Regional Community Development News – October 11, 2010 [regions_work]


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 - .19

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .08

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .07

Financial Crisis …14.01 - .05

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

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


Top Regional Community stories

1. COG Takes Merger Show To High Point - - Greensboro, NC, USA

The Piedmont Triad Council of Governments [] and the Northwest Piedmont Council of Governments [], which split in 1978, might be remerged into one organization at some time in 2011.

Councils of governments (COG) are associations of municipalities and counties that North Carolina law allows to do joint planning and to bring elected officials together to schmooze.

Members of the High Point City Council considered the proposal to merge the two councils of government at a meeting of the City Council's Finance Committee on Monday, Oct. 4. Councilmember Bill Bencini, a member of the Finance Committee, is High Point's representative to the Piedmont Council of Governments.

Bencini strongly supported the merger of the two councils of governments.

"It's going to be a wonderful change in the way the Council of Governments is organized," Bencini said. "As a region, we need to get serious about regionalization and start acting as one."

Ginger Booker, interim executive director of the Piedmont Triad Council of Governments, assured the councilmembers that there wouldn't be a financial liability for High Point.

The Piedmont Triad Council of Governments was created in 1968. There are 12 counties in the Piedmont Triad region. After the Northwest Piedmont Council of Governments split off in 1978, that left seven counties in the original council, including Guilford County.

Booker said that in August 2009, her group prepared a regional sustainability grant, but that it had to be submitted by the Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation, the only group that represented the whole region. The grant was denied.

Booker said, "This is not an efficient process."

The economy being what it is, the efficiency that interested most of the council members was financial.

… the merged council would try to maintain the same funding as the two current councils combined, making the merger revenue neutral.

2. Federal Carrots Get States, Cities, and Agencies Moving to Greater Regionalism - Spotlight Vol. 9 No. 18 - Regional Plan Association, NYC, NY, USA

Oh, what a little federal incentive money will do!

This summer, approximately 900 regions and municipalities put themselves through a rigorous process to apply for $150 million in planning grants designed to increase regional and local capacity to create more livable communities.

Under a partnership of the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency, the majority of the funding, $100 million, will be awarded under the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program. …

For this relatively modest sum, Washington hopes to invigorate partnerships that cross city, county, and state boundaries and break down the silos that separate housing, transportation, economic development, and environmental planning.

if it succeeds, the program will act as a catalyst for aligning future federal, state, regional, local, and private funding over an extended period. The federal interagency partnership has stated that it will use the outcomes of this round of grants to target future funding for infrastructure, housing, and related purposes. The initiative also may leverage new state initiatives. In New York State, the Governor has just signed into law the Public Infrastructure Priority Act, which instructs all state agencies to align their spending on infrastructure with criteria that align with the livability principles articulated by the federal partnership.…

Without question, this new federal effort is in its early stages and success is far from assured. …

Yet if the experience of the NY-CT Consortium is any guide, the program is already having an impact before any awards are made. Participants now talk to each other across municipal and state boundaries and that is likely to continue. … The Consortium … will hopefully connect with a national network of partnerships spawned by these modest incentives and ambitious goals.


Across America, a Constitutional awakening is arising. And just in time because something is brewing. The world is being politically and economically internationalized. The big “transformation” has been in motion for a long time and now it is heading for the finish line. Let’s call this transformation, “Globalism.” So what are the tentacles of modern globalism?


The Globalist invasion is happening right under our noses. Every county in America has its local Agenda 21 implementation underway. We will examine aspects of the “Local Action” plan of ICLEI. ICLEI is the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. ICLEI contracts with American cities to usher them into becoming a local outlet for globalization. Treasonous indeed! This is the most vulnerable globalist organization operating in America today. Now is the time to thwart Agenda 21.

Saturday I will give illustrations of how Agenda 21 plays out in your neighborhoods, cities and landscapes. We will start by viewing a local regional soviet council. The non elected governors of the Rogue Valley Council of Governments are an extra constitutional level of government that advances globalist objectives. Regionalism is the watchword. Former Department of Education official Charlotte Iserbyt writes “Regionalism is Communism.”

Regionalism practiced by the Rogue Valley Council of Governments has birthed and administered the Growth Management policies, and the Environmental, Economic and Transportation strategy for the Southern Oregon area. There is no more prototypical Agenda 21 soviet council in all of America. The scary part is that organizations like the Rogue Valley Council of Governments are everywhere. But the battle is always local.

These are just a couple of concrete examples of the Globalist invasion of Oregon. When I have given you plenty of information I will then suggest what it is that you can do in your own neighborhood to expose and ultimately reverse this anti-American curse that is swarming the entire country.


Note: This perspective has been around for decades. Here it is updated. Ed.

4. Mr Pickles' new regionalism - Local Government Chronicle - UK

Mr Pickles announced his priorities on entering government as “localism, localism and localism”, adding that “we may not deliver our priorities in that order “. His first acts included the abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies and the announcement of a Decentralisation and Localism Bill to replace RDAs with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

More recently, the intention to terminate Government Offices in the Regions has been announced, together with the abolition of the Audit Commission - both justified as liberating localities from a centralist command and control bureaucracy.

The 56 outline proposals for LEPs have been submitted to ministers and have been broadly welcomed by Mr Pickles. He said the “secret to the success” of the LEPs would be the fact that they would be “working on the basis of (real) local economic geography”. “Gone are the artificial political regions of RDAs - this will better serve the needs of local business,” he said.

Mr Pickles will no doubt have particularly welcomed the proposal for a Kent and Greater Essex LEP. Indeed, as reported in LGC, he actively intervened to push Kent, Essex and neighbouring councils together to form this ‘super LEP’.

... his professed priorities of “localism, localism and localism” have always been much more ambiguous and complex than the manner in which he has articulated them. The economic geography of localism is highly contentious and worthy of a much more honest, less evasive debate than hitherto.

Mr Pickles’ first 100 days in office was lauded by many - even beyond the Tory faithful - as the coalition’s star performer. His next 100 days will be more revealing. Will the localism idealist sustain his position as the Thomas More of this government; or will he be shown, when political expediency necessitates, to actually be a man for all regions?

5. Pinal County leaders share region goals at economic development summit - - Gold Canyon, AZ, USA

Government leaders from every corner of Pinal County gathered to unite under the same economic goals … Economic Development Summit … sought to remind leaders of Pinal County’s economic potential and shared goals.

The event was marked by a speech from keynote speaker Grady Gammage, Jr., that applauded Pinal County’s commitment to regionalism. “This conversation is part of a realization that you’re all in this together,” he said. “This sort of thing would never happen in Maricopa County.”

He said that while the county has numerous assets and a business-friendly climate, it would be up to government leaders to properly showcase these features to potential businesses. “You have to market Pinal County as a place, not just a jurisdiction,” he said.

The summit reminded leaders that economic success in one city would ultimately be a success for every city in the county, she said. “The notion that we all benefit collectively, especially with long-range businesses and retention, will enhance all of us,” she said. “The benefits do not stop at an imaginary border.”

… He said the two most key criteria for business sites are workforce skills, such as the education and training available for the residents, and labor costs, which the County must prioritize moving forward.

The dreary economic outlook from Washington and the frustration many Americans feel with the slow recovery has led to a distrust of government, federal and local, Gammage explained. “The trend right now is to think that government is always inherently wrong and bad,” he said.

He argued that government is always performing economic development in its every action, from setting taxes to determining zoning laws, and that government leaders cannot take that role lightly. “What we really want the public sector to do is have a coherent economic development strategy,” he said.

RC: Central Arizona Association of Governments

6. Regional EDC hires pitchman - The Brownsville Herald - Brownsville, TX, USA

They have a marketing plan. They have shovel-ready sites.

Now they have their chief pitchman.

The Rio South Texas Economic Council [ ], an association of roughly two dozen Rio Grande Valley entities with economic development interests, has selected a real estate broker and developer to promote the region to large employers.

