Regional Community Development News - Top Stories - June 27, 2011


1. New Report: Most Aging Baby Boomers Face Poor Mobility Options : Center for Neighborhood Technology


CNT provided the analysis for the new Transportation4America report, Aging in Place, Stuck Without Options, out today on the cities that have worst mobility options for seniors. Large cities with the poorest transit access for seniors included Atlanta, Riverside-San Bernardino (CA), Houston, Detroit, and Dallas-90% of seniors in Atlanta will lack transit access in 2015. Medium-sized cities (1million-3million) with the poorest transit access for seniors are Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Fort Worth-Arlington, Nashville, and Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill. By 2015, 88% of seniors in Kansas City will have poor access to public transit.


CNT Research Director Peter Haas ... “As you see in the cities that top the worst mobility options for seniors, urban form is more spread out. Baby boomers by and large were raised in more dispersed communities where auto-dependency was the favored mode of transport. As the boomers age in these areas, they will be most affected by lack of public transportation.”
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2. Nevada law shifts balance of power on Tahoe planning agency - Sacramento News - Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee


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The law is a manifestation of Nevada's mounting frustration with Tahoe development restrictions. Though critics say TRPA has rarely balked at any major development project at the lake, cumbersome regulations often produce years of delay and extra compliance costs.


"It's an issue about the pace of work that gets done," said Maureen McCarthy, executive director of the Tahoe Science Consortium. "Nevada's position is driven heavily by the economic climate. The state is broke, and by comparison to California, Nevada is really broke."


McCarthy's group helps government officials understand the science that affects Tahoe. She said TRPA has been invaluable in that regard because it welcomes that science and incorporates it into decisions.


... "We don't want to see the baby thrown out with the bath water, and the baby is science."...


California state Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, supports the new Nevada law. His district includes the California portion of Lake Tahoe, ...


3. Senecas seek bigger role as area developers - Business - The Buffalo News


The Seneca Nation of Indians wants to be a bigger player in economic development across Western New York and into Pennsylvania.


The nation hosted a meeting of economic development officials from both states Thursday in its Seneca Allegany Casino to learn what each other has to offer and how they can work together in the future.


“For the longest time, I’ve wanted to get all the IDAs and development agencies in this region together in one room to discover and discuss what we have in common,” said Robert Odawi Porter, the Seneca Nation president.


“Let’s see how we can all work together to foster and build economic development options to benefit all our people, whether they live within Seneca, New York or Pennsylvania boundaries,” Porter said. “Good business knows no boundaries.”


... meeting was one of the first times that economic development officials from the Seneca Nation and five New York and two Pennsylvania counties had gotten together to talk about economic development.


4. EDITORIAL: Charting the course for economic growth - Northwest Indiana


The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's major study of the greater Chicago area -- from southeast Wisconsin to Northwest Indiana -- is one more effort to chart a course for the area's future.


The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce is leading the Paris-based OEDC's tri-state study to analyze the region's economic impact. In the process, the chamber will gauge the area's economic competitiveness, attractiveness, sustainability and political climate compared to other major cities around the world.As a major study, the effort includes amassing an army of data. But it's also a call to arms for people and organizations to improve the situation here.


The Gary and Region Investment Project ...is a similar undertaking for Northwest Indiana.... 


"I think people are recognizing that we could be in trouble unless we take steps to act,"  Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Foundation President .... "There's a recognition on a global scale that regional approaches ... make sense."
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5. Next American City » Magazine » The Enabling City


We face massive challenges … and we are inspired.” This is the opening line of what until a few years ago would have been considered an improbable urban manifesto. Crafted in 2006 by the Social Silicon Valley collective, Towards City 2.0 is a compelling call to arms that was submitted to an international ideas competition launched by officials in Helsinki, Finland. Confronted with the need to address issues of rapid population growth and environmental change, 14 towns and municipalities in the Helsinki Metropolitan Region turned to the public, looking for solutions that would address their residential, land use and transportation needs of the future. In six incredibly insightful pages, City 2.0 details the collective’s vision for a city that doubles as an innovation hub. Here, hyperlocal ideas are connected to the larger city fabric through a “social innovation mayor,” a political figure responsible for driving long-term structural changes by unlocking the capacity of others to ...


