Regional Community Development News – February 22, 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 - .24

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet11.01 - .16

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .12

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .03

Financial Crisis …14.01 - .02

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

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


Top Regional Community stories

1. Report suggests strategies for Ohio to compete in global economy - The Plain Dealer - Cleveland, OH, USA

Ohio needs to shed a third of its school districts, invest more in its metropolitan areas and grapple for more federal cash to lift itself in the post-recession global economy, says a report being released today.

Drivers of that global economy will be exports, cleaner energy and job-creating innovation -- areas in which Ohio already has a foothold, according to "Restoring Prosperity," a report culminating 2½ years of study by the Brookings Institution and the Greater Ohio Policy Center.

The two pro-urban think tanks say Ohio can put a shine on its rust belt by adopting 39 policies geared to leveraging the talent, transportation and quality places concentrated in Ohio's 16 largest metros, including Cleveland, Akron, Canton and Youngstown.

State and national leaders must harness "the natural market creativity in our metros with smart, game-changing actions," said Bruce Katz, director of Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program and an adviser on housing and urban strategies to President Barack Obama's administration.

The report's recommendations are widely anticipated. (See the "Restoring Prosperity" report, at )


Engage the federal government: Ohio should be applying for some of the $700 million that federal agencies set aside to encourage "sustainable" growth, Katz said.

Federal officials are rewarding states that align housing and transportation with smart land use, Katz said.

"Ohio can get its act together and apply for those investments, or those investments will go to other states," Katz said.

Much of the "Restoring Prosperity" strategy matches that of the Fund for Our Economic Future, which is doling out $60 million in philanthropic money to economic development efforts across 16 counties.

"The importance [the report] places on regionalism and bringing it to ground is really vital," said Brad Whitehead, president of the fund.

RCs - Ohio Association of Regional Councils:

2. COLUMN: Super-regionalism: WNY and the GTA - Niagara Gazette - Niagara Falls, NY, USA

A good many Western New Yorkers have looked at Ralph Wilson as the anti-Christ ever since he turned the Buffalo Bills into a part-time resident of the City of Toronto.

Their assessment is quite unfortunate because Ralph Wilson is a genius for that pursuit and we need every man, woman and child to follow in his footsteps. The merging of the Niagara-Buffalo region, economically and socially, with Southern Ontario is without a doubt the most important thing that we can do to achieve the best possible future for Western New York.

It’s not a stretch to say that most people in the area tend to look at Canada as a strange, faraway land and that our world seemingly ends at the Niagara River. It’s almost as if we chose to ignore that Ontario is in our backyard and, oddly enough, believe that Rochester or Erie, Pa. — both of which are farther away than the greater Toronto area — are more appropriate parts of our lives. Those blinders, based in either ethnocentrism or a misguided fear of the unknown, need to be cast aside.

The area from the border to just past Toronto is aptly named “the Golden Horseshoe,” a C-shaped territory along Lake Ontario that comprises some of North America’s greatest riches. It is home to 8.1 million residents and the Canadian headquarters of the world’s largest corporations. To put that into perspective, Niagara and Erie counties, the most populous of Western New York, are home to only 1.25 million people and a depressed economy that is but a shell of its former self.

Were we to open our eyes, our minds and our borders to our friends to the North, we’d be able to capitalize on their sizable economy and its potential for growth …

3. A Super chance for North Texas - Fort Worth Star Telegram, Fort Worth, TX, USA

Ever wonder what might pull Fort Worth and Dallas together for a common cause? Nothing focuses the mind like hosting the Super Bowl.

For decades, North Texas' big cities have allowed petty rivalries and self-interest to get in the way of cooperation on issues like public transportation and economic development.

Local leaders have long talked about the potential of "regionalism" -- of putting aside their differences and promoting all of North Texas rather than just Dallas or Fort Worth or Arlington.

They did it most notably with the construction of Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in the 1970s. Now they're doing it for Super Bowl XLV, scheduled for next February at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

Planning the big game for a global audience is a gargantuan undertaking, requiring years of preparation.

The economic impact is estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars, and the payoff is practically immeasurable in prestige and future tourism.

But the lasting legacy could be a change in the way we do business.

"We're all realizing what we're capable of accomplishing when we pull together," says Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief, one of four local mayors on the Super Bowl host committee. "We're much stronger as a regional force, whether we're talking about approaching the NFL, Austin or Washington. It makes a lot of sense to combine our economic firepower."

That's easier to do with a Super Bowl. …

No one emphasized the potential regionalism that might grow out of the stadium, but it was a key idea behind the Super Bowl bid.

"From the beginning, we've been focused on galvanizing the region around the idea of collaboration," says Bill Lively, CEO of the North Texas Super Bowl Host Committee. "We wanted to create a template that could be used for the next big thing."

RC: North Central Texas Council of Governments -

4. The greater good? - - UK

It is almost five years since Greater Manchester's ten councils signed up to a joint economic development plan, and four years since ministers first endorsed the idea of the conurbation adopting a formal city-regional governance structure to implement it. In last April's Budget, the Government announced that Greater Manchester would receive devolved powers, granting it pilot statutory city-region status alongside Greater Leeds. In December, this deal between Whitehall and the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (Agma) [ ] was finally signed.

Although the deal's legal detail still needs central government sign-off, the agreement promises various new responsibilities for the city-region. It would grant Agma - the partnership between the councils of Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan - control over key spending areas across the city-region, and put the seal on a number of public reforms.

Shortly before the deal was agreed, a group of economists published the Manchester Independent Economic Review, an analysis of the city-region's economy commissioned by Agma. It said that Greater Manchester was "punching below its weight", partly because it had to follow national policy on skills, transport, housing and regeneration. The review said that devolving powers from Whitehall would boost the city-region's long-term economic growth, and that Greater Manchester had the greatest potential of any conurbation outside the South-East to drive the UK economy.


Kieran Larkin, an analyst at think-tank the Centre for Cities, says: "(Manchester) city-region will be instrumental in prompting post-recession economic recovery of the North-West. It is unlikely that it will soak up investment; rather, much of its growth will spill out into the rest of the region."

… if the Manchester city-region model leads to more efficient spending, it could lead future governments to focus more on sub-regional governance - particularly at a time of dwindling public resources.

5. Vidalia hosts first of three regionalism forums - Natchez Democrat - Natchez, MS, USA

Local leaders and laymen gathered Monday to discuss the concept of regionalism, and the leaders had one clear message to the laymen — if it’s going to work, it’s up to you.

The Miss-Lou Steering committee had the first of three public forums Tuesday in Vidalia, and members of the committee shared what they have been doing and answered questions from the public.

The committee was formed in the hopes of marketing the region as a whole, Concordia Parish Economic and Industrial Development District Director Heather Malone said.