Raudel Garza, a former economic development director for Pharr and Mission … has been hired as the council’s first executive director, …

Garza’s hiring is a significant step forward for the council, an agency formed in 2008 to promote the Valley as a whole to outside investors.

Two dozen public and private entities — including local governments, economic development corporations and workforce development agencies — have joined the council that was quietly pieced together by leading economic development officials. Since its inception, the council has developed a comprehensive marketing strategy and identified four locations as shovel-ready mega-sites, locations generally reserved for companies that plan to employ 500 or more people.

But it operated without a full-time staff member until Garza was hired. Garza, who has 17 years of experience in economic development, said he’ll concentrate on convincing advanced manufacturers to locate plants in the Valley.

As the face for the regional entity, he’ll work to generate prospects among employers in seven target industries such as automotive, renewable energy and medical device manufacturers. His job is to convince them to locate somewhere in the Valley, he said. From there, the individual entities can identify the best spot.

"As a group, everybody is speaking the same message. We all want the same thing," Garza said. "We want to be able to attract the right employers that will help benefit our population."

Economic development officials have long said that a regional perspective is critical to bringing capital investment and jobs to the Valley.

RC: Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council

7. Mo Green's Regions Effective But Costly - - Greensboro, NC, USA

In March 2008, the Guilford County Board of Education split Guilford County Schools into odd entities called "regions." A year and a half later, the regionalization plan created by School Superintendent Mo Green is a qualified success, with those parents who know about it reporting that it has improved customer service in the formerly monolithic school system.

The qualification is cost. Green's regionalization plan created 45 positions, at a cost of $4.2 million. He paid for it by eliminating 63 positions, which reduced the school system's spending by $5.3 million. That's a savings to the school system of $1.1 million – but the school system is still spending $4.2 million on its regional offices at a time when it is facing the possibility of extreme budget cuts for the 2011-2012 school year.

Over the last year and a half, numerous parents have said that the five regional offices have drastically improved customer service in the school system – that they've had their complaints resolved more quickly by the regional superintendents and that their concerns are not lost in the bureaucracy in the way they were when parents had to take them to the school system's North Eugene Street headquarters.

In other words, the regional system has gone a small way toward addressing what had been Guilford County Schools' biggest problem since consolidation in 1992: It was just too darned big. With 10,000 employees and 72,000 students, it was just too easy for the concerns of ordinary people to get lost in the machinery. …

Green's plan split Guilford County Schools into five regions, four of which – the central, northern, southeastern and western regions – are geographic. The fifth, dubbed the Enrichment Region, is non-geographic and contains nine of the school system's poorest-performing schools, in an attempt to improve their performance.

8. Southside team takes unified approach to accident reconstruction effort - - Danville, VA, USA

When a pedestrian was struck and killed by a truck in Danville last week, it was more than city police that responded.

A specialized team of crash investigators from several law enforcement agencies in Southside Virginia were on scene to figure out what happened.

“Our job is to get to the bottom line of what happened prior to a vehicle crash,” said Danville Police Lt. Scott Eanes, who heads the team’s Danville contingent.

The unit, called the Piedmont Regional Crash Investigative team, was formed about five years ago and is trained to reconstruct and analyze high profile and fatal traffic accidents in excruciating detail. It’s one of several regional teams in Virginia.

… PRCI team is made up of officers from departments across the region, including Danville, Martinsville, the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia State Police. The Danville contingent has eight members …

The PCRI team was formed in 2005, along with several others in the state, with the goal of working with other departments in the region, so they each wouldn’t have to train a separate crash investigator, …

… computer … connected into a car’s data recorder, which collects and stores information such as speed, engine status and can tell if a passenger is wearing a seat belt. It functions much like black box does in an airplane, and takes away a lot of the guesswork …

The PRCI team’s budget is, for the most part, comprised of grants from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles …

Regionalizing serves multiple purposes, for these often cash-strapped rural departments. First, it allows agencies to conserve budget money by pooling resources. It also gives investigators much-needed experience with what can be a complicated process.

For Eanes, in Danville, that experience means being able to make roads safer.

RC: West Piedmont Planning District Commission

9. Regional Commission audit shows less money for expenses - The News-Examiner - Montpelier, ID, USA

The audit for the Bear Lake Regional Commission [] showed the assets had decreased by $8,371. The audit was presented and adopted at the Sept. 29 meeting.

The commission has been operating without the $50,000 generally contributed to the commission by Idaho State Department of Water Quality.

The commission was told that with 20 percent cuts to all the departments, the regional commission was just one of the state budget items cut.

The regional commission has been operating without a director for the past year and a half with just two persons manning the office. The regional commission also acts as a pass through body for the Bear Lake Convention and Visitor’s Bureau which also has staff.

Revenue for the year ending Jun 30, 2010 came from services provided, from private grants, federal and state money generally for stream restoration projects, local contributions from Bear Lake and Rich County, and interest.

Expenditures included overhead in the amount of $22,024, salaries amounting to $158,076, benefits costing $56,665, supplies costing $56,665, Travel amounting to $26,636, sub-contracts of $65,331, and miscellaneous for $6,298.

Auditor Gary Teuscher warned that one or more of the water quality projects or grant projects completed by the commission cost more than they received. He urged that the staff and board not allow that to happen.

The board talked about law enforcement coordination. The Rich County Commissioners have not signed a cooperative agreement for emergency services because they believe they are still not covered by Idaho’s cap on liability costs.

Norm Weston and Vaughn Rasmussen said they will work with the state attorney generals to make sure everything is in place so that emergency personnel from Rich County can cross the state line. Bear Lake Memorial Hospital has been particularly impacted by the mandate that Rich County emergency personnel cannot cross the line because of lack of liability coverage.

Poulsen said that he wants to continue to pursue money and resources to get a special area management plan that would map out wetlands in the region.

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 Gov. Christie Cancels Most Significant Transportation and Economic Development Project in NJ

Regional Plan Association - News Release - New York, NY, USA

Regional Plan Association, an independent planning organization representing the tri-state region, today released the following statement regarding the cancellation of the Access to the Region's Core project: Governor Chris Christie today announced he would cancel the Access to the Region's Core tunnel project - the largest public transit project underway in the nation - citing potential cost overrun concerns. The decision casts a dark shadow over the economic future of New Jersey. The State will lose out on an astonishing $6 billion matching contributions from the federal government and Port Authority. The tunnel would have opened New Jerseyans' access to Manhattan's lucrative job market, raised tax revenues for the state and local governments, boosted property values, provided a more reliable and faster commute to hundreds of thousands of NJ TRANSIT commuters and drivers, and saved on greenhouse gas emissions. ... "The decision to cancel ARC is an enormous disappointment," said Bob Yaro, president, Regional Plan Association. "ARC was desperately needed by the residents of New Jersey who now face limited access to the most lucrative job market in the nation, less reliable commutes and more congested roadways at the Hudson River crossings for the next generation."


.02 Editorial: Light at the beginning of the tunnel

The Times of Trenton - Trenton, NJ, USA

We're heartened by the news that Gov. Chris Christie has decided to give the multibillion-dollar Hudson River commuter train project another chance. After a time-out to assess costs overruns associated with the project to widen and ease New Jersey's access to New York, the governor last week summarily axed the Access to the Region's Core (ARC) project. Many who protested the move see the project as integral to the state's future prosperity. But after meeting Friday with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Gov. Christie agreed to a two-week evaluation of options. ... Instead of just washing his hands of the project, we're glad to see Gov. Christie take a step back and reconsider what's already been invested in this project and how it might proceed. There are indeed options: ...

