Regional Community Development News – October 25, 2010 [regions_work]


Top Regional Community stories … 1. – 9.

U.S. Regional Communities - sub-State, State or multi-State – news articles10.01 - .19

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet11.01 - .17

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .06

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .06

Financial Crisis …14.01 - .03

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

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


Top Regional Community stories

1. The nudge from Nashville: Jackson leaders see results of area planning - The Clarion-Ledger - Jackson, MS, USA

"We are a family, a dysfunctional family, but a family," said Janet Miller, chief economic development and marketing officer for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

She was speaking about the success of the city and its neighbors working together for the betterment of their individual communities and the greater region.

That message stuck with many of the Jackson-area business people who recently traveled to Nashville. Several members of the group openly marveled at what that simple belief could mean for the city of Jackson and its neighboring communities.

The Nashville trip offered some lessons that would benefit the metro area, primarily collaboration, developing a plan and marking its progress and finding a way to make the area attractive to thousands of college students to stay and local businesses to grow.

How they did it


In 1990, a group of stakeholders from civic, cultural, business and government communities sat down and laid out goals for what they wanted things to be like at the end of 10 years.

Their mission was to "create jobs, work with relocating and expanding businesses, attracting a talented and creative work force and improving quality of life offerings."

But they also looked at ways to measure their success from job growth and population increases to business startups.

And they looked for cities about the same size and larger to track performance and also to adapt successful ideas.

The plan, Partnership 2000, offered a roadmap for the city and was so successful that it led to Partnership 2010 and now Partnership 2020.

Unity, also known as regionalism, is what has helped the Nashville area go from a city of about 1 million people with a faltering arts community … 1990 to a world-class city with 1.6 million residents that is headquarters to 250 companies …

2. Cleveland, Akron part of regional planning group that wins $4.25 million 'sustainable communities' grant - The Plain Dealer - Cleveland, OH, USA

Regional planning focused on fortifying existing neighborhoods and linking people with jobs will be fueled by a $4.25 million federal grant.

Twenty-one entities, including Cleveland, Akron, Canton and Youngstown, won a "sustainable communities" grant announced today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The effort "seeks to develop a comprehensive regional plan that can catalyze economic development and support a healthy lifestyle for all of us," said Howard Maier, head of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, a transportation planning group that was the lead applicant for the money.

The 21 entities are from 12 counties, stretching from the Mahoning Valley to Lorain. They formed a consortium that was among 45 winners nationwide of grants totaling $100 million.

A group of 20 public and private entities, called the Northeast Ohio Consortium for a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development, has landed a $4.25 million federal grant to set regional priorities in land use, fair housing, transportation, economic development and environmental protection.

A major thrust will be planning that encourages people to live closer to where they work, thereby reducing transportation costs, relieving highway congestion and improving the environment, Donovan said.

"The problem historically has been that more and more development has spread out in an uncoordinated way," Donovan said. "We haven't planned transportation investments so that they connect housing to jobs."

HUD, EPA and the Department of Transportation send tens of millions of dollars a year to cities, counties and planning agencies in Northeast Ohio for programs and projects, especially in housing and transportation.

But the local jurisdictions rarely plan together to ensure the big investments sustain the entire region, rather then help some communities and hurt others.

Locally, planners said they'd like to see strategies encouraging communities to unify in the global competition for business, rather than against each other.

Northeast Ohio Consortium members

Members of the group are: Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, Stark County Regional Planning Commission/Stark County Area Transportation Study, Cuyahoga County, Lorain County, Mahoning County, Stark County, Summit County, Trumbull County, Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Warren, Youngstown, Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority, Cleveland State University Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, Fund for Our Economic Future Regional Prosperity Initiative and Stark Metropolitan Housing Authority.

3. 'Greater' Auckland - Otago Daily Times - Omaru, New Zealand

The knife has long been pointed at the South's throat, and if we are not used to it by now then we ought to be.

One of the most telling effects has been in the gradual disenfranchising in the political numbers game, with successive realignments of electoral boundaries which reflect population imbalance, meaning that over the next 50 years or so we could find the South Island represented in Parliament by half a dozen or so electorate seats …

Auckland's population growth and economic power has for so long been touted as "good for the country", especially by Aucklanders, that few have commented upon let alone argued the case for objection on the grounds of the top-heavy strain the nation has to shoulder to maintain Auckland's population concentration.

The spirit of independent regionalism has intermittently appeared in southern provincial politics, …

The creation of Greater Auckland and its impact may well foment such a revival over time, for the dream of sovereignty needs a strong motive and Auckland may provide it.

It will require geographical unity and a continuing belief in the South's remoteness from the capital and its obsessive concern with expanding the northern megalopolis.

Unity and co-ordination, however, have never co-existed in comfort in the South Island, for which we may blame provincialism and the historical memory of independent regional foundation.

So the urgent prospects of political unity are probably remote, but that does not contradict the matter of whether the South Island can find a community of political interest, even if initially it is a matter of the regions having continually to speak up for themselves against the ever-growing weight and influence of the so-called "super city".

It is a familiar story - examples exist all over the globe.


4. ARC head's last word - parklands are our greatest legacy - New Zealand Herald - Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland's regional governing body for 47 years held its closing meeting yesterday with pleas for the spirit of regionalism to be embraced by the Super City council.

Chairman Mike Lee opened an almost three-hour session of speeches by past and present councillors and staff by assuring "friends of regionalism" that although they stood at the end of a historic era, they faced "a bright future for Auckland".

Before bringing down his gavel for the last time, he described the 40,000ha of parkland acquired by his council and its Auckland Regional Authority predecessor since 1963 as its greatest legacy.

"I do believe that in our closing days we have kept alive that grand vision of our founding fathers, great Aucklanders like Sir Dove-Myer Robinson and F.W.O. Jones [founding chairman and chief executive respectively of the Auckland Regional Authority] the spirit of regionalism and the notion that Auckland is not just a place - Auckland is an idea," he said.

Former regional chairwoman Gwen Bull expressed disappointment that Mr Lee and Sandra Coney were the only two of the 13-member council elected to the Super City.

"It will be up to you to make sure regionalism shines through - we need your experience," said Mrs Bull.

Finance committee chairman Bill Burrill, the longest continuously serving regional councillor since being elected in 1992, urged on the Super City "the absolute necessity for the new rating system to recognise the food-producing farms which surround Auckland, a fair rating system that will support compact urban growth".

"The alternative will be urban sprawl from Te Hana to Bombay and beyond."

First-term regional councillor Brent Morrissey said Auckland was enduring changes which had temporarily stripped it of much of its democracy and capacity for self-government.

5. Regional planners look at 2040: They recommend upping gas tax, demanding greater share of highway dollars - Chicago Tribune - Chicago, IL, USA

Regional planners on Wednesday unveiled a sweeping vision for the Chicago area's future that calls for raising the state gas tax, increasing the region's slice of the state road funding pie and emphasizing the renovation of existing roads rather than the construction of new ones.

The plan also foresees reduced commuting costs, more parks and open space, and more locally grown food to combat inner-city "food deserts" linked to health problems, especially in African-American communities.

Called Go to 2040 and based on three years of research and public hearings, the plan was released by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, a little-known agency responsible for land-use and transportation planning in the seven-county Chicago area. The agency's board, composed of elected officials and other appointees from throughout the region, formally adopted the plan Wednesday.

"Our goal today is to motivate you to act. Today must be a beginning and not an end," the agency's executive director, Randy Blankenhorn, told several several hundred guests, …

In its call for change, Go to 2040 deliberately echoes Daniel Burnham and Edward Bennett's Plan of Chicago, which was published in 1909 and helped give Chicago its nearly continuous chain of lakefront parks and such pieces of civic infrastructure as double-deck Wacker Drive. But the new plan is more comprehensive than its celebrated predecessor, addressing education and tax reform as well as public works.

