Regional Community Development News – May 9, 2011 [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 - .10

Blogging about Regional Communities … 12.01 - .03

Announcements and Regional Links13.01 - .05

Financial Crisis …14.

State Maps with Regional Councils and Alternatives by Census Regions and Divisions 15.

Bold italic highlights “grist for the mill of local-regional thought and action.”


Top Regional Community Stories

1. Regionalism: why we need it and why it works - The Verde Independent - Cottonwood, AZ, USA

Regionalism. Everyone has an idea of what it means to interact across jurisdictions or other boundaries or barriers, but dozens of folks from throughout the Verde Valley gathered Friday to get more grounded and inspired about how to take regionalism past an intellectual notion to implementation and success.

Yavapai District 3 Supervisor Chip Davis speaking of all the opportunities for tourism the Verde Valley has to offer told the forum, "We need to break down that wall. We have it all. We just need to market it together."

Peggy Fiandaca, … worked … to help communities create their own community plans, said, "Regionalism is not easy, but it can be so powerful. First you need to find common ground and then it will take off from there. The easy part is the planning, but the hard part is putting it into action."

On the state level

… Center for the Future of Arizona … hired the Gallup Poll to sample the Arizona population and found surprising consensus among Arizona citizens over issues and policy positions about where people live and their attachment to the community. But the poll also found state representatives don't speak for the people's interests, something that is also a national phenomenon. While there is a strong affinity with the natural beauty of the area, people don't communicate with their neighbors.

On the local level

Wine Consortium … evolution … combined Verde Valley Chambers agreed to cross-promote tourism across the Verde Valley.

That understanding, he said, led to the Verde Valley Regional Economic Development Council. … Today the Verde Valley Wine industry is a $5.5 million industry, with 13 producers and 21,000 cases of wine a year, and growing.

"Regionalism works if you want it to," said Pitts. "You just have to put your prejudices behind you."

2. Weld, Larimer economic development plan called key example of regional cooperation - The Greeley Tribune - Greeley, CO, USA

The economic development plan Weld and Larimer county officials have presented to the state calls for reductions in government regulations, better branding of the region and continued cooperation between the two counties on projects such as water storage.

The plan is part of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s bottom-up economic development effort, which sought input from the state’s 64 counties and 14 regions. Each county was asked to develop its own plan, which then helped to form regional plans. The regional plans will come together to form the state’s economic development blueprint.

“I believe this has been a very positive exercise,” Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway said after the meeting. “This has been probably one of the most productive regional exercises that Weld and Larimer counties have done in a long time.”

Gaiter said cooperation will be key to further economic development in the region, particularly when it comes to branding. Weld and Larimer form Region 2, which leaders from both counties want to rebrand as NoCo.

“We want to brand the area,” Gaiter told the handful of people gathered at the Weld County commissioners meeting room at the Weld County Centennial Center in downtown Greeley to watch the presentation. “It’s deliberate to brand NoCo as northern Colorado and have people think that it’s both Larimer and Weld counties. There is a lot of synergy between the two counties.”

Among 44 action items in the regional plan, it called for:

» Promoting the movement of the National Western Stock Show from its current Denver location to one in southern Weld. The Stock Show is looking to relocate and has not picked a site.

» Supporting the creation of NASCAR track in Weld.

» Moving the governor’s Energy Office to northern Colorado.

3. Tax Dollars Pitched for Legislators’ Nonprofits - The Nerve - South Carolina Policy Council

Three nonprofit regional economic development organizations whose boards of directors list at least one state lawmaker could each receive up to $671,000 in state tax dollars next fiscal year under a Senate Finance Committee proposal, a review by The Nerve found.

The committee’s chairman, Sen. Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence, and another committee member, Sen.Yancey McGill, D-Williamsburg, are board members of one of the organizations, the North Eastern Strategic Alliance (NESA), according to NESA’s website ( McGill has been the longtime chairman of NESA’s executive committee.

Former state Rep. Doug Jennings, D-Marlboro, also is a NESA board member and served on it while he was a legislator, records show.

Another sitting state senator, Democrat Brad Hutto of Orangeburg County, serves on the SouthernCarolina Alliance’s board of directors, according to the organization’s website (


Under the Senate Finance Committee’s budget proviso, state funding for each of the seven organizations would have to be matched dollar-for-dollar with private funds. The state funds would be dispersed by the S.C. Department of Commerce.

A similar proviso was included in the previous four state budgets, The Nerve’s review found. But the total amount to be dispersed over the four fiscal years was $3 million – $2 million less than the proposal for next fiscal year, which starts July 1 – and the Lowcountry Economic Network and Alliance wasn't allocated as much as the other organizations in previous years.

In vetoing the $3 million appropriation in 2007, then-Gov. Mark Sanford said in a written message, "While these organizations are in many cases doing a fine job in complementing the efforts of the Department of Commerce, funding them equally at the state level cuts against the notion of having a coordinated, statewide approach to economic development because each alliance has a different mission that does not represent all areas of the state."

The General Assembly overrode Sanford’s veto, records show.

4. Gregory A. Sekula | Hoosiers have a stake in saving Whiskey Row - The Courier-Journal - Louisville, KY, USA

As residents of this region we call Kentuckiana, Hoosiers also have a stake in the outcome of the Iron Quarter/Whiskey Row preservation debate. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer recently spoke to Southern Indiana business leaders and stressed the importance of regionalism and working together on both sides of the river to achieve a competitive edge in an increasingly global marketplace. Historic preservation needs to be an integral part of that regionalism discussion — as both an economic development strategy and a quality of life issue.

Louisville's Main Street is one of our region's greatest assets. Its historic buildings with their attractive cast iron storefronts have proven extremely adaptable for a variety of uses, including office space, upper-story housing, first-rate restaurants, museums, a theater, art galleries, and even a boutique hotel. These projects represent a sizable physical investment in our community — … Couple that physical investment with the economic impact that these uses generate from commerce to heritage tourism and you begin to see a full picture of sustainable development.

And yet, historic buildings are an endangered species. Let's be truthful. What we lose we cannot afford to replace in kind. …

We have a rich heritage in the Ohio River Valley that contributes to a unique identity and quality of life too often ignored and dismissed. Too often preservationists are dismissed as “anti-progress” or zealots who are out of touch with the economic realities of a contemporary world. Yet, if you take the time to move beyond the clichés and stereotypes, you find a conservative movement that seeks reasonable solutions to managing change in a time of escalating energy costs and diminishing natural and man-made resources caused, in large part, by unsustainable development practices.