.03 Georgia Association of Regional Commissions Signs Esri ELA

Esri News Release - Redlands, CA, USA

The Georgia Association of Regional Commissions (GARC) has signed an enterprise license agreement (ELA) with Esri to secure unlimited access to ArcGIS software. GARC works to advance the efforts of the state's 12 regional commissions, which serve local governments across the state. The ELA will help GARC members better meet geographic information system (GIS) technology needs in counties, cities, and towns, resulting in improved services for citizens. "I think this is one of the biggest landmark decisions that the executive directors of the Georgia Association of Regional Commissions has made in its existence because it not only helps the regional commissions, it helps all the citizens in the state of Georgia, collectively," said Chris Chalmers, GIS/IT committee chairman, GARC. "In the economic times we find ourselves in, improving the quality of service to our local governments is not only the goal of each regional commission but also the Georgia Association of Regional Commission's main goal." With broader access to current ArcGIS software, GARC members will update and improve many GIS workflows and applications. For example, individual commissions will begin replicating data with one another for better contingency planning. If a hurricane damages the Coastal Regional Commission systems, commission leaders will be able to access their data immediately via the Middle Georgia Regional Commission GIS.

.04 AIA Contract Documents Releases Documents for Regional or Urban Planning, Single-Family and Mixed-Use Residential Projects

RealEstateRama - Tampa, FL, USA

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today announced that it will release new and updated documents for regional or urban planning, single-family, and mixed-use residential projects. These documents address the unique requirements of urban planning, single family residential development, and multi-family and mixed-use residential projects. According to the National Association of Home Builders it will be necessary to build more than a million housing units each year to meet the underlying needs of the nation’s population and, over the next decade, the rate of new household formations is expected to average at least 1.4 million a year. Moreover, it will be necessary and desirable to replace some of the existing 125 million housing units in the U.S. with housing that is more energy efficient and otherwise built to modern standards. “The AIA Contract Documents Committee understands and supports the shift toward effective regional and urban planning, and mixed use and residential project development,” said Ken Cobleigh, Managing Director and Counsel for the AIA Contract Documents content team. “We have updated and created these documents to provide a framework that clearly delineates the roles and responsibilities of parties involved in these projects.”

.05 DISASTER IN THE GULF Report: BP fines should aid coast 'Steady stream' of cash, task force needed, writes Navy secretary

Houston Chronicle - Houston, TX, USA

A large amount of the fines collected from BP for its oil spill should be set aside and dedicated to the Gulf Coast's recovery from Florida to Texas, according to a federal report intended to be the framework for repairing the ailing region. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who wrote the report, urged Congress on Tuesday to dedicate a "significant" share of the penalties to restore the ecological and economic health of the Gulf after the spill. The goal, he said, is to create a steady stream of money for the task, which will require billions of dollars and take years to complete. The Mabus report also calls for the creation of a task force to administer the new fund and a portion of the money to go directly to states impacted by the spill. President Barack Obama called the report "a commonsense proposal for a path forward" and said he would ask for dedicated resources from Congress to the effort. The recommendations need a change in law because the fines assessed against BP would be for violations of the Clean Water Act, and money now collected for such violations goes to a trust fund to clean up future oil spills. …

.06 Rawlings-Blake calls for more regional partnerships

Baltimore Business Journal - Baltimore, MD, USA

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called for more cooperation with surrounding governments and business owners in the first address by a sitting mayor to the BWI Partnership. As the city seeks more visibility from international events like next year’s Baltimore Grand Prix road race downtown, Rawlings-Blake said addressing regional issues like transportation will take on ever more importance. Addressing the BWI Business Partnership at its monthly breakfast meeting Tuesday, Rawlings-Blake said she hopes her remarks will be the first step in a closer relationship between the city and its regional partners. “I do believe in regionalism, it has always been important to me,” Rawlings-Blake said. BWI partnership Executive Director Linda Greene said she appreciated the mayor’s appearance and her message about the need for a stronger relationship between Baltimore and the BWI area. …

.07 University of Michigan economists predict reversal in job losses for five-county region

Crain's Detroit Business - Detroit, MI, USA

Recovering automotive production and U.S. gross domestic product this year will help reverse the erosion in local jobs in 2011 for the first time in more than a decade, according to a new report released today for the five-county Economic Growth Alliance. The Economic Outlook Report, prepared by the Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy at the University of Michigan, calls for Oakland, Livingston, St. Clair, Lapeer and Genesee counties to lose a collective 10,860 jobs this year, but add 2,586 jobs in 2011. … The Economic Growth Alliance was formed in early 2009 out of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson's discussions with executives from the four other counties. It's goal is to “affect legislation, economic development, planning and other shared interests” and promote business opportunities within the region as a whole.


.08 Carp not just Michigan issue

The Detroit News - Detroit, MI, USA

The extreme and unnecessarily drastic proposals demanded by Michigan regarding Asian carp unnecessarily risk the jobs of hundreds of thousands of workers across the Midwest and throughout the Mississippi Valley region. The importance of the small stretch of water that links the Mississippi River Basin to the Great Lakes and to thousands of communities across the country with ties to the waterways must not be ignored. Yet Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox said more than 90,000 concerned regional residents signed a petition demanding the federal government take immediate action to close the locks in the Chicago Area Waterways System. … It appears that the goal of the petition is to influence newly appointed federal Carp Czar John Goss as he begins his work. … A study released by the Ports of Indiana found that the Indiana freight that flows through the Chicago locks is responsible for 17,655 jobs and more than $1.9 billion in regional economic activity. … it became clear that there is no scientific consensus that in the event a small number of Asian carp do find their way into the Great Lakes they will be capable of establishing a sustainable population. This evidence, along with a growing concern that human transport, rather than the waterways, is the most likely pathway for carp to reach the Great Lakes, underscores the importance of moving beyond radical calls for lock closure and hydrological separation. … The debate over lock closure and "Chicago's mess" is not a problem for Chicago alone -- the economic implications of separation will ripple throughout the entire region and beyond. Even Michigan, dependent on the steel produced in Indiana's mills, will feel the pinch. In other words, this is a national problem. While re-establishing the natural barrier between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River basin sounds like a good idea in theory, the history of the canal system and its deep integration into the way we do business in the Midwest is something that should not be so easily dismissed. …

.09 Candidates gather for low-key chat on wildlife issues

Kennebec Journal - Kennebec, ME, USA

Hunting and fishing issues took center stage Friday when the five gubernatorial candidates on the Nov. 2 ballot talked about fish hatcheries, land conservation and a variety of other topics. ... When it comes to the natural resource agency merger, Mitchell said she didn't support it as Senate president and wouldn't support it as governor. Cutler said that, while it makes sense to merge some governmental entities, he wouldn't support it either. LePage and Scott said they see a bigger role for counties. As mayor of Waterville, LePage said he's seen several examples of failed consolidation efforts from the state, including school district consolidation, emergency communications and corrections. "We either have to allow county governments to be a catalyst for regionalization or we have to get rid of it," he said. ...

.10 ODU economist predicts dour decade for Hampton Roads

The Virginian-Pilot - Norfolk, VA, USA

Hampton Roads faces a "mediocre" economic outlook over the next decade, weakened by a decline in defense spending and the aftermath of the recession, Old Dominion University's annual State of the Region report says. James Koch, an economist and former president of ODU, said Wednesday that he was "pretty pessimistic" about the future. "In the next five or 10 years, I don't see very strong levels of economic growth," said Koch, who edited the report. ... Defense spending in the region, he said, has nearly doubled in the past decade to $20 billion a year. It now accounts for 45 percent of the local economy, up from 28 percent two decades ago. That will make Hampton Roads particularly vulnerable to defense cuts, ... And Koch predicted that the region would suffer economically with the end of the war in Afghanistan, which he said is costing the United States $120 billion a year. Continuing the war, Koch added, would not be "a viable political platform in the next election" for president, in 2012. Long-standing transportation problems also make the region less attractive to businesses and the military, Koch said. "We've essentially punted on that development," he said. Road improvements, he said, will demand a higher gas tax and steep tolls, which Koch acknowledged would be politically unappetizing. He termed rising sea levels "the problem of the 21st century for the region." Local water levels rose 15 to 17 inches in the past century, he said, while land sank 3 to 4 inches. ...