In 2040, the plan predicts, the Chicago region's 284 municipalities will have about 11 million residents, 2.4 million more than today. While the plan says traffic jams will not get worse if its recommendations are implemented, there is no expectation that they will improve either — and they are now among the nation's worst.

To fund road maintenance and public transit, the plan calls for …

RC: CMAP 2040 Plan

6. A newsmaker you should know: Edgewood woman encourages regional thinking - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Sue McLaughlin … volunteer outreach coordinator for Power of 32, a regional planning organization.

Power of 32 refers to 32 counties in Western Pennsylvania, western Maryland, eastern Ohio, and the panhandle and central part of West Virginia. The region includes 4.2 million people and shares history, natural resources, infrastructure and economic relationships.

The organization strives to bring together people to generate a shared vision for how to improve the region by 2025, and to instill a sense of realistic optimism.

Ms. McLaughlin said it isn't easy to get people to think regionally.

"All the little municipalities, they compete against each other for state and federal funding for their projects," she said. "There are some kinds of planning where competition is beneficial, but things that are truly regional issues -- like transportation or the environment -- will be better served by collaborating as a region."

She added that another obstacle is that people from different areas tend not to understand each others' needs.

"Ninety-one percent of the Power of 32 region is rural," she said. "There, one of the biggest issues is access to the Internet."

As outreach coordinator, Ms. McLaughlin must contact key people in locations across the Power of 32 area and set up community meetings for a "listening phase" of the project, which began this summer and will end this autumn.

Called "community conversations," these meetings aim to include the widest possible representation of an area's residents and ask participants to identify the strengths and challenges facing the region in all 32 counties.

"I had to get people involved and interested in having their voice heard," she said. "The objective here is a citizen-driven agenda, made by the people."

The five areas covered are environment, transportation, recreation, economy and governance.

The next phase …


7. Conference addresses economic challenges facing rural areas - Arizona Capital Times - Phoenix, AZ

Although the recession may be technically over, rural communities still lag behind metropolitan areas as they recover … Governor’s Rural and Regional Economic Development Conference.

While growth in urban areas is important, both rural and urban areas are critical to boosting overall statewide economic growth, said Don Cardon, president and CEO of the new Arizona Commerce Authority and director of the state Commerce Department.

“We are collectively a state; that’s why we are putting emphasis on rural America,” Cardon said. “It’s not rocket science to know people in rural areas are challenged.”

… launch a Rural Business Advisory Council.

The group will promote regional cooperation and aims to give rural areas a voice, said David Drennon, a spokesman for the state Commerce Department.

“The process has more inclusion than ever before because it has everyone at the table,” Drennon said.

While many small communities have high unemployment rates, they can better promote economic growth when they work together, according to Eric Canada, who runs an economic consulting firm that works with cities and towns in Canada and the U.S.

“Infrastructure in rural areas often lags behind the need,” Canada said. “No one has enough resources, so they’ve got to work together regionally.”

Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup said larger cities have to be willing to take a backseat to work hand-in-hand with the smaller communities around them.

“If Tucson starts thinking its a big city, then all the smaller municipal governments around Tucson kind of get left out,” he said. “We have to be willing to have one vote along with all of the smaller municipalities.”

“I’m here because I recognize regionalism,” said Walkup. “If we are going to be successful we all have to function as a region … our problems are all the same.”

8. States of Emergency - Auburn Journal - Auburn, CA, USA

Thirty-two states are on the path to UN-inspired carbon reduction, Cap-and-Trade schemes and unconstitutional alliances; the supporting Governors must be held accountable. Carbon reduction and population reduction go hand in hand. The United Nations failed to impose their treaties from the top down (the Kyoto and Copenhagen Accords) and the federal government has abandoned its unpopular national Cap-and-Trade scheme for now.

Cap-and-Trade is being pursued on the state level, and one region has even raised over $700 million in carbon auctions. The thirty-two states have been divided into three regions; regionalism is a trick that uses re-zoning to establish new jurisdictional authority. State compacts and agreements, in addition to state treaties with foreign governments, are unconstitutional. While these regional programs have avoided mention of United Nations Agenda 21, the blueprint for depopulation total control, evidence supports that this is an Agenda 21 Sustainable Development program for the following reasons:

• Man made global warming deception, based on discredited science from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC), is a primary excuse used to implement Agenda 21 Sustainable Development.

• California’s AB 32 Global Warming Solutions Act is committed to achieving the targets of the UN Kyoto Protocol (a treaty with mandatory rules to limit carbon).


Note: A bit more of the anti-regional. Ed.

9.1 Full Regionalization proposal offers few concrete details - - Lakeville, MA, USA

As our special town meeting approaches, I had hoped to offer some final thoughts on the details of full regionalization for Freetown and Lakeville. Unfortunately, no such details are

available. After a measly 22 months of preparation time by a special subcommittee and the school administration, the first detailed presentation of full regionalization is scheduled … just 6 days before the town meeting …

I have had more than my share of conversations where I am told full regionalization is new and its better and it saves money. Typically, the other person in this conversation seems to pity me for my inability to instantly recognize government always comes through for us with better services at lower costs. So then I ask just how full regionalization will function financially to deliver a better educational product at a lower (or even equal) cost. At this point the pity drains away and is replaced by a slight look of discomfort and irritation as I am told transportation reimbursement and "efficiencies" will make everything work.

Why can I learn everything I ever wanted to know about something like a "Sham-Wow!" towel in a two-minute infomercial, but I cannot obtain anything more than generalities on merging our two school districts? …

The truth is full regionalization can help in some ways, but as Superintendent John McCarthy points out it is not a "panacea." …

… reason why FR is not a panacea is it does nothing to address issues like teacher compensation, health benefits, and pension costs. …

If the past predicts the future, full regionalization could possibly be part of Lakeville and Freetown for fifty years or more. Unlike the "Sham-Wow!", if you are not completely satisfied with full regionalization you will not be able to return it for a full refund.

9.2 Superintendent: Regionalization is about maximizing tax dollars - - Lakeville, MA, USA

… Supt. John McCarthy gave a room full of about 40 parents, town officials, and other residents a crash course in what full regionalization would mean for the school system.

He told those in attendance that regionalization is about getting the most out of their tax dollars, by eliminating inefficiencies and taking advantage of state incentives to increase revenue and save money in order to improve student learning. He also presented them with a hypothetical $35 million budget under a fully regionalized district.

One of the largest inefficiencies he pointed to was at the administrative level, where work is often done in duplicate and even triplicate across the three separate districts. …

Mr. McCarthy identified two priorities he could accomplish through full regionalization. The first was bringing down class sizes at the elementary schools, where some classes have ballooned to more than 30 students. The second is establishing a K-6 literacy program.

"Your transportation costs are among some of the highest in the state," he told the crowd. "Your drivers are on the road just about all the time. You're spending a lot of money in labor costs."

Mr. McCarthy said the elementary schools have lost out on about $2 million in transportation reimbursement funds over the last five years.

If the schools were to fully regionalize, Mr. McCarthy claimed he could add four teachers to each elementary school. …

"It's more expensive to educate a special education child, than a regular education child," he said noting the district has a SPED population of 19%, which is above the state and national averages. "…

He pointed out the towns currently spend $1.6 million on out of district SPED costs, because the schools cannot meet those children's needs. He claimed a fully regionalized district would help create an in-house program to bring those expenses down.

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 U's Myron Orfield: Met Council aids and abets suburban sprawl, prosperity at expense of core cities - Minneapolis, MN, USA

Has the Metropolitan Council fulfilled its mission of advancing "orderly and efficient" growth for Minneapolis, St. Paul and their suburbs? Or has it acquiesced to a gradual and destructive decentralization of the metro region? Has it earned its national reputation for good planning? Or has it caved in to suburban sprawl at the expense of redirecting growth and vitality back toward the center? If the council has failed in these pursuits, how might it be improved?