Gregory A. Sekula, AICP is Southern Regional Director of Indiana Landmarks

5. Concord asks, 'Where's the money?' in regional planning for local development - San Jose Mercury News - San Jose, CA, USA

A regional planning agency's blueprint for the Bay Area's development through 2035 paints a pretty picture, Concord officials say. But they have one question: Where is the money to make it happen?

Concord is to be a center of growth, adding 19,328 homes and 29,366 jobs by 2035 -- more new jobs than any other city in Contra Costa County. Richmond is the only city in the county projected to have more housing construction than Concord.

That makes sense, Concord leaders say. The Concord Naval Weapons Station is labeled as priority development area, Concord's downtown is set as an area where growth is appropriate and the commercial area north of Highway 4 is labeled as an employment center.

But to build the environmentally friendly developments the plan promotes, the city will need more money for infrastructure and transportation improvements, according to a comment letter it is submitting.

"It doesn't work unless there is the ongoing money to maintain infrastructure," Mayor Laura Hoffmeister said.

In March, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments released the plan, called the Initial Vision Scenario for 2035. It projects 902,600 new housing units and 1.2 million new jobs across the Bay Area in the next 24 years.

The plans stem from California's landmark legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

The idea is that by planning housing, job centers and transportation infrastructure with an eye toward reducing the need to drive, the region's greenhouse gas emissions will drop.

The regional plan also raises a question about the division between local and regional authority.

Even though the regional plan will have the force of state law behind it, Concord's City Council will still make final planning decisions.

"We have to kind of fit into this vision," said Concord planner Phillip Woods. …

6. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning Ramps Up Technical Support Capacity Through Partnership -

Local Governments for Sustainability USA (ICLEI USA) welcomes the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) as its newest Regional Affiliate and the first in Illinois. Under the Regional Affiliate Program, ICLEI USA will provide the agency with state-of-the-art tools to help local governments in northeastern Illinois improve sustainability performance—from software that measures energy expenditures to calculators that evaluate the impacts of different planning scenarios to policy templates that greatly improve the probability of plan execution.

“Regional planning bodies, including metropolitan planning organizations and regional councils of government, are increasingly important partners to local governments,” said Mayor Patrick Hays, City of North Little Rock, AR, Corporate President and Chair of the Board of Directors, ICLEI USA. “Municipalities have long looked to them for data, technical expertise, and as conveners on critical regional issues. And because a growing number of metropolitan areas are creating plans for regional prosperity, as has been done in northeastern Illinois with GOTO 2040, localities will benefit from tools that bring that regional vision to life locally. ICLEI USA is delighted to strengthen this local-regional connection through the Regional Affiliate Program.”

“Through our region's new GO TO 2040 comprehensive plan, the local governments of northeastern Illinois have demonstrated a strong commitment to the principles of sustainability," said CMAP Executive Director Randy Blankenhorn. “CMAP is committed to partnering with ICLEI, whose many tools and resources will help the communities of metropolitan Chicago to implement the plan and improve our economic competitiveness.”

ICLEI USA will work with other regional partners, including the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, to bring recognition to the Regional Affiliate Program and build support for local energy and sustainability planning generally in the seven-county Chicago region.

“Local governments remain the last best hope for sustainability innovation,” … co-chair of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Environment Committee. ...

7. Regional plan deals with influx of people - Herald Argus – La Porte, IN, USA

Revitalizing the urban core while making sure other areas are liveable communities are the proposed goals for the 2040 Northwest Indiana Comprehensive Regional Plan.

Hubert Morgan, public participation coordinator for the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, told participants … the plan is designed to help guide the counties of Lake, Porter and La Porte for the next 20 years as they deal with an expected influx of people.

Between 2010 and 2040, he said, a projected 175,000 are estimated to move into the tri-county area, adding about 80,000 jobs, mostly in the urban core, which includes Michigan City, Hammond, East Chicago and Gary.

Morgan said this is a growth of 20 percent. In comparison, these areas only grew an estimated 3 percent over the past 20 years.

“When new people come here we want to make sure we’re strong,” he said.

He explained it only makes sense to encourage the growth in the urban core, which already has much of the infrastructure. It was just “disinvested” in over the years as urban sprawl encouraged community movements in the outlying areas.

Between 1992 and 2006, urban areas were increased 42 percent while the population grew by 4.3 percent, consuming 68 square miles of agricultural and undeveloped land.

“What can we do to protect and preserve that while recognizing people will want to grow?” he asked.

To encourage the right growth, the plan calls for reinvesting, infilling and growing infrastructure in the cities as opposed to the rural areas. But it also calls for providing the services and transportation conveniences necessary for making life comfortable in the suburban and rural centers.

“When people are making choices,” he said, “they’re making choices to go to livable communities.”

This will help ensure people can grow old comfortably where they live.

8. Lake Tahoe prosperity plan forum slated for next week - Sierra Sun - Truckee, CA, USA

Key to restoring a robust economy to the Lake Tahoe Basin is fostering a spirit of collaboration among business entities while erasing some of the geographical distinctions that have arbitrarily transformed into economic barriers.

This argument has been proffered by those in charge of compiling the Lake Tahoe Basin Prosperity Plan, a economic development document that identifies three business sectors capable of flourishing in Tahoe's unique physical and social environment.

Michael Ward, project manager of the Tahoe Prosperity Center — tasked with fostering collaboration and implementing many of the prosperity plan's ideas — will join other regional business leaders in hosting a public forum next week in Incline Village.

“The presentation will give the community the opportunity to understand the process it took to create the plan and where we are going from here,” Ward said.

The prosperity plan first emerged during the spring of 2010, when Applied Development Economics — a Sacramento-based firm — launched a comprehensive study into the area.

Over the course of the next several months, ADE collected feedback from regional business owners relating to perceived strengths and weaknesses of the local economy.

After the data was collected, prosperity plan officials identified three clusters, or areas of economic concentration that would likely flourish in the basin — health and wellness, sustainable tourism and green technology.

After finalizing the plan and presenting its particulars to a variety of public agencies, including the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency [ ], Ward spearheaded the effort to establish the Tahoe Prosperity Center.

Ward said he envisions the prosperity center having a presence on both the North and South shores, which is critical to fostering an atmosphere of collaboration between the two shores which have historically competed fiercely for tourist dollars from the Bay Area and surrounding locations.

9. Viewpoints: Game plan: Build arena for sports, entertainment - The Sacramento Bee - Sacramento, CA, USA

Now that we are assured that the "business of basketball" will remain in Sacramento for one more year, it's time to employ a full court press to build a viable, downtown sports and entertainment complex. A properly designed and managed arena built for maximum public benefit with minimum public funding is essential to our region's long-term economic health.

Sacramento needs to create a new revenue stream – a catalyst that stimulates private sector growth and the resulting public sector income. A sports and entertainment complex will do just that through increased development, new business and additional jobs.