.11 Our View: Historic towns have modern approach to providing services

The Salem News - Salem, MA, USA

The towns of Wenham (incorporated in 1643) and Hamilton (1793) continue to show that even communities as old as those on the North Shore can combine services without sacrificing their uniqueness. The founders of the state's first regional library and joint operators of an outstanding regional school system, the two towns are now discussing the possibility of operating a combined senior center. ... The Patrick administration recently provided seed money for a regional emergency dispatch center that would be operated out of the county sheriff's offices in Middleton. While the project has been unpopular among some public safety officials in the area, Patrick pointed out that in contrast to the 250 separate such facilities in Massachusetts, there are just four serving the entire state of California. ...

.12 Frugal Atlantic County towns learn it's nice to share - Atlantic City, NJ, USA

While other municipalities go it alone under New Jersey’s tradition of home rule, three Atlantic County cities have already collaborated to provide sewer, ambulance, school and court services. And two of the cities have even gingerly broached what is unthinkable in most towns — asking whether police departments could merge. Northfield, Linwood and Somers Point each have representatives on a shared-services committee that occasionally discusses potential joint ventures. … Some local residents say they’re in favor of the moves to consolidate.

“I think due to the times, you have to be,” said Richard Coburn, of Linwood.

“I think it’s good,” Doug Mason, another Linwood resident, said as he sat on a bench on the city’s bike path. He especially thought ambulance service and schools were ripe for regionalization: “It doesn’t make sense for every small community to have their own,” he said. … A toolkit of reforms proposed by Gov. Chris Christie is supposed to help municipalities address the civil-service requirements and other budgetary issues, but legislation meant to enact the reforms has yet to be approved. …

.13 Region 2000 receives economic development recognition

The News & Advance - Lynchburg, VA, USA

The Region 2000 Partnership received an honorable mention award from the International Economic Development Council on Tuesday, recognizing the partnership’s promotion of regional collaboration. The partnership won the recognition in IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards category for Regionalism and Cross-Border Promotion for communities with populations between 200,000 and 500,000. “Our awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in communities,” said William Best, IEDC chair, in a news release. “(Region 2000) is showing that they are at the forefront of the economic development profession and are using innovative and effective practices that can be replicated in other communities.” ...

.14 Regionalism: It's Everywhere

Times-Dispatch - Richmond, VA, USA

The headline reported: "A Fuzzy Start for Thinking Regionally." The column continued: "A new, high-powered business group is ruffling feathers in the local establishment as it pushes the fragmented . . . region to cooperate more to deal with such issues as excessive traffic, inadequate education, and imbalanced economic growth. The 2030 Group, led by wealthy, suburban-based developers, wants to promote debate over whether to build a stronger regionwide governance structure . . . ." The columnist says that the group has been criticized for its approach to transportation issues and for "being overwhelmingly white and male and thus not reflecting the region's diversity." A professor who advises the group says, "We're really trying to get people to think more regionally." The columnist concludes, "We could all benefit from that." ... piece ... discussed Metropolitan Washington. With various tweaks, it could apply to almost every metro area in the country -- including Central Virginia.

.15 Editorial: The regional approach

Pensacola News Journal - Pensacola, FL, USA

The announcement that high-tech manufacturer Avalex Technologies will build its $10 million expansion in Gulf Breeze — with room to grow — is a major win for regional economic development. It also puts a new spotlight on regionalism, something new Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Jim Hizer is enthusiastically committed to. Hizer came to the Pensacola chamber preaching regional development. And the concept has long gotten good verbal reviews here. It is the practical application that has been less than smooth. Hizer wants to reverse that by creating strong partnerships with nearby counties, especially Santa Rosa. It is the right approach. But the truth is that there are people who remain uneasy at the thought of true regionalism — at least if it doesn't spread the direct benefits sufficiently. ... the understory is that strong efforts were made to find a location inside the City of Pensacola, where the company is located now, or in Escambia County. The efforts were not successful. ...

.16 A Serendipitous Landfill Option - Greensboro, NC, USA

Greensboro's garbage disposal wasn't on the agenda, but a possible long-term solution to that problem provided the most telling part of the Tuesday, Oct. 5 meeting of the Greensboro City Council. City Councilmember Robbie Perkins has been preaching regionalism as the long-term solution to the landfill problem facing Greensboro every chance he gets, and during an unscheduled exchange on Tuesday night it appeared that regional solution may be closer than ever. Randolph County Commissioner and former Piedmont Triad Council of Governments Chairman Darrell Frye spoke to the City Council about the plan to combine the two council of governments (COG) organizations in the triad into one. But while Frye was at the podium, Perkins took the opportunity to ask Frye about the reopening of the Randolph County landfill, which was closed in 1997. Frye said they had 750 acres available and that so far all of the reports back from the state have been positive. Frye said, "We will keep you informed and hope to work with you." After the meeting Frye said that the Randolph County commissioners see the landfill as a moneymaking proposition for Randolph County, and if it works out they hope to make enough on the landfill to cut several cents from the property tax rate. ...

.17 Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging to offer free on-site health insurance counseling

Pine Journal - Cloquet, MN, USA

... Health Insurance Counseling is presented by the Senior LinkAge Line®, a program of the ARDC’s Area Agency on Aging. The Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC) serves the people of the Arrowhead Region by providing local units of government and citizens groups a means to work cooperatively in identifying needs, solving problems, and fostering local leadership.

.18 Concern remains over lack of solutions to worsening on-call dilemma - USA

In 2006, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons published a position statement regarding growing concern over the lack of proper acute trauma care and urgent general orthopedic care. In what has since been termed the ‘on-call dilemma,’ physicians are finding it more difficult — given a potential lack of reimbursements, increasing practice costs, increasing uncompensated care, worsening paperwork and the medical liability climate — to provide proper on-call hours. Some regions are more troubled than others, but it has become obvious that a problem still exists and must be corrected. Correcting that problem is difficult, however, and this difficulty is rooted in the multivariate nature of the issue itself. ... Tornetta suggested a trauma care system wherein smaller issues get handled in smaller centers and larger issues get handled in the larger, with a certain number of trauma centers that are well supported for a certain population of patients in each region – a system he says would increase efficiency. ...

.19 Going Coastal

LA Weekly - Los Angeles, CA, USA

... Nowadays not only on the Pacific Coast, but to some degree on the Atlantic as well, we see another rise of a beach craze — not as a real pastime or object, but in the form of "just being coastal." With the lack of regionalism in the U.S. due to the capacity of the Internet to turn the nation into one big blob — to give kids the idea that their locality is closer to a Facebook wall than any particular town — this concept of "being from someplace" seems particularly novel to the new generation. ... new "coastal" groups have found that merely expressing their day-to-day rituals stereotypical to their California lifestyle (good weather, weed stores, health food) can become a marketable band ethos. ...

.20 ON THE BALLOT: New Regional Fire Authority?

KEPR-TV - Pasco, WA, USA

The November ballot will include a measure to create a Regional Fire Authority for people who live in Benton County Fire District 3. If it passes, it would also create a new tax for people who live within Prosser’s city limits. Fire Chief Doug Merrit says it guarantees money to pay for firefighting services. "What it does is it brings together utilization of resources and revenue in one agency, as opposed to two," said Merrit. The City of Prosser says the Regional Fire Authority would mean it won’t have to pay for fire services out of its general fund. Fire Commissioner Larry Mercer has concerns about the measure and says it’s not a good idea. "We'll still have the same cumbersome, six member board that requires a super-majority to pass anything. There won’t be any reduction in staff, no reduction is stations or equipment," said Mercer...

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 Open Days 2010 – cities and regions working towards Europe 2020

New Europe - Etterbeek, Belgium

The European regions are at the front-line when it comes to get the EU's economy back on track and on the way towards growth. Targeted and well coordinated regional investment in innovation and research,, training and job creation, education and skills, energy and sustainability is the key to realise the ambitious goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy for economic recovery . With over 240 partner regions and cities on board, the OPEN DAYS from 4 until 7 October, provide a focal point for sharing views and experiences to prepare the EU for new and global challenges says EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn. The EU's cohesion policy - worth almost €350 billion over 7 years - provides support for 455 regional development programmes across the EU. With its three funds – the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund - cohesion policy works to help the least prosperous regions catch up with those that are more developed. Technology parks, high-speed transport links, urban regeneration, waste treatment plants: these are just a few areas where regional funding helps to transform regions across Europe.