Myron Orfield has thought a lot about these questions since the mid-1990s when he first took on "metro politics" with a startling series of books and maps that chronicled the growing concentrations of poverty and disorder in the core cities and blue-collar suburbs, and the simultaneous expansion of prosperity and stability on the metro edge. For Orfield, director of the Institute of Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota Law School, the Metropolitan Council has been complicit in these disparate trends, especially over the past 20 years. Those trends, with their overtones of race, class and economic disparity, are not easily confronted by Minnesotans. That the Met Council has aided and abetted those disparities is a notion that continues to cause tension between Orfield and the local planning and building community.

"I think the Met Council is not the cause of decentralization; it just didn't do its job to make things better," Orfield said last week. Keeping in mind today's Urban Land Institute Minnesota discussion about the Met Council's past and future, I sat down with Orfield and his U colleague, Thomas Luce, to discuss their new book: "Region: Planning the Future of the Twin Cities." Here are edited excerpts from our conversation: ...

.02 Regional Plan Association Unveils New Report On Benefits Of The ARC Tunnel - New Jersey, USA

U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) today joined with the Regional Plan Association (RPA) at Newark Penn Station to unveil a new study that reveals the ARC Tunnel could reduce daily travel times by up to 30 minutes for thousands of New Jersey Transit commuters throughout the state. The ARC Tunnel would finally provide a direct, transfer-free ride into Manhattan for riders on eight NJ Transit lines that currently require a transfer to reach New York City, and would double the capacity of NJ Transit trains going to and from Manhattan. In addition, New Jersey home values would increase substantially for each minute that the commute time into Manhattan is cut. ...

.03 Regional government emerges as key issue in commission race

Dayton Daily News - Dayton, OH, USA

The issue of jobs dominates nearly every election contest, but there is a sub-theme in the Montgomery County Commission race: regionalism. The enthusiasm of the candidates differs on the issue. Democratic incumbent Dan Foley has made regionalism a central theme in his campaign, saying he wants to take the issue beyond cocktail conversation to a discussion of how communities can work together to build a more efficient and effective regional government system. Republican Jan Kelly of Oakwood favors some consolidation, but only if it reduces government spending. “I believe we need to look at regionalizing the city of Dayton with Montgomery County,” she said. ... Foley, who lives in Harrison Twp., thinks the area needs to move more aggressively, and says he’ll bring together government, business, education and community leaders to arrive at a consensus. It won’t be easy, he admits, but will make the region stronger. “Right now, we all think of ourselves as little boxes. Kettering has 57,000 residents. Dayton has 144,000. As a result of this process, we could say we’re a community of 530,000. That’s powerful,” Foley said. “I’d like to see some language on a ballot on an innovative form of government that people vote up or down.” So far, regionalization efforts have encountered opposition from government officials, residents and unions. In the case of the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center, many large suburbs refused to join.

.04 Shoreline state representative candidates face off at debate

New Haven Register - New Haven, CT, USA

Candidates for state representative from the 98th District took a stand on school funding, regionalizing services, government spending and economic development in a recent debate. Republican Guilford Selectwoman Cindy Cartier and state Rep. Pat Widlitz, D-Guilford, addressed issues facing voters in a tame, accusation-free debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters and Branford Community Television, which held the debate at its studios. ... While Cartier and Widlitz said they support towns considering regionalizing some services, Cartier said she worried about sacrificing some services if regionalism is mandated by the state. Widlitz said regionalism is “the wave of the future” and “necessary.” The opponents also shared different views on ways to improve the struggling economy. Cartier said government needs to “partner with businesses” and control government spending and taxes, while Widlitz said a new governor will help the state’s economy. ...

.05 Regional Institute: Think Tank State needs a policy center to help towns share services

Hartford Courant - Hartford, CT, USA

With the state facing massive budget deficits and towns struggling as well, one of the best opportunities to cut costs may be in regionalizing some government services. ... What would be tremendously helpful is en entity that could study the issues around regionalism and determine where it made sense and what it would take to get there. A couple of years ago, former East Granby First Selectman David Kilbon and former Hartford chief administrative officer Lee C. Erdmann (now city manager of Springfield) proposed the creation of a public policy center that would focus on regional and state issues. The idea has quietly gained support, and Mr. Kilbon said he hopes to push it ahead after the election. Since some such research is now done at the University of Connecticut and Central Connecticut State University, as well as the state Office of Policy and Management, it should be possible to put this together — by consolidating services there into a regional institute. It is something the gubernatorial candidates should embrace.,0,4241115.story

.06 Panelist: Region ignored too long on transportation issues

Las Vegas Sun - Las Vegas, NV, USA

... U.S. Department of Transportation’s map showing preferred high-speed rail corridors in the United States. The Northeast corridor was outlined and the planned California high-speed rail system was noted. There were lines in and out of Chicago, Florida, Texas and Georgia. But there was a big gap in the Rocky Mountains and the desert Southwest, where no corridors were shown. ... decided that the Maricopa Association of Governments needed to be a part of the Western High-Speed Rail Alliance. ... Other western transportation organizations felt the same way, leading the Denver Regional Council of Governments, the Utah Transit Authority, the Regional Transportation Authority of Washoe County and the Regional Transportation Authority of Clark County to work together to get the West noticed by the Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration. Smith said rail corridors aren’t the only transportation elements that have been ignored by the federal government. He cited interstate highway transportation and the fact that Phoenix and Las Vegas are the largest major cities in the country not linked by an interstate highway, a matter local transportation experts are hoping to change with a proposal for Interstate 11 from Phoenix north through Las Vegas to Reno and beyond. “Our region has been ignored for far too long,” Smith said. “We have to go kicking and screaming and kicking down the door.”


.07 100th anniversary ball will turn back the calendar to the Model T days

The Day - New London, CT, USA

One hundred years of service. That's quite an achievement for any organization, so why not celebrate? If you're the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut - which traces its lineage to the former New London Businessmen's Association and the Norwich Businessmen's Association - ... "We've done a lot of work, and a fair amount of research, for this occasion," he adds, including a booklet chronicling the past 100 years of commerce and commercial successes locally. "And lots of old photos of businesses in the region," ... Sheridan says that during the chamber's research into old documents a story from The Day in 1912 talks about a joint outing of businesses from New London in the south to Putnam in the north, to discuss matters of mutual concern. "So the whole concept of regionalism was very much in the minds of people (in 1912)," he says. "And here we are 100 years later, struggling with regionalism," he quips. ... Today, the regional chamber - a product of the 2001 merger of the New London-based Chamber of Commerce of Southeastern Connecticut and the Norwich-based Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut - represents the broad interests of 42 towns and cites in eastern Connecticut and can boast of more than 1,600 members. The chamber's charitable foundation has awarded more than $605,000 to groups in need since its formation in 2002. Sheridan says the chamber's century-long history includes surviving the many ups and downs of a regional economy, including this current tepid recovery from the stinging Great Recession. ...

.08 YorkCounts to launch regional police study

The York Dispatch - York, PA, USA

Three years after the initial suggestion to study regional policing, a community coalition announced it has raised the $78,000 necessary to complete a study. YorkCounts, a community group that examines quality-of-life issues in the York area, has spearheaded a study of police department consolidation. A researcher will hold an informational reception for local elected officials and township managers ... The Police Executive Research Forum, a national consultant on regional police studies, has been hired to complete the study. The group predicts the study will take about a year. Half of the $78,000 cost came from a state grant, while the remaining half was raised through donations from local businesses and nonprofits, said YorkCounts communications director Dan Fink. YorkCounts officials say the results should give local elected officials data on whether police service can be provided more effectively through a regional department. Who's involved: Nine municipalities and five police departments have signed on to participate in the study, Fink said. Twenty-one municipalities were invited to the table for discussion, but many didn't want to participate, he said. ... Don Bishop, who serves on the Springettsbury Township board of supervisors, said he doesn't think a regional police department is necessarily better. He said he will, however, provide the consultant with any information requested. "It's very difficult to get these municipalities to agree to consolidate," he said. "Elected officials lose the ability to ensure the citizens are getting the kind of service they want them to get."