“The committee has come to realize that independently Adams County and Concordia Parish have a lot to offer, however, by combining our efforts the Miss-Lou can become an economic force in Southwest Mississippi and Northeast Louisiana,” Concordia Bank President and committee member Pat Biglane said. “The Mississippi River is not a division of our states — it is the interstate highway for both of our communities.”

Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin said he acknowledges that Ferriday isn’t the strongest link in the Miss-Lou chain, but it has plenty to offer.

“We know that Vidalia and Natchez are stronger than Ferriday, but we have a workforce in Ferriday that is willing to work,” he said. “If 152 people in Ferriday get a job eight miles away and bring the money back to Ferriday, I have no problem with that. That’s regionalism.”

And while the committee is dedicated to bringing in new business, Biglane said committee members realized that 50 percent of economic development is dedicated to preserving existing businesses.

But for things to work, committee member the Rev. Simeon Green said that the community would have to be involved in the committee’s efforts.

The community development committee will be broken down into groups dealing with leadership development and race relations.

6. Regional force possible - Monessen Valley Independent - Monessen, PA, USA

Ron Stern, local government state Department of Community and Economic Development policy specialist, said his office has received letters of intent from Charleroi, Speers and North Charleroi and Twilight requesting a feasibility study for a regional police force.

Stern oversees the department's study peer program, which has more than 20 working or retired police chiefs around the state who conduct such studies.

Prior to the study, a law enforcement survey must be completed by leaders in the four communities. When Stern receives all four surveys, he will select a peer consultant to conduct the study.

The study takes four to six months to complete.

After the study is complete, Stern reviews it and, with the peer representative, presents it to the communities.

Communities then must decide how to proceed.

"Maybe the budget is a little too high for them, maybe they can get a better deal on health care," Stern said. "They need to decide, as an elective body, if they want to proceed and how they want to proceed. Some want to have public meetings and some say that's what we were elected to do."

While the concept of regional police now is more widely accepted, not all form such departments.

Last year, the DCED conducted 17 feasibility studies. At the start of this year, there were three new regional forces.

There are 34 regional forces in the state.

"A lot of communities want to see if they can save money," Stern said. "Long term, you'll save money."

The four Mid-Mon Valley communities comprising this study are typical of those that can benefit from a regional force, Stern noted. The communities comprise 3.7 square miles and a little less than 7,800 people.

"We see a lot of boroughs because they're land locked and taxed out," Stern said.

7. Fort Lee hotel would have negative impact on Tri-Cities, study finds - Richmond Times Dispatch - Richmond, VA, USA

The proposed 1,000-room hotel at Fort Lee presents a threat to hotels in the Tri-Cities area currently accommodating students at the base, according to an economic-impact study released yesterday by the Greater Tri-Cities Hospitality Coalition.

The 21-page report by Fairfax-based consultant Government Finance Group contradicts an impact study released last month by the Crater Planning District Commission. [] The earlier report, done by Alexandria-based RKG Associates Inc., found that if student projections at Fort Lee hold true, the base hotel won't adversely affect Tri-Cities hotels and businesses.

As a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission process, Fort Lee's average daily student population is expected to reach more than 11,000 by 2011. At least 2,300 students will need temporary housing on a daily basis, officials estimate.

The studies were done in response to public opposition after the Army's announcement of the $114 million project last summer.

The earlier, 49-page report suggests the projected expansion of class loads at the newly opened Army Logistics University will result in additional demand for private-sector lodging. Even with the operation of the new hotel in 2012, the private sector will benefit, that report says.

The new report, however, suggests that once the hotel is built, the installation is expected to have nearly 1,600 hotel rooms on Fort Lee, which would "erase the need for off-post accommodation." Currently, Fort Lee has 577 on-base lodging units.

As a result, the state and local governments face losses in annual revenue of $3.3 million combined if the proposed facility is built, the report says. ...

Linas Kojelis, a Petersburg consultant who coordinates the coalition efforts, said the coalition report has been delivered to every public official in the area and to congressional leaders authorized to approve the project.

8. Times make cooperative regionalism more urgent - The Spokesman Review - Spokane, WA, USA

Regional solutions to problems have always been an option, but with the economy slumbering and government budgets in dire straits, they will become imperative.

In her State of the City address, Spokane Mayor Mary Verner gave a nod to regionalism, highlighting criminal justice as an area where economies of scale can help contain government costs. Opportunities also exist in transportation, low-income housing, animal control and protecting the Spokane River. The latter issue would benefit from cooperation across state lines, too.

The good news is that government leaders seem to realize this and have exhibited greater cooperation. As Spokane County Commissioner Mark Richard said, “Five years ago, we were talking through our attorneys. Today we’re sitting down, working things out.”

The need to cut down on duplicate services and to gain greater efficiencies must be front and center.

Spokane County closed a $10.5million shortfall in December, with a total of 150 workers losing their jobs. The city of Spokane closed a $7million deficit last year and faces a predicted $10million hole in 2011. The Spokane Transit Authority is planning a 2 percent cut in service later this year and is facing annual 7 percent cuts in 2011 and 2012. Liberty Lake’s 2010 budget is 5 percent smaller.

In short, all local governments are facing tough times, and they cannot expect any help from the state, which is looking at its own $2.8billion hole, according to the latest forecast. Meanwhile, sales tax revenue is projected to grow a mere 1 percent in Spokane County this year.

In better economic times, voters rejected consolidated government. But they ought to support the combining of government services where that makes sense. Jurisdictional squabbles need to recede, and that will require a sense of trust among government leaders.

RC: Spokane Regional Transportation Council

9. Execution key to economic development - North Bay Business Journal - Santa Rosa, CA, USA

That the North Bay needs a coherent economic development focus no longer seems to be an item to be debated. And while there are different visions of what economic development means, there is an emerging consensus in the North Bay that our approach to regional prosperity will be anchored in a foundation of sustainable business practices and healthy economic growth. This consensus is not a trivial accomplishment in that we are not too far removed from contentious growth versus no-growth debates.

Why then haven’t we started? The current economic crisis has created contradictory influences in that it has heightened awareness for the need but halted momentum on real action by undermining funding and restricting our efforts. It is hard to devote financial and human capital to regional action when it is needed for the day-to-day economic survival of individual businesses and enterprises.

With a consensus on need, a plethora of ideas for programs and a shared desire for progress, why can’t we create momentum for action?

The answer lies in that the business community collectively, like many businesses independently, has lost the discipline of execution. And while some might hope I am referring to the need to eliminate bureaucracy and bureaucrats, I mean that we have lost the discipline of getting things done. In their bestselling book, “Execution: The Art of Getting Things Done,” Bossidy and Charan identify execution as the missing link between aspirations and results.

