Regional Community Development News – March 8, 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 - .20

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet11.01 - .20

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .09

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .04

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. State official: development takes holistic approach - Winchester News Gazette - Winchester, IN, USA

David Terrell, director of the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, was in Union City Tuesday for a board meeting of the Eastern Indiana Development District (EIDD) [ ]. His message was that economic development involves the whole community, a message that Union City officials have been preaching and practicing.

Terrell said, "The community has to buy into the whole idea of economic development. You have to look at the totality of your community."

Then he listed some of the ingredients of economic development: …

Terrell also preached the growing importance of working on a regional basis for economic development.

"State-wide we haven't done regional very well because we didn't understand it," Terrell explained. "Federal government agencies are becoming more regional-minded, and we have to get there fast. Regionalism is a mind-set."

The Union City Community Economic Development Committee has been working across State Lines for more than four years on the theory that what's good for one community is good for neighboring communities. …

Terrell said, "Every county has projects that are important to the region, that can bring value added to the region and to its individual communities."

While economic development specialists have been talking about regionalism for several years, Terrell said this time the idea isn't going away.

"We are hearing conversations (about regionalism) that we've never heard before." Terrell emphasized. "All rural communities need to be on the same page, or they will miss out."

Projects will be selected by priority and must be part of a plan, Terrell advised. Funding decisions will include an evaluation of the economic impact on the region.

Terrell was a guest at the EIDD's annual board retreat. The organization is a project-focused group that covers a five-county region.

2. Regional cooperation must succeed - Lansing State Journal - Lansing, MI, USA

An improved regional awareness will come to mid-Michigan out of necessity and with it, eventually, will come more and better efforts to combine government services.

As state and local governments face another year of financial crisis, it's more clear than ever that finding more ways to cooperate and leverage money-saving efficiencies will be vital.

build on what the region already has started by finding ways to copy it elsewhere. Focus on what has already succeeded and build upon it.

Those who believe it's the wrong course or can't be done should take a deeper look at the lengthy list of existing partnerships.

Start with law enforcement. The Tri-County Metro Narcotics Squad is a highly successful cooperative that dates back to 1968. … Ditto with the region's shared SWAT and dive teams - local leaders must analyze what works.

Other shared services come so naturally we may forget to notice. Books and other media move efficiently through Capital Area District Library, serving patrons at 13 branches. The Capital Area Transportation Authority …

Other shared efforts include the Capital Area Groundwater Alliance and the Tri-County Regional Planning Authority. []

In the works: shared emergency dispatch, shared booking for the Lansing and Ingham County jails, possible shared property assessing services, possible combination of Lansing city and Board of Water & Light garages.

As the number of such efforts under study increases - and it will - the government officials and workers involved need to keep in mind some basic rules.

Everyone at the table deserves to be treated with respect, even in moments of heated debate.

Refusing to succeed is not an option, it's obstructionism.

The region's future depends upon improving its ability to find more ways to work across boundaries to achieve the a common good, in government or elsewhere.

3. Quad-City chambers crafting regional strategy - Quad City Times - Davenport, IA, USA

“One Quad-Cities” emerged as a recurring theme Wednesday as area chamber members gathered to discuss ideas they would like to see included as the bi-state area moves toward a single economic development strategy.

… two shareholder input sessions hosted by the Iowa Quad-Cities Chamber and the Illinois Quad-City Chamber. …

Tara Barney, the Iowa chamber’s president and chief executive officer, told the group that the chambers have been reviewing the area’s numerous economic development plans to begin shaping one strategy. “Today we want to show you some of those goals we think make sense,” she said. “We’re hoping to engage your active involvement here.”

Participants offered input on suggestions for goals linked to quality of life, work force, collaboration, business attraction and marketing, and regionalism — all pieces of the future strategy.

The chambers have hired AngelouEconomics, an Austin, Texas-based economic development consultant, to help create a plan to grow the region’s economy. The firm previously worked with the Illinois chamber to help develop its 2010 Blueprint strategy.

“There are a lot of regional efforts out there, but very few cross state lines … ,” Steve Vierck, AngelouEconomics’ president, said. However, he stressed that regionalism “makes you more competitive so you’re stronger than other regions.”

Vierck said alignment is the key to Quad-City planning efforts. “You don’t need a full new plan. You have several plans in place. We just need to align them.”

Barney said that since December, the chambers have been working to begin combining strategies that include the D1 Initiative, Blueprint 2010, the former Quad-City Development Group’s strategic plan, the Global Growth Initiative, and the plans of individual cities and counties. Their efforts also are folding in the visions of Quad-Cities First, an entity led by the chambers that replaced the development group.


RC: Bi-State Regional Commission

4. To some, urban sprawl is a stretch - Montreal Gazette – Montreal, Quebec, CA

Is there really such a thing as urban sprawl in Montreal? Or is urban sprawl just an urban myth?

Ten years after the creation of the Montreal Metropolitan Community[], municipalities on and off Montreal Island are still at odds on this question.

The MMC was formed in 2001 as a prelude to the municipal mergers forced by provincial law. On-island and off-island elected officials were to come together on the body to discuss issues of regional importance.

Today, the MMC council's 29 representatives - all of them mayors or councillors from cities in the Montreal region - are to hold their first of six scheduled meetings for 2010. As is their custom, they will convene in a conference hall in an office building on downtown Sherbrooke St. W.

There is a sense of déjà vu on the regional political landscape, as the 15 representatives from the island of Montreal and 14 from off-island municipalities prepare to meet.

Unresolved issues relating to sprawl and fiscal fairness continue to dominate, just as they did back in 2001.

The MMC council holds limited political power, compared with city councils in the region and the two "agglomeration" councils in Montreal and Longueuil. But it was given one major task under provincial law in 2001: It was mandated by the government to forge a metropolitan consensus on a land-use master plan for the 82 municipalities in Greater Montreal.

The city of Montreal and anti-sprawl advocates saw the land-use plan as a mechanism to curb off-island sprawl.

But negotiations fell apart in 2005, when off-island municipalities complained that the regional planning bodies to which they had long been affiliated - municipal regional counties, or MRCs - had not been given a political voice in the land-use talks.

5. Self-Organizing the Sun Corridor – The New Republic – USA

Regionalism is too often thought to require government initiative. As a result, progress is associated with full-on structural reform--and so the controversy (and usually frustration) begins.

Look to the Intermountain West, however, and it becomes immediately clear that regionalism need not require top-down government overhaul, and especially need not require it at the “super-regional” scale of the “megapolitan” spaces described by the Metro Program’s 2008 report “Mountain Megas.”

Sun Corridor of Arizona has become a hot spot of self-organized super-regionalism. Putting aside petty inter-metropolitan rivalries, leaders from Phoenix, Tucson, and other locales in the Arizona urban super-zone have increasingly been finding ways to work together--though not by fiat from some higher authority.