.09 ETCOG appoints new director of finance

Kilgore News Herald - Kilgore, TX, USA

David Cleveland, Executive Director of the East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG), the regional planning organization for fourteen East Texas counties, has announced the appointment of Charles Cunningham to the ETCOG management team as the director of finance. In this position Cunningham will be responsible for directing, planning, and coordinating financial activities; ensuring fiscal accountability to state and federal laws, regulations, and policies; developing funding forecasts; and preparing and monitoring budgets. Cunningham has over 30 years of experience in financial management and analysis in both the public and private sectors. He also served a number of years overseas working on development projects in Latin America and the Far East. Cunningham was most recently the Assistant City Manager/Director of Finance for the City of Kyle, Texas. ... The East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG) is a voluntary association of counties, cities, school districts and special districts within the fourteen-county East Texas region. ETCOG assists local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating regional development. Established in 1970, ETCOG, either directly, or through its contractors, provides programs and services for East Texas seniors, employers, and job seekers. ETCOG and its contractors also build the 9-1-1 emergency call delivery system, provide peace officer training and homeland security planning services; and deliver rural transportation services, business finance programs, and environmental grant funding for the region.

.10 Tolerance can attract talent to city

Loveland - Loveland, CO, USA

I recently picked up Richard Florida’s book, “The Rise of the Creative Class,” in which he argues that the latest mass migration is of talented and creative people, not to any one area in particular, but to various regions around the country and world. Florida, a world-renowned researcher, says that as some regions continue to recognize what attracts the most talented people, they will continue to grow, while those that don’t will be left behind. Florida’s book is a must-read for anyone interested in the regionalization and the economic future of their community (and perhaps for the holidays I might be giving to each council member a copy). So what is it that attracts talent and creativity? Florida says (and has data to back it up) that one of the biggest indicators is tolerance. ... Fortunately, Loveland’s at an advantage over many cities our size when it comes to attracting creativity, because we have an art scene that’s second to none in Colorado. Unfortunately, we have some old-fashioned attitudes among some of our City Council members that make Loveland appear far less tolerant and welcoming than I believe it to be. Recently, Councilman Daryle Klassen called for the removal of Enrique Chagoya’s “Les Aventures des Cannibales Moderistes” from the Loveland Museum/Gallery because it was “smut” and was “foul, disgraceful, and even, pornographic.” ... We are trying to encourage, attract and develop our creative class — and the recent conversation has not been helpful. Mr. Klassen, this is not radio Loveland anymore — this is the next generation of Loveland and I can’t speak for all of the new Creative Class here, but I imagine I can speak for a majority when I say, intolerance and censorship is not a reputation I want Loveland to have. As I have argued repeatedly, investments in the arts are investments in economic growth. They cannot be separated.


.11 Pattern for Progress to Present Regional Leadership Awards on Nov. 10

Metro Green + Business - Hudson Valley Green Sheet - New York, NY, USA

Pattern for Progress will honor eight winners of regional awards in five categories ... Recipients of the 2010 Regional Leadership Awards are: • Economic Development

- The Solar Energy Consortium — for creating a new cluster of alternative energy businesses to both create jobs and educate the region on energy use and conservation. • Regional Achievement -The Council of Industry — which in its centennial year is more effective than ever in building networks of resources that help the Valley’s manufacturing businesses to grow and prosper. ...

.12 Taking a regional view of economic growth: There's gold to be mined in the Midwest

A few years back, I came up with the name “I-Q Corridor” to describe the 400 miles or so that extend from Chicago on the south to the Twin Cities of Minnesota on the north, with much of Wisconsin in between. It’s a way to highlight the technology assets of a larger region versus a single state: Innovation, intellectual property, investment make up the “I” and qu

ality of education, workforce and life comprise the “Q.” Brands can come and go, of course, but the notion of a world-class corridor of technology-based development has endured. In fact, it’s becoming more tangible as time passes. The I-Q Corridor is home to more than 16.5 million people who live within a short commute of 1-90, 1-94 or 1-43 in Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. It’s also a region with major research universities that account for nearly $4 billion in academic R&D projects, federal laboratories, companies in all technology sectors and financial centers with the ability to invest in emerging industries. But it’s also a region with a common problem: No enough venture capital. ...

.13 America's Poor: Where Poverty Is Rising In America (INFOGRAPHIC)

The Huffington Post - USA

Mint, the personal finance site, put together this chart of regional poverty in America based on statistics recently released by the Census Bureau. In 2009, poverty among Americans reached its highest level in 51 years. The states hardest hit include Louisiana, Mississippi and District of Columbia. States with the lowest poverty statistics include, Wyoming, Hawaii, New Jersey and Minnesota.

.14 New York-Connecticut Consortium Wins Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant

Regional Plan Association - New York, NY, USA

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded a $3.5 million grant to the New York-Connecticut metropolitan region, one of 45 grants awarded under the highly competitive Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant program. An unprecedented bi-state collaboration of nine cities, two counties and six regional planning organizations in New York City, coastal Connecticut, Long Island and the lower Hudson Valley submitted an application with Regional Plan Association as the lead applicant. With support from the states of New York and Connecticut, the Consortium is designed to integrate housing, economic development, transportation and environmental planning in the metropolitan region. Working together, the Consortium will ...

.15 NYC Encourages Urban Gardening and Regional Food

Solve Climate News - USA

... Manhattan borough president, Scott Stringer ... published a report entitled “Food in the Public Interest: How New York City’s Food Policy Holds the Key to Hunger, Health, Jobs and the Environment.” The report, rich with detail and prescription, outlines preliminary steps toward a pretty good food policy for New York, braiding together some familiar strands: the environment, sustainable development, local food, and the importance of diet. Indeed, part of what makes the report so compelling as a model for examining urban food policy is its comprehensiveness, emphasizing that hunger is intertwined with the problems of food security and food justice. One key recommendation calls for “identifying and maximizing our regional ‘foodshed,’ the 200-mile or so radius of farmland surrounding the city.” While it acknowledges that New York won’t be able to draw all its food from that 400-mile wide circle, it emphasizes doing so to the maximum extent possible. The city's foodshed contains most of New York State, Connecticut, and New Jersey, as well as chunks of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. ...

.16 Governor Recognizes Business Development Specialists Across Maine

Governor John E. Baldacci today congratulated eight regional business development specialists trained and certified by the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). The program is part of the Governor’s vision to regionalize economic development and make it more responsive. “Working with the Maine Chamber of Commerce and their members, my Administration has been providing tools to Maine businesses to help them innovate, invest and grow jobs,” said Governor Baldacci. “The certification of regional specialists is an important shift in the way the State approaches economic development, recognizing that it’s best directed from the ground-up, not top-down.” Governor Baldacci charged the DECD with coordinating and empowering regions so that they can further economic development in ways that makes sense to them. ... The regionalization of economic development in the State is one of a number of issues raised by businesses at the Governor’s Jobs Summit held in February. ...

.17 Drawing the line on CA cultural divide

Daily Trojan - Los Angeles, CA, USA

... The geography and landscape of the regions will always be different, and Northern California will always be more granola than glitter, but I’m willing to bet that no one outside of the West Coast sees that big of a difference. At the end of the day, most Californians can admit that NorCal and SoCal aren’t so fundamentally different. Their disparities are vastly overshadowed by the defining factors the regions share. Blasphemy, you say? Hear me out. First, both sides are dominated by fickle, high-profile industries that consistently make the news. For Los Angeles, it’s Hollywood. Moviegoers across the globe speculate about the next big films coming out of Los Angeles, not to mention the careers and personal lives of actors. It’s something of a spectator sport. In many respects, NorCal has its own version: Silicon Valley. It’s hard to open a newspaper without reading about something that’s getting digitalized. The cults of personality surrounding Bill Gates and Steve Jobs could rival those of A-listers.