6. Human Transit: that influential texas "urban mobility report" 


.. Congress for the New Urbanism conference in Madison ... a small but sharp audience gathered to hear Tim Lomax of the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) debate Joe Cortwright of CEOs for Cities.  Tim was there to defend TTI's influential Urban Mobility Report (UMR), an annual compendium of statistics that are widely used to define how US cities think about mobility problems and to benchmark these cities against each other.  Joe was there to attack TTI's methodology as biased against compact, sustainable cities. 


The technical core of the argument is simple.  TTI's Travel Time Index, one of their more quoted products, is a ratio of peak congested travel times by car against uncongested travel times by car.  In other words, travel times are said to be "worse" only if they get much longer in peak commute hours than they are midday. 


This ratio inevitably gives "better" scores to cities where normal uncongested travel times are pretty long -- in other words, spread-out cities. ...


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7. Regional committee to go the distance - Australia


A new Ministerial Advisory Council is to be established to advise the Minister for Regional Australia on issues affecting country communities.


   The Minister, Simon Crean said the new Council would give regional communities even stronger backing at the highest level of government.


   Mr Crean said $4.3 billion was budgeted for key investments in regional communities including health and hospitals, skills, higher education and infrastructure.


   He said the Government had strengthened the role of the nation’s 55 Regional Development Australia Committees and was driving a new place-based approach to help deliver local solutions to local issues.


“We are determined to make sure regional communities can meet the challenge of an economy in transition and reach their full potential,” Mr Crean said.
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8. Development Blueprint For County Clare Is Launched - Ireland


The Mayor of Clare launched the Clare County Development Plan 2011-2017 today describing it as a “window of opportunity for the County to foster innovation, creativity and new sustainable, inclusive development.”


Councillor Christy Curtin joined Council officials as well as Clare’s 31 other Elected Members at the official launch in Aras Contae an Chl√°ir.


The Clare County Development Plan 2011-2017 sets out an overall strategy for the proper planning and sustainable development of the functional area of Clare County Council. The six-year blueprint replaces the existing County Development Plan 2005 and is the sixth such Plan since 1964.


... Mayor Curtin stated: “The primary goal of this Plan is to position County Clare as a driver for local and regional growth through harnessing the potential of its unique location, quality of life, natural resources and other competitive advantages.  Ultimately, the Plan seeks to make County Clare a better place to live in, work and visit.”


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9. Cisco CEO Keynotes at 2011 Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Conference


John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems


Enhancing capabilities through regional collaboration.  The tech community has provided the opportunity to enhance our communications and coordination.


What is changing?  Market transitions don't wait for anyone.  Security and safety is another piece of this.  Think about what social media brings to the table, but in a secure fashion.  The public sector is going to get leaner and meaner. Today it is a network economy feeding on information.  Now you have so much data that you need to access the relevant data.  Dynamic is the way to think about it.  Interagency coordination is needed.


Constant change is going to be tough.  Collaboration is the answer, not command and control.  Need to outthink and outmaneuver the events that are going to impact us.  We used to function in the PC world.  Today it is all about mobile.  By 2013 there will be 1 trillion devices connecting people across the world.Getting these all to work with a seamless interface is the key...for future collaboration.


10. Carl Zimmer: A Planet of Viruses - The Long Now Foundation - FORA.tv


The Earth's atmosphere is determined in large part by ocean bacteria; every day viruses kill half of them. Every year in the oceans, viruses transfer a trillion trillion genes between host organisms. They evolve faster than anything else, and they are a major engine of the evolution of the rest of life. Our own bodies are made up of 10 trillion human cells, 100 trillion bacteria, and 4 trillion very busy viruses. Some of them kill us. Many of them help us. Some of them are us. Viral time is ancient and blindingly fast.


Science journalist Carl Zimmer's wrote "A Planet of Viruses" and explains in this presentation what is known about the viruses. SARS, HIV and H1N1 are covered, as well as the need for an annual vaccination, since viruses mutate so rapidly. The other Long Now Foundation videos at this site are worth a look. Steward Brand, publisher of "The Whole Earth Catalog" is the founder and moderator for questions after the presentation.  


More links: http://www.delicious.com/I.see.regions.work

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