Leadership, and Southern Arizona Leadership Council--represents a unique multi-metro public/private push to make serious investments in the region’s innovation capacity.

… landmark resolution of planning coordination among the megalopolis’ three critical local government associations: MAG [], the Pima Association of Governments (PAG) [], and the Central Arizona Association of Governments (CAAG) []. By dint of the resolution, a new multi-metro Joint Planning Advisory Council will now be established in Arizona to transcend even metro concerns and identify mutual megapolitan preoccupations, provide guidance and technical collaboration on joint planning activities, and to enhance communication and cooperation among policymakers in the three metro sub-areas of the giant Sun Corridor megalopolis. How did the new resolution happen? Not by dint of state or federal dictate: Instead, the resolution emerged “horizontally” out of the government associations’ mutual impulse to consider transportation and other development dynamics outside the immediate reach of their specific territories.

In short, regionalism (and super-regionalism) are alive and well in the Intermountain West and elsewhere, but not as matters of formal government initiative. Though the new super-regionalism is voluntary and self-organized, it is in no way insignificant.

6. War over waste - The News-Enterprise - Elizabethtown, KY

A bill in the Kentucky House of Representatives authorizing formation of a pilot wastewater program in seven Kentucky counties has led some to question the motives of its sponsors and to decry a lack of oversight built into the bill.

HB 221 — spearheaded by Rep. Linda Belcher, D-Shepherdsville, and two Louisville Democrats, Reps. Steve Riggs and Larry Walker — allows for the creation of a regional wastewater commission or commissions in Bullitt, Hardin, Jefferson, Meade, Nelson, Oldham and Spencer counties “for the purposes of preserving water quality and developing infrastructure in the Salt River Basin sufficient to promote and sustain industrial, commercial, and residential development.”

The bill cites commercial and residential development from the Fort Knox post transformation as an example of why a regional approach is needed for wastewater collection.

As the area grows, Lee said it is important to look for ways to build consensus across county lines and streamline wastewater collection and service efforts, creating more synergy within the state.

By making it a pilot program, he continued, the state can determine the feasibility of regionalization.

Special legislation?

A commission under this bill would not be identified as a utility, so it would not be subject to Kentucky Public Service Commission oversight. That proposed autonomy has some groups crying foul, claiming the bill will produce the same problems some Louisville residents already face.

“This bill now opens the door to allow six other counties to (endure) the same crap we’ve had to deal with,” said Col. Paul Holliger, operations manager of a group called Stop Invisible Taxes.

Holliger said the bill is almost a “carbon copy” of legislation put into place for metropolitan sewer districts, and it grants a regional commission the authority to set rates and fees with little involvement by the counties or residents.


Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency - Bullitt, Jefferson, Oldham, Spencer -

Lincoln Trail Area Development District - Hardin, Meade, Nelson -

Salt River Basin:

7. Base closure moved SC coastal economy forward – Business Week - USA

A $750 million Boeing assembly plant with thousands of jobs and a $100 million wind turbine test facility were just two of the announced developments that boosted the South Carolina coast in recent months -- none of which seemed possible in the 1990s.

The government was closing the Charleston Naval base and naval shipyard, the region was still recovering from its 1989 battering by Hurricane Hugo and local leaders were using apocalyptic language to warn of a coming economic implosion.

"The weeds begin to grow in the cracks in the pavement and the tumbleweeds of broken dreams and shattered lives blow down the street," Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. told the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission in 1993.

It was the same year David Ginn, now the president and CEO of the Charleston Regional Development Alliance [], moved to the Charleston area.

The closing of the base in 1995 cost more than 20,000 government jobs.

Ginn said it also brought fundamental change in the area economy, bringing together communities once in competition to work together to attract investment to the whole region.

The regional development alliance, formed in 1995, had an early win when Nucor Corp. announced a $500 million steel mill in Berkeley County.

There were 18 more industrial announcements in the region that year and 20 more in 1996, Ginn said.

"It unleashed the power of the private sector by taking this Navy presence out," said Ginn.

Local officials used what was called a hot turnover at the old base. Instead of taking years with master plans, they quickly got companies into existing warehouses and other base facilities. Within six years, 5,000 new jobs has been created and more than $141 million had been invested at the base.

RC: Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester COG -

8. Can regionalism work? - Lansing State Journal - Lansing, MI, USA

Calls for consolidation have grown in recent years with the sinking economy. Local municipal budgets have been hit hard by cuts in state funding and a decline in local tax revenue. While there has been consolidation of some government functions across the region - such as the Capital Area District Library and Tri-County Regional Planning Commission - there are issues still in the way of future consolidation.

And they're issues not unique to mid-Michigan. Experts say taxpayer emotions, political will, local control and differences in pay, benefits and legacy costs between local governments have long been natural hindrances to consolidation.

But one political veteran says the financial realities facing local governments might be the impetus that pushes governments past those issues.

"The ongoing state budget crisis is forcing people to consider options that they wouldn't under normal circumstances," said former Lansing mayor and state legislator David Hollister, who now heads Prima Civitas Foundation [ ], an agency focused on reinventing Michigan's economic base.

Political will

In 2008, Lansing proposed closing one city and one Lansing Township fire station, putting the township's 15 full-time firefighters on the city's payroll. … Township trustees said no after listening to residents' concerns. …

Despite Lansing Township's brushoff, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero remains a strong proponent of consolidation and regional partnerships.

Bernero has recently suggested the Lansing Police Department merge with Lansing Community College's public safety staff. "I'm as enthusiastic as ever," the mayor said. "I just wish we could get some other people to be enthusiastic. In these tough economic times more than ever, we ought to be looking at every opportunity." …

9. Controversy in Paris Makes Regionalism Newsworthy - Brookings Institution - Washington, D.C., USA

If you live in a city or suburb, chances are your regional government has tried to get your attention. Did you notice? Many of the issues your regional government is grappling with are actually important to you: the quality of the air you breathe, the quality of public transportation, the availability of green open space, and more.

As important as these issues are, I can almost guarantee that planners from your region have had to work extra hard to convince the press -- not to mention the citizens that live and work there -- to pay attention. The problem is, regional planning is about as exciting to the public as televised bowling and the press don’t seem to find the topic as newsworthy as it should be.

And then there is Paris. In one year, approximately a hundred articles and editorials on Grand Paris, a new regional effort, were printed in the city’s main paper ...

... President Sarkozy created a political and media frenzy this past year when he announced his intention to design a new Paris that incorporates the suburbs. ...

His push has been to look past local political boundaries and acknowledge the new Paris that is emerging -- one that is both larger in geography and socio-economically more diverse. ...

Sarkozy retained 10 architectural teams with heavy hitters, such as Richard Rodgers, and asked them to “think big” on how to physically redefine the Paris region. ...