Open Days 2010 Video:

.02 Regional development policies: Place-based or people-centred?

Economic development is not evenly spread, and in some places it is still yet to arrive. This column looks at suggestions from the World Bank’s World Development Report to combat this inequality. … 2009 saw three major reports on the nexus: * A report authored by Fabrizio Barca (2009) for the EU made the case for “tackling persistent underutilisation of potential and reducing persistent social exclusion in specific places through external interventions…” * An OECD report (2009) argued that persistent disparities between regions imply unused growth potential, reckoning that since “per capita GDP in the top-ranked region of a[n OECD] country is at least double that of the lowest-ranked region”, it is better on efficiency and equity grounds for policies to target the lagging regions for growth-enhancing policies. * The World Bank’s World Development Report Reshaping Economic Geography (2008) proposed policies that recognise the spatially unbalanced nature of economic growth. Reality check: Economic growth will be unbalanced The OECD and Barca reports are kind-hearted and well intentioned. But they do not face up to a fundamental fact. Prosperity does not come to every place at once, and to some places it does not come at all. ... Regional development policies have tried to encourage – even coerce – enterprises to move away from the leading regions where economic activity has become concentrated, and locate in lagging regions. Over time, these policies have become somewhat more enlightened. Instead of discouraging enterprises from locating in leading areas, they now claim to encourage economic activity in lagging regions, to “exploit their unused potential.” This is a belated recognition of the power of economic concentration. Less charitable observers call these “new” place-based policies “old wine in new bottles”. Integrate, integrate, integrate ...

.03 Building Biotic Peace: The CBD talks in Nagoya, Japan, present an opportunity for UN negotiators to overcome their reluctance to link ecology and peace.

Policy Innovations - Carnegie Council - New York, NY, USA

Even though "peace-building" has been a primordial stated goal of the United Nations system, environmental treaties under its auspices have stayed clear of attempts to link agreements to conflict resolution. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is a notable exception insofar that the "programmes of work" in several areas of the convention mention transboundary cooperation and peace-building. However, these themes are often relegated to platitudes with little action because of a paradoxical fear that peace-building will politicize and hinder progress on the agreements. It is high time that negotiators overcome this visceral reluctance to link ecology and peace-building. Searching for Standards Ecological regions defy political delineations and thus any efforts to impose physical boundaries in such areas invariably have an impact on natural processes. Consider the impact of border fencing and patrolling along the US–Mexico border, which is expected to affect 60 to 70 percent of wildlife refuges along the Rio Grande Valley. As new forms of regional governance evolve, such as the European Union or various regional cooperation associations, there is greater potential for managing ecosystems beyond political boundaries. However, there is no organized mechanism that lays out clear guidelines and protocols on codes of behavior in such areas within international law. …

.04 Regional cooperation needed to protect Himalayan glaciers: Jairam

Prokerala News - New Delhi, India

Indias Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh has stressed the need for regional cooperation for the protection of Himalayan glaciers, ... Addressing a symposium on Bridging the Data Gap for Adaptation to Climate Change in the Hindu-Kush Himalayan Region at Kathmandu Monday, the minister reiterated the challenges facing the region and the need for solid scientific information as the basis for decision making and improving governance. The symposium was organised by International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) to discuss issues of climate change and trans-boundary cooperation. "The behaviour of Himalayan glaciers is fundamentally different to that of the glaciers in the polar regions, and they need special investigation and analysis. Biodiversity does not stop at geographical boundaries, and countries must work together for protection and management and to support adaptation," he said. "The future lies in regional cooperation based on strong national institutions," he added. ...

.05 Regional plan delivered to minister

ABC South East NSW - Australia

The New South Wales Far South Coast's Regional Development Australia group has presented its strategic plan to the Federal Government. The group is a committee of 14 representing the area from Berry to the Victorian border, and the plan outlines a vision for the next five years. Issues such as broadband access, transport, population growth and health are addressed in the document, which has been given to the new Minister for Regional Australia, Simon Crean. The Chair of the group, Rob Pollock, says the region could benefit from the political climate. "I'm sure we're all waiting very much to hear the types of ways that the Federal Government plan on delivering the increased funding which has been worked out with the independents for regional Australia," he said.


.06 Crean, Joyce conflict on what "regional" is

Stock & Land - Fairfax Digital - Australia

REGIONAL Development Minister Simon Crean conceded yesterday there could be some argument about which parts of Australia should benefit from the $9.9 billion promised to regional areas over the next decade. But he said the government planned to implement a new approach to regionalism, encouraging local communities across the whole continent, including capital cities, to come up with strategies for their future, The Australian Financial Review reports. Mr Crean told the National Press Club in Canberra yesterday that the funding promised as part of a deal with independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, would be earmarked for "non-urban" areas where roughly a third of the population lived. He said this would not include Newcastle, north of Sydney, which would be deemed urban but it was unclear at this stage whether it would include the Gold Coast. "Of course, there'll be some definitional argument about that," he said. ...

.07 Regionalism as a new factor of division

Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review - Istanbul, Turkey

A somewhat clearer picture is beginning to emerge from Sunday’s referendum as the dust begins to settle. A “post mortem” of the results points to a number of factors that will no doubt be determinant in the lead-up to the general elections next summer. The first thing to strike one is the map of how votes were distributed regionally. This shows that the Aegean and Mediterranean coastlines overwhelmingly rejected the package of constitutional changes prepared by the Justice and Development Party, or AKP. Apart from three exceptions – and discounting the predominantly Kurdish southeastern provinces of course – the majority in the rest of Anatolia, including the traditionally conservative Black Sea region, cast a “yes” vote in the referendum. … the AKP held its ground in the interim period, despite some highly controversial policies that under normal circumstances would have lost any party the government in Turkey. But this map also tells us is there is a new fault-line in Turkey in the shape of “regionalism,” and this can now be added to the other fault lines that already exist. In addition to the division between the Kurdish Southeast and the rest of Turkey, we now have the staunchly secular Aegean and Mediterranean Coastal regions, as opposed to the conservative and religiously oriented “inner Anatolia.”

.08 Case for regional integration 'compelling'

Business Report - Johannesburg, South Africa

The case for regional integration is "compelling", … While South Africa supported the global integration system of the United Nations for problem solving, there had recently been a tendency towards regionalism and regionalisation to address problems, Ntsaluba said.

"Some see the global community at the UN -- which consists of 199 countries -- as far too cumbersome." South Africa tended to participate in a number of smaller forums such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the country was seen as a regional power on the African continent. … "If a country belongs to the SADC and there is political cohesion in that organisation, it means that the region's influence on global affairs increases." The process of regional integration would not always run smoothly. "It can be fraught with suspicion, it can be fraught with frustration but logic dictates that South Africa should stay the course." …

.09 Shuvalov Says Regional Asset Sales May Hit $10Bln Per Year

The Moscow Times - Moscow, Russia

The government may seek to double income from privatizations by selling regional state assets to help close the budget deficit, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said Friday. The federal government may take in about $10 billion a year over the next five years from asset sales, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said last month. Shuvalov said selling assets belonging to major cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg "on a national scale" may generate the same annual income. "There's a huge number of interesting companies, from infrastructure to the financial industry," Shuvalov said in an interview. "We will develop specific plans with the regions on individual companies. Three hundred billion rubles ($10 billion) should be the minimum target for them." State asset sales will cover 16 percent to 17 percent of the budget deficit in the next three years, Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina said last month. The government is seeking to boost revenue to narrow the deficit, which may reach 5.3 percent of gross domestic product this year. ...

.10 High-speed rail link to boost regional economies

London Wired - London, UK

The proposed high-speed rail network could help inject billions of pounds into the UK's regional economies, it has been claimed. Recently announced by transport secretary Philip Hammond, the plans will see a high-speed line operating between London and Birmingham, with the service eventually extending north to Leeds and Manchester. Although not expected to be in operation for approximately 15 years, the project could help swell economic output by £1.4 billion in the West Midlands alone, according to transport group Centro. It also believes that the area will benefit from the creation of 22,000 jobs as a result of the new line. ...

