Regional Community Development News - August 16 - 29, 2011

Stories about those working across boundaries at various scales of regional community. Regional cooperation does not happen quickly, though in a two week period a lot happens. A few humor breaks are included. Since this is organized geographically, you can just check those area in which you have an interest.  

0000 - Earth

1. The End of Growth - New book by Richard Heinberg

    The End of Growth proposes a startling diagnosis: humanity has reached a fundamental turning point in our economic history. The expansionary trajectory of industrial civilization is colliding with non-negotiable natural limits.

     ...  growth is being blocked by three factors: Resource depletion, Environmental impacts, and Crushing levels of debt. These converging limits will force us to re-evaluate cherished economic theories and to reinvent money and commerce.

2. The Sustainable Scale Project

What is the "Scale Problem"? Scale problems refer to the threats posed by economic activities to global life support systems such as the atmospheric ozone layer’s protection against ultraviolet radiation, and the carbon cycle’s provision of climate stability. Human economic activities are now threatening these natural systems at both the local and global levels, for the first time in the history of the planet. (See Understanding Scale for an introduction to scale concepts and the dynamics of relevant ecosystems). Why is the Scale Problem Important?Scale problems are pervasive and unprecedented. The life support systems addressed by the scale issue are essential and irreplaceable ecosystem services that literally make life on earth possible. If these life support services are damaged beyond repair, then human civilization as we know it will collapse. There are currently many scale related problems that are unprecedented in human history, and that will ...


The Arab League and UfM determined to strengthen regional cooperation - ENPI

    The general secretaries of the Union for the Mediterranean Ambassador Youssef Amrani and of the Arab League Nabil Al-Arabi met this week in Cairo to discuss means to strengthen regional cooperation. In a statement after the meeting, Amrani said: "We have discussed ways to give new impulse to Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in the light of recent political developments in the Southern part of the Mediterranean.”

    He also added: “the meeting focused on prospects for the new European Neighbourhood Policy and the impact of UfM projects on promoting growth and development in the Mediterranean basin. We had the opportunity to discuss various political issues that challenge the region and the need to work collectively for the establishment of a zone of peace and stability in the Mediterranean.

1000 - Europe

1116  United Kingdom

1. Growth tsar questions coalition's approach | Local Government Chronicle

The government’s regional growth tsar has said it was a mistake for Eric Pickles to drive through the abolition of the regional tier as Whitehall no longer has an overview of the regions.

Writing in the Times former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine ... who the government appointed to chair the regional growth fund, said that “one of the government’s mistakes” was the “disbanding of regional development agencies”, which he said “broke up the regional teams that gave Whitehall an overview in a locality”.

He said as a consequence of dismantling the regional tier, each Whitehall department had begun to create its “individual empire in the regions”.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles had long been opposed to the regional tier, including the RDAs and the regional Government Offices, ...

However business secretary Vince Cable has largely recreated the function of the Govenmrent Offices by establishing local branches of the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.

2. Council tries to calm markets fears - Top Stories - News - Birmingham Mail

THE markets crisis came in the wake of the collapse of a planned £80 million relocation of the wholesale site to Witton.

The city council, regional development agency Advantage West Midlands (AWM) and a private developer, had planned to plough in millions before the funding plan collapsed with AWM being wound down.

But the council vowed to help find another site for the wholesale market, saying it was doing everything within its power to resolve the issue. Deputy leader Coun Paul Tilsley, a former market trader himself, said he was committed to keeping the wholesale market in Birmingham and the retail markets in the city centre.


1116-02  Scotland

Broadband plans move forward - Dumfries and Galloway Standard

    A £120MILLION project to bring super fast broadband to the south of Scotland has been called a “fantastic opportunity” by councillors.

    And the scheme could have the added benefit of improving mobile phone signals across the region.

    Dumfries and Galloway Council has joined forces with Scottish Borders Council in an effort to bring next generation broadband to every home in the south of Scotland by 2020.
    Councillors in Dumfries were told by economic development boss Ewan Green that the proposals would bring multiple benefits to the region’s people, businesses and public bodies.
    The first stage of the bidding process will see an application for £36million from the Broadband Delivery UK Fund, although only £68million of that fund has been allocated to the Scottish Government.

    The European Regional Development Fund and Scottish Future Fund are other potential income sources, with 40 per cent of the required £120million coming from the private sector

1301  Russian Federation

Russian government to separate “ethnos” from “nation” | Vestnik Kavkaza

Russia is planning to pass a bill on terminology in international relations. The word “national” is proposed to be used for the whole state. It’s ethnicities will no longer be described by the term, meaning that any conflicts between nations would be called “interethnic”, reports.

The initial project was developed by the Ministry for Regional Development. The change will require adjustments to at least 15 laws.

2000 - Africa

Sharing Water Resources Can Benefit All Involved | Africa

When several countries rely on the same water resources, the potential exists for political tensions or even violence. But projects in Africa prove that regional cooperation can be a win-win situation for countries.

Integrated Transboundary Water Resource Management is one of the issues being discussed during World Water Week at the Stockholm International Water Institute.

“That means that shared water resources like rivers flowing across boundaries, flowing from one country to another, can really be managed in such a way that they bring benefits to the people living in those basins and those countries, “said Anton Earle, program manager for capacity building at the Stockholm International Water Institute.