As it turns out, Paris already has a plan for their region; one that was formally approved by the local jurisdictions and leaders …

It also turns out that Grand Paris flies directly in the face of the regional coalition building effort under way. An important number of leaders that comprise the region’s 1,231 jurisdictions are already forging a common agenda ...

RC: Ile-de-France Region -

The Regional Council -

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 This could have been the time...

Lansdale Reporter - Serving North Penn, PA, USA

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: If ever there were a natural time for considering regionalizing police coverage in the Souderton-Telford-Franconia area, it should have been now. Both Souderton Police Chief Charles Quinn and Telford Police Chief Douglas Bickel are retiring. With the chiefs gone, there would have been no reason to fight over who would head up such a regional force.

But Telford has promoted Lt. Randall Floyd to chief and Souderton is conducting a search for a new top officer. So, opportunity gone. ... "Regionalization is a tough sell," Allebach said in 2002. "Everyone wants to keep their identity." We can understand that. But it happened successfully decades ago when Hatfield Township and Hatfield Borough created one department. ...

.02 Norwell Question of the Week (1): Don Mauch

Wicked Local Norwell - Norwell, MA, USA

This proposal was not a “merger,” of two libraries as much as it was an outsourcing of one of Norwell’s valued assets. In fact, certain town officials, behind the backs of Norwell’s Library Trustees and staff, chose to “shop,” the library to Hingham and perhaps elsewhere, before contacting Hanover. Unfortunately, because of the lack of openness and transparency on the part of the board of selectmen, it took an outraged community’s time, energy and well-coordinated resources to prove to them that this ill-conceived proposal lacked any meaningful cost savings. Few will argue that “regionalization,” has increasingly taken center stage when it comes to examining municipal cost savings options. But maintaining a town’s own identity and autonomy should take precedence over relinquishing control of a direct, public access service that provides multi-faceted benefits to over 70,000 visitors each year. ...

.03 Regionalism, light rail a priority for Downtown Detroit Partnership

Crain's Detroit Business - Detroit, MI, USA

Regional leaders confirmed a commitment to regionalism and light rail at the Downtown Detroit Partnership's annual luncheon today. ... praised the work of the drafters of the Detroit Declaration, a statement of support combined with 12 policy principles endorsed by many of Detroit’s younger residents and business owners. [ Think regionally and leverage our geography. Maximize our position as an international border city and a Midwestern hub between Chicago and Toronto. Forge meaningful partnerships between Detroit and its suburbs to compete globally in the 21st century.]

.04 Imagine Greater Tucson wants everyone to help shape region's future

Inside Tucson Business - Tucson, AZ, USA

Imagine a community where developers work hand-in-hand with neighborhoods and environmentalists, and business people embrace them all. There is communication and active listening taking place in the group. Far fetched? Not if you are a part of Imagine Greater Tucson, a collaborative effort to provide a blueprint for life in our community as it continues to grow. Many regional visioning efforts have taken place in the past, and the Imagine Greater Tucson group is interviewing those who were involved to learn from them. It will help them design a present process. The blueprint developed by Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities (TREO) and the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan are examples of implementations of community priorities that area already in progress. Imagine Greater Tucson is broader in scope and will build upon these earlier efforts. ... When diverse groups come together, as was proven with Tucson’s own Regional Transportation Plan, our problems can be solved. This is what Imagine Greater Tucson is all about.


.05 Schools see benefits of regionalism, but they're years away

Hudson Hub-Times – OH, USA

Regionalism would ultimately benefit the school district, but a specific plan for sharing of resources and new tax revenue among Northeast Ohio communities is "a long way" off, according to Hudson School Superintendent Steve Farnsworth. Farnsworth addressed the topic of regionalism -- the sharing of resources and tax revenue among communities -- following a Feb. 22 presentation by Hudson Mayor William Currin to the Hudson City School District Board of Education. Currin, chair of the Northeast Ohio Mayors and City Managers Association, told the School Board the organization is trying to get the message out about its Regional Prosperity Initiative, which deals with land use and combined planning. The goal of the initiative is to pool resources for effective land use, Currin said. He said the Regional Prosperity Initiative wants "collaboration for economic growth, new employees, new jobs and the maximum use of resources." Farnsworth said Northeast Ohio "is a long way from the implementation stage of this initiative." "But if it does happen in Northeast Ohio, I believe it will benefit Hudson and the Hudson City Schools," he added. ... "We live in one of the most resource rich regions of Ohio," Currin said. "Don't let anybody fool you and suggest it's anything else -- but we are not competing in the global market place like we should. "We are talking about being in the position to truly take the best practices and develop it to our intricacies here in Northeastern Ohio -- to have a model that I believe will be the envy of many as we move our region forward," Currin said.

.06 Portland area makes pitch to collaborate

Mainebiz - Portland, ME, USA

A new coalition that would collaboratively market the greater Portland area to attract new business and investment is readying bylaws and a pitch for funds as it prepares to launch next year. “We as a region need to figure out what to say yes to,” says Jim Cohen, a former Portland mayor and city council member who works as an attorney and partner with Verrill Dana in Portland and is volunteering his time to assemble the group’s paperwork. The goal is to create a regional economic development authority to represent Portland, South Portland, Scarborough, Westbrook, Falmouth and Cape Elizabeth. ... Despite being the state’s largest population and business base, the greater Portland area is a latecomer to the idea of collaboration. ...

.07 Cieslewicz, Hochkammer and Derr: Cost shifting unravels regional cooperation

Wisconsin State Journal - Madison, WI, USA

The State Journal has long been an advocate of regional cooperation, and we agree that a regional approach almost always saves money and results in better service for our residents. Unfortunately, the Dane County executive’s proposal to start charging Madison for some dispatch services is a step in the wrong direction. ... This wasn’t about public safety, but about cost shifting and the unraveling of regional cooperation. ... What will work is to create a 311 service that can take all non-emergency calls. We are ready to work with the county toward that goal. — Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, Verona Mayor Jon Hochkammer and Town of Bristol Chairman Jerry Derr

.08 Northeast Florida Regional Council Recognizes Leaders Who Foster Regional Cooperation

The Northeast Florida Regional Council recently packed the house at UNF to present awards to the individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations that foster regional cooperation in Northeast Florida. The award winners reflect a diversity of programs and projects and recognized leadership demonstrated by the individuals. The event was hosted by Michael Boylan, President and CEO of WJCT. Awards were presented to: Excellence in Economic Development Tourism - St. Johns County Cultural Events Division for the St. Augustine Amphitheater; Excellence in Education - Northeast Florida Community Action Agency Family Self Sufficiency Program; Excellence in Transportation - for the $7 million capital improvement program for Palatka Municipal Airport Terminal improvements ...