What if the North Bay business community were to organize itself as a well-run business? Can we align ourselves to execute on our aspirations and turn them into regional results?

I know we can. But it won’t happen by merely talking about it.

Execution is a simple two-step process. It involves: (1) Focus – …

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 Energy Hubs + Regionalism = A New Vision for Innovation

New Republic – USA

Add energy research to the list of arenas in which Team Obama has recognized the power of regional economies to deliver innovation as well as economic growth. … Centered on the second of DOE’s three energy research hubs, the new Energy Regional Innovation Cluster (E-RIC) initiative is noteworthy because it shows the administration moving to supplement a narrower research and technology program (focused on energy-efficient building design) with a multi-agency array of offerings intended to broaden the effort and embed it in the powerful currents of regional innovation networks. … As to broader national economic policy, the approach on display in the announcement of the building science hub represents one more indication that the Obama administration and increasingly others in Washington are beginning to recognize the powerful mediating role of place in economic policy. Clusters, as we’ve noted previously, are a fundamental fact of the national economy, and a critical accelerator of innovation. It’s a promising development to see the implementation of the building science hub steered toward a true recognition of that reality.

.02 Women, Transit, and the Perception of Safety

Transit agencies are failing to bring women into the planning process, according to a new report from the Mineta Transportation Institute. We talked with UCLA's Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, author of the study, about what she uncovered in her research and strategies for improving the perception of safety on transit for women. ... In terms of the interviews, women have significant concerns about riding transit, and there is a mismatch between the practices of transportation agencies and some of the wishes of women riders. For example, women are much more scared waiting at the bus stop or transit station than within the enclosed space of the transit vehicle. Yet most transportation safety resources are concentrated on the vehicle. Women were also not comforted knowing that there was a camera or CCT technology. They were not against it, but they felt that if anything happened to them the camera would only help after the event, not during. So they were much more in favor of more policing, human solutions rather than technological solutions. Yet the trend is towards more technology, not less. We found a lot of these sorts of mismatches between policy and what women want. We also found that other countries are doing much more. Particularly I'm talking about the U.K., Australia and Canada, that have all incorporated women's voices into transportation planning. And the report talks about some of these efforts from the grassroots level to the institutional level that respond to women's needs. …

.03 Not a moment too soon—Editorial

Sun Press –

University Heights City Council was supposed to hear the details of the exceptions analysis last week, detailing how the city can become more efficient in its operations. ... Some of the recommendations included in the report include seeking volume purchasing programs, outsourcing rubbish collection, collaborating on a jail facility and prisoner management and outsourcing payroll, human resources and information technology. These sound like efforts at regionalism and they should be embraced. ... The common perception of regionalism is of suburbs dissolving their borders and merging with the City of Cleveland to form one large city. That is a possibility that is many years from happening, if it ever does. Smaller forms of regionalism are taking place around the county in terms of purchasing consortiums and joint dispatch operations involving several communities, among other things. Especially in these troubled economic times, sharing resources with neighboring communities is an excellent way to save money and free up staff to handle other important aspects of running the city. For University Heights, which is looking to make its operations more efficient, this is an idea that makes plenty of sense.

.04 Local-option taxes, fees get little support in region

Fort Worth Star Telegram - Fort Worth, TX, USA

A local-option transportation funding measure endorsed by many regional officials has far lower support among Fort Worth-area voters than the rest of the state, according to a poll conducted for the Star-Telegram and four other Texas newspapers. In the telephone poll of 1,508 registered voters conducted between Feb. 2 and Wednesday, poll respondents were asked how Texas should pay for more needed highway construction and were given five options. No one option emerged as a clear favorite. Statewide, increasing toll roads got the most backing, with 20.5 percent support. That was followed by borrowing money using state bonds, 16.9 percent, and increasing the state gas tax, 16.2 percent. Using a local-option gas tax came in fifth, with 9.6 percent support statewide. ...

.05 Taxed NYers taking the 'pay' train

New York Post - NYC, NY

... Paterson wants to raise the rate in the city to 0.54 percent and cut it in the suburban counties to 0.17 percent. He claims the different rates would bring "regional equity" because NYC businesses would pay 88 percent of the tax, instead of 70 percent. He says that's in line with the fact that the city "is the destination for over 90 percent of weekday ridership." Stop right there. The destination argument is a phony because the subway system, the largest MTA component by far, serves the city only. And suburban trains and buses come to the city because that's where the jobs are. Duh. The most honest way of assessing value is to look at the origin of riders and the transit services suburban towns get that make them attractive for commuters. Even that wouldn't tell the whole economic story. As Mayor Bloomberg said in trashing the idea, regional governance is about sharing burdens, not dumping them on the city. ...

.06 Roundtable: Economic development merger

Galesburg Register-Mail - Galesburg, IL, USA

EDITORS ROUNDTABLE: What impact would a merger between Galesburg Regional Economic Development Association and Western Illinois Economic Development Partnership have on the Galesburg area? Don’t know why it wasn’t looked at sooner It’s about time. The exploration of an alliance between the Galesburg Regional Economic Development Association and the Western Illinois Economic Development Partnership of Monmouth makes so much sense, it’s amazing it hasn’t been looked at before now. ... Maybe together they can get city support Let’s see, the primary economic development organization in Knox County has no support from nor a productive relationship with the largest city in the county. And the primary economic development agency in Warren County likewise received no financial support from the largest community there and has worked independently of the city where it is based for several years. Now the Galesburg Regional Economic Development Association and the Western Illinois Economic Development Partnership are talking of joining forces. Who knows, maybe as one united, regional force they will finally be able to restore relations with the major population centers in the area ...

.07 Lending Fair Connects Small Businesses with Banks, Agencies

Maryland Chamber of Commerce Blog

The Maryland Chamber Small Business Development Council hosted a Small Business Lending Fair this morning, during which small business owners met with potential lenders, and representatives of various state and federal agencies. The meetings, which were held in a speed dating style format, were meant to build relationships between the small business owners and the lenders, and help small business learn more about accessing capital. Fourteen community, regional, and national banks were present as well as representatives from the Small Business Administration, the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Maryland Small Business Development Center Network. ...

.08 Seminar extols virtues of China Hub

St. Louis Globe-Democrat- St.Louis, MO, USA

Mike Jones, senior policy advisor to St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley and chairman of the Midwest China Hub Commission (MCHC), said there was no reason to come to St. Louis in the 19th Century. Until the Eads Bridge was built in 1874 and opened commerce to the eastern half of the United States with Missouri and beyond. And the same holds true for increasing commerce between China and St. Louis, he said. Implementing a China Hub, or the “Big Idea,” a phrase coined by the Chinese, for import and export between the two countries will only happen when St. Louis establishes itself as an air hub for the transfer of goods. ...

