demonstrating the strongest alignment with “educational attainment” will be selected for funding. Examples of Regional Stewardship’s past projects, from 2009-2010 academic year include 10 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) initiatives which extended programs throughout the region to over 4,000 students. The College of Humanities and Fine Arts, through the Cultural Awareness Series, boasted 18 programs in the last academic year, and many of its endeavors partnered with the Carson Center of Paducah. This success was a key factor in the decision to allow external entities to apply for grant money. ...,-outreach-grows.html

.15 EDUCATION: The Regional Academy is a community effort

City Newspaper, Rochester, NY, USA

I would like to thank City Newspaper and Tim Macaluso for keeping abreast of the progress of The Regional Academy as reported in the June 2 edition. For over two years, more than 150 people from all sectors of the City of Rochester and Monroe County, professions as diverse as college professors, attorneys, teachers, legislators and students have volunteered their time to serve on committees designing the Regional Academy. ...

.16 Regional development strategy touted

Watertown Daily Times - Watertown, NY, USA

Just as the Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena is considering reorganizing as a local development corporation, town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray said he thinks it is time to ditch the region's alphabet soup of economic development agencies and start fresh. He said he envisions doing away with groups such as the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency and Massena's own BDC to come up with a better solution for bringing jobs to the region. "Countywide, we spend a lot of money on economic development and unfortunately we haven't had the kind of results we've hoped for," Mr. Gray said. "I don't know why that is and I don't know that anyone has asked the question." ... Instead of having scores of independent development groups "holding onto their turf in desperate hope that 'something big' will come to town and rescue their shrinking tax base," Mr. Gray advocates clearing the tables, cutting down on the number of "balding and gray-haired men" sitting on development boards and bringing in more young people and women, and creating one "super agency" to cover the entire county "without regard for turf and jurisdictions." Mr. Gray also is looking for agencies to move away from "our obsession with manufacturing and the 1960s mind-set of industrial development." He said he hopes to soon gather representatives from the village, town, BDC, Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce and the new St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency. ... "We need to do some self-examination as a community," he said. "Do we continue to sit back and say, 'Boy, I hope somebody comes to utilize the GM plant to create 300 jobs,' or do we say, 'We can't sit back anymore. We have some things a lot of other places don't have. We are open for business, and you should come to our town'?"

.17 Regional planners reaffirm Waukesha water recommendation

The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, in a letter to a regional business group, reaffirms its recommendation that Waukesha should switch from deep wells to Lake Michigan for its water supply. Waukesha's application for a Great Lakes water supply is consistent with the findings of the commission's preliminary regional water supply plan, SEWRPC Executive Director Ken Yunker says in a letter to representatives of the Sustainable Water Supply Coalition. An advisory committee, which included engineers, scientists, water utility managers and other water experts throughout the region, studied possible options for four years before selecting a Lake Michigan supply for Waukesha, according to Yunker. The advisory committee did not recommend continued use of deep or shallow wells, or a combination of wells drawing water from deep and shallow aquifers. The commission letter was distributed to city officials Monday in an attempt to build support for restarting state review of Waukesha's application, coalition executive director Brian Nemoir said. "City officials need assurance that all possible options have been studied," Nemoir said. ...

.18 New planning commission on Beaufort City Council agenda

Hilton Head Island Packet - Hilton Head Island, SC, USA

A new regional planning commission with representatives from the town of Port Royal, city of Beaufort and Beaufort County could begin offering its recommendations as soon as this fall. Officials have said a new Metropolitan Planning Commission would allow for more comprehensive planning, inclusive decision-making and seamless growth throughout northern Beaufort County. The concept stems from the Northern Beaufort County Regional Plan, which among other things established areas where growth is anticipated and encouraged and areas that should remain rural." The goal is to allow more voices to be heard on decisions regarding growth," said Jim Hicks, chairman of the Northern Beaufort County Regional Plan Implementation Committee. ... For the county, the new Metropolitan Planning Commission would function as one of the county Planning Commission's various subcommittees and only make recommendations on projects that fall within the growth boundaries, Hicks said. …

.19 Civic Tourism, and the Importance of Place


With civic tourism ... we're focused on developing the skills and tactics that produce constructive involvement. We have years of research on designing and implementing community forums on explosive social and political issues – everything from immigration in the Southwest to logging in Montana. Organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council, for example, bring together environmentalists, the timber industry, and citizens to design plans that provide for both sustainable forests and sustainable lumber economies. Given that travel and tourism is also about "working the landscape," the same techniques can and should be applied to tourism – the largest industry in many states, one of the fastest growing industries in the world, and an industry that has tremendous potential to change our natural, cultural, and built environments. With the public's involvement, it's more likely that change will be for the better. ... The third national civic tourism conference takes place in Fort Collins, Colorado, August 11-14, 2010 -