.09 Tri-Town Boards of Selectmen moving forward with regionalization plans

Wicked Local Marion - Marion, MA, USA

Tri-town selectmen got together recently to talk trash, more specifically how pooling their rubbish removal and recycling might benefit the three towns. Marion, Mattapoisett, and Rochester Selectmen decided at their Feb. 25 meeting to move forward with the examination of regionalizing trash and recycling collection, directing Mattapoisett Town Administrator Michael Gagné to proceed with drafting requests for quotations (RFQs) to eventually be transmitted to waste management companies. ...

.10 Ayer, Shirley form regional school district

Boston Globe - Boston, MA, USA

Residents in Ayer and Shirley voted overwhelmingly today to form a two-town regional school district. Special town meetings were held in both towns. The Ayer vote was 287 to 33; Shirley’s vote was 508 to 161. Parents and officials hope that by consolidating services, the district will have more money to spend in the classroom. “I think a majority of the people see this as an educational opportunity – something where we can put more resources into teaching and learning,’’ said Cheryl Simmons, a member of the Ayer/Shirley Regional Planning Board. ...

.11 Freetown favors regionalization, but in small steps

South Coast Today - MA, USA

Full regionalization with Lakeville is probably the best course of action, but the process is best undertaken in small steps. That majority sentiment emerged at a joint meeting of Freetown selectmen, the Finance Committee and the full regionalization study committee on Monday night. The meeting was called to improve communication and ease tensions among those involved in making Freetown Elementary and Assawompset Elementary in Lakeville part of the Freetown-Lakeville Regional School District. "This meeting is to get all the key players in the room to look at the regional agreement to see which direction we really want to go in," ...

.12 Rail is Virginia’s transportation future, officials say

Richmond Times Dispatch - Richmond, VA, USA

Virginia's future is on rails. "Whether you like rail or not, it is the future," said Thelma Drake, the new director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. "It's all about mobility and how you serve the maximum number of people." The state suffered a setback in the recent announcement of federal stimulus grants for high-speed passenger-rail projects across the nation. Virginia sought $1.8 billion but got just $75 million for its top rail initiative. But state and local officials were undaunted in their efforts to improve rail service between Washington and Richmond, and on into the rest of the state. "Our job is to go find the money we're going to need," Drake said. And that money is in Washington. She said that as a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Norfolk, "a big part of my job is the Washington component," convincing federal officials of the value of investing in the state's rail plans. "The Richmond region is perfectly situated in the middle of the federal government's efforts to connect Washington, D.C., to a true Southeast high-speed rail corridor," said Robert A. Crum Jr., executive director of the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission. ...

.13 Leading SPUCC a happy fit - Kearney, NE

Dena Beck ... was elected president of the South Platte United Chambers of Commerce [ ] “It’s been interesting and fun to watch the organization evolve. It’s a 75-year-old organization that got started basically because of water issues and seeing the need for a regional approach to issues in rural Nebraska,” she said. “I really applaud the people who started the organization because it’s still an issue and regionalism is still something we need to keep in mind because it’s our strength.” ...

.14 Save Kaneohe Bay Regional Council

Koolaupoko News

The Bill, SB2340 SD1, that can save the Kaneohe Bay Regional Task Force has been assigned to Rep Ito’s Water, Land and Ocean Resources committee with a second referal to Finance. Rep Ito blocked the companion legislation when the House Bill was assigned to his committee. We can expect him to kill SB2340. He will only change his mind when he receives overwhelming community support for the Kaneohe Bay Regional Council [ ]. The Kaneohe Bay Regional Council has been the community voice for Kaneohe Bay for over 20 years. Killing SB2340 will gag the community. ...

.15 Councilmember involved at national level for Tempe

EVLiving - Scottsdale, AZ, USA

Tempe City Councilmember Mark Mitchell has been reappointed to the National League of Cities (NLC) 2010 CityFutures Panel on Community and Regional Development. Mitchell is a past Chair of the panel. According to the NLC, the panel “identifies challenges to successful regional governance, explores effective local solutions, supports research, and provides guidance and recommendations to city officials.” In 2010, the panel will address the topics of economic development and sustainability. ...

.16 MY 35: Regional Leaders Meet to Discuss I-35 Corridor Improvements

Journal Post -Austin, TX, USA

During the next six months, four Interstate 35 Corridor Segment Committees along the I-35 corridor will meet monthly as part of a new citizen-driven planning effort to develop a blueprint of improvements for the corridor. These committees are comprised of regional community, business, and transportation leaders. Once each segment committee completes its regional blueprint, it will collaborate with the I-35 Corridor Advisory Committee, as well as other I-35 Corridor Segment Committees, to consolidate each regional blueprint into a comprehensive, long-range mobility plan for the entire I-35 corridor. Dubbed “MY 35” this effort will result in a plan that reflects the interests and concerns of citizens for the corridor. ...

.17 ET alliance lists endangered property sites

Knoxville News Sentinel - Knoxville, TN, USA

The regional sites highlighted by the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance on Monday range from homes to schools, church buildings and farmland. But they all share a common feature: They are threatened places that the historic preservation organization believes should be saved. ... Patterned after Knox Heritage's "Fragile 15" list of threatened structures in Knox County, the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance list is designed to bring awareness and focus to threatened places in surrounding counties. "The list helps promote preservation in the region and the work of ETPA, and finds solutions for these particular properties and others across the region," said Ethiel Garlington of Knox Heritage, the nonprofit historic preservation group working with the regional alliance. ...

.18 Study eyes impact of jobs gained, lost in Toledo area

Toledo Blade - Toledo, OH, USA

Among politicians and economic development officials, 100 does not always equal 100, especially when it comes to jobs. Now the Center for Regional Development at Bowling Green State University has prepared a data model to project what the impact of 100 jobs - either gained or lost - does equal within the broader economy of 27 counties across northwest Ohio. The data, compiled from federal government statistics and a private research firm, shows how 100 new jobs in one sector of the economy don't necessarily have the same economic effect as 100 jobs in another, depending on the county. ... Greg Knudson, vice president of Toledo's Regional Growth Partnership and director of its venture fund Rocket Ventures, said the BGSU center's study may be most valuable as a guide for where the local economy in each county has been. ... Mr. Knudson said the study shows how a lack of diversification in the local economy can amplify the impact of an economic downturn. "Because we're so concentrated, when it goes bad, boy, does it hurt," he said.

.19 Regional control of Lambert big change of political flight path - St. Louis, MO, USA

... the Mayor suggested all the region's airports -- including Lambert -- need to be governed by one central body. One official we contacted for reaction said he would have been tarred and feathered for making such a suggestion in the past. Another official, St. Charles County Director of Administration Chuck Gross tells us he's been pushing for change in Lambert governance for years. "I've personally always thought it would be a good idea to have more regional governance of Lambert since it serves so many communities in the area. I've always thought there should be greater representation from those communities." ...