The MCHC’s aim is to turn the Midwest in general, and St. Louis in particular, into China’s primary gateway to the Midwest through “dedicated cargo flights” connecting St. Louis, China and Shanghai. ... “The MCHC is a broad-based coalition made up of political, civic and business interest and the best description I have heard for the commission is it represents this communities’ collective political will to get this idea executed,“ Jones said. “And in my 25 to 30 years of public work in the St. Louis area I have never been involved in an effort that had this broad of support and this much enthusiastic support by so many critical players of the St. Louis regional community.” ...

.09 Regionalism stressed at The Compass Conference

The City Wire - Fort Smith, AR, USA

Although not part of the script, the need for communities to work as regional partners was stressed during the first annual The Compass Conference. The conference — which drew around 250 business and civic leaders from a wide range of regional communities including Ozark, Roland and Waldron — was built around the presentation of key economic data about the past, present and expected future of the Fort Smith regional economy. Funded and managed by The City Wire and presented by Benefit Bank, The Compass is a quarterly regional economic report with data collection and analysis handled by Jeff Collins, a nationally known economist based in Springdale and co-founder of Streetsmart Data Services. ... Collins said the Fort Smith regional economy has suffered during 2009, especially with respect to job losses and sales tax collections. However, Collins predicted that the worst is over and suggested the next few fiscal quarters would begin to show improvements. He said area sectors that may see good job gains are health and education and business and professional services.

Collins strayed somewhat from the economics report to encourage communities in the Fort Smith region to live up to the region’s potential. He said the communities need to work together to find ways to maximize their resources and minimize weaknesses.

“Ask yourself, ‘Who are we and what do we do well? ... What do we want to be when we grow up?” Collins said.

.10 Regional Chambers Unite & Head to State Capital

C.W. Notes - Peoria, IL

Regional chambers of commerce are uniting to create one voice to work on legislative issues that affect our regional businesses community. The chambers in Chillicothe, East Peoria, Morton, Pekin, Peoria and Washington have created a coalition called CIRCLE (Central Illinois Regional Chambers Legislative Effort). CIRCLE is sponsored by AT&T. CIRCLE has identified five key issues that affect this region’s business climate and members plan to work closely with legislators in Springfield to bring about forward movement on those topics. The issues are: pension reform, funding of the capital bill, worker compensation, timely payments to vendors from the state, and education. ...

.11 Saying 'sovereignty in jeopardy,' Stevensville woman wants borders back in Montana Constitution

The Missoulian - Missoulia, MT, USA

A Ravalli County woman wants to amend the Montana Constitution to restore the state's boundaries that were deleted when the state charter was rewritten in 1972. ... Before the referendum on the 1972 constitution, voters were sent an official 24-page pamphlet from the Constitutional Convention that included the official text, an explanation and an outline of the differences between the two charters. The guide explained that the boundaries were left out of the 1972 document because "the boundaries of all states are determined by the U.S. Congress." Hackett said she wasn't sure why the boundaries were dropped, but suspects it had to do with "regionalism," the concept of a group of states working together on issues. "I have an idea that it had to do with regionalism," she said. Montana hasn't lost any of its territory to Idaho, Wyoming and North and South Dakota by striking the boundaries in the 1972 constitution, she said. "But for jurisdiction purposes and state sovereignty purposes, I believe we need them in," Hackett said. ...

.12 Arcuri: Think regionally on high-speed rail

Utica Observer Dispatch - Utica, NY, USA

U.S. Rep. Michael Arcuri, D-Utica, said the next steps should be to continue to push for federal funding, make the initiative a priority in state government and ensure that everyone upstate is working together instead of focusing on which areas receive funding first. “We have to make sure we're thinking about this as a regional project,” Arcuri said. “We will get our money in this area and in the Syracuse area - it will come.” The Upstate Coalition for High Speed Rail meeting Friday at SUNYIT included local officials and business leaders and was one of several informational meetings planned across the state. ...

.13 Regionalizing emergency response

Halifax-Plympton Reporter – Halifax, MA, USA

Regionalization is the trend of the future. Already small communities are banding together to solve trash problems, education issues and police and fire service. So it is not surprising that the area’s Local Emergency Planning Committees are reforming to encompass several municipalities. Plympton and Halifax have recently informally established the Winnetuxet Regional Emergency Planning Committee (WREPC) in an effort to better serve both communities. ...

.14 Cinton? Daynati? We're one city now

A furious rush to the middle during the last two decades has transformed the land between Cincinnati and Dayton. Fleeing income taxes and the problems of established cities, and seeking the suburban dream, people and then businesses flocked to Butler and Warren counties, attracted as if by magnetic force to the expanses of available land around what has become the region's Main Street, Interstate 75. ... Official recognition of Cincinnati and Dayton as one entity may happen around 2013 when, experts say, the Cincinnati-Middletown and Dayton Metropolitan Statistical Areas observed by the federal government could be merged into one, bigger "metroplex" similar to Dallas-Fort Worth or Baltimore-Washington, D.C. ... "There's no doubt that the 75 corridor is expanding and growing," said Mark Policinski, executive director of the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments. Policinski said Cincinnati-Dayton is not inevitable, however. Policinski speculated that the cities could take 25 years to merge. "It's an economic engine that's developing. As that develops, it may incorporate the southern parts of the Dayton area." ...

.15 Atlanta Forward / Another View: Regional governance pays off in Twin Cities

Atlanta Journal Constitution - Atlanta, GA, USA

The Metropolitan Council of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area engages in a careful balancing act, weighing the desires of local communities to develop as they choose against the need for cost-effective regional investments. The council was created by the Legislature in 1967 to encourage the “orderly, economical development” of the seven-county area and provide for the efficient delivery of certain regional services. The council consists of 17 members appointed by the governor, 16 from geographic districts and a chair who serves at-large. Legislative proposals to provide for the election of council members frequently have been debated, but never enacted. ... The Met Council is not all-powerful. It collaborates with local governments and other stakeholders, and comes under careful legislative review. Supporters say the council has promoted more efficient development, saving millions in infrastructure costs while preserving vital natural areas. It has achieved efficiencies in the delivery of transit, wastewater and other services.

.16 Our view: Erie, Pa., and Conneaut, Ohio, can work together

In recent years, government officials and community leaders in Erie who advocate "regionalism" have parsed its meaning. They stress that "regionalism" is not code for "municipal merger," because residents are reluctant to even study whether mergers could cut government costs, attract businesses or halt brain drain. Instead, we've come to realize that collaboration and cooperation can make the Erie region a stronger economic player. Now, a bold new economic development concept is helping us to see that the Erie region could stretch beyond a collection of Pennsylvania governmental units. The Erie Inland Port Project hopes to prove that Conneaut, Ohio, and Erie, Pa., can work together to improve our fortunes. ...