.18 A Post-Sprawl Los Angeles

Planetizen - USA

Video - CNN's Richard Quest takes an incredulous look at the changes brewing in Los Angeles as downtown revitalizes and the city densifies. Quest talks with UCLA's urban planning department and ULI executive director Katherine Perez in this look at retrofitting Los Angeles for the future. "With little land left to develop, it may be the architects who drive this new era," says Quest.

.19 50 Integrated Delivery Systems to Know

Becker's Hospital Review - USA


Catholic Healthcare Partners (Cincinnati) — 34 hospitals. The largest system in Ohio, CHP is divided into nine regions in Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and contiguous states, employing more than 38,000 people. The whole system was recognized by Thomson Reuters as one of the top ten health systems in 2009. In a study published in the June 2008 issue of the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, it ranked fifth among 73 hospital systems for quality of care. Five Catholic organizations co-sponsor this system.


Sanford Health (Sioux Falls, S.D.) — 23 hospitals. Sanford Health serves a five-state region in the Upper Midwest with more than 1.25 million outpatient visits each year. SDI Health named it one of the top 40 most integrated systems in 2010. Sanford Health Plan is a physician-directed, non-profit health plan and Sanford Clinic has 340 physicians at more than 120 clinic locations. Its divisions include Sanford USD Medical Center, Sanford Clinic, Sanford Health Network, Sanford Health Plan and Sanford Health Foundation. Sanford USD Medical Center was named one of the nation's 100 Top Hospitals by Thomson Reuters and has earned national recognition as a Magnet nursing facility from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. ...

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 New thinking for Highlands

Ross-shire Journal - Dingwall, UK

THERE is a lack of understanding in Central Scotland of the Highlands and Islands, with some believing that we have shaken off the problems of the past and are now better off, with more facilities, than those in our major conurbations. ... the Central Belt, even with its oft trumpeted pockets of deprivation, is infinitely better off overall than we are in the Highlands and Islands.

This was brought home to me on a recent radio show where I appeared along with Catherine Deveney, originally from Glasgow, who said it had been a complete education for her to live and work in the Highlands and to have to face the economic questions that city dwellers didn’t even have to think about. Her university was a bus journey away so she had no accommodation costs and she went home to her mum’s for tea. She also said she had no idea her monthly petrol bill would be equivalent to a city dweller’s small mortgage and that it’s only when she came to live here that she fully understood the issues. I could not have put it better myself.

The reason I raise these points is to stimulate debate as we face the loss of some of the good jobs and facilities we do have to the Central Belt as part of the potential rationalisation of public services like moving to one Scottish Police force and Fire Brigade or amalgamation of Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise, all of which would probably mean the most senior jobs going south and the removal of decision-making from the Highlands and Islands. ... I believe we should look at the current Highlands and Islands Parliamentary Region, which encompasses Moray, Argyll, the Highlands, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles, for the creation of a new Regional Council to run services like education, transport, strategic planning, police, fire and consumer protection with devolved local delivery. The Health Board would cover the same area which is also almost identical to Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s present boundary. ... This may seem like a re-invention of the old regional and district councils to some but it is much more radical and would allow us to save money whilst keeping real power and decision-making in the Highlands and Islands at a time when the temptation is going to be to centralise it in the Central Belt.

.02 The Caribbean tourism economy in perspective

The Dominican Today - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

One of the stranger aspects of the Caribbean is the disjunction between the many reports and studies produced by academic or multilateral institutions and the thinking of those intimately involved in the industries concerned. ... So frustrating has this become that I have adopted a small but simple experiment to assess any electronically available study relating to the Caribbean economy or to regional development. Using the ‘find’ tool I look to see how many times the word tourism appears. The results are for the most part shocking. They leave one feeling that many in Caribbean academia, in multilateral and regional institutions, and in private sector associations and NGOs, have little awareness or information on how, over the last decade, the industry’s growth has become central to the region’s future economic performance. Why so few reports fail to fully incorporate the tourism economy is worth considering. ... What these reports mainly do is highlight the headline figures in order to emphasise the importance of tourism to Governments, workers and visitors. They are what the industry has used to drive a region wide information campaign in the media and in hotels and at airports about the importance of the industry to the regional economy and employment. The most recent WTTC report published in May 2010 could not be clearer. It shows that travel and tourism plays a proportionately stronger role in both GDP and employment creation in the Caribbean than any other comparable region in the world. It forecasts that in 2010, the industry will account for an average 12.4 per cent of total GDP ... What is important is that these figures conceal a wide disparity between individual economies. In the largest, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Puerto Rico, travel and tourism is relatively less intensive whereas in many of the regions medium and smaller economies tourism’s share of GDP is often in excess of 30 per cent of GDP. But what is need is more detail, analysis and accurate forecasting coming from within the region by bodies such as the Universities, Caricom and the Caribbean Development Bank so that governments, institutions and the private sector develop a detailed expertise, analysis and policy capability. ... Tourism and its allied sectors such as aviation have become many times more important in policy terms than older industries. Properly integrated, understood and linked to new markets it has the capacity to create significant development. Those who study or advise on economic policy continue ignore this at the region’s peril.

.03 Passionate plea for region to shape its own future

The Northern Echo - Darlington, UK

A PASSIONATE letter has been sent by business leaders to the Government imploring it to let the Tees Valley shape its own economic future. Twenty captains of industry have signed the missive to Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State, Business, Industry and Skills. The signatories have reinforced their support for a bid to create a Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which would be responsible for decisions on issues including transport, planning, housing and tourism. Meanwhile, they back the creation of a North-East Economic Partnership to ensure functions, such as access to finance and innovation are tackled on a regional platform. ... The Tees Valley LEP acknowledged that the industrial landscape of the area was quite different to that of other parts of the North-East or the UK therefore a different approach to supporting economic growth was required, it added. ... In August, Tees Valley Unlimited submitted the first LEP bid in the region with backing of Darlington, Stockton, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Hartlepool borough councils. However, it was announced this week that TVU is having its budget cut from £9m to £2m and could lose two-thirds of its workforce.

.04 Quangos cutback will lead to 'improved democracy'

Somerset Standard - Somerset, UK

Almost 200 quangos will be scrapped with hundreds of others merged or slimmed down, the Government said yesterday. It revealed the fate of an A-Z of public bodies ranging from Acas to the Zoos Forum, in what Ministers claimed was a cost-cutting exercise that would enhance democracy. But Labour warned the cull could end up increasing costs, while hundreds of jobs will go across the West. Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said 192 bodies will be axed, 118 merged down to 57 and a further 171 will be substantially reformed, with no decision taken on another 40. Some changes had already been announced, including the abolition of eight regional development agencies, including one in the South West. ... Other casualties include the Human Tissue Authority, ... Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advisory Group ... School Food Trust ... British Nuclear Fuels, Cycling England, the Commission for Integrated Transport and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the Youth Justice Board are among the casualties. ... Mr Maude said there would inevitably be job losses, but refused to give a number, and insisted while there would be savings, the main reason was to improve democracy. He said: "For too long this country has tolerated ministers who duck the difficult decisions they were elected to make. "For too long we have had unaccountable officials meddling in people's lives." TUC general secretary Brendan Barber accused ministers of getting rid of bodies that "stand up for ordinary people against Government or business excess".