The success of the arena playbook rests with regional collaboration. …

To win, regional leaders need to look beyond their immediate backyard and past the city limits to embrace an effort for the greater good and benefit of all the citizens, businesses and workers of the region.

This isn't fantasy, but rather the reality achieved by the newest NBA success story: Oklahoma City. Its mayor, Mick Cornett, … notes: "If regional residents can point to a hub that features a proud skyline that satisfies a contemporary need of quality of life in jobs, entertainment and the arts, you have a winner on your hands. The old paradigm had people moving to jobs, the new paradigm has people choosing a quality of life, and then watching the jobs follow."

If the region comes together to build a new sports and entertainment complex, regional jobs will be created, regional gravity will be employed – and a quality of life for the Sacramento region will be reborn. If we refuse, the capital region remains the same. More government jobs with simple political tourism, and more small-minded, myopic, self-satisfying city leadership that boasts of only painted-over blight and talk of what could have been.


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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 State Mails Out High-Speed Internet Surveys - Springfield, MO, USA

The state's broadband team is sending surveys to thousands of Missourians to determine their high-speed Internet accessibility. MoBroadbandNow has mailed 4,000 surveys to randomly selected Missourians within the state's 11 Regional Planning Commissions (see below). It's all part of Governor Jay Nixon's efforts to expand high-speed Internet across the state. ... The 11 regions, and the counties served by them:

-Bootheel: Duklin, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Scott and Stoddard counties

-Green Hills: Caldwell, Carroll, Chariton, Daviess Grundy, Harrison, Linn, Livingston, Mercer and Sullivan counties

-Harry S Truman: Barton, Jasper, McDonald and Newton counties

-Kaysinger Basin: Bates, Benton, Cedar, Henry, Hickory and St. Clair counties

-Lake of the Ozark: Camden, Laclede, Miller and Morgan counties

-Mo-Kan: Andrew, Buchanan, Clinton and Dekalb counties -Northwest: Atchison, Gentry, Holt, Nodaway and Worth counties

-Pioneer Trails: Johnson, Lafayette, Pettis and Saline counties

-South Central Ozark: Douglas, Howell, Oregon, Ozark, Shannon, Texas and Wright counties

-Southeast: Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Iron, Madison, Perry, St. Francois and Ste. Genevieve counties

-Southwest: Barry, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Greene, Lawrence, Polk, Stone, Taney and Webster counties

... Within the next few weeks, an additional six RPCs will survey residents who live in their RPC area.

.02 State will no longer provide local planning

Crossville Chronicle - Crossville, TN, USA

The state of Tennessee will no longer offer local planners to city and county governments after July of this year. David Starnes, principal planner of the Upper Cumberland Region, told members of the Cumberland County Regional Planning Commission Monday night that the state will no longer be offering local governments a planner. "The office is being done away with by the state effective in July," Starnes said. "Now you may be able to contract with me independently. Some cities and counties may be doing that and you would pay me instead of the state at the same rate." ... Currently the county contracts with the state, which has local planning offices across the state. The move to eliminate local planning offices statewide is part of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's Jobs4TN plan that was recently announced. ... "The (Upper Cumberland) Development District is looking at taking over local planning, some counties are contracting with the planners independently and some of the planners have formed their own groups. ...

.03 Chamber speaker: Collaboration future of regional growth

Midland Daily News - Midland, MI, USA

Terry Moore hopes leaders in the region continue to use a collaborative approach to take advantage of opportunities for growth. "The greatest asset we have is the quality of leadership in this region," said Moore, who recently took on the role of CEO of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance. The alliance works to foster collaborations that build on regional strengths. Moore, who spent decades leading MidMichigan Health, told young professionals at a Midland Area Chamber of Commerce event Tuesday that the answer is not organizations or systems, but people working together. "There are opportunities with our businesses working together, working more closely with our legislators, our educational systems, arts and culture," Moore said. "I think we have all the components; it's getting people working together and focused moving down the road and trying to capture some synergies for these various organizations." ...

.04 Lake Tahoe prosperity plan forum slated for next week

Sierra Sun - Truckee, CA, USA

Key to restoring a robust economy to the Lake Tahoe Basin is fostering a spirit of collaboration among business entities while erasing some of the geographical distinctions that have arbitrarily transformed into economic barriers. This argument has been proffered by those in charge of compiling the Lake Tahoe Basin Prosperity Plan, a economic development document that identifies three business sectors capable of flourishing in Tahoe's unique physical and social environment. Michael Ward, project manager of the Tahoe Prosperity Center — tasked with fostering collaboration and implementing many of the prosperity plan's ideas — will join other regional business leaders in hosting a public forum ... The prosperity plan first emerged during the spring of 2010, when Applied Development Economics — a Sacramento-based firm — launched a comprehensive study into the area. ... After the data was collected, prosperity plan officials identified three clusters, or areas of economic concentration that would likely flourish in the basin — health and wellness, sustainable tourism and green technology. After finalizing the plan and presenting its particulars to a variety of public agencies, including the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Ward spearheaded the effort to establish the Tahoe Prosperity Center. ...

.05 Upstate leaders to call for regional planning

The Greenville News - Greenville, SC, USA

The Ten at the Top planning advocacy organization is scheduled to sound the call for regional cooperation across the Upstate in numerous areas, including mass transit, economic development and the arts, during a summit ... Dean Hybl, executive director of the Greenville-based nonprofit group, said it will release a vision statement and an action items guide prepared with input from nearly 10,000 Upstate residents consulted through surveys, community forums and presentations to organizations. The action items guide, which Hybl said is still a work in progress, calls for a regional consortium of city and county planners from across the Upstate. It also calls for a regional water supply plan, a regional consortium for the arts, a calendar with happenings from all 10 counties and exploration of light rail, bus rapid transit and multimodal transportation. Ten at the Top also proposes regional cooperation between economic development groups and efforts to boost the percentage of Upstate residents with college degrees. “We are much stronger together than we are individually,” Hybl said. ...

.06 Bedford supervisors support ideas for regional library system

The News & Advance - Lynchburg, VA, USA

A “cautious” Bedford County board of supervisors agreed Monday to explore the idea of a regional library system with other Lynchburg-area localities. The county joins Campbell County and the city of Lynchburg in support of the Region 2000 Local Government Council hiring a consultant to study options for regionalizing library services. The share for each locality is $5,000, said Bob White, deputy director of the council, and the study would not commit the county to a long-term agreement. Six of the seven supervisors verbally agreed to explore regional library system options; an official vote was not taken. White said libraries in recent years have been seeing an increase in patrons while funding from local governments has dropped due to the recession, making regional collaboration an ideal measure. The county and city of Bedford currently operate a joint public library system. “I’m really, really cautious,” Supervisor Dale Wheeler said of joining a regional system. ...