.20 MetroMonitor: Tracking Economic Recession and Recovery in America’s 100 Largest Metropolitan Areas

Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program Update - Washington, D.C., USA

Two and a half years after the Great Recession began, the nation’s economic recovery remains jobless and seems more fragile than ever. Inflation-adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) grew at a moderate 3.0 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2010, down from a 5.6 percent annual growth rate in the last quarter of 2009. Housing markets weakened, and the expiration in April of federal homebuyer tax credits could lead to further weakness later this year. ... The MetroMonitor, an interactive barometer of the health of America’s metropolitan economies, looks “beneath the hood” of national economic statistics to portray the diverse metropolitan landscape of recession and recovery across the country. It aims to enhance understanding of the local underpinnings of national economic trends, and to promote public and private sector responses to the downturn that take into account metropolitan areas’ distinct strengths and weaknesses. This edition of the Monitor examines indicators through the first quarter of 2010 (ending in March) in the areas of employment, unemployment, output, home prices, and foreclosure rates for the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas. It finds that: All of the 100 largest metropolitan areas had growth in output in the first quarter of 2010, but the rate of output growth declined in 90 metropolitan areas.


.21 EVEN in today’s uncertain real estate market, family-size apartments are having something of a baby boom in New York City.

The New York Times - New York, NY, USA

Sales of three- and four-bedroom apartments swelled last year, even as sales of smaller places declined, and the trend has since persisted. The increased sales are another sign that New York City has become a more appealing place for families. … Within the last year, developers of several new projects have responded to the demand by combining units to produce as many as seven bedrooms, seven and a half bathrooms and close to 6,000 square feet. ... Brokers and marketing agents say that these new buildings are attractive to families who want a suburban floor plan within the confines of a Manhattan apartment. … The buyers of these apartments, which range in price from $2.5 million to $7 million, are not typically people with five or six children; they tend to have two to four. But they want a bedroom for each child as well as a guest room, a family room or a home office. Maintenance or common charges for these larger apartments range from about $3,000 a month, for a three-bedroom, to $6,500 a month for a seven-bedroom. ...

.22 The Burden of Home Ownership

The Atlantic - USA

The Future of the City - An eight part video series featuring Richard Florida.

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 Budget: Regional Development Agencies to be scrapped

BBC News - UK

The nine regional development agencies (RDAs) across England are to be scrapped, Budget documents show. The projects, set up by the Labour government, were established to work with local businesses to help development, employment, business efficiency and skills. They are to be replaced by Local Enterprise Partnerships in a process that will begin with a White Paper, to be published later in the summer. RDAs employ about 3,400 people. A spokesman for one of those affected, the South West RDA, said it accepted the plans and recognised "that funding available for economic development work will be more limited in the next few years given the need to tackle the public deficit". No figures on potential savings from the changes were available. The organisations had received criticism from some for failing to close regional divides. ...

.02 RDAs vow to work through ‘unsettling time’

New Start Magazine - UK

England's regional development agencies have pledged to make sure their work and expertise are not lost in the transition to local economic partnerships (LEPs). A spokesperson for the RDAs said they accepted change is coming and insisted the work and experience of the agencies mattered more than institutional arrangements at such a critical time for the national economy. It follows this week's Budget, which confirmed the government’s intention to replace RDAs and to encourage the development of LEPs, a process that will begin with the publication of a white paper later in the summer. Spokesperson James Harper said: 'It is clear that funding available for economic development work will be more limited in coming years given the need to tackle the public deficit. We will do our best to minimise adverse impacts where we can, working with partners who have until now looked to us for investment support and know-how.' ...

About RDAs:

.03 East Africa to Begin Economic Integration Thursday

Voice of America - USA

Members of East African Community will formally begin Thursday the process of integration. Despite some reservations from smaller countries, analysts believe the union will greatly benefit the region. The Common Market Protocol - signed last November by members of the East African Community - will take effect officially on July 1, as the region moves closer to the dream of a politically and economically unified East Africa. That's when Community members Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi will open their borders for the free movement of goods, services and citizens throughout East Africa. The protocol is part of a vision that would see the nations eventually form a federated state, complete with a single currency and unified foreign policy. While critics of the East African Federation are skeptical such a union can be achieved by the proposed date of 2012, the integration set to begin in July has been heralded as an economic and political achievement. ...