.05 Bonfire of the quangos? It's more like a barbecue: Despite all the fanfare, just 29 will be completely abolished

Daily Mail - London, UK

Just 29 quangos will be fully abolished and their work abandoned after the Government's so-called bonfire of unelected bodies turned into a mere barbecue. Ministers yesterday announced plans to get rid of 192 agencies to end the spectacle of unelected quangocrats making key decisions. ... But ... most of the quangos to be abolished will see their work and staff submerged into Government departments or taken over by other quangos. Quangos - quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations - are 'arm's-length' bodies funded by Whitehall departments but not run by them. Only 29 agencies will be scrapped and their work discontinued. A further 28 will be simply 'reconstituted as a committee of experts'. Officials were unable to explain what the difference would be. ... Despite months of claims that the cull would save hundreds of millions of pounds, Mr Maude conceded: 'This exercise is not principally about saving money, although it will do so.' The most high-profile cuts will see the Audit Commission, eight Regional Development Agencies and the UK Film Council abolished. ... Critics claimed that the cost of merging and disbanding quangos would be more than keeping them, as redundancy payments and reorganisation costs are met. Shadow Cabinet Office minister Liam Byrne said: 'I am afraid the minister has become the most expensive butcher in the country.' He also pointed out that the Tories pledged to set up 20 quangos in their election manifesto. ...

.06 State puts regional authorities on notice

The Standard - Nairobi, Kenya

The Government plans to axe more than 2,000 employees from six regional authorities, as it restructures the parastatals to ease the strain on their balance sheets. Regional Development Authorities minister, Fred Gumo said the plan, intended to slash costs and introduce efficiency, would result in job cuts, especially in lower cadre staff from Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority (Tards), Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA), Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA), Ewaso-Nyiro North Development Authority (ENNDA), Ewaso-Nyiro South Development Authority (ENSDA), Coast Development Authority (CDA). ... infrastructure-based projects planned by the RDAs include, among others, projects on electric power generation, irrigation and drinking water. Gump explained that the RDAs were formed based on river basins and large water bodies with the overall goal of promoting balanced and equitable regional development through sustainable utilisation of natural resources.

.07 Mid-West Regional Business Week Is Launched

Irish Press Releases - Ireland

The Mid-West Regional Business Week 2010 is taking place from October 18th-22nd, across the geographical areas administered by the 5 County and City Enterprise Boards in the Mid-West Region including Kerry. The County and City Enterprise Boards in Limerick, City, Limerick County, Kerry, Clare and Tipperary North in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland and other enterprise support agencies are hosting 26 events during the week for people already established in business or wanting to start up. The aim of Business Week is to help inform, advise and motivate businesses and potential entrepreneurs across the general Mid-West Region. It is the largest enterprise initiative of its kind in the Region. Speaking at the launch Minister Killeen said: “The Government is acutely aware that entrepreneurship and the growth and development of small Irish businesses, is central to economic recovery in the current economic climate. ...

.08 Coalition Government to support regional Leadership Programs

The Nationals for Regional Victoria - Melbourne, AU

A Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition Government will strengthen the Alpine Valleys Community Leadership Program and the Fairley Leadership Program, Nationals Member for Benalla, Bill Sykes said today. A Coalition Government will establish a $6 million Regional Community Leadership Fund to provide funding over four years to secure and reinvigorate Community Leadership Programs across regional and rural Victoria. The $6 million strategic initiative, delivered through the Coalition’s $1 billion Regional Growth Fund, will drive community leadership and create opportunity across regional and rural Victoria. “The Alpine Valley Community Leadership Program, which has been operating since 1999 has over 190 graduates. “The Fairley Leadership Program was first presented in 1997 and has over 300 graduates throughout the Goulburn Murray region. “Both of these Leadership Programs have been invaluable in identifying and developing leadership skills in community members,” Dr Sykes said. “Many of the graduates have gone on to make significant contributions to the support, growth and well being of our local communities. “As part of the programs, emerging leaders of all ages and from various backgrounds work with regional leaders to identify and address a range of local issues, including regional development, water resourcing, renewable energy, and social issues such as multiculturalism, unemployment, homelessness and health. ...

.09 Put politics aside for good of region, says Santori: Economic development officer urges areas to get along - Trail Daily Times - Trail, BC, CA

Mounting political discord locally and provincially isn’t doing the Greater Trail economy any favours, according to Sandy Santori, the area’s new economic development officer.

Vigorous debate is central to democracy but isn’t a substitute for making decisions and necessary changes, …

“For the benefit of economic development, we may have to redefine what community means . . . The political climate, moving forward, is going to create some barriers. Often, when there is political uncertainty, particularly at the provincial level, business tends to hesitate.”

… council heard from a citizens’ delegation regarding the recreation funding wrangle, and how Rosslanders are paying double to access Trail’s facilities and programs. Rossland and Trail are also at odds over funding of the regional sewage system, and Trail council has referenced these disputes in relation to other discussions, such as a regional governance study.

“We are hoping that other issues that are debated in the regional forum or amongst the communities don’t interfere with the elected officials’ desire to have a regional economic development strategy moving forward,” Santori told the Times.

“We hope those other debates are dealt with in isolation and doesn’t interfere with the good things that could happen regionally.

“We can’t let a tourism or economic development strategy be contingent on all other issues being dealt with.”

He cited Rossland’s nomadic entrepreneurs study, which found that most of the people doing business nationally and globally from Rossland are sole proprietorships.

Santori noted that the cultural plan for Greater Trail completed by the Rossland and Trail arts councils stressed the need for clearer “branding” to help promote the overall area.

“That is not to take away from the ‘Golden City’ or ‘Canada’s Bike Capital’ or the ‘Silver City,’” but the overall area needs an overall hook and “Greater Trail” or “Lower Columbia” may not be the answer.

.10 SI airports miss gateway traffic: forum

The Southland Times – New Zealand

Overseas travellers appear reluctant to use South Island airports as their gateway to New Zealand, a Queenstown airport conference has been told. Only 6 per cent of the total long-haul flights into New Zealand landed in Christchurch, but about 40 per cent of long-haul visitor nights were spent in the South Island, Tourism New Zealand general manager New Zealand operations Tim Hunter said on Friday. Mr Hunter was in Queenstown to address the New Zealand Airports Conference on "Opportunities, Pressure Points and the Visitor Pipeline". Airlines probably preferred Auckland as a gateway, because they would be looking at where most Kiwis lived and whether they could make money from Kiwis travelling overseas, ... Tourism New Zealand partnered with various aircraft carriers and was working with Christchurch airport to try to improve the balance. Christchurch airport had a strong interest in the whole of the South Island, he said. ... Airports had also come a long way as regional development partners, taking a strong interest in their local economies and becoming good marketing partners with Tourism New Zealand to promote the regions. Central government had asked Tourism New Zealand to administer $5 million to promote the regions of New Zealand in Australia and that was being matched by at least another $5 million from the individual regions themselves. ...

.11 Sub-regional grouping, UK establish closer ties

Antigua Observer - St John's, Antigua

The United Kingdom (UK) and the nine-nation Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Thursday established diplomatic relations, commencing a new chapter in their relationship. OECS Director General Dr. Len Ishmael in accepting letters of introduction from the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the OECS, Paul Brummel,said the formalization of diplomatic relations would enhance a long-standing relationship built on historical and cultural linkages, and allow both sides to maximise opportunities for economic and development cooperation. “The strengthening of relations between the UK and the OECS at the regional level holds the promise of much which is positive, and good,” she told the ceremony at the Castries-based OECS Secretariat. The Director General described the new development as an opportunity for both sides to “build upon a long and solid friendship, to build consensus on some of the most important global issues of our times, such as Climate Change…and to explore new areas of cooperation”. ... Brummel ... assured the sub-region that the UK fully supports the core objective of the OECS to promote cooperation among its membership. ...