.20 Kansas City regional life sciences summit will discuss collaboration

Kansas City Business Journal, Kansas City, MO, USA

The two-day regional life sciences summit at the University of Missouri-Kansas City promises detailed discussions about the main theme: animal-to-human health collaborations. … William Danforth, chancellor emeritus of Washington University in St. Louis, … framing the summit in philosophical terms. Back in the early days of modern science, Danforth said, pioneers such as Sir Isaac Newton could make great leaps largely on their own. Things are too complicated to do that now, he said. “In today’s world, there’s not much that any of us can do alone,” Danforth said, later adding: “We’re long past the limits of a single brain.” Scientists have adapted by becoming effective at working in large groups. ...

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 EU regional policy investment, no charity, says commissioner

The EU's regional policy is an investment, not a charity, which is aimed at bringing the less developed regions closer to the level of the most developed, the EU's Regional Policy Commissioner told a conference of the European People's Party (EPP) parliamentary group leaders in Budapest on Friday. The task is to set out fewer strategic priorities, which, however should be implemented with a more thorough consideration of the different development level of regions, Johannes Hahn said, on the second day of the meeting. In his opening remarks of the session focusing on the EU's cohesion policy the commissioner mentioned the block's Danube Strategy, of which Hungary was among the initiators, and stressed the importance of macro-regional cooperation projects in the future. ...

.02 Federation signs onto OAS-substitute regional community - St. Kitts & Nevis

REGIONAL leaders agreed to the formal creation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, a hemispheric body serving as an alternative to the Organisation of the American States (OAS). The decision was taken by the 32 Heads of State and Foreign Ministers, including Kittitian-Nevisian Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas, attending the two-day Rio Group summit in Mexico (Feb. 22 to 23). Delegates signed off on a Declaration of the Summit of Unity outlining the foundation of the organisation set to replace the existing Rio Group, a primarily Latin American grouping that was constituted in Brazil almost 24 years ago. The new bloc is aimed at reducing US influence on the region, and membership will not be extended to the United States and Canada. Many details are still to be finalised, but the 33 member states did agree to meet in Venezuela next year to assess progress of the development of a charter. Both the Rio Group and CARICOM will continue their normal operations until the community is officially established. It is still unknown whether member countries will maintain their OAS membership once the new body is launched. …

.03 Frankly Speaking…Local regional realities – and failure

Stabroek News - Georgetown, Guyana

This is my briefest layman’s assessment of Guyana’s attempt – real or cosmetic – to decentralize socio-political, economic authority into the hands, minds and brains of the people who live throughout the length and breadth of our Blighted Republic. ... Writing here lazily and purely from memory, I recall that the late Desmond Hoyte, as minister of something superintended the division of Guyana into ten administrative regions. (As a school boy I knew merely three counties and three or four geographical /natural “regions”.) A Mr T.A. Earle had the assignment – and distinction – of “carving” up our and his Guyana into ten “regions”. But what were his criteria? His rationale? Well, Mr. Earle was tasked by Hoyte – and the visionary, sometimes practical Forbes Burnham – to ensure that each of his ten geographical/ administrative regions was capable of becoming economically viable – if not “independent”; reasonably self-reliant in terms of managing its local governmental affairs of maintaining good relations with its neighbouring region and also capable of indigenous initiatives to produce food, housing and proposals for perhaps unique all-round development. We can see that, in the early eighties, that was a huge order for any of Mr Earle’s new regions. It still is! ... frankly speaking, the “regional system” never worked according to Mr. Burnham’s vision. ... The PPP/C inherited Burnham’s regions in 1992. Like all political entities, they were living and working within those same regions and flawed systems. Is there progress now? Naturally, every year the regional chairmen report “successful” execution of projects. ... More next time. Ponder…

.04 Tories seek to clarify RDA policy in letter to MPs

The Birmingham Post - Birmingham, UK

Conservatives have attempted to end a damaging row over regional economic policy with a letter to backbenchers from the Shadow Cabinet. Shadow Local Government Secretary Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden, and Shadow Local Government Secretary Ken Clarke issued the joint statement promising to “strengthen local economic development and urban regeneration.” It follows confusion over Tory plans to scrap agencies such as Advantage West Midlands, which spends £300 million in the region, during which the two shadow cabinet members appeared to be at loggerheads. Mrs Spelman last year announced plans to encourage local councils to form local economic development agencies, which would replace the regional bodies. But this provoked a strong reaction from business organisations including Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, which insisted the agencies played a vital role supporting local employers. ... senior backbench Tory Peter Luff (Con Mid Worcestershire), chairman of the Business Select Committee, also urged a rethink. He urged his party: “Reform the regional development agencies radically but do not abolish them.” ...

.05 The West Midlands: The region that reinvented itself

The Guardian - UK

In a region that has taken more than its fair share of battering from the storms of the recession, two significant developments have provided an optimistic vision of the future for one of the traditional industrial powerhouses of Britain. Taken together, they signpost the path of the regional economy of the West Midlands – one of hi-tech, low-carbon ventures that benefit from the area's in-built expertise in both workplaces and universities. First, the government declared last month that the West Midlands is now an official Low Carbon Economic Area, in which around £19m is to be invested in research and development of low-carbon vehicles. The money from the government's regional development agency, Advantage West Midlands [ ], and the European Community will fund various joint research projects. … As Professor David Bailey, of Coventry University Business School, puts it: "The so-called sunset industries are turning into phoenix ones. All this activity in low-carbon vehicles is drawing on the expertise in the region from traditional fields which had previously been written off." … Advantage West Midlands. The agency is promoting the region around the world through a new regional marketing board and by Marketing Birmingham, an enhanced marketing operation largely funded by the city council.

.06 East Midlands 'most underfunded region in the UK'

BBC News - UK

The regional select committee is about to publish a report in March highlighting some of the most glaring deficits. A breakdown of Government figures by the East Midlands Regional Assembly shows the region gets just 46% less than the UK average for housing and community facilities - £114 a head compared with £212 nationally. ... So how has it been allowed to happen? The chairman of the regional select committee, Labour MP Paddy Tipping, tells the Politics Show: "There are strong regional identities elsewhere. The North West or the North East have always argued their case. "We've been a bit timid in the East Midlands when it comes to regionalism." ...

.07 REA questions new Government guidance on regional renewables targets

Greenwise Business - UK

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has today questioned whether new Government guidance designed to help regional authorities assess their areas’ potential for renewable and low carbon energy, will do anything to help regions meet their renewable energy targets. The guidance, issued by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) at the end of last week, aims to provide a more standardised approach to identifying which are likely to be the most appropriate areas for renewable energy projects. DECC has provided detailed guidance on a range of renewables, including large and small scale onshore wind, biomass, hydro power and solar energy. ... Each region in England already has it’s own renewable energy target, though these will have to be reviewed as part of the new Regional Strategies which start on April 1 and are designed to provide a framework for sustainable economic growth, tackling climate change and contributing to sustainable development.