.04 SAARC: Building trust between member countries

The Economic Times - India

The fundamental premise of regionalism among South Asian countries lies in the recognition that challenges confronting the region cannot be resolved through action in national domains alone. It is imperative to develop and forge regional cooperation in different areas, even though implementation would primarily have to be done nationally. ...

.05 We need good luck next year, says Jonathan group

The Nation Newspaper - Nigeria

... “We, especially Nigerians of the Northern extraction who are below 50 years of age, are totally disappointed at the stand of these self anointed Northern elders who are by far in the minority. They have had the opportunity of leading this country and bungled the opportunity to turn the country around. “We totally reject any leadership anchored on the narrow and unrewarding path of regionalism, ethnicism, and religious bigotry. Let the best emerge through transparent, free and fair elections,” he stated. Gulak added that Nigerians need a President who irrespective of where he comes from, could deliver on electoral promises.

.06 Back to governance school

Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation - Manila, Philippines

Imagine this assembly: Richard Gomez and wife Lucy Torres-Gomez, Lani Mercado, Christopher de Leon, Alfred Vargas, Roderick Paulate, Angelica Jones, Daisy Reyes, and comedienne Ai Ai De Las Alas. This is not a casting for a new movie, but a list of celebrity students who are currently enrolled at the University of the Philippines’ National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAGAG). These celebrities, except for Gomez and Ai Ai, are newly elected local officials who have gone back to school to prepare themselves for their new role as public servants. The star-studded classes have been a regular occurrence at NCPAGAG which has over the years educated many celebrities-turned-politicians and other prominent leaders on the principles of governance and legislation. ... Simeon Ilago, director of the Center for Local and Regional Governance (CLRG) of NCPAGAG, says these celebrities who are elected into office may also feel a greater burden to prove themselves worthy of their position that’s why they want to study and be prepared for the job. ...

.07 Regional council to focus on community engagement - New Zealand

In the future Environment Bay of Plenty will focus on better community engagement that aligns to its priorities, rather than on environmental education. Policy and Planning Chair Raewyn Bennett said at a meeting today that a review on the regional council’s role in environmental education showed the Council was on the right track, it just needed to align its work better to achieve its community outcomes and focus on priorities. “The use of education is an important part of our services and activities for achieving social change and our community outcomes,” Councillor Bennett said. “The review recommended it continue to use education as a tool but better aligned with our priorities and refocusing on community engagement of which education is just one part,” she said. ...

.08 Alberta to review 'inefficient' developmental disabilities program

Calgary Herald - Calgary, AB, CA

The provincial government has launched a sweeping administrative review of its persons with developmental disabilities program that clients and service providers recognize is necessary, but fear will erode care and centralize decision making. Some agencies and opposition parties worry the initiative is an attempt to disband the six regional community PDD boards into a single Edmonton-based superboard, and to chop some of the 220 service providers provincewide, including about 40 in Calgary. ... PDD agencies said they strongly support the government's attempts to streamline administrative costs, but note many service providers are already stretched to the limit. ...

.09 Prospects of Waterway Development as a Catalyst to Improve Regional and Community Socio-Economy Level - Malaysia

American Journal of Economics and Business Administration 2 (3): 233-239, 2010

Abstract: Problem statement: Malaysia has achieved a number of successes in its transportation development. The success of Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Northern and Southern Highway project for examples have given the community lot of benefits in term of social and economic development, but what if an inland waterway system can be developed in Malaysia especially along Pahang River and Muar River. Can this proposed waterway bring significant impact to local people in term of their social and economic development? This has become the main objective of this paper which is to investigate whether the future Pahang Muar Waterway could have significant socioeconomy impact on the local community or not.

.10 Queensland Regional Achievement & Community Awards Nominations Open - Australia

The Regional Achievement & Community Awards for Queensland are about recognising rural and regional achievers in your community. There can never be enough encouragement and support for those working in rural and regional areas. Awards such as these create an opportunity to say thank you to businesses, community groups and individuals who work tirelessly in developing their chosen fields of endeavour.,17630