.12 We must cut water: Tony Burke

The Australian - Australia

WATER Minister Tony Burke says most Australians expect the government to follow through with a plan to fix the Murray-Darling Basin. ... Mr Burke warned that despite the heavy rainfall in southeastern Australia, drought would inevitably return. He admitted that rain inundating the region made reform harder. Now was the "easiest time to pretend you don't need reform", he said. While the focus of the guide to the Murray-Darling Basin plan has been recommending cuts to the amount of water that can be taken from the basin for the purpose of irrigation, Mr Burke said yesterday a national approach to water reform also had to consider improving the efficiency of environmental flows. "The principle of managing our environmental assets more efficiently is often forgotten, but it is a significant way of being able to free up water in the basin and reduce the impact of some of the other adjustments," ... Mr Windsor, whose New England electorate is in the NSW part of the basin, has voiced a preference for the government to consider improvements in water efficiency measures in regions where the socio-economic fallout of deep cutbacks is significant. ...

.13 Sustainability: Planning's Redemption or Curse?

Planetizen - USA

... argue that the dominant focus of sustainable development, at least as stated in the published policies and plans of many institutions of government, is more concerned with sustainable growth than ecologically sustainable measures, such as averting global warming, limiting resource depletion and loss of biodiversity. Further, social issues are rarely given significant concern in what is theoretically supposed to be an equal balancing of the three dimensions: environmental, economic and social. This produces a very different policy response than the traditional planning policy of looking after the disadvantaged in pursuit of the wider public good. In framing this argument, I explored case studies of Toronto, Canada; South East England; and Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. In each case, sustainable development arguments were used by governments to justify policies that were not necessarily environmentally sustainable, or even socially just. Rather they were policies to help position these metropolitan and regional areas to catalyze growth and increase global economic competitiveness. In each case, rather than attempting to nurture prospects for changing consumptive and productive behaviors in a manner consistent with the local and global carrying capacity (i.e. ecological sustainability), the sustainable development rationale was used by planning institutions to justify actions primarily supporting the entrepreneurial interests of each region. These were pro-market interventions that diluted the concept of sustainability to literally that of 'business as usual'.

.14 To renew Saint John, think regionally

Telegraph-Journal - Saint John, NB, Canada

Municipal planners have presented a vision of urban renewal for Saint Johners to consider. re is based on fostering new development in existing neighbourhoods, ending what city staffers and some citizens perceive to be a lengthy record of urban sprawl. The idea of this urban renaissance conjures up images of Saint John at its bustling peak, more than a generation ago. But how realistic is this vision today? Commissioner Jean-Guy Finn also looked at the malaise Saint John is suffering, but from a province-wide context. What the city is going through is hardly unique. Municipalities across New Brunswick are struggling with high service costs, limited revenues, and a pervasive sense that the provincial government has not given communities their due in taxes. While each community faces its own challenges in planning for growth and budgeting for public services, the common denominator in their decline has been the lack of a stable tax base. In his landmark report on local governance, Mr. Finn proposed a much more pragmatic and reliable remedy. He called for communities to regionalize their services, amalgamating into larger jurisdictions that have the financial resources to meet their citizens' needs. ...

.15 Regional candidates graded on culture

The Tribune - Welland, Ontario, CA

A St. Catharines-based arts group will grade Niagara regional council candidates on how friendly their platforms are toward arts and culture

. ArtsVote Niagara recently surveyed all regional council candidates on arts-related issues. Welland elects two regional councillors and the mayor is an automatic member. Port Colborne and Pelham voters pick one regional councillor plus the mayor. ...

.16 Gates Emphasizes Value of Expanded Regional Dialogue

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today praised the Association of Southeast Asian Nations for inviting eight defense ministers from outside its 10-nation membership to join their ASEAN counterparts here to discuss regional security issues together for the first time. ... “We have been for many years and will continue to be in the future. Because both our history and our future are intertwined with yours, we believe it is essential to be able to work on common security challenges together.” The secretary noted that nations in the region have made considerable progress in overcoming past animosities and establishing new partnerships, and he urged his counterparts to work toward taking those relationships a step further. “What is now essential is that these bilateral relationships be supplemented by strong multilateral institutions,” he said. “These institutions enable us to build regular habits of cooperation to address shared interests, while allowing for candid discussions about those areas where we may disagree.” Regular dialogue and cooperation among nations are the building blocks for the trust and confidence necessary for enhancing security, Gates said. “To do so, we must establish both shared ‘rules of the road’ and pursue greater transparency – meaning that as we improve our military capabilities, we must discuss these developments together,” he added. “This provides assurance that our capabilities are not directed against others in the region and that they will be used for common ends.” The first step, Gates said, is reaffirming commitment to four principles: – Free and open commerce; – A just international order that emphasizes the rights and responsibilities of nations and fidelity to the rule of law; – Open access by all to the global commons of sea, air, space and cyberspace; – The principle of resolving conflict without using force. “Agreement on these fundamental principles is important now more than ever,” Gates said. ...

.17 China's Naval Ambitions Spur New Regional Strategic Planning

The Market Traders


Regional Views: The inaugural ASEAN Defense Ministers '+ 8' Meeting, hosted by Hanoi on October 12 indirectly responded to Chinese naval aspirations. The summit was characterized by the ASEAN style of private consensual dialogue, rather than attempts to seek immediate conflict resolution. Attendees included the 10 ASEAN states, plus America, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, and South Korea. By involving these regional interlocutors, the new forum intends to inculcate a regional security approach that would seek to incorporate Chinese power projection within a cooperative security structure. This perspective was illustrated by the official summit theme of 'Strategic Cooperation for Peace, Stability and Regional Development'. ... Moves from several summit member states to improve naval collaboration with America illustrates the extent to which the US Pacific Fleet plays an indispensable role as the backstop of regional security. These new defense cooperation efforts should suggest to China's leaders that multilateral confidence-building, rather than aggressive brinkmanship, represents a better way to advance its regional interests.

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 Regional Planning Efforts Deliver Results

New Jersey Future

Regional land use planning has been used successfully in New Jersey to manage resources that transcend municipal boundaries. It is enabled when the Legislature transfers municipal authority to plan and regulate development to a regional planning agency. Regional planning consolidates land use decision-making in a way that not only allows for a bigger-picture perspective, but also can provide greater efficiency, accountability and technical resources than individual municipalities acting alone. The Pinelands Commission was created by the Pinelands Protection Act in 1979 to protect the region’s natural and cultural resources, including the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer system and its estimated 17 trillion gallons of pure water. The Pinelands region spans 53 municipalities in seven counties and covers 22 percent of the state. ...

.02 Grand Avenue a failure as regional mall, Marcoux says

Milwaukee Rising

The Shops at Grand Avenue failed as a regional mall, according Department of City Development Commissioner Rocky Marcoux. ... The city has invested $40 million in the facility through two tax incremental districts, he said. Marcoux said he’s met several times with representatives of Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., the current owners of the mall.

“Every meeting resulted in an ask for more money,” he said. ... “This is not a regional mall, it’s never going to be a regional mall … . It has failed as a regional destination” he said.

.03 Where the World’s Brains Are

Creative Class

Research universities increasingly function as a key hub institution of the knowledge economy – from Stanford University’s role in Silicon Valley to MIT’s role in greater Boston’s Route 128 high-technology complex, from the University of Texas in Austin to the rise of the North Carolina Research Triangle, not to mention Carnegie Mellon’s role in Pittsburgh’s regeneration. But what are the world’s leading centers for university research? ... used the recently released Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) to chart the locations of the world’s leading 500 research universities by the city and metro region where they are located. The map ... shows the geography of academic research centers across the world. ...