.07 Make No Small Plans: Grounding architecture within a larger building ecology.

Architect Magazine - Washington, D.C., USA

Regional issues such as stormwater treatment and energy production have become major elements of the design of architectural projects, even at a very small scale. As demand for natural resources rises and the impact of pollution spreads, taking these issues into consideration is likely to become a more important part of urban planning and architecture. This year’s national AIA convention recognizes the shift with its theme “Regional Design Revolution: Ecology Matters.” But many argue that the long-term thinking of regionalism is still a burgeoning concept. ... A building is not just a building. It’s part of the ecology of the built environment—a vast interconnected web of components and elements as varied as transportation, water, jobs, and energy. These are the concerns faced by the regions within which buildings stand. Increasingly, macro long-term concerns are weaving their way into the design processes of architects and planners. A number of projects nationwide epitomize detailed consideration of regional issues, from energy production to transportation infrastructure to affordable housing. Water is often seen as the most important regional concern. With watersheds and aquifers that can span states and serve tens of millions of people, it is increasingly important for projects to use both an appropriate amount of water and reduce reliance on aging water infrastructure and centralized water-treatment facilities. ...

.08 Savannah River Nuclear Solutions Locates Division In Barnwell

WJBF-TV - Augusta, GA, USA

SouthernCarolina Regional Development Alliance has announced that Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC, the management and operations contractor at DOE’s Savannah River Site, will locate an office in the Southern Carolina Business Center, located at 54 Irving Street in Barnwell, SC. The location of the office and staff at the Southern Carolina Business Center is the first initiative in launching a small modular nuclear reactor cold test facility to establish commercial nuclear and alternative energy-focused spin-off operations as part of a long-term economic development program in the Southern Carolina region. “Our region is a natural fit for the development of the test facility and other industries because of the proximity to the Savannah River Site, where the world’s most advanced, skilled workforce is located,” said Black. “Combined with a region which is the most supportive community of nuclear and alternative energy operations and our planned industrial sites, our area is perfect for the development of the next generation of alternative energy industry and technology.” ...

.09 Census shows 50% rise in empty homes - Demographer: Mich. was only state to lose people

Record-Eagle - Traverse City, MI, USA

The number of empty homes and vacant rental properties grew by nearly 50 percent in Michigan over the past decade as the state struggled through one of the toughest economies in the country, according to 2010 census figures released today. Nearly 660,000 homes and apartments were vacant last year across the state, or 14.6 percent, compared to fewer than 450,000 in 2000. "Michigan was the only state to lose population this decade, and until recently had the highest unemployment rate in the nation," said Jeff Nutting, a demographer with the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, a regional planning group. "We rank seventh in foreclosures at one out of every 324 households and have fallen from 18th to 37th in per capita income during the decade. Home ownership rates in the state have declined to a level not seen since 1990," Nutting said. The vacancy rate for empty homes or houses up for sale last year was 2.7 percent. A decade earlier that figure was 1.6 percent. More than 11 percent of rental homes and apartments were vacant in 2010, up from 6.8 percent. The numbers aren't surprising and could have been worse, Nutting said. "What has kept it from being worse is that the economy fell flat nationwide," Nutting said of Michigan's housing situation. "There wasn't another place that people could pick up and find jobs. If there is not a place for people to go, they have to stay where they are." ...

.10 Regional Food Hubs are Viable Business Models Says Merrigan


Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today released the results of a nationwide analysis of food hubs and provided highlights of how Michigan can tap into USDA’s ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ initiative, which promotes local and regional food systems by stimulating community economic development and facilitating efforts to expand access to affordable fresh and local food. Merrigan released the analysis at the Making Good Food Work conference and highlighted the economic opportunities of food hubs, an emerging business model that offers aggregation and distribution services for small and midsize producers across the country. “We have a historic opportunity to help win the future by laying a new foundation for economic growth, creating jobs and building and revitalizing critical infrastructure here in Michigan and in rural communities across America through supporting and establishing local and regional food systems as an economic development strategy to keep wealth in local communities,” said Merrigan. “This new data clearly demonstrates that small and midsize farmers can work with a variety of players to overcome the infrastructure challenges they face, while creating effective economic opportunities for their communities at the same time.” ... The subcommittee considered the facility tours during the summer, but Hudson said the committee decided visiting schools on a normal school day would give a more accurate portrait of the facilities. “This is an economic issue and community issue,” Hudson said. “And we are all fact-finding by learning to do it together so that we can make plans for the future.” ...

.11 Leaders invited to ‘get on bus’

Natchez Democrat - Natchez, MS, USA

... Adams County Board of Supervisors, Natchez Board of Aldermen, Natchez Inc. employees and Natchez-Adams School Board have been invited to “Get on the Bus” for a tour of Natchez-Adams public schools. The Miss-Lou Regionalism education subcommittee planned the event to give officials and economic development entities first-hand knowledge of the community’s educational facilities. “Everybody is always talking about education, but (officials) need to visually see what our facilities are,” said Debbie Hudson, the chamber of commerce president and education subcommittee member. ...

.12 Here Comes the Bus: America’s Fastest Growing Form of Intercity Travel

Travel by intercity bus is growing at an extraordinary pace: reflecting a rise in travel demand, escalating fuel prices, and investments in new routes. This confluence of factors has propelled scheduled bus service between cities to its highest level in years and has made the intercity bus the country’s fastest growing mode of transportation for the third year in the row. “Curbside operators,” including BoltBus, DC2NY Bus, and, which eschew traditional stations in favor of curbside pickup and provide customers access to WiFi and other amenities, have enjoyed particular success. The comeback of the intercity bus is noteworthy for the fact that it is taking place without government subsidies or as a result of efforts by planning agencies to promote energy efficient forms of transportation. Instead, it is a market-driven phenomenon that is gradually winning back demographic groups that would have scarcely contemplated setting foot on an intercity bus only a few years ago. Our DePaul University study estimates that curbside operators like Megabus expanded the number of daily departures by 23.9% last year. In the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, service grew at an even faster rate. ...

.13 A new crop of business leaders

Kansas City Business Journal - Kansas City, MO, USA

The leadership ledger in Kansas City jumped by 26 people on Friday. The Civic Council’s Kansas City Tomorrow Program ended with some very talented young business leaders presenting their personal plans for future civic involvement to their classmates. Leadership development is one of the best programs done by civic and charitable organizations for the past 30 years. These folks are ready to get involved in issues of poverty, children, education, economic development, regionalism and a ton of other needful areas. It makes me hopeful for the future. ...