.11 Premier Announces Major Milestone for Fledgling LNG Industry - Australia

The State Government has today granted conditional approval to QGC Pty Limited's multi-billion-dollar Queensland Curtis Liquefied Natural Gas project (QCLNG) near Gladstone. Premier Anna Bligh confirmed today that Coordinator-General (CG) Colin Jensen had completed his review of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the BG Group-owned project and approved it with strict conditions. Ms Bligh said the CG's conditions included community and social benefits such as the provision of affordable housing for Gladstone and the Western Downs. "The Queensland Curtis LNG project could create up to 8,000 jobs and boost economic benefits in key gas fields and industrial regions," Ms Bligh said. ... "The development and operation of the project will involve further consultation with communities and councils, to capture the benefits which the project brings to regional skills and economies-and to mitigate any adverse impact on local culture and infrastructure.'' ...,17632

.12 Invincible Apple: 10 Lessons From the Coolest Company Anywhere - USA

{8} Turn Feedback Into Inspiration

Steve Jobs has often cited this quote from Henry Ford: "If I'd have asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, 'A faster horse!' " This is Jobs's defense of Apple's reluctance to listen to even its most passionate customers, and the line is a good one to remember the next time you're considering a new round of focus groups. "The whole approach of the company is that people can't really envision what they want," says Reid. "They'll tell you a bunch of stuff they want. Then if you build it, it turns out that's not right. It's hard to visualize things that don't exist." But Jobs doesn't exactly ignore customers; he uses their ideas as inspiration, not direction; as a means, not an end. Ever since the netbook boom began, many people have begged Apple to put out its own. These tiny, ultra-portable machines represented the fastest-growing segment of the PC business, and the company seemed to be missing out. Some people (yours truly included) even went so far as to hack PC netbooks in order to run the Mac OS. Jobs could not have been more dismissive. "We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk," he said of the prospect of an Apple netbook. Cut to January 2010, and there's Jobs unveiling a $500 computer that isn't a piece of junk. But the iPad isn't a netbook. It's both more, and less -- not just a faster horse. …

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 Vision 2020

Leadership Fort Wayne Blog

Wednesday, June 23rd saw what some are calling the largest pep rally Northeast Indiana has ever had. The Vision 2020 Regional Economic Summit brought over 1,040 people together to talk about economic development and build pride for the region. The fact that the Northeast Indiana region has seen a steady decline of per capita income over the last 15 years shows that as a regional community, we must do something to turn the downward trend around. Currently, we make 80 cents to the dollar the average American worker makes. Vision 2020, a six-month visioning project that has had nearly 2,000 conversations throughout the region, was sparked by this fact. The Regional Economic Summit was the culmination of the process and the kick-off to its implementation. … Attendees used wireless keypads to vote on goals and strategies that were developed through the process. … At the event, the public was able to pledge a commitment to the effort by signing a “Declaration of Outrageous” and pledge cards promising to use regional collaboration. The declaration is now full of signatures. … The Northeast Indiana regional community includes Adams, Allen, DeKalb, LaGrange, Huntington, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties.

.02 The Creative Class in Rural Areas

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is: How can rural areas best cope and thrive in the increasingly spiky creative economy? New research by economists David McGranahan and Timothy Wojan of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Dayton Lambert of the University of Tennessee provides some new and important insights. Their study, entitled “The Rural Growth Trifecta: Outdoor Amenities, Creative Class and Entrepreneurial Context,” published in the July 2010 issue of the Journal of Economic Geography looks closely at the economic forces that are acting on rural areas and the local assets these areas can use to most effectively respond to these forces and spur development and prosperity. Rural areas can no longer depend on manufacturing branch plants as a source of jobs and growth, but rather can work to bolster local amenities, spur entrepreneurship, and enable the creative class to generate jobs and growth. Their main conclusion is that amenities matter a lot to rural development. Here’s the abstract …

.03 A Regional Exchange:

At the heart of effective economic development is regional cooperation. In 2004, the Department of Labor launched WIRED Initiatives across the U.S. to improve regional efforts for talent development and effective economic development strategies. For over a year, leaders from the Wired65 region, an area spanning 26 counties and two states, have been working to improve the area’s economic competitiveness and quality of life. ...

Creative Class Group (CCG): Tell us about Wired65. What communities make up the region?

