Regional Community Development News – May 30, 2011 - Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet & Blogging about Regional Communities

Other Regional Community News for Our Local Planet 
    .01  Will Planning Act's 'core strategy' work?
The Irish Times - Dublin, Ireland
THE new 2010 Planning Act is beginning to bite. The “Core Strategy” concept, an inherent part of the integrated national-regional-local planning approach, is now being rolled out in all county and city development plans. It has huge merit in balancing the excesses and irresponsibility of the past decades. Dezoning of land will reduce value – which is having implications for banks and Nama as they consider the haircuts or reductions in value of assets and securities (e.g., existing planning permissions may not be renewed). Avoiding land supply being overly or locally constricted, such that it would create local monopolies It is based on zoning enough land for the plan period plus an allowance of “overzoning” of 50 per cent. The assumption is that sufficient land will be zoned and serviced to meet present development needs and in the five years before it is actually built upon.
    .02  ECOWAS growth rate below level for millennium development goals -
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at the weekend took stock of its progress since the treaty establishing it more than 36 years ago and concluded that its modest achievement of 6.2 percent economic growth rate remains below the minimum 7 percent rate required for the attainment of the millennium development goals (MDGs).
President, ECOWAS Commission, Victor Gbeho, said in Abuja at the 36th Anniversary briefing commemorating the formation of the regional body that the assessment of the progress made so far reveals that the organisation has come of age in terms of its maturity not only as a sustainable and vibrant brand for regional integration worldwide, but also a model in Africa.
Result-oriented partnership
“With a combined population of more than 230 million culturally diverse, but harmonious people, united in purpose, mission and goal, ours is a result-oriented partnership owned by our member states and community citizens. Our integration project is a success story,”  ...
    .03  Implementing an integrated place, local and regional planning scheme in NSW
On Line Opinion – Australia
... A scheme to improve local democracy, streamline the complex DA and planning instrument contexts, and reduce State Government involvement in local government and associated costs has been prepared by this author. The essence is described in the attached addendum with all contents being copyright: No forced amalgamations and no boundary changes but with the basis for a successful local government model for decades; Each of Sydney's regions would have a Regional Planning Council, replacing both PAC and JRPPs; The 6 RPCs would have the same balance of representation as the 1880 Sydney Water Board Act – 3 appointed officials and 4 indirectly-elected directors – improving the "confidence" of state and local governments; Each council would receive all DAs, with all councillors empowered to comment on all and any DA but without the constraints of statutory planning rules; ...
    .04  Milroy Observatory part of regional plan for renewed astronomy tourism
ABC News -Australian Broadcasting Corporation
The Warrumbungle Shire Council has applied for $2 million under the Regional Development Australia Fund, to upgrade the Shire's observatory. The Council says the facility coupled with the Milroy Observatory near Gunnedah, and the Warrumbungle Observatory, will stregthen astronomy tourism in the region. A consortium including council representatives, and astronomists has submitted the application, with the hopes of refurbishing the Siding Springs Observatory Exploratory Centre at Coonabarabran. The works would include an expansion of teaching facilities and the complex will be rebranded as the New South Wales Astronomy and Space Education Centre. It's hoped, if sucessfull, the centre will also attract more school groups. The Council says the development would also capitalise on the World's Largest Virtual Solar System Drives from regional centres including Dubbo, Tamworth, Moree, Gulgong and Merriwa. ...
    .05  Guadalcanal’s potentials for culture and tourism – Solomon Star – Solomon Islands
THE Guadalcanal province has great development potentials for cultural and tourism development.
This was according to the Guadalcanal provincial Governments Regional Rural Development and Empowerment (GRRDE) policy framework 2011-2015 that launched last week.
The preservation and protection of local culture and relics, and the promotion of culturally acceptable and economically sustainable tourism development is one of the priority development focuses of GRRDE framework. ...

Blogging about Regional Communities

    .01  Building a Regional Music Market - The Texas Model
For these of you who’ve been living under a rock, there’s something brewing down in Texas. Actually, it has been for rather a while. It began when Willie grew his hair, rolled his personal, moved back again to Austin, and introduced Waylon with him. It’s a revolution- its artists who flip their back on the establishment, and do well not regardless of it, but because of it. It’s a regional country music marketplace ... they even have a Texas songs chart where regional artists chart their newest singles. ... Artist/Fan Relationships This is the single most vital relationship in the equation. For a regional nation music market to thrive, there has to be need for it. And only the followers can create the need. It cannot be faked or made. It needs to be actual. There has to be a dedication in the artists to remain accurate to on their own and their music. And there needs to be a dedication through the supporters to visit the shows, invest in the new music, and aid market the artist …
    .02  The Silly Argument Over BRT and Rail
The TransportPolitic
As if operating in parallel, Toronto’s Globe and Mail and The Wall Street Journal each published articles last week describing the merits of bus rapid transit, which each newspaper described as the future of urban transportation. Both noted that BRT was cheaper to construct than rail lines. Each suggested that in an age of government pull backs and general skepticism over the value of public investment, BRT could offer substantial benefits to a transit system at a reasonable price. And each article concluded with a warning by rail proponents that buses wouldn’t be able to attract people out of their cars. This is a sensationalized opposition between two modes of transportation that should be thought of as complementary. There are advantages to improved bus service in some corridors, reasons to support rail in others.
What is clear is that for the majority of American cities — excluding only a few in the Northeast — buses will remain the predominant mode of public transit for most riders, even after major expansions in train networks planned for cities from Charlotte to Phoenix. So even cities that choose to invest in rail projects must also spend on the improvement of their bus lines. Nor is the difference in costs between rail lines and BRT nearly as great as some would argue ...

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