.14 Unions, groups call for regional economic councils

Long Island Business News - Ronkonkoma, NY, USA

New York’s labor unions and community leaders are urging the state’s elected officials to support regional economic development councils in creating jobs. In a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a coalition of unions, civic groups and churches asked t0 transform “the state’s often wasteful and ineffective economic development system into a refocused job-creation program that prioritizes performance standards, accountability and transparency.” The coalition said the “sprawling and often confusing network of corporate subsidy programs costs state and local governments over $8.2 billion last year by some estimates.” ...

.15 From The Assembly: Nine Quotes

Regional Plan Association Spotlight - New York, NY, USA

Regional Plan Association enjoyed one of its largest and most successful Regional Assemblies in the history of the organization last month when close to one 1000 people gathered at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Park Avenue to listen, talk, and cogitate over the shape of their region and how it should, could, and does function. We have put just about the entire event online, including audio and videos of the full plenary sessions and nine breakout panels. As a teaser to inspire you to check out the full content at , we put below nine quotes from the nine breakout panels, on subjects ranging from data management to the health of our ports. ... "One of the issues that has to be grappled with is that the General Public and Congress view rail a subsidized system, and see roads and bridges as not a subsidized system. And that is not true." ...

.16 City Keeps Sales Tax Revenue, Funds Library & Regional Planning Agency

WDEF-TV - Chattanooga, TN, USA

Chattanooga City council members left no doubt today that they are firmly in favor of hanging on to 10.6 million dollars in sales tax revenue. For 45 years that funding was handed over to the county, but the agreement expires in May. DEBORAH SCOTT, CITY COUNCIL MEMBER "The major money that's been carrying the sales tax agreement for as long as it has..has been coming from the city of Chattanooga." City council got another briefing during its agenda session on the future of the 45 year old sales tax agreement. Council member Deborah Scott, who made the same presentation to the Hamilton county commission last week, recommended that the city keep the 10.6 million from now on, and only fund agencies directly benefiting Chattanooga. ... CAROL BERZ, BUDGET COMMITTEE CHAIR "Chattanooga will fully fund Chattanooga Public Library within the city limits of Chattanooga.. The regional planning agency."


.17 New History program explores how the states got their shape

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Pittsburgh, PA, USA

... cable network History ... "How the States Got Their Shape"... In the series premiere, Mr. Unger visits Southern Tennessee and Northern Georgia where a border dispute involves access to a river that could provide much-needed water to Atlanta if the border between the states is adjusted to where it was intended to be. "We kind of take our map for granted and think the lines are drawn permanently, but this is an example of a modern-day border dispute," he said. "Atlanta's future hangs in the balance. If they don't get access to some of the Tennessee River, they're going to see some enormous changes in the way people are living in Georgia and Atlanta specifically." Mr. Unger said he visited 30 states plus the District of Columbia and spent months on the road putting together the show's 10-episode first season. Prior to working on this series he hadn't given much consideration to what the show purports to explain. "Once I got to understand how much politics shaped our map, which has always been a passion of mine, I was in for the long haul," Mr. Unger said. The series is based on a book of the same name by Mark Stein, who is interviewed in the TV series, but the television program is organized by theme rather than by state. "That way we could put many states and regions in one episode," Mr. Unger explained. That includes an episode airing June 14 on the role of religion in state borders, including Pennsylvania. "We talk about William Penn and the influence of the Quakers on Pennsylvania," he said. "We talk about the influence of the Amish. One of the lenses we look through at Pennsylvania and other states is how influential faith has been in building Pennsylvania." Another episode, airing June 28, looks at boom and bust periods. ...

18. Panel says county, region need to act more globally

Chesterfield Observer - Midlothian, VA, USA

Richmond, USA, instead of Richmond, Va.? One county group says it could work. “We’re not just a city in a state. We’re ready for the world stage,” said Ed DeGennero, chairman of Chesterfield’s Committee on the Future. The committee just released its seventh report in its 24-year history of addressing the county’s future, “Preparing Residents to Thrive in a Global Society.” The 68-page report, which pushes Chesterfield’s strong support of regional activity among other things, will be presented to the board of supervisors today (April 27) during its afternoon session and now is posted on the county’s website, . “This report focuses on the importance of transforming the Chesterfield County community into a population that values lifelong learning in order to prosper in a global society,” the report states in its executive summary. ... “We already have a whole slew of regional cooperation in the Richmond area,” Lassiter said, pointing to the development of the Greater Richmond Convention Center as an example of communities working together. ...

.19 North Texas 2050 Plan Receives 2011 National Planning Award

E-News – APA Regional and Intergovernmental Planning Division - USA

The APA awards for 2011 include recognition of a regional plan as one of the ‘Innovations in Sustaining Places’. The North Texas 2050 vision and action package was developed to address one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing metropolitan regions. North Texas, which is centered around Dallas and Fort Worth, is the fourth largest metropolitan region in the country. It covers more than 12,800 square miles and includes more than 200 individual communities. The region currently has over six million people and is expected to grow to almost 12 million residents by 2050. This document creates a framework for innovative sustainable development and significant infrastructure investments that accommodate this growth. North Texas 2050 was created by a private-public-academic partnership led by the North Central Texas Council of Governments, the Urban Land Institute North Texas District Council and the University of Texas at Arlington. This partnership contracted with Strategic Community Solutions (SCS) to design and manage the process. Karen Walz FAICP, SCS Principal and one of this Division’s board members, is the Project Manager. The plan integrates recommendations for typical planning topics — land use, natural resources, transportation, housing, water and wastewater infrastructure, parks and open spaces — but for an area the size of Massachusetts. It uses a set of five geographic policy areas and eight investment areas to organize the recommendations so they relate to the unique characteristics and needs of each place within North Texas. The collaborative nature of the process, as well as the political and regulatory context in which it was developed, make North Texas 2050 an important planning innovation and a model for sustainable planning in metropolitan areas without top-down regional planning directives. For more information, go to or to

.20 City managers discuss regional cooperation: Managers spoke about growth, development in their cities

Gainesville Times - Gainesville, GA, USA

City managers from South Hall's four cities talked Tuesday morning about the need to work with each other for the benefit of the region. "I think we've got a great chance to work together to make this a better place — not just the government, but the community at large," Oakwood City Manager Stan Brown said. He, along with City Managers Bill Andrew of Flowery Branch and Bryan Kerlin of Buford and Braselton Town Manager Jennifer Dees spoke to community, government and business leaders gathered as part of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce's South Hall Business Coalition. ... Andrew said the managers are considering reapplying for a federal grant to help with regional planning for issues such as transportation and water and sewer. "The plan is still on paper — it just has no funding to implement it," he said. "At some point, as the economy improves, we hope to pick up some parts of that." ... After the presentations, chamber president Kit Dunlap asked the managers about any plans to start including Hall County in Joint Municipal Association meetings. The organization reformed last year, comprising city leaders as the sole members and changing the name from Joint Local Government Association. The move essentially kicked out Hall. ...

11. Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet Contents

.01 EDITORIAL: Regional inequality needs to be tackled now

Helsingin Sanomat International Edition - Helsinki, Finland

The Parliamentary elections again drew attention to the ongoing economic differentiation in the greater Helsinki region. Differences among the areas are reflected both in voter turnout and in how the vote is divided among the parties. Divergence is a development that is hard to bring under control because it takes place slowly, and then, at a phase that is difficult to define, accelerates rapidly. International examples – and certain experiences here at home – show that the negative spin is self-reinforcing. So now would be a good time to do something, if we want balanced development in the Helsinki region. Experts in urban structures emphasise that developments in differentiation can be influenced by listening to the hopes of residents. If the social balance of an area is upset, those people who have the possibility to do so will try to leave the area, leading to a further aggravation of social problems. ... However, cities cannot handle the challenges on their own. The state must support the municipalities of the Helsinki region in the implementation of balanced regional development. Now the state is acting differently. ... Regional development in the Helsinki area needs more vigorous input in the new electoral term. The new government needs to take the trend toward differentiation seriously and to take action to help local authorities prevent the problem from emerging. The government should also have the strength and the will to force the municipalities of the Helsinki region to work together and genuinely support balanced development.

.02 Fury at coalition 'fire sale' of regional development agency assets: Taxpayers will 'pay twice' as councils scramble to buy back sites earmarked for long-term regeneration

The Observer - UK

From Durham airport to Newcastle science park, Grimethorpe Colliery to Shoreham arts centre – it's the great regeneration sale in which the assets of the doomed Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) are being sold off and the proceeds sucked back to the Treasury, to the fury of councils and local taxpayers. The much-criticised RDAs were obsolete the moment the coalition came to power – the Conservatives had long seen them as unnecessarily bureaucratic, and based on arbitrary regional boundaries. But with their successors, the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), made up of councils and local businesses, having few assets or powers, and the government's new Enterprise Zones yet to get off the drawing board, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has instructed the RDAs to dispose of the thousands of development sites, business parks and bits of infrastructure they have built up over many years. ... Business secretary Vince Cable has made it clear that there should be no free lunch for councils, and rejected requests by several of the RDAs to be allowed to pass on assets under "deferred payment" schemes, which would allow local authorities to wait until the worst of the fiscal squeeze is over. ... Nick Hope, of thinktank New Local Government Network, said: "The concern is that there was a lot of expectation that as the regions were removed, the powers would fall down to these local enterprise partnerships; but a lot of it has been sucked up to Whitehall. A lot of people feel that what they thought was going to be a devolution from these quangos to these more democratic, business-led LEPs actually hasn't happened." ... Adam Marshall, policy director of the British Chambers of Commerce, says: "This is the story of regeneration through the ages: it takes vision and time, and it takes a partnership between business and the public sector to make it happen – but political and budgetary timescales don't always match that."

.03 We do deliver for all, and here's the proof - DA

PoliticsWeb - South Africa

In March 2011, the Democratic Alliance (DA) released a seminal discussion document entitled "The Cape Town Story". In it, we outlined how, since winning a tight election race in 2006, the DA administration in Cape Town has rolled out basic services and infrastructure, clamped down on crime and corruption, delivered clean, transparent and financially accountable government, and advanced our vision of an Open, Opportunity Society for All. Today, we would like to share another story: how the many other municipalities that we govern across South Africa are achieving the same set of outcomes. By some estimates, 60% of South African municipalities are dysfunctional, unable to perform their basic functions, let alone deliver on the promise of 1994.[1] As the coalface of government, responsible for the delivery of basic services and the fulfilment of critical infrastructure delivery and administrative functions, municipal government is central to our country's future prospects. If it fails, we cannot make our country better. Municipal government, it is sometimes said, is not "rocket science". But as with a space mission, success comes only at the end of an unbroken chain of events; break any single link in the chain and the venture veers off course. This, regrettably, is the reality facing far too many South African municipalities. ... At any given point in time over the last five years, the Democratic Alliance has governed and co-governed in the region of a dozen municipalities in South Africa (the number fluctuates, because of the frequency of by-elections, and the delicate balance of power in many tightly contested municipalities). ... The Midvaal municipality, located in the Sedibeng District in Southern Gauteng, has been governed by the DA for the last decade. The municipality has enjoyed eight unqualified audits from the Auditor-General and, in 2010, in a provincial Quality of Life survey conducted by the Gauteng City Regional Observatory, Midvaal was ranked first by some margin. It was the only municipality in the province where more than half of all residents reported that they were either satisfied or very satisfied with their local government.[17] Midvaal is also the only municipality in Gauteng with a revenue collection rate of 100%, which means that the administration is better placed to be able to deliver services and infrastructure to its poorest residents.[18] ...

.04 Regions targeted in the Budget

ABC Rural - Australia

The Federal Government is making it clear: regional Australia is a big focus of this year's Federal Budget. More than $4.3 billion of initiatives will be spent from July this year to ensure that regional Australians share in the nation's growth. The regional spending was outlined in a glossy Budget pamphlet titled "Investing in Australia's regions" and its own Budget book, usually reserved for announcements like this year's National Mental Health Reforms. While most of the regional spending outlined is not new announcements, the dollars are substantial. A Budget statement from the Minister for Regional Australia, Simon Crean, says the Federal Government wants to enable the regions to broaden their traditional economic base. "Empowering regional communities to take ownership of their future will." ...

.05 Autonomy depends on how united the Cordillerans are for regional development - Sec. Coloma

Philippine Information Agency - Quezon City, Philippines

Presidential Communication Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Sonny Coloma said that President Benigno Aquino III believes in a democratic process and the attainment of regional autonomy will depend on how united the people of Cordillera are and on how well they will lay down the framework of autonomy in line with the region’s vision of progress and development. “I think we would like to see all the stakeholders in the Cordillera sit down and discuss among themselves and reach a common ground or consensus that would really promote the principle of autonomy and see it realize in your own region,” Coloma said during a presscon Friday. According to Coloma, the issue of autonomy rests on the shoulders of the real stakeholders in Cordillera, who are the rightful beneficiaries of its wealth and natural resources. He noted that the region is blessed with abundant human talent and capital that can be harnessed for such purpose. Coloma also advised that Cordillerans should learn from the lessons (experiences) in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and put up a draft law or framework that would be practical, responsive, and relevant to the development needs of the region. ...