.17 Lehigh County Executive Don Cunningham calls for savings, regionalization in 2010

The Express Times - - PA, USA

A sign of the difficult economic times, Lehigh County Executive Don Cunningham announced no new initiatives during his annual State of the County address today. Instead, Cunningham, a Democrat starting his second four-year term as county executive, cited regionalization and finding savings as his top goals for 2010. “This year, all is on the table for review,” Cunningham said during a noontime Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce ...

.18 Marketing Trumbull County and it's attractions - Trumbull Co., OH, USA

Trumbull County should take the example set by Youngstown, along with a stronger approach to stemming the growing crime problem, and market the entire county. Cities and counties tend to operate almost independently of each other. A joint effort would allow for greater economic growth and a more affordable approach through pooling resources. Stopping short of regionalization, which would decrease the quality of service provided by safety forces, there are many overlapping and redundant agencies which can be combined in order to re-purpose funds. Another money saver would be to decrease the number of buildings occupied by county agencies. ...

.19 Letter: Think global and act local

Park Rapids Enterprise - Park Rapids, MN, USA

If Governor Pawlenty is going to balance the state budget by eliminating LGA payments to cities like Park Rapids, then the city of Park Rapids should be allowed to enact a local sales tax to fund essential services and promote economic development. Why a local city sales tax? Because the city of Park Rapids by virtue of its geography provides essential services to a much larger regional community far beyond the city limits. ...

.20 Sanford Regional Chamber of Commerce Is a Certified Green Community

3BLMedia - USA

Leadership is the ability to step out even though others are hesitating. The Green Business League is happy to welcome the very first Chamber of Commerce as a Certified Green Business. Not only has the Greater Regional Sanford Chamber of Commerce earned a Green certification, but has achieved the Gold status in the first assessment. What most will find interesting is the level of commitment made by the chamber to achieve this Green certification. ...

.21 8 Key Trends in Food Marketing

1 Rediscovering local. Local food will be a key trend in reviving and enriching the quality of all-time local favorite dishes. This is where the influence of new “culinarians” and the people coming in the food industry will make an impact. Traditional dishes will be the focus. “People will be pleased with enthusiasm as they naturally gravitate toward the food that they know, they grew up with and they’re comfortable with,” Gutierrez said. Regional and community brands are perceived to be of higher quality in terms of processes and are seen as authentic against homogenous global brands. “Consumers will be curious to know how a certain product is processed before it is put into box,” she added. ...

.22 Driving Sustainable Change through Community-to-Community Organizing

Sustainable Communities ALL Over Puget Sound (SCALLOPS) was founded in 2007 as a nonprofit network in order to advance regional sustainability by providing opportunities for area sustainability groups to build relationships, share resources, and educate each other on the successes and challenges of pioneering grassroots change at the community level. With Vic Opperman (Sustainable Ballard) and Neva Welton (Sustainable Bainbridge) at the helm, SCALLOPS has grown in both size and scope. SCALLOPS membership has increased from a core group of three towns to over sixty groups representing towns and neighborhoods throughout Puget Sound as well as outlining areas. What’s more, SCALLOPS has become the go-to place for incubating new groups and is recognized as the collective outreach mechanism for regional sustainability groups.

.23 Post-mortem on snow cleanup should be regional

The Baltimore Sun - Baltimore, MD, USA

In Washington, the metropolitan Council of Governments announced it will conduct an "after-action conference" this spring to evaluate snow-removal efforts in a regional context. It's a good idea that should be adopted by the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, the council's counterpart here. Right now the BMC is planning a routine operations committee follow-up. Given the magnitude of the event, a more high-profile public gathering would be useful. Such a regional conference ought to follow a "lessons-learned" session to be held by each of the jurisdictions and transportation agencies in metropolitan Baltimore. ...,0,6090574.story

.24 Improving State Government Operations Through Business Analytics

National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) - Press Release - USA

Business analytics provides an evidence-based approach for decision making. With the current emphasis on transparency and visibility into the operations of government, government leaders need to anticipate more questions and evaluation related to not only what decisions are being made, but also what rationale was applied in making those decisions. As stated in this issue brief, intuition alone is not adequate for evaluating alternatives and making decisions. Effective implementation of a business analytics capability will promote an enterprise-wide culture of fact-based decision making. State government is encouraged to seriously look at business analytics as a means for fully understanding current circumstances and make predictions about the future. The predictive nature is particularly important as we continue to face ongoing fiscal challenges and increasing demand for state government services. For more information, contact NASCIO Senior Enterprise Architect, Eric Sweden at (859) 514-9189 or

“DO YOU THINK? OR DO YOU KNOW? Improving State Government Operations Through Business Analytics” is available at:

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 Brown hits out at Tory RDA plans

New Civil Engineer – UK

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has leapt to the defence of regional development agencies (RDAs), accusing Conservatives leader David Cameron of “declaring war” on the North. The prime minister claimed that the Conservatives “don’t understand the needs of the people in the North”. His remarks refer to the Conservatives’ well-publicised desire to scrap regional development agencies (RDAs) should they succeed at this year’s general election, as part of a wider blitz on public bodies. Brown said Conservative reform of RDAs would have a ‘devastating’ impact on the provision of funds and business development across the UK. ...

.02 A Critical Reflection on Management of Caricom

Jamaica Observer - Kingston, Jamaica, W.I.

THE Caribbean Community and Common Market (Caricom), in celebrating its 37th anniversary with the hopes of fully operationalising the Single Market and Economy (CSME) in 2015, now faces acute and growing challenges of fragmentation, loss of direction and a paralysing inertia. The need for serious reflection on the state of the regional integration movement is widely recognised and it serves no useful purpose by expediently sweeping problems under the proverbial carpet for some future period. ... Today, however, I am inclined to believe that the political directorate has reached a more nuanced understanding of "regional governance", thanks to the Technical Working Group (TWG) of 2006, headed by Dr Vaughn Lewis. The fundamental recommendation of the 2006 TWG for the introduction of a Single Caricom Act, ratified in all member states, within the framework of the Revised Treaty (which is really the Caricom Constitution), needs to be adopted without further foot-dragging and more word games. For, in acting on the basis of combined strength with a "single vision" in a globalised world, it should enable Caricom's voice and policies to more effectively resonate in the international arena. ...

.03 Funding offer to "rural businesses" in Liverpool City Region

Click Liverpool - Liverpool, UK

A scheme to provide "rural entrepreneurs" with a cash boost is inviting applications.