Debbie Wesslund: Wired65 is an initiative that brings together civic leaders in a 26-county, bi-state area around the need to support its human capital – or “talent.” This region is anchored by the Louisville, KY MSA and the Elizabethtown, KY MSA. The Ohio River divides the states of Indiana and Kentucky, but the economy reaches across county and state lines, forming a region with a strong sense of place and sharing talent. … is a web-based portal committed not only to helping regional job seekers find employment and employers find talent, but to connecting an entire region and turning it into a online community. It’s a “town square” where employers, educators, job seekers, students, entrepreneurs, government officials, and others can come together to talk and share ideas and insights that help people in our region grow and prosper. It gives users access to a wide range of jobs, resumes, training opportunities, and valuable tools. It has a rich resource of labor market information and employer growth projections. It also features constantly updated content on regional events and news items from the region, particularly related to job growth, employers, and education. …


.04 The Future of Cities

Of Two Minds Blog

The energy consumption of cities will certainly decline in the coming decades, but cities may not disintegrate as many expect. Among those who understand Peak Oil and the fragility of global supply chains, it is widely assumed cities will quickly become hellholes of squalor and extreme violence once liquid fuels are no longer cheap and abundant. Perhaps, but history suggests cities are highly resilient adaptations. What never ceases to amaze me is how few people who expect cities to implode have any grasp of the size and scale of cities which thrived for hundreds of years without any fossil fuels. Fernand Braudel's masterful three-volume history of European Capitalism (Civilization & Capitalism, 15th to 18th Century) The Structures of Everyday Life (Volume 1), The Wheels of Commerce (Volume 2) and The Perspective of the World (Volume 3) is in effect a history of trade and the rise of urban centers. Paris and other cities were already huge, complex centers of commerce and wealth in the early 16th century. ... Rather than attempt an over-arching synthesis of the vast literature on urbanism, I will make a few points which I think are suggestive of the enduring value of cities, and of the ways in which wastrel (and thus unsustainable) cities might lower their energy consumption and increase their sustainability. ....


.05 The Density of Smart People

Clusters of smart people of the highly educated sort that economists refer to as “human capital” are the key engine of economic growth and development. The standard way economists measure this is to take the percentage of people in a country, state, or metropolitan area with a bachelor’s degree or higher. ... most scholars measure human capital in terms of population, not in terms of its geographic concentration. So I was intrigued by this fascinating analysis by Rob Pitingolo (h/t: Don Peck) which takes this question head on. To get at the issue of human capital clustering, Pitingolo compiled a neat measure of what he calls “educational attainment density.” Instead of measuring human capital or college degree holders as a function of population, he measures it as a function of land area – that is, as college degree holders per square mile. As he explains: ... important question about the distribution of human capital within a metro region, calling attention to the issue of ”human capital sprawl.” As he defines, this occurs when human capital density is lower in the central city than its surrounding county. He finds preliminary evidence of this type of human capital sprawl in five places - Louisville, Jacksonville, Oklahoma City, Nashville, and Indianapolis – and notes that: “This preliminary result is particularly worrisome if you believe that metro areas need strong central cities and strong central cities need a lot of smart people.” ... Comments: … Did you intend the title about the “Density” of “Smart People” to be a double entendre? …

.06 Regional Orchestras no good? Blog

... The simple fact is, it all starts with the money -- or lack of it. With a shrinking budget, many regional orchestra boards immediately think of cutting two things -- rehearsal time (the single biggest expense) and music rental. Of course, this leads to vanilla programs and mediocre performances, which causes a dip in attendance, which shrinks the budget, causing the board to cut rehearsal time...... it's a death spiral. The most successful regional orchestras I've seen in my neck of the woods rely on two things -- innovative programming and a commitment to keeping the product on stage at a high level. It requires guts from a board to commit to those things, but I see it as the best way to keep an orchestra vibrant and relevant in the community. There is a valid point to be made that regional orchestras can't (or maybe shouldn't) compete with the major symphony around the corner. Why should a potential audience member hear Pasadena play Beethoven 7 when they can just as easily hear LA Phil do it a few weeks later -- or to put it in another region, why should the audience hear the Macon Symphony when they just as easily go to an Atlanta Symphony performance? For me, the future for regional orchestras lies in the programming. Bringing new music to the audiences, bringing performances they _can't_ hear anywhere else, and presenting the standard repertoire in innovative ways

.07 Chicago and the Epicenter

The Urbanophile

... Some of these thoughts are the beginnings of a major project I have in mind called “The State of Chicago.” ... In assessing Chicago, there are two main distinctions we need to make. The first is the entity we are looking at. In assessing the mayor’s job, Crain’s looked mostly at the city, as that is what is under the mayor’s nominal control. But the real Chicago is a regional, metropolitan economy, as Brookings and others have pointed out. To really evaluate Chicago, the best way to look at it is as a region. Of course, the city is a major part of that and a healthy core is part of how you grade most regions, but fundamentally looking just at the city (or the greater Loop) isn’t enough....