.08 People will get a say on local body reform plans – at last

Whangarei Leader - NZ

Whangarei residents are finally getting a chance to have their say on local government reforms. Last year Northland's three mayors decided they were in favour of Northland forming three unitary authorities, effectively scrapping the Northland Regional Council. The three district councils commissioned an $80,000 report into options by Tauranga-based McKinlay Douglas. The recently released report favours either one unitary authority across Northland or two – one for Whangarei and Kaipara and one for the Far North. ... The report, like the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance, concluded two layers of local government is not needed because regional governance is weak and fragmented, and community engagement is poor. ...

.09 We're starting to plan our super city, as Aucklanders are dismayed by their's

At the same time as Wellington’s mayors and their advisors are meeting to discuss the need for a super-city in this region, the concerns from Aucklanders about Auckland’s super-city arrangements are getting louder and louder. Yesterday’s Herald reported that the two leading mayoral candidates are “aghast” at plans for agencies which will be virtually unanswerable to the public. The paper says the super-city will mean that Aucklanders are locked out of decisions affecting their waterfront – as well as important transport issues including road congestion. It’s evident that Wellington’s mayors are pursuing their own super-city discussions at a time when Aucklanders – to whom it’s happening now – are becoming alarmed about the nature of their new metropolis. ...

.10 Why EU is in dilemma over payment of funds for regional development

Business Daily Africa - Nairobi, Kenya

Just who should we deal with? This seems to be the latest dilemma facing the leadership of the European Union (EU) following the findings of a new audit that partly blames a crowded field of organisations for the in-effectiveness of a special fund aimed at supporting regional economic integration in East Africa. ... as the EU moves to disburse the 10th round of the EDF, an audit on the effectiveness of the previous disbursements unveiled massive hitches that would have to be addressed if such funding is to make a mark in East Africa that has four regional integration bodies working at the same time. They include the East African Community (EAC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (Igad) and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC). ...

.11 Economic Potential of Regional Economic Communities in Africa: Spotlight on SADC

The Western consumer markets will no longer be the growth engine for the global economy, says Dominick Strauss-Kahn, President of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). There are obvious alternative markets developing like India and China. However, Africa’s consumer markets are also developing. Africa has a population of close to 900 million. By 2050, it will have a population exceeding two billion, overtaking India and China as their population growth slows. To date, however, the purchasing power of the African consumer markets has been fragmented, resulting in many small consumer markets instead. There is also only a small amount of intra-Africa trade occurring. Intra-Africa trade accounts for less than 15% of cross-border trade in Africa and less than 10% of the GDP produced. The situation is transforming though. European countries had a similar problem with small markets, so to improve their economic strength the European Union was born. Africa is going through a similar process with several regional economic communities (RECs), e.g., Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). As these RECs develop, the goal is to form them as one economic community under the African Union. The goal is to allow companies to move products and people as easily across borders within an REC as within a country. So, foreign businesses and investors can look for opportunities that not only export from Africa, but those serving local markets which can expand to other countries within an REC and on to the entire continent. ...

.12 Community Radio Broadcasters of Asia Pacific call for placing people’s communications rights at the centre of development.

Community radio broadcasters from 20 countries of the Asia Pacific region have demanded to place people’s communications rights at the centre of development. The Bangalore declaration issued at the conclusion of the regional assembly of community radio broadcasters held in Bangalore, India from 20-23 February 2010 has also called for supporting initiatives that aid access to digital and other technological opportunities to enable community broadcasting in an ever-widening scale, while calling for creating spaces on the airwaves for diverse and marginalized voices, irrespective of caste, creed, race, colour, gender, sexuality, faith, and differently-abled or other differences. ...

.13 City positively replies to PP No 19/2010 - Indonesia

Govt. Regulation (PP) No. 19/2010 regulating about Governor Duty Implementation, Authority and Finance Position as a govt. representative in provincial is positively accepted by the city govt. ... the new stage to start the implementation of provincial governance implementation shift, from the previous autonomy regional to shift as a representative of the central giovt. “The PP is implemented to manage provincial governance structure nationally,” said Gamawan Fauzi. The Home Minister explained that the PP is a starter to manage provincial governance in order to set governor authority as the representative of the central govt. based on Act No. 32/2004 about regional governance.


Radio Srbija - International Radio Serbia

In order to encoourage production in undeveloped municipalities and balanced regional development, the Serbian government has adopted a programme worth 100 million EUR, Minister for Economy and Regional Development Mlađan Dinkić told a press conference. More from Zorica Mijušković. The programme adopted by the Serbian government envisages the granting of loans under favourable terms to stratetic investors, who want to start production is some of the poor regions, stressed Dinkić. The requirement for the loan is a marketable investment and the programme is being realized through the Fund for Development. ...

.15 Not more quakes, just more people in quake zones

The Associated Press - Google News

First the ground shook in Haiti, then Chile and now Turkey. The earthquakes keep coming hard and fast this year, causing people to wonder if something sinister is happening underfoot.

It's not. While it may seem as if there are more earthquakes occurring, there really aren't. The problem is what's happening above ground, not underground, experts say. More people are moving into megacities that happen to be built on fault lines, and they're rapidly putting up substandard buildings that can't withstand earthquakes, scientists say. ...

.16 Roundtable Discussion on Disaster Risk Reduction Held

International Institute of Rural Reconstruction

A roundtable discussion on Disaster Resistant Sustainable Livelihood Framework and Decentralized Disaster Risk Management by the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction and Practical Action ... In Practical Action experience of DRSL framework in Duryog, Nivaran in Sri Lanka, DRSL utilizes technology systems like roof water harvesting, ground water harvesting; disaster sensitive farming practices and crop varieties; community based access road construction and community based constructions of minor irrigation channels and flood mitigation structures. It also utilizes processes and approaches like local seed production and delivery systems; land use planning at village level; community based natural resource governance; promotion of agricultural research and innovation as a measure of adaptation to climate change.

.17 French President seeks easier international financing for nuclear energy

Creamer Media's Engineering News - Johannesburg, SA

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has announced that he is going to push international financial institutions to "eliminate the ostracism of nuclear energy in international financing". ... the economics of civilian nuclear power required an initial investment of billions of euros followed by very low operating costs, which requires long-term funding at reasonable rates. For many countries, this creates a barrier that prevents them adopting nuclear energy. ... "Civil nuclear energy is an economic choice .... Frankly, I do not understand why international financial institutions and development banks do not finance civil nuclear energy projects. The current situation means that countries are condemned to rely on more costly energy that causes greater pollution," he said. "I propose to change all this. The World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the regional development banks must make a wholehearted commitment to finance such projects." ...