.06 ‘States planning new townships near cities’

Daily News & Analysis -Mumbai, India

What is the plan to cope with the big transformation, whereby some 200 new cities will have to be created, including upgradation of some villages to towns and some towns to cities?

The strategic plan of the ministry is to facilitate creation of economically vibrant, inclusive, efficient and sustainable habitats. We hope to achieve this by promoting cities as engines of economic growth. We also want them to lead to an improvement of the quality of urban life, creation of quality urban infrastructure with assured service levels and efficient governance.

The National Development Council has set up a sub-committee on urbanisation to review the legal, financial and institutional framework for urban governance. Better local governance has been recognised as a key to meeting urban challenges. Under the National Mission on Sustainable Habitat, urban planning parameters are being formulated for addressing issues related to regional development, urban poor, efficient and environmentally sustainable transport, etc.

What are you doing to encourage planned urbanisation by states?

See, channelling migration, or planned urbanisation, is the key to promoting sustainable habitats. This means provision of civic amenities and empowering urban local bodies so that they are capable of providing good quality civic services to sustain the present level of economic growth. The ministry of urban development and the ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation are working to promote inclusive cities.Many states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and UP have framed policies for developing new townships in the vicinity of large cities to promote planned urbanisation. ...

.07 Aerial pictures like “Google Earth on steroids”

The Edmonton Journal - Edmonton, Alberta, CA

... “Roughly 80 per cent of the information a municipality deals with has to do with something on the ground, be it a water main break, a construction project, a new subdivision; somehow it’s tied to a location on the ground,” Pouteau said. “So by having these air photos, we’re adding that context to the bulk of what the city deals with. So when they’re looking at each subdivision and they’re planning for it, then they can pull up an air photo of that area and it gives them a context of what it is the developer is proposing. If we have a construction company that is building an overpass, we’ll give them air photos of that area so they know exactly what the situation is and what (space) they have to fit this overpass into.” ... Sixteen municipalities are participating in the 2011 Edmonton Regional Joint Orthophoto Initiative: Beaumont, Devon, Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Gibbons, Lamont County, Leduc, Leduc County, Morinville, Parkland County, Redwater, St. Albert, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Strathcona County and Sturgeon County. Two other partners, Edmonton Garrison and Elk Island National Park, are also involved in the project that costs a total of $326,775. A provincial grant of more than $195,000 is subsidizing the overall cost. “We get together every two years to produce orthophotographs,” Pouteau said. “By running this regional program, it gives everybody a consistent base to work from, especially when you get things like the Capital Region Board that are really pushing regional planning and regional collaboration. By doing this project, everybody starts on the same page.”

.08 Globalising the game of cricket - Telford, Great Britain

With the smack of leather on willow evoking images of long afternoons spent on village greens and an international field dominated by former British colonies, cricket has, for years, remained a sport synonymous with Englishness. However, thanks to the work of the ICC, the game is expanding its horizons. In 1997, the ICC launched a dynamic development programme which, now backed by soft drinks giant Pepsi, is aimed at making cricket a truly global sport; fostering the game in the ICC's existing Associate and Affiliate Member countries and attracting new members. Since the inception of the Pepsi ICC Development Programme, ICC membership has more than doubled - there are now 105 member countries comprising 10 full, 35 associate and 60 affiliate members. An holistic approach Attracting new members to the global cricketing community is only part of the plan. The goal is to deliver sustainable growth through the provision of education (including coaching, umpiring and administration), equipment, resources and promotional materials, facility development, elite player prograICC Pepsi DP Europe CMYKmmes and the coordination of regional tournament structures for men, women and junior players. To meet this comprehensive set of objectives, distinct regions have been established; namely Africa, Americas, Asia, East Asia-Pacific and Europe, each staffed and led by a regional development manager.

.09 Faroes issues new defence of its mackerel policy

THE Faroese Government has issued a new statement defending its current position on mackerel and again explained why it has given itself a unilateral 150,000 ton quota.

But it stresses that it is still committed to reaching an international agreement. ... The statement maintains: "The Faroese fisheries zone is centrally located in the migration and distribution of pelagic fish stocks in the region, giving the Faroe Islands an important stake in the sustainable utilisation and joint management of these valuable resources. ... The Faroe Islands contribute actively to regional co-operation on the management of shared fish stocks in the Northeast Atlantic. This co-operation includes participation in management arrangements with neighbouring countries and through the Northeast Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC), as well as contributions to scientific research and coordination of inspection and control in the region. The Government of the Faroes is therefore committed to reaching a new and effective multilateral arrangement for the joint management of the Northeast Atlantic mackerel stock in 2011 and beyond, in co-operation with the EU, Norway and Iceland. ...

.10 JAL to promote unique Japan

The JAL Group (JAL) has underlined its commitment to the development of regional Japan by announcing it will feature unique destinations in its in-flight magazine, on its website, and in other areas of its business. The Regional Development Project, commencing in May, has been created to boost tourism to special destinations across regional Japan and will be undertaken in collaboration with various local organisations and companies. ...

12. Blogging about Regional Communities Contents

.01 Financial engineering for municipalities

Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

Financial engineering for municipalities - Comes about through the sale and leaseback of various types of infrastructure, or signing long term contracts, such as 25 year contracts for street furniture, bus shelters, etc., in return for the contractee's exclusive privilege of selling advertising placed in the public space. Many of the deals aren't that great because cities are desperate for cash. One of the problems with these deals is that the contracts aren't usually written in a way that allows for innovation, or modifications based on new circumstances.

... The best known example is the one in Chicago, where Mayor Daley did a 75 year "sale" of the parking meter system for an upfront payment of $1.2 billion. Morgan Stanley will gross ten times that amount, with a net return of about 80%--not a bad return. ... These types of deals indicate that there needs to be better financing options available to municipalities and other government organizations than currently exist. The proposal for a National Infrastructure Bank could provide financing against these types of assets, but with a significantly greater return for the municipality.

.02 The coming housing calamity: The great senior sell-off, rising household sizes, dropping homeownership, tighter lending standards, and other reasons why the next decade will be a disaster for homebuilders

New Urban Network

The building industry is in deep depression, with housing starts at their lowest levels since data have been kept during the past half-century. Pulte Homes, one of the nation’s largest builders, reported losses of more than a billion dollars for 2010. Signs of a turnaround for the industry, one of the primary engines of growth for the US economy for two or three generations, have been sought since 2009 but are always over the horizon. Arthur C. Nelson, one of the nation’s most prescient housing market researchers, says the worst is yet to come. The industry faces demographic and economic forces that will apply unrelenting downward pressure on the market for the next decade, Nelson told a group of journalists at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He called his presentation “The Decade of Calamity.” ...