.08 Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

Really good article on tourism marketing

Was in last week's Baltimore City Paper, "Happy?: Baltimore's latest tourism campaign rekindles the city's ongoing branding issues." One of the best I've read in the popular press, the story covers the topic very thoroughly in a limited amount of space and makes an interesting distinction about how destination marketing organizations have to market to outside audiences, but the inside audience is the most judgmental about the campaigns.

.09 CPD Video Conversations: Nation Branding at Expo 2010 Shanghai

USC Center on Public Diplomacy - Los Angeles, CA, USA

As part of CPD's Nation Branding at the Expo Shanghai 2010 project, Jian (Jay) Wang, CPD University Fellow and Associate Professor of strategic communication at USC Annenberg, is leading a research team in Shanghai to document how countries define, communicate and manage their identity and image through national pavilions at the Expo. Weekly video blogs highlighting select countries and their pavilions will be produced from June through August 2010. Countries are selected based on their geography, roles in global society and relationships with China. Each video will feature a country's pavilion, and will typically include interviews with pavilion directors or officials.

.10 Regional Development Strategy

Harbinger Consultants Blog

Harbinger Consultants has commenced work on a strategic planning project which will involve the preparation of a regional development strategy. With a focus on the strengths and opportunities in the Brisbane region, the planning process will identify issues and challenges for sustainability, investment and development as well as recommend key projects. There is a need for the planning process to focus on economic development and job creation. This strategic planning initiative involves research for a regional profile as well as development of key priorities for regional development. Targeted stakeholder engagement will be a major feature of the process with an opportunity for feedback on the draft document through our project partner, Bang The Table, which will host forums in August. ...

.11 Important info for people in regional Western Australia; WACOSS Regional Consultations

Tony Serve Blog

During July 2010, the Western Australia Council of Social Service (WACOSS) will be conducting consultations with regional and remote community service organisations and communities. WACOSS is interested in listening to local people and learning more about the issues that affect your community, as well as discussing with you the best strategies to address these issues. More than half a million Western Australians live outside of metropolitan Perth in an area spanning a quarter of a million square kilometres. As the peak body for the community services sector across WA, WACOSS is committed to addressing the unique issues faced by regional and remote communities, as well as the isolation and the socio-economic disadvantages associated with living outside of Perth. ...

.12 Spatial Data Infrastructures [SDI] exchange experiences at the INSPIRE Conference 2010


Mission goals and strategic priorities include: Act according to the European Commission INSPIRE principles and coordinate with the UNSDI development process. Support national/cross-border implementation of the INSPIRE Directive. Awareness raising on SDI at political level. Strengthen cohesion between stakeholders and other interested parties ie. public services, SMEs and SDICs. Provide synergies in local, regional, national and global dimensions with outreach towards EU neighbouring countries

… The aim of the workshop was to highlight outstanding SDI best practices as examples of successful local and regional SDI developments and intensify the dialogue in the GI and INSPIRE community. It attracted an international audience of about 60 participants. SDIs from very local to cross-border scale were presented at this workshop. ...

.13 Book Review: "Prospero's America"

PhiloBiblos Blog

Walter W. Woodward's Prospero's America: John Winthrop, Jr., Alchemy, and the Creation of New England Culture, 1606-1676 (UNC Press, 2010) is a captivating and necessary new study of John Winthrop, Jr. - skilled political leader, well-regarded alchemist, entrepreneur, and advocate of toleration in religion. This excellent reinterpretation of Winthrop's pursuits, placing his life and activities in an Atlantic and European context, will serve (one hopes) to continue the trend of reshaping the conventional understanding of early New England culture (religious, economic, scientific, and political). ... In the final chapter, Woodward examines Winthrop's role as the first colonial member of the Royal Society, his correspondence with the Society's members, and the ways in which this network enabled Winthrop to keep and groom ties between himself and powerful people at the court of Charles II, whose support he needed for the continued political security of Connecticut. Winthrop's exemplary diplomatic skills were also on display here: while the Royal Society was constantly badgering him to write a natural history of the New England region (which Winthrop feared would encourage the court to exert more political and/or economic authority over the area), he kicked the can down the road by sending accounts of astronomical observations, samples of natural curiosities from the colonies (including a hummingbird nest with eggs, a bow and arrows, a deformed deer head, various grains, nuts, and rocks), and always promised more later. I quite liked Woodward's summation of this strategy (which Winthrop also used in various political arenas): "expressing the desire to comply, explaining the inability to comply, citing the possibility of future compliance, and providing an alternative to show loyalty without compliance" (p. 297). ...