.04 Regional Commission Receives $625,000 Planning Grant from HUD Sustainable Communities Initiative

RideSolutions Blog

U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced that the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission is one of 45 out of 225 organizations that will receive a portion of a $100 million Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant program. The Commission will receive $625,000 from HUD to fund a three-year comprehensive economic, environmental, and housing plan for the region. The planning process will be led by the Roanoke Area Sustainability Consortium made up of representatives from the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, Council of Community Services, Roanoke Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the cities of Roanoke and Salem; the counties of Roanoke, Craig, and Franklin; and Virginia Western Community College. The consortium is supported by a broad stakeholder group of nonprofits, private businesses, energy utilities and others, representing public health, environmental awareness, education, the arts, workforce development, green building, and more. …

.05 Regional Victoria has reason for optimism

The VECCI Blog - Victoria, Australia

Regional Victoria is going to be crucial in helping Victoria meet the twin challenges of population growth and climate change, boosting regional development and alleviating Melbourne’s growth pains. Food exports will also be vital in terms of feeding the Asia-Pacific region’s burgeoning population, and the natural beauty of Victoria’s regions will attract a new class of higher-spending, wealthier nature-based tourists. However our Governments need to invest in infrastructure and good planning to make the necessary regional development happen. The forthcoming Victorian Election is a good opportunity to pressure both major political parties to commit to regional development, infrastructure facilitation and proper planning. ...

.06 Regional wine, beer and cheese at Starbucks

Mother Nature Network Blog

Suppose Central Perk, the fictional coffee house from “Friends” had also served regional wine, beer and cheeses? Monica and the gang would have sat on that big orange couch debating whether Ross and Rachel were actually on a break while drinking a Riesling from the Finger Lakes region instead of a really big cappuccino. ... The Central-Perk-meets-corner-bar feeling (“Cheers,” perhaps?) seems to be what Starbucks is going for with its newest venture. ... The Olive Way, ... serves coffee all day and beer and wine after 4 p.m. If it’s a success, Starbucks will open more cafés that “look less like today’s coffee shops and more like a café that’s been part of the neighborhood for decades.” ... I like the sound of this, but what I like most of all is that regional wines, beers and cheeses are being served. If more of these cafés are built across the country, it could be a big boost for small local producers. ...

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 AAG Extends Deadline for Abstracts to Nov. 10 - AAG Annual Meeting · April 12-16, 2011 · Seattle, Washington

Due to high demand, the deadline to submit sessions and abstracts for the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers has been extended to November 10, 2010. Abstracts and Sessions Are Due by November 10, 2010 Find details and guidelines for submitting abstracts and sessions on the AAG website at

.02 FREE webcast on Staffing and Organization of Metropolitan Planning Organizations - November 4th at 12:00-1:00pm eastern

Join the Center for Urban Transportation Research and the American Planning Association’s Regional and Intergovernmental Planning Division for a FREE webcast on Staffing and Organization of Metropolitan Planning Organizations. This webcast will discuss results of an FHWA-funded national survey of 133 MPOs. Topics will include organizational structure, governance systems, staff size, staff specialization, workforce development, and internal MPO finances. The webcast will be useful to MPO senior leadership, as well as state, regional, and local government planners who want to know more about how MPOs operate.

Speakers: Alex Bond, AICP and Jeff Kramer, AICP , Center for Urban Transportation Research, University of South Florida- Tampa

Pre-registration is not required. 1.0 AICP Certification maintenance credits have been applied for. Visit the following page and join the webcast on the day of the event:

.03 Call for Papers - Southern Regional Science Association Annual Meeting, 50th Anniversary - March 23 -27, 2011 - New Orleans, Louisiana

To participate, please send an abstract or proposed session to Program Chair Doug Woodward (University of South Carolina) by going to the conference website

Submissions will be accepted through March 1, 2011.

Please contact the SRSA organizers at with any questions.

.04 Call for Papers - Regional development and policy - challenges, choices and recipients - Regional Studies Association Annual International Conference 2011 - April 17 – 20 - Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK

Call for papers and poster:

Contact Lisa Bibby-Larsen -

.06 Do you work (or have you recently worked) on a community sustainability project?

David Corzilius, AICP is a graduate student in the Dominican University of California "Green" MBA program, and is conducting research on the types of services and activities that are part of a community's sustainability efforts. If you have experience with this type of work -- either as a public or private planner, or as a community stakeholder -- he would appreciate your completion of the survey:

14. Financial Crisis. Contents

.01 Hegel on Wall Street - The New York Times - New York, NY, USA

Hegel, of course, never directly wrote about Wall Street, but he was philosophically invested in the logic of market relations. Near the middle of the “Phenomenology of Spirit” (1807), he presents an argument that says, in effect: if Wall Street brokers and bankers understood themselves and their institutional world aright, they would not only accede to firm regulatory controls to govern their actions, but would enthusiastically welcome regulation. Hegel’s emphatic but paradoxical way of stating this is to say that if the free market individualist acts “in [his] own self-interest, [he] simply does not know what [he] is doing, and if [he] affirms that all men act in their own self-interest, [he] merely asserts that all men are not really aware of what acting really amounts to.” For Hegel, the idea of unconditioned rational self-interest — of, say, acting solely on the motive of making a maximal profit — simply mistakes what human action is or could be, and is thus rationally unintelligible. Self-interested action, in the sense it used by contemporary brokers and bankers, is impossible. If Hegel is right, there may be deeper and more basic reasons for strong market regulation than we have imagined.

The discussion of market rationality occurs in a section of the “Phenomenology” called “Virtue and the way of the world.” Believing in the natural goodness of man, the virtuous self strives after moral self-perfection in opposition to the wicked self-interested practices of the marketplace, the so-called “way of the world.”

However, what Hegel’s probing account means to show is that the defender of holier-than-thou virtue and the self-interested Wall Street banker are making the same error from opposing points of view. Each supposes he has a true understanding of what naturally moves individuals to action.

.02 World Economic News -

Daily reviews of top economic news in a video commentary. Nick, The Modern Mystic, gives a thoughtful and entertaining reading of key items. Comments and discussion option are provided for in this growing global community which seeks to understand the causes of the global financial crisis, as well as method and options of dealing with its long term effects.

.03 Peak Oil: An Inflationary & Deflationary Perspective 10-23-2010 - Financial Sense Newshour

James J. Puplava, CFP, interviews Nicole M. Foss and Jeff Rubin about the deflationary aspects of peak oil in the years ahead, noting the recent ASPO (Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas) conference. Nicole M. Foss is co-editor of The Automatic Earth, where she writes under the name Stoneleigh. She and her writing partner have been chronicling and interpreting the on-going credit crunch as the most pressing aspect of our current multi-faceted predicament, including difficulties of the transition from oil to alternative fuels. Jeff Rubin resigned his position as Chief Economist and Managing Director of CIBC World Markets in 2009 to deliver the message in his book: “ Why Your World Is About To Get A Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization.”

Financial Sense® Newshour is a free financial/market broadcast hosted by money manager Jim Puplava on the week's market action, interviews with financial experts, and Jim's personal perspective on the markets/economy.

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

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My name is Tom Christoffel. I've worked in the field of intergovernmental and regional cooperation since 1973. As a consequence, "I see regions work.” It is my thesis that "regional communities” are emerging where multi-jurisdictional regional council organizations exist. This newsletter is research seeking confirmation of this thesis.

Making visible such cross-boundary planning, collaboration and cooperative action at multi-jurisdictional networked regional scales, public, private and NGO is my purpose. "Think globally, act locally" was innovative in its time. Today the local scale is often too small to address today's needs and opportunities. "Think local planet, act regionally,” is my candidate paradigm. No one said we're only allowed one paradigm.

We can see that “regional communities of communities” are organized locally and now act both to avoid tragedy in the commons and gain benefits. An effective multi-jurisdictional regional community has DNA. It is geographically Defined; has a common Name and its Alignment is inclusive of smaller communities and participatory in larger communities. So, by scanning this compilation, reading articles and checking organizations - you too will be able to see the regional communities that already exist.

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Tom (Thomas J.) Christoffel, AICP, MeRSA, -