.11 Our cowardice is troubling'

Tehelka - New Delhi, India

What is Mumbai’s charm for you? You come to Mumbai for wealth but also for a sense of self-making. It rewards you for imagination, energy, work, confidence. There are fewer links here to caste or kin. The city feels malleable. It’s the most plastic city in India. Delhi has the depth of Mughal history, Chennai and Kolkata have their secure Tamil and Bangla cultural definitions.

Isn’t that charm eroding with its recent regional chauvinism? First, there was the long colonial overlordship, then there was the nationalism project and now regionalism demands your identity against urbanism. Mumbai has not defeated the Shiv Sena since all political parties have accepted it as a Marathi city. So the Sena has won at the level of the State, law and regulations — but not everyday life. It can’t impose its Marathi hegemony on Mumbai life. What about its fabled cosmopolitanism? ...

.12 Tanzania tops regional governance survey

The Citizen - Tanzania

Tanzania is the best governed country in East Africa, a new continental report shows. Ranked 15th among Africa’s 53 countries, Tanzania scored higher than the regional average for East Africa which was 45, according to the Mo Ibrahim 2010 Index country rankings. ... Tanzania has climbed 19 places and is placed top among the five East African Community member countries followed by Uganda (24), Kenya (27), and Rwanda (31) and Burundi (32). ... East Africa was the fourth-highest ranking region in the 2010 Ibrahim Index. The region ranked fourth out of the five regions in Safety and Rule of Law and Sustainable Economic Opportunity as well. In the remaining two categories, Participation and Human Rights and Human Development, East Africa was ranked third out of the five regions.


.13 Study urges shared design for island ferries

REMOTE ISLAND communities off the Irish and Scottish coastlines could benefit from a common ferry and harbour design, according to a new cross-border study. Such a “one-design” approach would save money and allow for shared expertise and greater transport reliability, the study part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund has found. Three Irish and five Scottish islands formed the basis for the report, which has been presented to Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Pat Carey. The experience of Donegal’s Arranmore and Tory islands and Rathlin, Co Antrim, contributed to the analysis, which was also focused on five island routes off the west coast of Scotland. The study was undertaken by Grant Thornton consultants for Mr Carey’s department, in conjunction with Northern Ireland regional development and Scottish state ferry company Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL). ...

.14 Decisions on Natural Resources Regional Plan available today, October 11

Infonews - New Zealand

Environment Canterbury will formally notify decisions on the chapters of Canterbury’s Natural Resources Regional Plan which relate to water, land and riverbeds on Saturday, October 23, 2010. They are available on the organisation’s website from today, October 11, 2010. In making the information available, Environment Canterbury commissioner Peter Skelton said the notification of the decisions was an important step in the ongoing regional planning for water in Canterbury. “The regional plan is intended to sustainably manage the region’s natural and physical resources. A substantial body of work has been carried out to get it to this stage and it is now time to notify decisions and move to the next phase of regional planning. Our goal is to ensure Canterbury has in place a robust regional policy and planning framework to ensure the region’s water resources are effectively managed in an integrated, comprehensive and forward-looking manner. “Notifying these decisions represents another step towards the Natural Resources Regional Plan becoming an operative plan. At the same time we are looking widely at Environment Canterbury’s planning framework to ensure it supports the needs and aspirations for the future of the people of Canterbury.” ...

.15 Australien - ADF to take part in major regional security exercise

Australian Army personnel will join Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) personnel for a major military exercise conducted off Malaysia starting today. Exercise Bersama Padu 2010 (BP10), which means “together united” in Bahasa Malaysia, is a three-week exercise designed to enhance regional security in the area. This is the first time an Army platoon has participated in the exercise, which will also involve armed forces from Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and the United Kingdom. The exercise, which is part of the Five Power Defence Arrangement (FPDA), will take place at various locations across the Malaysian Peninsula as well as the South China Sea. “The FPDA was established 39 years ago and continues to be an integral part of the regional security architecture because of its ability to adapt to the changing security environment,” Lieutenant General Evans said. ...

.16 Regional mandatory sharia finance body "years away"

KippReport - Dubai Media City, UAE

The formation of a Gulf-wide sharia council with the mandate to set industry rules, rather than just issue guidelines in its present form, is still “years away”, a senior executive at regulatory body AAOIFI on Monday. Speaking on the sidelines of an industry conference, Assistant Secretary General Khairul Nizam said few expect such a centralised sharia council to be in place before 2013. “It’s an idea at the moment. It can help the Islamic finance industry because, if the committee has some regulatory bite to it, it can make AAOIFI standards mandatory,” said Nizam. Currently, standards set by the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) board are considered guidelines, rather than rules. ... discussion over whether scholars should have a limit on the number of boards they sit on. Currently just 20 of the top scholars appear on 54 percent of sharia board positions, according to a report by consultancy Funds@Work. ...

.17 Regional Plan of Action to curb piracy on Indian Ocean


The Eastern and Southern Africa – Indian Ocean Ministers and European Union High Representative held the 2nd Regional Ministerial Meeting on October 7, 2010, Grand Bay, and Republic of Mauritius. The meeting observed Africa borders the major sea lanes of the world and is therefore strategically situated. Thirty-eight (38) African countries are either coastal or island states. This demands great attention on the part of Africa’s coastal states in terms of protection of the maritime domain that had so far not been comprehensively secured for the African people. The meeting was attended by Republic of Maldives, People’s Republic of China, India, Pakistan, Russian Federation and US. Also in attendance were UN, AU, INTERPOL, IONS, COMESA, EAC, IGAD, IOC and SADC. The meeting promised to develop, agree and implement a Somalia Inland Action Plan to counter and prevent piracy. It also decided to encourage States of the region to undertake prosecution of pirates apprehended in the region with the financial and technical support of the international community. The capacity of States within region would also be strengthened to secure their maritime zones. ...

.18 Regional forum on Plastic Waste Management organised in Takoradi

The Chronicle - Accra, Ghana

Plastic waste management has, over the years, become an albatross on the neck of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies, which has culminated in the holding of a consultative forum in Takoradi by stakeholders, on possible ways of managing waste in the country. The forum, which was organised by a committee tasked by President Mills to collate views on possible ways of stemming the tide, offered representatives of various institutions in the Sekondi Takoradi metropolis the opportunity to offer suggestions on ways of addressing the menace of plastic waste in the country. ... Deputy Western Regional Minister, Ms. Betty Bosomtwi-Sam, said it was time for the government and regulators to ensure compliance of the rules and regulations governing the management of waste in the country. ... “Environmental cleanliness should not be the exclusive concern of the assemblies, but the public as well.” ... “Plastic materials that unfortunately find themselves in the soil block the free movement of air and water in the soil (aeration), because of their resistance to decay, thus affecting the proper growth of food and cash crops. ... perennial flooding that hit some major cities in the country annually, was a result of the dumping of plastic waste and other solid waste into drains, thereby making the communities prone to flooding, with its concomitant diseases such as malaria, diarrhoea and cholera. ...

.19 Regional Brand needs smart, savvy logo re-design

Run your own logo design project.

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 Spatial Planning and Capital Investment Prioritisation: Coordinated Regional Governance but How?

Ireland after NAMA

The National Spatial Strategy Update and Outlook, published on Tuesday, identifies the NSS as a ‘critical instrument for prioritisation and coordination of scarce resources ‘. Integration between strategic spatial planning and capital investment prioritisation is further identified as a key means of delivering the objectives of the National Spatial Strategy. Indeed academic and policy advocates of European spatial planning have long argued that strategic spatial planning is a means of saving money, through its focus on coordination across policy sectors. … At the regional level the Update and Outlook stresses the role of Regional Authorities (RAs) and the new Regional Planning Guidelines (published this year) as a framework for ‘monitoring the integration of national, regional and local planning’ and strengthening arrangements for policy coordination between government departments, public sector agencies and local authorities. Indeed the Regional Reports published by each RA in the late 1990s set out a strong agenda for joined-up governance at the regional level. The reports, however also point to significant obstacles, many of which remain equally relevant today. These include an incompatibility of regional boundaries used by different agencies, a culture of competition among agencies and a lack of incentives for coordination and collaboration. In order for the cross-sectoral policy coordination potential of RAs and regional planning strategies is to be realised significant changes in governance cultures will be necessary as well as subs ... The National Spatial Strategy is as much about joined-up governance and policy coordination across the public service as it is about planning policy per se. The importance of getting this right should not be underestimated in context of the current recession and associated pressures for ‘capital investment prioritisation’.