.14 The Technological Revolution and the Future of Freedom – Part 1

The Global Realm

... Anne-Marie Slaughter, currently the Director of Policy Planning for the US State Department, … In 1997, Slaughter wrote an article for the journal of the Council on Foreign Relations, “Foreign Affairs,” in which she discussed the theoretical foundations of the ‘new world order.’ In it, she wrote that, “The state is not disappearing, it is disaggregating into its separate, functionally distinct parts. These parts—courts, regulatory agencies, executives, and even legislatures—are networking with their counterparts abroad, creating a dense web of relations that constitutes a new, transgovernmental order,” and that, “transgovernmentalism is rapidly becoming the most widespread and effective mode of international governance.” ...

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 Innovative Approaches to Addressing Aviation Capacity Issues in Coastal Mega-regions - Transportation Research Board - Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 31

Innovative Approaches to Addressing Aviation Capacity Issues in Coastal Mega-regions examines the aviation capacity issues in the two coastal mega-regions located along the East and West coasts of the United States. The report explores integrated strategic actions to that could potentially address the constrained aviation system capacity and growing travel demand in the high-density, multijurisdictional, multimodal, coastal mega-regions. Link to report PDF.

.02 7th Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Roundtable – September 30 – October 1 – Wilmington, Delaware

Sponsored by: Regional and Intergovernmental Planning Division, American Planning Association and APA State Chapters - Hosted by: WILMAPCO - Wilmington Area Planning Council - For information contact:

.03 Call for Papers: A workshop on the spatial organization, structure, performance and planning of contemporary urban systems - 16 - 17th September 2010 - Delft, The Netherlands,

Sponsored by the Regional Studies Association Research Network for Regional Urban Systems And Their Performance. Deadline for papers: 31st July 2010


.04 Call for Sessions: Location and Spatial Modeling Oriented - 57th Annual North American Meetings of the Regional Science Association International (NARSC 2010 Conference) - Denver, Colorado - November 10-13, 2010

We are organizing location and spatial modeling oriented sessions for the North American Meetings of the Regional Science Association International (NARSC 2010 Conference) again this year. These sessions have a continued and sustained presence at past RSAI meetings and we hope to continue this tradition with a strong showing again this year.

If you would like to contribute to this stream of sessions, please submit your abstract online ( ) and then email us the title, abstract, author information and contact details as soon as possible. Email materials to:

Please note that the deadline for abstract submission is August 1, 2010.

Contact Details:

Tony H. Grubesic, College of Information Science and Technology

Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104-2875


Timothy C. Matisziw, Department of Geography and Civil & Environmental Engineering

University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211-6170


.05 GEOProcessing 2011: The Third International Conference on Advanced Geographic Information Systems, Applications, and Services - February 23-28, 2011 – Gosier, Guadeloupe, France

General page:

Call for Papers:

.06 Academic Institutions Links from - The University of Northern Iowa State and Local Government Program

American Society for Public Administration

National Academy of Public Administration

National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration

Other Institutes and Centers for Government - A link to UNC-Chapel Hill’s list of Institutes of Government across the country.

14. Financial Crisis. Contents

.01 More States May Create Public Banks

Yes Magazine - Bainbridge Island, WA, USA

By 2011, only one state will have escaped the credit crunch that is pushing other states toward insolvency: North Dakota. North Dakota is also the only state that owns its own bank. The state has its own credit machine, making it independent of the Wall Street banking crisis that has infected the rest of the country.

Now, several states are either studying the prospects of a state-owned bank or are considering legislation to make one possible.

Five states have bills pending—Massachusetts, Washington, Illinois, Michigan, and Virginia. In April, documentary filmmaker and Virginia resident Bill Still showed his new award-winning documentary on the topic, The Secret of Oz, to the Missouri House of Representatives. Rep. Allen Icet, a candidate for state auditor, proposed using the Virginia proposal as part of a study on a state bank in Missouri and said he would hold committee hearings this summer.


The State Bank of Virginia study proposed

HJ62: Banks; joint subcommittee to study whether to establish those to be operated by State.



Offered January 13, 2010

Prefiled January 11, 2010

Establishing a joint subcommittee to study whether to establish a bank operated by the Commonwealth. Report.


Patron-- Marshall, R.G.