The programme to unlock the potential of Merseyside’s untapped rural economy is seeking proposals of projects that could benefit from multi-million pound funding opportunities. Ideas are being sought to make the most of the sub-region’s rural assets, stimulate business, and contribute to the wider economic development of the region. Application forms, details of the scheme and associated reports can be found via the newly launched website Responses are required by Friday 5th March 2010. Proposals can be specific to a local area or have a wider sub-regional relevance. Ideally, they will also support the delivery of the Liverpool City Region’s four transformational themes (Superport/Logistics, Visitor Economy, Knowledge Economy, and Low Carbon Economy).

.04 Nigeria: Challenges of Lagos As a Mega-City

A megacity is a status conferred by the United Nations and the international system on cities with 10 million persons and above. It is a city with complex functions, and with ability to influence regional and global economies. The Lagos mega-city region is largely the product of the current urbanization and globalisation process in Nigeria, with its promotion of the free market economy, information and communication technology, interstate and transnational corporations and high mobility of financial and human resources. In response to protests of foreign investors that the state of security, sanitation and transportation within the Lagos mega-city region was a disincentive to their participation in the development of the country: a Presidential Committee on the redevelopment of the Lagos mega-city region was set up under Professor Akin L. Mabogunje. The Lagos mega-city ranks first of the seven New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) African cities with an average population density of 20,000 persons per, and it has 28 activity centres. The Lagos Mega City Region has grown beyond metropolitan Lagos. It is the continuous built up area of Lagos from the Atlantic Coast spreading eastward, westwards and northwards beyond the boundaries of Lagos into Ogun State. ...

.05 Welsh economy needs 'long-term vision'

WalesOnline - UK

A CRITICAL report into the effectiveness of Welsh Assembly Government business support was revealed yesterday with its authors saying that an “information deficit” has also emerged since the scrapping of the Welsh Development Agency. ... Comment - Poker wrote: Really? A vision? Don't tell me: we shall have revolutionary green industries, sunrise high tech jobs in nano- bio- and info-tech, new knowledge industries and personal services, community-based social enterprise, al built on state of the art infrastructure and everyone on the internet studying physics, music and learning Welsh? You could write it now - but it is just empty words. What matters is not the destination, but the journey and how we travel. What is actually needed is a rethink of the approach to the economy: the WDA model is, and always was, the wrong approach. …

.06 EEF launches 'Manufacturing Week'

Northwest Regional Development Agency - Warrington, UK

EEF, the manufacturers' organisation has today launched a week long campaign to promote manufacturing in the North West. 'Manufacturing Week' will take place from 1-5 March and is part of a long running campaign designed to promote the success of the sector and policies to promote a better balanced economy. The week is being backed by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA). Manufacturing generates just under a fifth of the region’s Gross Value Added (GVA), and is the only sector in the Northwest which has an average GVA per head higher than the national figure. ...

.07 Wellington 'imposing' reforms on Auckland

New Zealand Herald - NZ

A top Auckland business leader says there is a growing perception that the Super City reforms are being imposed by Wellington and a select group of bureaucrats. Michael Barnett, chief of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, said Wellington and Auckland seemed poles apart in their vision for a city with strong regional governance, community engagement, integrated decision-making and better value for money. Big gaps in the Government's third and final piece of legislation were unacceptable and needed fixing, he said. These included lack of detail and accountability for seven "council-controlled organisations" (CCOs) to run many of the city's functions, including transport, and missing detail on the power and duties of local boards. ...

.08 Citi sees emergence of China's renminbi as regional currency

Business Mirror - Makati City, Philippines

China’s currency, the renminbi, could become a regional currency among Asian emerging economies in the new decade, according to Citigroup, citing the country’s growing trade ties with its neighbors. But it may take more than a decade before the renminbi becomes an international currency, one that is used outside China and Asia as a medium of exchange, store of value and unit of account, the US banking giant said in its latest Asia Macro View research report. “The renminbi will likely be regionalized before being fully internationalized,” Citi said. “For a currency to be accepted internationally, it may require the home country to run current-account deficits.” ...

.09 Cabler of the Week: Timothy E. Wirth

The Cable -

We live in an interdependent age. No one nation - not even one as well-intentioned and powerful as the United States - can go it alone in addressing the great global challenges we face. This reality is both humbling and inspiring. Humbling because even as strong as we are, we must recognize the limits of our power and the necessity of international cooperation. Inspiring because the United States has the responsibility and opportunity to lead in solving the world's great global challenges related to economic progress and poverty alleviation; global warming and protecting the Earth's life-support systems, human rights, peace and security.

.10 Driving Europe out of economic crisis: CoR rewards six European Entrepreneurial Regions blazing a trail for the Europe 2020 strategy

Committee of the Regions - European Union – Europa Press Release

As EU leaders discuss the Europe 2020 proposals to revamp the European economy at a summit in Brussels, six European regions that are already working to create jobs and boost their local economies through their entrepreneurial vision have become the first winners of the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) label at a ceremony in the Committee of the Regions headquarters in Brussels. The first EER labels will cover the years 2011 and 2012, with three winning regions per year. They are: Brandenburg (DE), County Kerry (IE) and Murcia (ES) for 2011 and Catalonia (ES), Trnava (SK) and Uusimaa/Helsinki (FI) for 2012. The EER label, launched in October 2009 by the then CoR President, Luc Van den Brande , and former European Commission vice-president Günther Verheugen , will help underline the belief that Europe's economic programmes to create jobs and growth will only work if they take existing regional and local visions and strategies on board. The annual award also aims to further stimulate the establishment of innovative and creative regional economic development plans all over Europe. ...

.11 Turbulence likely as class displaces regionalism

Business Day - Johannesburg, South Africa

Zuma rose to the ANC presidency at a time when its internal factional politics were beginning a historic transformation. In recent decades, the politics of the ANC have largely been conducted at regional or provincial level. National (and exile) politics were underpinned by a parallel ethnic factionalism. ... Now, however, a second dimension to politics — class — threatens to undermine the historical predominance of regionalism and ethnicity. As has been widely observed, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party (SACP) played a major role in Zuma’s rise to the ANC and state presidencies. ...

.12 Armenian PM, Turkish economist consider "cross-border regionalism"

Armenian Reporter - Yerevan, Armenia

The American Chamber of Commerce in Armenia (AmCham) and The Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), with the support of the U.S. Embassy Yerevan, hosted a panel discussion on "Turkish-Armenian Relations and Cross-Border Regionalism" ... Representatives of TEPAV are visiting Yerevan February 10-12 for meetings with business and government officials, non-government organizations and others involved in the promotion of cross-border cooperation.