.18 Stellarton to withdraw from PRDC

Pictou Country Nova Scotia News - NS, CA

The town of Stellarton has voted to withdraw from the Pictou Regional Development Commission [ ] at the end of the 2011 fiscal year. Council took the vote Monday night at its regular council meeting, which went 4-1 with Coun. Denise Taylor voting against. Taylor suggested more discussion was needed before taking the action. “We shouldn’t decide to withdraw unless we’ve got some reasons, or have at least had some discussion.” ... Mayor Joe Gennoe indicated the reasons for the withdrawal were financial and said though the notice will be drafted, it doesn’t rule out reversing the decision in the future.

.19 Playing Well With Others: The Modern Effects, and Future Implications, of Economic Governance With Regards to Collective Ownership

i Magazine – CUNY – New York, NY, USA


Applying what we know about collective ownership and the lasting effects of a disorganized system of governance shows us that long term effectiveness depends on several key measures: cooperation among the sciences (i.e., that data and research are accessible to and can be comprehended by all the involved disciplines); education of the users (so that they are clearly aware of the long-term benefits of cooperation); and limitations of governmental rules and regulations (which tend to be blanket rules that may apply to all sectors of a resource). ...

.20 Legible London - Can better signs help people understand an extremely disorienting city?

London is a city without an organizing principle. Its streets aren't numbered, like New York's, or lettered, like those in Washington, D.C. It's not laid out on a grid, like Chicago, and no Haussmann ever came through to organize its avenues. London is just a bunch of villages that grew and grew until they merged into a giant, wriggling blob. Many of the city's roads date back to medieval times and are so twisty and short that locals don't use the term "block" … London is … a city where pedestrians could use some direction. They're about to get it, in the form of an urban wayfinding system called Legible London. It's an ambitious effort to remake the way people see and use the city. And if it's successful, London will be a less congested, less polluted, healthier place. ...

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 Downsides of Consolidation #1: Neighborhood Redevelopment

Urbanophile - Passionate about Cities

I think the lesson here is that there are always, always trade offs to be made in governance. The trick is to understand the trade-offs you are making and take steps to try to mitigate the inherent problems with the model your city and region operate in. Based on this and the previous post, we might say at high level that for big box government, the pros are stronger civic consensus and cohesion, generally stronger regional and downtown growth, a fairer tax base, and a general lack of totally failed central cities and suburbs. The cons are a weaker city neighborhoods, redevelopment challenges outside of downtown, weaker urban identity, and lower quality development. For small box government it is basically the inverse of this. The pros are a strong central city & urban identity, higher quality development, more redevelopment opportunities. The downsides are civic fragmentation and lack of consensus, the potential for a failed central city, some failed suburbs, and possibly weaker downtown growth. ...

.02 Larry Harvey Speaks at the Regional Culture Mixer


Join us for this very special event! This social mixer is a rare opportunity to meet the visiting 100+ Regional Contacts and community leaders from all over the world! They will be in town to participate in the 4th Annual Regional Leadership Summit. Designed to strengthen and spread Burning Man’s culture, the Summit is an opportunity for the visiting Regionals to learn from one another and to be inspired by the Bay Area Burning Man community. ...

Global Regional Directory


Transition Colorado

Richard Niebuhr and his brother Reinhold Niebuhr, two of the most prominent Protestant theologians of the 20th century, wrote extensively about the problem of “individualist overemphasis.” They considered it in “the big four sins of Western culture—along with racism, militarism and economic imperialism. My experience as a writer on environmental causes for thirty years and two years in the Transition Movement is that “the greens” by and large are tone deaf and visually impaired when it comes to seeing the absolute for collective team action. ... What I mean by corporate action is a team of men and women showing up on the ground at a specific day and time. They are on the same page. They see the need and they do the deed. They share the same core values and they are friends in the best sense of the word. ...

.04 Question

You Envision We Listen Blog

What could be the role for the Netherlands to come to a fully sustainable and ethical economy? What are typical Dutch characteristics that could be exploited to contribute to this? And who would be involved, and in which ways? Comment … So this is where the answer lies: 'historical values' of cooperation and entrepreneurship combined with the notion that nowadays cooperation has gone global. So being ethical towards person X needs to become standard. …

.05 Climate Induced Migration: Don't Overreact

Of Peace and Politics

... climate specialist, mentioned four ways that climate change and migration interact:

1. Desertification and increasingly long drought seasons push people out of their homelands (a relatively slow migratory pattern).

2. Rising seal levels will force people to relocate (slow).

3. More frequent and intense natural disasters induce displacement and people often never return to their original homes (this results in quick, mass migration-- we are seeing more of it already).

4. Competition over resources leads to conflicts, displacement (this could be large scale, and is the scariest option in many ways).

She also provided a lot of hope, though. She mentioned that remittances from migrants back to their home countries far outweighs any government or foreign commitments and that if that resource stream could be tied to adaptation projects it would be a tremendous resource. The entire panel also reiterated that often the very necessity of sharing resources means that there is increased cooperation about things like water rights. Cooperating on environmental issues can then begin to break down other barriers, such as ethnic, religious or political differences. Perhaps the very direness of the situation will force humanity to become more peaceful and cooperative.

.06 African Regional Findings and Plan of Action for the Advancement of the Right of Access to Information

Sabodala_Voix des Communautés Minières Affectées par l’exploitation de l’or



To give effect to the Atlanta Declaration and the African Regional Findings, we call upon the relevant stakeholders to undertake the following actions:

For Regional and International Bodies:

1. The African Union and sub-regional bodies should lead by example and increase openness through a comprehensive disclosure policy related to their operations and functioning.

1. The African Union and its partners should incorporate a review of the right of access to information into the African Peer Review Mechanism.

The Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression and Access to Information should be provided an enhanced mandate and the necessary resources and support to:

1. carry out an analysis of existing relevant regional Charters, Declarations, Protocols, Conventions and other instruments to determine their scope, application and limitations and provide recommendations for making them more effective and, where necessary, for future instruments;

.07 Regional Internet Registries Conducting Internet Community Consultation on ITU IPv6 CIR Proposal

Circle ID

The Regional Internet Registries are conducting a Internet community consultation process regarding the recent ITU IPv6 Country Internet Registry (CIR) proposal. In collaboration with the other Regional Internet Registries, APNIC hosted a special session at APNIC 29 / APRICOT 2010 to give the global Internet Community an opportunity to discuss the issues and ramifications of the alternative model proposed by the ITU. For those interested in the outcome of the recent face-to-face session, a raw transcript and session summary statement are available here: ...

.08 Environmental Service Learning

California Regional Environmental Education Community

Students of all ages can participate in Environmental Service Learning projects that will impact the way they think about the Earth, their bioregion, their local community, and their peers. Students reflections on their actions and impact can be an interesting and powerful motivational tool to instigate many positive changes in the world. ...