Housing: An irresistible force meets an immovable object: Rental and transit-oriented development will dominate market demand for the next decade, but will public officials provide the right framework? (Part 2)

.03 A missed opportunity, and the shortcomings of regional planning

Transbay Blog - Transportation and urban planning in the San Francisco Bay Area

Gearing up to prepare the next update to the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has been evaluating a new policy framework to determine when a transportation project is considered to be a regional commitment. Projects that are committed will be included in the next RTP. Projects that are not committed could be included, but they would first be subject to a benefit-cost analysis and would have to be approved separately by the Commission. At what point is a project far enough along in the process to be “committed”? We looked before at the two policy choices that were being considered. ... Commission’s vote demonstrates an unwillingness to take responsibility for ensuring that taxpayer dollars are invested wisely, and a reluctance to engage in true planning, as opposed to mere assembly of a to-do list. ...

13. Announcements and Regional Links. Contents

.01 Free Webinar - The Revitalized Chesapeake Bay Restoration Program - Wednesday, May 25, 2011 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT

Speakers for this webinar will be from the U.S. EPA-Chesapeake Bay Office, the State of Maryland Department of Planning, and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Cleanup efforts have been underway since the early 1980s through a partnership between the states of Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. EPA. Within the last two years, to meet legal requirements, the EPA has taken a stronger role in directing cleanup efforts with equal but full emphasis on non-point sources, point sources, and air quality. State strategies have been submitted to EPA and the states are working with local governmental agencies including regional planning agencies in developing local watershed plans to meet EPA requirements. The Regional and Intergovernmental Planning Division will host this session. A further webinar on this Chesapeake Bay Restoration Program with speakers from Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the EPA will be held in late July.

Register here:

The Regional and Intergovernmental Planning Division developed this as the inaugural session for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Learning Network, the follow-on to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Roundtables begun in 2005. The Division is utilizing the webinar service developed with the resources of The Ohio State University and the Utah APA Chapter. A variety of Divisions and State Chapters are co-sponsors of the service. APA members can earn up to 48 CM credits at no cost. More information:

.02 Tri-State Alliance - Northern Illinois, Northeastern Iowa, and Southwestern Wisconsin

The mission of the Tri-State Alliance is to convene the region’s leaders to address issues that affect commerce so that the quality of life is improved for the region of Northern Illinois, Northeastern Iowa, and Southwestern Wisconsin. The region includes three major cities as anchors- Dubuque, IA, Janesville, WI and Rockford, IL. All the border counties, cities and villages between these three states are part of the planning area. ...

.03 PhillyTreeMap - web-based map database of trees in the greater 13-county, 3-state Philadelphia region

PhillyTreeMap is a collaboration of government, nonprofits, businesses and you to build an inventory of Philadelphia's urban forest. PhillyTreeMap is proud to support Plant One Million, an ambitious multi-state tree-planting campaign, encompassing 13 counties in southeastern Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware.

.04 Call for Papers/Poster Competition - 9th OPEN DAYS 2011- European Week of Regions and Cities - October 11-13 - Brussels
Directorate-General for Regional Policy, European Commission and the Regional Studies Association would like to invite early career researchers in European Regional Policy to present their research in the form of a poster at 9th OPEN DAYS 2011 European Week of Cities and Regions, 10th – 13th October 2011.

The 9th OPEN DAYS – European Week of Regions and Cities will be held in Brussels. Together with the EU institutions, more than 200 regions and cites will contribute to a programme of 100 seminars, workshops, debates, exhibitions and networking opportunities for around 6,000 participants.

Shortlisted finalists will be invited to attend 9th OPEN DAYS to showcase research via a poster (accommodation for up to 2 nights and a return flight/train to Brussels will be provided).
Prize: €750 for the overall winner and €250 for the first runner-up.

Deadline for submission: 28th May 2011

Call for Papers:

Structure of the Competition and Guidelines:

.05 Call for Papers and Speaker/Delegate Registration - Future Cities 2011 - International Symposium London - December 15-16, Westminster London UK

Future Cities, is an exciting and innovative Annual Conference Series dedicated to the sustainable development of our Cities and Urban areas. The first event is being staged in the heart of the global city of London at Westminster on the 15th and 16th December 2011. Over the 2 day event over 700 delegates from across the globe will listen to a range of presentations and discuss key issues and topics. Speaker and Delegate registration fees are £180 plus VAT per person or £90 plus VAT for students. Papers are welcome in the following policy themes:

The City of Neighbourhoods; The City of Enterprise; The Sporting City; The Connected City; The Cultural City; The Healthy City; The Global City; The City and the Region; The City and Deprivation; The City Beautiful - Urban Theory

To submit a paper please just email with an abstract of no more than 500 words. Also, to register as a delegate please just email with your requirements and we will make the necessary arrangements.

14. Financial Crisis. Contents

Michael Hudson — "THE AMERICAN MONETARY ACT" Solving the Financial Crisis by Monetary Reform at home and abroad Reform the Money Blog

In this 2006 presentation, Dr. Michael Hudson addresses the need for monetary reform globally and in the U.S. He begins with an overview of his career as an economist and how that led to archaeological research at Harvard. There a team was used to understand how the civilizations of the Near East dealt with money and how problems of debt were resolved. Dr. Hudson mentions the May 2006 article in Harpers Magazine in which he discussed the coming housing collapse. Run time – 65 minutes

Audio – intro begins @ 33 sec. :

Harper’s Magazine article PDF:

Blog and links to other resources.

15. State Maps with Regional Councils and Alternatives by Census Regions and Divisions – Regional Communities Blog Contents

States and their counties or equivalents are the two major political geographies in the United States. National and State data is collected for these boundaries. When it comes to regional analysis, the states are too large and the counties too small. Metropolitan statistical areas reflect major regional economic relationships, but that focus leaves out the non-metro counties. A longitudinal analysis for MSAs over decades is not fruitful, since the underlying composition changes.

A geospatial unit of analysis that is used in many states and could be used nation-wide is the sub-state district, generically known as the regional council. A majority of states have a complete system where the regional council is organized and may be a political subdivision. Long term analysis can be done for these State standard regions. The analyses can be used by these regions for programmatic purposes, such as economic development. Data solutions exist for States with an incomplete system or no system.

Following, by state, in relative geographic order based on Census Regions and Divisions, are maps of regional council regions, the names of regions and a means to get the map and check the organization via a link. …

Part 1 - Northeast and South

Part 2 – Midwest and West

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

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

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

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 researched news reports as of the publication date. It has been published on line since November 11, 2003.

For the Blog and RSS feed go to:

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Tom Christoffel, AICP, FeRSA -

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