Brunei fm - Brunei, Darussalam

Following a seven-week work of the Advisory Committee on Regionalization, its chairman Omar Azziman submitted to the King a progress report on its mission, … asking for the extension of the deadline set for the submission of its final report, … This request was made due to the diversity of subjects, the interconnectedness of themes and the importance of issues at stake, underlined the source, affirming that the royal solicitude will enable the Committee to carry out an in-depth work, plan its action with serenity, and live up to the mission and the road map laid down by the monarch. The approval of King Mohammed VI shows the special interest the sovereign gives to this important project, which is a turning point in Morocco’s territorial governance and regional development, it said. Reaffirming his trust in the Committee’s Chairman and members, the King wished them success to set up a Moroccan model for advanced regionalization, the statement concluded.

.14 Car tax insults regional NSW: opposition

The Sydney Morning Herald - Sydney, NSW, AU

Under the Keneally government's $50.2 billion Metropolitan Transport Plan, motorists will be slugged an increased weight tax as part of their registration. The tax change will raise up to $500 million over the next 10 years, with motorists charged a sliding levy of between $5 and $30 for cars heavier than 975kg. Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell labelled the new transport blueprint as "Sydney-centric", and said the car registration levy was insulting to regional NSW. The plan does not consider country and regional areas, Mr O'Farrell says. ...

.15 Contemporary Mappa Mundi: American Exceptionalism in the World City Network

Globalization and World Cities Research Network

American exceptionalism has come in many forms varying from its distinctive party politics and its unusual religiosity to its particular professional sports (Lipset, 1996). With this graph we add global urban geography to the list. ... First, the sizes of the nodes are drawn proportional to city connectivities; basically the bigger the node the more integrated the city into the world city network (Taylor, 2004). The top 50 cities in terms of connectivity are identified on the graph (plus Karachi, outside the top 50 but the main city of Pakistan, one of the states featured, see below). Second, we constrained the iterative process by the country location of cities thereby producing the grouping of cities (nodes) belonging to the same state. In this way ‘country grouping' adds up the connectivity of each single city, so that the most connected countries are located in the centre of the graph. ...

.16 Superclinic is coming

Gladstone News - Queensland, Australia

The Rudd Government yesterday signed a funding agreement of $5 million to operate the new multi-disciplinary superclinic. Mr Trevor said the superclinic was a key part of the government’s agenda for fixing the healthcare system in Australia. “GP Superclinic Gladstone Pty Ltd is committed to establishing a superclinic that will deliver multi-disciplinary, integrated, primary health care services tailored to the needs and priorities of the Gladstone regional community,” ...

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 Cleveland and the Regionalism Challenge


Most people get it by now that cities compete in the marketplace as regions. Of course it matters that individual cities, towns, and unincorporated areas that make up a region all prosper, but the fate of a region is generally collective. The real battle is not between city and suburbs, but between regions, including those around the world. Now the competition metaphor is somewhat flawed since the economy is not a zero sum game, but clearly some places are more attractive than others to human capital and business. Place that spend less time fighting amongst themselves and more time working on success for their city-region will differentiate themselves. Cleveland has long been a city and a region with challenges on this front. It is an area with traditionally high levels of distrust between city and suburbs. This was illustrated a year or so ago ... On the other hand, there have been a lot of positive developments on the regionalism front in Cleveland as well. ...

.02 Liveable Cities

Creative Class

The Winter Olympics’ host city of Vancouver tops the new list of the world’s most “liveable” cities by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Toronto comes in fourth. Canadian and Australian cities do well. Not a single U.S. city makes the top 10.

.03 What Makes Happy Cities Happy

Creative Class

… new Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index of happy cities. … look at some of the social, demographic, and economic factors that are associated with the happiness and well-being of cities. ... The Gallup-Healthways is the first comprehensive data set we know of that tracks happiness and well-being at the metropolitan level, providing data from a large-scale survey of individuals across 185 metro regions. We look at the associations between the Gallup-Healthways Metro happiness index and key social, demographic, and economic factors. Data-matching reduces the size of our sample to 170 metros – roughly half of all U.S. regions. As usual, we point out that our analysis points only to associations between variables. It does not specify causation or the causal direction of those associations which are questions for future research. Still, the results are interesting across several dimensions. ...

.04 Replay: An Examination of City-County Consolidation


[ This piece will serve as a warm-up to a forthcoming series on the downsides of the consolidation of US city and county governments. I updated it from the original with a bit of information about the current mayoral election in Louisville. ] H. V. Savitch and Ronald K. Vogel of the University of Louisville authored the paper “Suburbs Without a City“, analyzing the merger of Louisville and Jefferson County, and in the process making many good observations about or relevant to other consolidated cities like Indianapolis and Nashville. ...

In their words, “Reformers frequently support consolidation because they assume rather than make an effort to prove its benefit…changes in local governance are often about power not bureaucratic efficiency or effectiveness. More often than not, power shapes the reception of ideas and determines who has voice in community debates. … To me the most interesting case is downtown development. Major civic attractions such as sports teams, etc. that benefit the entire county or region are located there. Yet much of the freight for paying for these community wide assets falls on the residents of the old inner city only. How is that? …

.05 What can marketers do to advance regional economic integration?

Marketing, Advertising & Communication in Iowa

Regional integration is a process in which states enter into a regional organisation in order to increase regional cooperation and diffuse regional tensions. … Regional integration initiatives, according to Van Langenhove, should fulfil at least eight important functions: * the strengthening of trade integration in the region; * the creation of an appropriate enabling environment for private sector development; * the development of infrastructure programmes in support of economic growth and regional integration; * the development of strong public sector institutions and good governance; * the reduction of social exclusion and the development of an inclusive civil society; * contribution to peace and security in the region; * the building of environment programmes at the regional level; * the strengthening of the region’s interaction with other regions of the world. ...

.06 Keeping control of Brand Europe


…the EULEX mission had brought a new stature for the EU in this part of the Balkans, and has led the local government to spend $5 million for a Saatchi & Saatchi campaign around the world showing Kosovo as “Young Europeans” (video). Both of these show that Europe is a strong enough brand to leave an echo. … the Kosovar authorities, they have one aim - getting sufficient counties in Africa and Latin America to support their challenge for a seat at the UN and the international recognition of statehood which that could bring. In order to do this, the EU becomes an accessory to the Kosovar brand as “plucky little fighter for freedom”, which would appeal to countries who themselves have struggled to shed the colonial yoke. The EU brand is therefore stretched to becoming associated with a rejection of the past history of its own member states, an intriguing continuation of the founding myth. These two definitions of what the EU is could be seen simply as welcome echoes of the work being done in Brussels; a ping from the sonar, showing that the brand is alive and well …

.07 UA in South East Queensland, Australia

Urban Agriculture for a Subtropical City

Begun in 1994 the Northey Street City Farm is just a few kilometers from Brisbane’s CBD. A sterling example of an inner city community garden, the farm’s vision reads: To create a working model of a cooperative, community based urban permaculture farm which demonstrates, promotes, educates and advocates for environmental and economic sustainability in a healthy, diverse and supportive community. The farm has realized this vision and more – often being cited as an exemplar UA project. The farm offers employment and training, incorporates a café and organic markets, is a real focus for the local community, and also for a wider regional community, and is of course a great source of a huge variety of food. …


Regional Writes - community blogging project

A Word from the Writer-in-Residence

Greetings regional writers and readers, and welcome to our community blog. Now that you're here, why not have a look around. In the left hand column, under the Community Blogging Project heading, you'll find a list of categories. ...