Committee Referral Pending


WHEREAS, the Commonwealth does not currently engage in the business of banking or own, control, or operate a bank; and

WHEREAS, the state of North Dakota currently engages in the business of banking, owns, controls, and operates a bank known as the Bank of North Dakota; and

WHEREAS, the Bank of North Dakota was established pursuant to North Dakota Century Code 6-09-01 for the purpose of encouraging and promoting agriculture, commerce, and industry; and

WHEREAS, the Bank of North Dakota is not a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation but pursuant to North Dakota Century Code 6-09-10, all deposits in the Bank of North Dakota are guaranteed by the state; and ...

.02 The New Road to Serfdom: A Guide to the Coming Real Estate Collapse (May 2006) - Michael Hudson - Center for a World In Balance

Note: This ancient history is worth a read. Also at this link is an audio for the presentation “ Real Estate: Growth, Crash, or Soft Landing? (8 December 2006). Other writings, interviews and talks by Dr. Hudson up through 2010 are available from this page link. Ed.

Even men who were engaged in organizing debt-serf cultivation and debt-serf industrialism in the American cotton districts, in the old rubber plantations, and in the factories of India, China, and South Italy, appeared as generous supporters of and subscribers to the sacred cause of individual liberty.

—H. G. Wells, The Shape of Things to Come

Never before have so many Americans gone so deeply into debt so willingly. Housing prices have swollen to the point that we’ve taken to calling a mortgage—by far the largest debt most of us will ever incur—an “investment.” Sure, the thinking goes, $100,000 borrowed today will cost more than $200,000 to pay back over the next thirty years, but land, which they are not making any more of, will appreciate even faster. In the odd logic of the real estate bubble, debt has come to equal wealth.

And not only wealth but freedom—an even stranger paradox. After all, debt throughout most of history has been little more than a slight variation on slavery. Debtors were medieval peons or Indians bonded to Spanish plantations or the sharecropping children of slaves in the postbellum South. Few Americans today would volunteer for such an arrangement, and therefore would-be lords and barons have been forced to develop more sophisticated enticements.

The solution they found is brilliant, and although it is complex, it can be reduced to a single word—rent. Not the rent that apartment dwellers pay the landlord but economic rent, which is the profit one earns simply by owning something. Economic rent can take the form of licensing fees for the radio spectrum, interest on a savings account, dividends from a stock, or the capital gain from selling a home or vacant lot. The distinguishing characteristic of economic rent is that earning it requires no effort whatsoever. Indeed, the regular rent tenants pay landlords becomes economic rent only after subtracting whatever amount the landlord actually spent to keep the place standing.


.03 States and cities on the "verge of system failure"

Docudharma - Blogging the Future

The 2011 fiscal year for 46 states begins in ... days. In many cases it is a countdown to financial doom.

Despite what you may have heard from conservative sources, state and local government have been cutting and cutting. 231,000 state and local government jobs have vanished since August 2008 - 22,000 in just the past month. Most of those jobs were at the local level, such as police, firefighters, and school teachers.

The fat has already been trimmed. The muscle has been cut into. There is nothing left to cut but bone.

At least 19 states are getting the saws ready, because knives won't cut bone.

According to Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody's, states are facing a budget gap of $180 billion next year. The shortfall could lead to the destruction of 900,000 jobs at the state level, an employment source that is often thought of as an economic safety net.

Up to 300,000 of those laid off will be school teachers, and some estimate the total number of government workers to be let go in the 1-to-2 million range.

California has already cut 62,000 government jobs.

This is only the start. Cities and counties up and down the state are openly debating bankruptcy.


Systemic Failure

You can't just keep cutting and cutting services and manpower before the system stops working.

Case files piling up by the thousands, phones ringing off the hook, forced midweek courthouse closings and occasional brawls as frustrated citizens queue for hours to pay parking fines.

"People think we're becoming a Third World country," said Ms. Sims, 55.

"We are on the verge of system failure," warned Jean Ross, executive director of the California Budget Project, an independent think tank based in Sacramento.

At a certain point the potholes don't get filled, the police don't respond (at least not in poor neighborhoods), sewer systems break and don't get fixed, kids can't get into college, people get "lost" in the judicial system, and eventually citizens simply give up on the government.

We are facing the threat of losing something very basic - our idea of what America should be like. Once that is gone, it doesn't come back.

Revisiting the Perfect Storm

When I wrote A perfect storm for unemployed a month ago, I never dreamed that I had underestimated the problem.

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 1,200 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.” It is my thesis that "regional communities” are emerging where multi-jurisdictional regional council organizations exist.

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 Google Search services. 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. Regional Community Development News is published bi-monthly based on news reports as of the publication date.

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Tom (Thomas J.) Christoffel, AICP -