.02 Stuck in Traffic – Worst Peak-Hour Commutes in America

Creative Class

Being stuck in traffic ranks as one of life’s most miserable experiences, according to researchers who study happiness, and unfortunately too many Americans find themselves spending more time stuck. A new report by urbanist Joe Cortright for CEOs for Cities provides a new ranking of the the nation’s 51 largest metro areas, based on the length of peak-hour commutes and the time commuters spend in peak-hour traffic. Americans living in large metro areas spend an average of 200 hours in peak-hour traffic. But peak-hour travel time varies from more than 250 hours to less than 150 hours across these metros. ... The new ranking generates some surprises, especially when compared with other measures of commuting and congestion. Large metros do much better than expected. Even though their roads are notoriously congested, Chicagoans have the least onerous peak hour commute, according to this new metric, ... The key lies in urban form, the report concludes. Denser metros enable more commuters to live closer to where they work, while more sprawling regions cause residents to endure longer trips. The report estimates that if “the top 50 metros followed suit with Chicago” residents would drive “about 40 billion fewer miles per year and use two billion fewer gallons of fuel,” and generate a total costs savings of $31 billion per year.

.03 Kansas City leaders go to Indianapolis to see a non-dysfunctional city in action

Pitch Blog

Kansas City civic leaders are in Indianapolis learning how a real city is run.

Business and political elites are visiting Indy as part of a three-day leadership exchange. Upon arrival, the Kansas City crew took a tour of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before attending panels that might as well as be titled "Here Are Things You Were Too Dim to Figure Out for Yourselves." Kristi Smith Wyatt, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce's senior vice president for government relations and policy, has been providing coverage of the event on her Twitter page. Her posts indicate that Kansas City's exchange students are getting some much needed lessons in government services, regionalism, urban planning and the arts. Here are some of her tweets: ...

.04 Megaregional Migration


It’s almost become a truism that human capital is of paramount importance in the modern economy. It’s also becoming evident that networks play an increasingly powerful role as a determinant of urban success. It doesn’t seem like such a leap of logic to hypothesize that a city’s human capital network might be the most important one it has. So you would think cities would consider it mandatory to have a good understanding of their human capital flows. Without that, you are flying blind. Alas, few cities seem to have even the most rudimentary ideas about this. Why is that? For one thing, it’s not easy to determine. The Census Bureau publishes net migration figures, but that doesn’t tell you anything about where people are coming from or going to, or anything about them. The Internal Revenue Service publishes very useful information on place to place migration, including data about income flows. ... I ran the numbers for gross migration between the twelve large greater Midwest metros I tend to focus on here, and it’s fascinating stuff. Since Chicago is the capital of the region, I’ll share today migration between Chicago and these others cities. Here is a graph of total gross migration for the 200-2008 period. It’s MSA-MSA data – I just shortened the names for space reasons: ...

.05 When Planning Is Inadequately Comprehensive

Next American City - Philadelphia, PA, USA


In the United States that planning authority—which ultimately results in decision-making—is completely decentralized. This means that not only do the states and the federal government plan, but so do municipalities, regional groups, even sometimes neighborhood associations. In some ways, this is a positive reflection of the degree to which Americans cherish their democracy. On the other hand, it diminishes the ability of governments to make coherent and long-lasting decisions about how to invest. When it comes to transportation, the fragmentation of planning can be incredibly problematic, since transportation works best when it is thought of and implemented as an integrated network.


.06 Offshore Wind Collaboration, Cooperation and Competition

Clean Energy Blog - USA

… American Wind Energy Association’s first North American Offshore Wind Conference & Exhibition in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Over the past couple of days, the conference provided many opportunities for meeting people from all parts of the offshore wind industry from around the world. Even though many of the people, companies and even states are in competition with each other to develop the biggest turbine, the longest blade, build the quickest ship or provide the best tax breaks for businesses, there was a surprising amount of collaboration and cooperation throughout the conference. Nowhere is that collaboration more apparent than in governmental cooperation to build the offshore wind industry. A proverbial alphabet soup of agencies and departments that usually compete with each other for funding and personnel are working side-by-side to ensure speedy, safe and environmentally friendly use of America’s oceans. ... Many of the obstacles facing the offshore wind industry are shared not in a piecemeal, city-by-city or state-by-state fashion, but on a regional scale. The oceans do not stop at state jurisdictional lines, nor do the animals and habitats in them. Cultural and social concerns change all along the coasts - something that works in the Northeast is not guaranteed to be acceptable in the Southeast. Our oceans are likely to be better protected and developed with offshore wind farms quicker if entire regions that share mutual values and situations join together to help build the U.S. offshore wind industry. ...

.07 Cuts Watch #274: Regional reports on cuts and young people

Touch Stone Blog

Ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review, Children and Young People Now have published a series of in-depth regional reports on cuts impacting on young people. A summary of the key cuts impacting on children’s services is provided below: Bath and the North East - The council was hit with in-year spending reductions of more than £1m from its area-based grant in June. ...

.08 Additional resources: Asian regionalism

Asia Security Initiative Blog

Two recent releases from the East Asia Institute consider how the countries of East Asia are being drawn closer together. First, Dr. Muthiah Alagappa, distinguished fellow at the East-West Center, gave a talk at EAI on September 15th in which he considered the impact of Asia’s increasing global importance on regional institutions, which often began life as defensive and reactive arrangements but may not be appropriate for an era in which Asia’s issues of concern are global issues of concern. As such, the countries of the region will have to consider whether the designs of existing institutions are appropriate to meet current challenges. Second ...

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 2010 State of the Future - Millenium Project - Washington, D.C., USA

This “report card on the future” distills the collective intelligence of over 2,700 leading scientists, futurists, scholars, and policy advisors who work for governments, corporations, non-governmental organizations, universities, and international organizations. The 2010 State of the Future comes in two parts: a 83-page print executive summary and an attached CD containing about 7,000 pages of research behind the print edition and the Millennium Project's 14 years of cumulative research and methods. Some unique features not available in other global assessments include:

  • Building Collective Intelligence Systems
  • 15 Global Challenges
  • Producing the State if the Future Index Using the International Futures Model
  • Emerging Environmental Security Issues
  • Latin America 2030
  • Futures Research and Gaps Around the World
  • 800 Annotated Scenario Sets
  • It is produced by the Millennium Project with its 35 Nodes (groups of futurists and organizations) around the world, which collects, feeds back, and assesses insights from creative and knowledgeable people on emerging crises, opportunities, strategic priorities, and the feasibility of actions.

“Although the future has been getting better for most of the world over the past 20 years, the global recession has lowered the State of the Future Index for the next 10 years. The global financial crisis and climate change planning may be helping humanity to re-think its assumptions and move from its often self-centered adolescence to a more globally responsible adulthood, states the report. “This year’s annual State of the Future is an extraordinarily rich distillation of iformation for those who care about the world and its future. It describes in non-technical language what the educated person should kno0 about the world and what to do to improve it'' says co-author and Millennium Project Director. Jerome C. Glenn

.02 GLOBAL CITIES AND THE 2010 INDEX - Foreign Policy - Washington, D.C., USA

We are at a global inflection point. Half the world's population is now urban -- and half the world's most global cities are Asian. The 2010 Global Cities Index, a collaboration between Foreign Policy, management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, and The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, reveals a snapshot of this pivotal moment. In 2010, five of the world's 10 most global cities are in Asia and the Pacific: Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, and Seoul. Three -- New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles -- are American cities. Only two, London and Paris, are European. And there's no question which way the momentum is headed: Just as more people will continue to migrate from farms to cities, more global clout will move from West to East.