About the Project

The Regional Writes Community Blogging Project has been funded by an Arts Queensland Development and Presentation Grant, RADF and Sunshine Coast Regional Council Learning Communities. ...

.09 Polish Online Community

Welcome to Polish Online Community world at Linkpolonia! We aim to provide a central resource for everyone interested in the communities that they live in including their local town, city, district or regional community and also other community groups that they may belong to. ...

.10 The Manchester-Mersey Bioregion

A Green Deal for the Manchester-Mersey Bioregion

... to see a map of the Manchester-Mersey Bioregion. Our bioregion is diverse:- Urban sprawl. Rich farmland in Cheshire and Lancashire. Forest and woodland, heath and moorland. West -facing Pennine slopes. Built-up estuary. Coastal plain. It contains many of the resources that we will need for regional self-sufficiency. We need to get to know and understand it better – here is a brief summary from the Environment Agency ... Here is a useful set of ideas for exploring the bioregional concept. ...

.11 The Importance of Reciprocity

Protecting Gaviota Coast

One goal of this webpage is to foster a renewed sense of reciprocity - which requires a restored sense of place and the more than human community that we are part of. "To learn the language of the birds" is to begin the process of re-inhabiting the seascape and landscape of our shared region. We have received the life-giving gifts of this region; now, we need to return a gift that can support and sustain the multiple values that are carried by this region's ecosystems -- the soil, watersheds, Santa Barbara Channel, islands on our horizon, and the great Santa Ynez Mountains -- or collective, the amphitheater to the sea that we call our "home". This requires nothing less than a new natural contract with the landscape and community. …

.12 The Mediterranean Solar Plan

EU-MED Relations

The Lisbon Treaty have finally ensured that the EU "speaks with one voice" on external issues. This prospect and the actual Spanish EU-presidency could strengthen the role of cooperation between the shores from which both the European countries and their partners from the southern shore have a lot to gain. In May 2010, Spain will host in Valencia a conference regarding Mediterranean projects of renewable energies. It is suggested to convene a Euro-med Energy Ministerial to advance the integration of energy markets in the region and take note of progress in implementing concrete solar projects. In addition, the project "Paving the Way for the Mediterranean Solar Plan", expected to start soon in the first of half of 2010, shall progress the establishment of a harmonised legislative and regulatory framework in the Euro-Mediterranean region favourable to large-scale renewable energy adoption and use, renewable electricity trade, energy efficiency and energy savings and improvements in intra- and inter-regional knowledge transfer.

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 CALL FOR ABSTRACTS - Economic Development in Underserved Communities: Where Research and Practice Meet - Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas CityKansas City, MO, U.S.A. September 9 – 10, 2010

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Community Affairs Department is issuing a call for research papers to be presented at a national conference titled, “Economic Development in Underserved Communities: Where Research and Practice Meet,” to be held September 9 – 10, 2010 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in Kansas City, MO.

This conference seeks to bring together the latest research and practice in economic development in underserved rural and low-and-moderate-income urban communities in an effort to foster thinking on relevant issues and highlight best practices in the application of economic development policy.

The conference will explore the groundwork necessary for transitioning rural communities and low-and-moderate income urban communities into the new economy.

For a more detailed conference agenda, including potential research questions that could be addressed, please visit the Community Development section of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s web site at

An enlarged abstract with a maximum of 500 words, written in English, should be sent electronically (in Word or Adobe Acrobat format) to no later than March 31, 2010. For those with abstracts accepted for the conference, complete papers are due no later than July 15, 2010. Each presenter of a research paper will receive an honorarium of $1,500. Travel expenses for presenters also will be covered.

For any additional questions, please contact Kelly Edmiston, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, at or (816) 881-2004.

.02 Regional Studies Association Research Network Application Information

Regional Studies Association Research Networks are formed by the Association's members to organise a series of events to examine an issue of collective interest (the issue discussed need not necessarily have a direct policy focus but the examination would normally lead to policy related conclusions) and the Association can offer grants of up to a maximum of £3000 [approximately $3620] to members wishing to establish a Research Network. Organisers must be current members of the RSA at the time of the application and throughout the duration of the Research Network. If an organiser's membership lapses during the Research Network, claims will not be reimbursed.

The 2010 deadlines for Research Networks applications to be sent to are: 23rd April, 24th August, 25th October 2010

Complete information:

.03 WorldFuture 2010: Sustainable Futures, Strategies, and Technologies – World Future Society - July 8-10, 2010 - Boston, Massachusetts

Since 1971, the annual conference of the World Future Society has served as the premier event for the world’s most important thinkers, leaders, and visionaries to explore the future. This year's event, set at the spacious and modern Westin Boston Waterfront hotel, looks to be our best in many years. This is an opportunity to network with some of the world's top minds, and more than a thousand futurists from around the globe, on the critical issues of surviving this century. Early registration discounts end February 26, 2010.

Program and registration information:

14. Financial Crisis. Contents

.01 Elizabeth Warren Introduces Congressional Oversight Panel February 2010 Report

In this video, Chair Elizabeth Warren of the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel introduces the COP February report, "Commercial Real Estate Losses and the Risk to Financial Stability."

.02 The Quants: It Pays To Know Your Wall Street Math

Fresh Air - NPR

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. The guy who basically invented card counting to beat the house in blackjack, Ed Thorp, took his math skills to Wall Street in the 1960s, started a hedge fund, and paved the way for a new breed of mathematical traders who became known as quants. The quants were the math whizzes who, with the help of computers, came up with the complex formulas for hedge fund investments and for designing complex investment vehicles like mortgage derivatives and credit-default swaps, things that were behind the market collapse of 2008. My guest, Ed Thorp, is one of the people profiled in the new book "The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It." Later, we'll meet the author, Scott Patterson. He's a staff reporter at the Wall Street Journal. Scott Patterson, Ed Thorp, welcome to FRESH AIR. Ed, let's start with your story, since you're considered the father of the quants, like, one of the first quants; and with you, it all started with mathematical formulas you came up with for counting cards in blackjack in casinos. …

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 -