.09 Black Mesa Indigenous Support: Regional Coordinators

Censored News -

Black Mesa Indigenous Support (BMIS) is seeking year-round regional coordinators! ... BMIS strives to have our organizing grounded in the needs and input from people on the land at Big Mountain Black Mesa, which necessitates lots of communication, translation, and trips to the land. In addition, we serve as a bridge between outside supporters and the resistance community. We envision a regional coordinator structure that will help us strengthen our ties to outside supporter communities, and build capacity and connection to the land and elders. We are a small, all-volunteer collective and are unfortunately unable to accomplish all that we would like to see in support for traditional resistance communities on the land. Regional coordinators will help us in regards to capacity, as well as aid BMIS in staying accountable by providing input and suggestions from supporter communities nationwide. Most importantly, we hope that regional coordinators will help us build a national network that can support Big Mountain/Black Mesa, as well as regional indigenous resistance struggles, and social movements for the liberation of all peoples and the planet. ...

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 Innovation and the American Metropolis - 20th Annual Regional Assembly - April 16, 2010 - Regional Plan Association - New York, NY, USA

Innovations in technology and management are transforming our lives; how are they changing our cities? RPA's 2010 Regional Assembly, "Innovation and the American Metropolis," considers innovative approaches to the design and management of cities, and asks how they can improve quality of life and economic competitiveness in our region. In the spirit of innovation, the Assembly will feature dynamic forums for discussion and opportunities for long-term partnerships that have regional and national implications.

The Regional Assembly is New York's premier public policy event, bringing together several hundred top business, civic, philanthropic, media, and government leaders from across the metropolitan region and nation. Each year the Assembly focuses on a priority issue. This year, we examine how the innovative spirit and creativity of urban America can build and sustain a better future for our cities.

More information & registration:

.02 Call for Papers - The Search: Future dynamics of regional development - NORSA 2010 June 21 - 23 - Seinäjoki, Finland

University consortium of Seinäjoki, University of Helsinki and University of Tampere would like to invite you to submit an abstract for a presentation at the third conference of NORSA, the Nordic section of the Regional Studies Association.

We are inviting papers from various academic fields concerned with the processes and practices of regional development. Themes of the sessions include, but are not limited to:

- Leadership, collective action and regional development

- Regional innovation systems and environments

- Constructing regional advantage

- Institutions, processes of institutional change and governance

- Culture, creativity and regions

- Issues of peripherality in border regions

- Regional engagement of higher education institutions

- Urban - Rural Interaction: Economic, Social and Political Dimensions

- Small businesses and regional development

- Potential of built environment

- CGE simulation models in economic impact assessment

We welcome papers from academics and other people with academic interest from Nordic countries, Europe and beyond. To encourage conversation and mutual learning, we prefer substantial abstracts of approximately 1000 words/2 pages that present the main ideas, methods and arguments of the presentation. No full papers are expected. Abstracts should be submitted by March 22nd 2010.

Further information on the conference programme and excursions, venue, abstract submission, registration fees etc. is available on the conference website

or by e-mail

.03 Valley Up - Great Valley Center Annual Conference - May 6 & 7, Modesto, CA

Valley Up focuses on regional change and real life solutions that will help the Central Valley's economy as it begins to rebound.

Featured Speakers

Linda Resnick, author of Rubies in the Orchard and Co-Chairman of the Roll International Corporation

Luis Santana, recipient of the 2009 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award and Executive Director of Reading and Beyond

Ideas Worth Sharing

* Individual and collective actions that advance community health

* Young leaders: Why they ran for office and how they won

* Creative reuse: The transformation of old buildings to new uses


.04 "Dirty Rotten Strategies: How We Trick Ourselves and Others into Solving the Wrong Problems Precisely (High Reliability and Crisis Management)" - BookTV – CSPAN - USA

“In a crisis there are no secrets.” Ian Mitroff, Mitroff Crisis Management - How can people or groups tell whether others are deliberately steering us down faulty paths? Mitroff delves into how organizations and interest groups lure us into solving the "wrong problems" with intricate but inaccurate solutions that are based on faulty and erroneous assumptions---and offers strategies and solutions. This address is to the Commonwealth Club of California. Mitroff explains why institutions, businesses and government, deal poorly with crisis. Only 15% of organizations, by his estimate, have the ability to view problems systemically and are crisis-prepared. Abraham Silvers is co-author of the book.

BookTV Video:

14. Financial Crisis. Contents

.01 Banks Take Advantage of States in Fiscal Crisis

Stateside Dispatch - Progressive States Network - Washington, D.C.

The same large banks whose unregulated actions were primary contributors to the economic downturn have also been manipulating state and local governments to profit from budget deficits for years.

Essentially, banks are alluring states with the promise of a means to cut borrowing costs and increase returns through the use of an interest rate swap. The mechanism is a derivative that allows cash-strapped municipalities and states to exchange interest payments on a variable bond deal for an allocation of funds from a bank. So, the bank would establish a fixed rate on the bond and swap for the variable "interest rate of the bond that was set by larger macroeconomic forces, such as the Federal Reserve." Unfortunately, the results have been disastrous.

These type of deals are losing propositions for states and municipalities. Under unfavorable marketing conditions, interest payments and fees associated with these deals can jump dramatically. Since the federal government decreased interest rates to shore up financial institutions, the banks were able to profit tremendously while budget gaps at the local and state level continue to grow. As Mike Elk from the Campaign for America's Future explains:

"While banks are still collecting fixed rates of from 4 percent to 6 percent, they are now regularly paying state and local governments as a little as a tenth of one percent on the outstanding bonds...Banks and states were supposed to be paying equal rates. However, with the Fed lowering interest rates, which was anticipated, now states and local governments are paying about 50 times what the banks are paying...To make matters worse, these state and local governments have no way of getting out these deals. Banks are demanding that state and local governments pay tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in fees to exit these deals."

The deals have cost state governments and taxpayers almost $28 billion in interest and fees at a time when states are already collectively facing billion dollar deficits and considering huge cuts to essential public services.

.02 Governor Christie: "Time to Hold Hands and Jump Off the Cliff" - Chris Christie For President?

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

In an amazingly candid appraisal of the sorry state of affairs in New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie laid it on the line in a speech to about 200 mayors at the New Jersey League of Municipalities.

The speech is 24 minutes long and well worth a listen because it is both an honest admission of the problem, and a refreshingly accurate appraisal of what the solutions are. He chastised the legislature, unions, municipalities, and affordable housing initiatives while promising to do something about all of those.

Unfortunately I cannot find a transcript, nor is there a YouTube video but you can Watch Christie's Speech To League of Municipalities on public television. It starts out with an ad you have to listen to, but it quickly picks up once Christie starts speaking. He starts off in fine fashion calling the legislature's budget "Alice In Wonderland Budgeting."


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 -