.03 Looking for Good Answers to the Tough Questions Facing Our Cities (CSV)

@CodeforAmerica ThinkUp

Tell us how technology is making a difference in your city; point us to good ideas, where they're happening, and the people and organizations behind them. Reply to any of the questions below to deepen our collective understanding of how cities are becoming more open.

.04 Tourism and Regional Development - RSA Research Network Event - 30 March - 1 April 2011, Östersund, Sweden

Call for Papers: Deadline 15th January 2011

.05 10th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference - February 3-5, 2011 - Charlotte, NC, United States

Join the Local Government Commission [ and smart growth practitioners, researchers, and advocates from across the nation for the 10th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Charlotte, NC from February 3-5, 2011.

The three-day conference includes more than 95 plenaries, breakouts, implementation workshops, specialized trainings, peer-to-peer learning opportunities, and coordinated networking activities for participants.

The conference, which includes underlying themes of capacity-building and financing smart growth, invites experts to discuss how cutting-edge smart growth policies and practices can impact issues ranging from job creation, energy conservation, to public health.

.06 12th International Conference on Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management - July 5-8, 2011 - Lake Louise, AB, Canada

For close to 20 years, Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management has been one of the premier international conferences for the exchange of ideas and applications of computer technologies to address urban problems and opportunities. Researchers or practitioners are invited to submit abstracts by 1 December 2010.

Abstracts should be less than 300 words, and contain a title, a short description of the proposed paper topic, sources of data, methods, and a discussion of the implications for urban planning and urban management. They should also contain keywords to identify the area of research, and indicate whether a full paper will be ready for review on February 15. Abstracts should be accompanied by the name, affiliation, and contact information for each author, with an indication of which author plans to attend and present.

For further information and for instructions on submitting abstracts, email or visit

.07 Government of Alberta Land-use Framework – Alberta, Canada

On December 3, 2008, the Land-use Framework was published reflecting Albertan’s input. The Land-use Framework consists of seven strategies to improve land-use decision-making in Alberta:

Strategy 1 - Develop seven regional land-use plans based on seven new land-use regions

Strategy 2 - Create a Land Use Secretariat and establish a Regional Advisory Council for each region ...

14. Financial Crisis. Contents

.01 Austerity: Common Sense or Nonsense? - Triple Crisis Blog

Mark Blyth, faculty fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, illustrates the flawed logic behind public austerity measures governments are adopting in the wake of the financial crisis and the consequences such measures would have on the poor. ...

Note: Video visually relates debt, leverage and balance sheet issues. Depending upon the speed of your connections, you may wish to download and play. Ed.

.02 America’s China Bashing: A Compendium of Junk Economics -

It is traditional for politicians to blame foreigners for problems that their own policies have caused. And in today’s zero-sum economies, it seems that if America is losing leadership position, other nations must be the beneficiaries. Inasmuch as China has avoided the financial overhead that has painted other economies into a corner, nationalistic U.S. politicians and journalists are blaming it for America’s declining economic power.

I realize that balance-of-payments accounting and international trade theory are arcane topics, but I promise that by the time you finish this article, you will understand more than 99% of U.S. economists and diplomats striking this self-righteous pose.

The dollar’s double standard gives America an international free ride

For over a century, central banks have managed exchange rates by raising or lowering the interest rate. Countries running trade and payments deficits raise rate to attract foreign funds. The IMF also directs them to impose domestic austerity programs that reduce asset prices for their real estate, stocks and bonds, making them prone to foreign buyouts. Vulture investors and speculators usually have a field day, as they did in the Asian crisis of 1997.

Conversely, low interest rates lead bankers and speculators to seek higher returns abroad, borrowing domestic currency to buy foreign securities or make foreign loans. This capital outflow lowers the exchange rate.

There is a major exception, of course: the United States. ...

.03 IMF To Push For Global Framework Of Regional Financial Safety Nets

The Wall Street Journal – New York, NY, USA

The International Monetary Fund will this week pitch a plan for a global framework of regional financial safety nets so that future crises can be better-managed.

Much like its cooperation with the European bailout fund, the IMF is also working to establish a structured arrangement with existing regional financial liquidity facilities around the globe.

As part of the IMF's annual summit, officials are hosting a meeting of regional facilities to discuss ways to cooperate and improve crisis prevention. The IMF wants a more concrete safety net infrastructure instead of the existing raft of scattered initiatives in order to help avoid scrambling to craft emergency responses.

The Fund acts like the fire station for the global economy, providing rescue loans when countries are ablaze in crisis. But over the years, countries in Asia and Latin America have tried to shun the IMF because of the tough conditions attached to the loans, instead trying to put together regional bailout funds.

During the Asian financial crisis of a decade ago, the IMF and the U.S. Treasury killed a similar idea put forward by Asian countries, called the Asian Monetary Fund, because they feared it would compete with the IMF. Since then, though, regional funds have proliferated and the IMF has tried to convince them to collaborate. So far, the discussions haven't gotten very far.

The Fund has already begun to develop links to the Chiang Mai initiative, which is a $120 billion Asian currency swap agreement, but wants to expand its network to include other regions, such as the Middle East and Latin America.

apply the lessons of the European debt crisis to their network of regional safety nets. Economists say that the delayed response in constructing the European stabilization fund … exacerbated the damage and spill-over effects across the continent.

.04 Poland’s Central Bank Governor Belka on Currency Wars - The Wall Street Journal - New York, NY, USA

Poland’s central bank governor Marek Belka spoke with The Wall Street Journal on the sidelines of the IMF meetings in Washington, where he offered his views on currency wars, quantitative easing, the zloty and Poland’s eventual entry in the euro zone. The following is a transcript of his remarks.


“Of course it worries me. All those wars produce a lack of stability, and the warring parties forget the basic point. The bottom line is devaluations and appreciations change your competitive position temporarily but they don’t change your competitive position for good. If you want to strengthen your competitiveness by devaluing your currency, this is a sign of despair, this isn’t a policy. I am worried because this destabilizes the global economy and it does not lead to rebalancing, something we all long for.”


“I feel uneasy because it means that we are using all the guns and the war chest becomes empty. So we are trying everything and yet the economy is not going out of weakness.

There is this marked difference between continental Europe and the US and to a certain extent UK. The European economic and social model is more resistant to the kind of protracted weakness of the economy that you may see. The American model is entrepreneurial. They have to do everything to avoid long-term structural unemployment. Europeans are sort of accustomed to it. Americans are not.

This explains this drive to either fiscal stimulus or this quantitative easing too. If the exit is well built into the economy you shouldn’t be so concerned; if the mop up of excess liquidity when the time comes is relatively straightforward maybe quantitative easing is not so dangerous.”


.05 A radical pessimist's guide to the next 10 years - Globe & Mail - Vancouver, British Columbia, CA

The iconic writer reveals the shape of things to come, with 45 tips for survival and a matching glossary of the new words you'll need to talk about your messed-up future.

1) It's going to get worse

No silver linings and no lemonade. The elevator only goes down. The bright note is that the elevator will, at some point, stop.

2) The future isn't going to feel futuristic

It's simply going to feel weird and out-of-control-ish, the way it does now, because too many things are changing too quickly. The reason the future feels odd is because of its unpredictability. If the future didn't feel weirdly unexpected, then something would be wrong.

3) The future is going to happen no matter what we do. The future will feel even faster than it does now

The next sets of triumphing technologies are going to happen, no matter who invents them or where or how. Not that technology alone dictates the future, but in the end it always leaves its mark. The only unknown factor is the pace at which new technologies will appear. This technological determinism, with its sense of constantly awaiting a new era-changing technology every day, is one of the hallmarks of the next decade.

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. This newsletter is research seeking confirmation of this thesis. It is a compilation of news links about and for regional communities pursuing local and regional development that has been published on line since November 11, 2003.

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.

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