Cooperation means investing in shared water resources.

“By that I mean you invest in the institutions to manage these waters. And that of course leads later on to investing in infrastructure that can be built, such as dams, water transfers and also small-scale infrastructure, ...


PM Urges Citizens to Be Bullish On Regional Ideals -

The Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda has urged Tanzanians to be vigilant in strengthening the East African Community (EAC) using the collapse of former Community as a lesson which should be avoided at all costs.

The former Community, which was established in 1967, collapsed in 1977 due to political differences. "But we have learnt a lesson from the past experiences and we should focus on the new EAC objectives considering the need to consolidate regional cooperation particularly on matters related to defence, security, economic and conflict resolutions," said Mr Pinda.

Opening a one-day workshop for members of the East Africa Legislative Assembly here over the weekend, he proposed that a journey towards political federation should be travelled step by step in order to avoid any mistakes. He also urged EAC leaders to exercise political will in a bid to enhance people's participation in building the new regional integration


Integrated Tourism Zambia Tourism Board promoting regional cooperation to benefit tourism -

    Felix Chaila, Managing Director of the Zambia Tourism Board (ZTB), said: "I like to think that a successful regional integrated tourism is possible in Southern Africa, because we have lots to show to the world. We just need to put our heads together; get this common marketing strategy done."

    He said Southern Africa should find a common ground for the common good of the region. He said one way of creating a successful regional integration would be for countries in the region to embrace integrated tourism through a common marketing approach, beyond political lines. He went on to mention a common visa for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

    ... It is known that regional cooperation makes sense. If all visas are dropped for the major tourist nationalities, SADC personnel is used to find a common branding for the region, and private businesses do the rest, it can actually happen.

2125  South.Sudan

South Sudan Learn “Nothing and Forgotten Nothing from Regionalism”

    South Sudan is a composition of three Greater regions re-known as Greater Upper Nile, Greater Equatoria and Greater Barh el ghazel respectively. These three regions comprise of somewhat various ethnicities with varying cultural, traditional beliefs, Economic activities as well as languages or dialects.

    South Sudan has experienced difficulty in political mobilization and its entire governance since 1950s Independence from the Colonial masters [Britain]; the new country’s constitution and the policy has not clarified as to why the country was divided into regions for us to stick to Regionalism? It is this Regionalism that has resulted into Decentralization which again has not been defined in the country.

    This country has both history and stories that could be told regarding Regionalism, and the negative part of Regionalism has been blamed to would have been the prime cause of 1982, “Kokora” known as Regionalism ...

2225  Ghana

Let’s avoid politics of regionalism - Haruna Iddrisu | Politics

    Communications Minister, Haruna Iddrisu has called for an end to what he describes as ‘politics of regionalism’ where indigenes of mineral rich regions lay exclusive claim to the natural resources available in that region.

    According to him, the practice is unhealthy and amounts to cheap politics.

    Speaking on Multi TV and Joy FM’s news analysis program NEWSFILE, Mr. Iddrisu who is also the Member of Parliament for Tamale South said the fact that a particular natural resource is found in abundance in a particular region does not give automatic ownership of the resource to the indigenes of the region.

    Quoting article 257 of the 1992 Constitution, the Tamale South MP stressed the fact that natural resources found anywhere in the country belong to all Ghanaians.

    “Engaging in regional politics is inimical for national cohesion. It is not healthy for our politics” he cautioned.

2445  Tanzania
2455  Zambia

`Infrastructure vandalisation killing development` 

People living along railway lines have been urged to avoid vandalism which costs the government million of dollars, holding back development.

.. railway line belonging to Tanzania and Zambia Railway Authority(Tazara) from Dar es Salaam to Iringa region.

... more efforts are needed to reduce the acts of vandalism along railway infrastructures.

“We have witnessed sabotage along our railway line especially in both sides of bridges which is not good for the development of economy, he said.

He said thieves have been stealing railway components such as slabs, angle bars, reinforcement bars, hook bolt and bearings.

The problem has been noted from Mbeya to Mlimba in Morogoro where more than 50 percent of railway components have been vandalised. It is said a big part of the vandalised railway components are sold as scrap metal.

Festo who is a civil engineer at Tazara Tanzania region said the authority has been educating people that vandalisation results in accidents and deaths.

3000 - Atlantic Ocean

4000 - Antarctica

5000 - Americas


Grenada leader wants hemispheric approach to security - Caribbean360

    Prime Minister Tillman Thomas has called for greater emphasis on a hemispheric approach to confronting criminal activity and security.

    He says small states are challenged by a lack of resources to effectively confront crime and insecurity.

    “Our success in meeting and overcoming the challenges associated with fighting crime and improving the security of the region, is affected by limited resources. The geography of our island states, characterized by hundreds of inlets and bays, makes accomplishing this task even more problematic. Regional collaboration is therefore necessary,” he said at the recent Third CARICOM-SICA Summit in El Salvador.

    He noted that criminals are increasingly using sophisticated boats and technology for transnational organized crime, allowing them to take advantage of limitations in the security capacity of CARICOM states.

    ... increase in criminal activity ...deporting persons of Caribbean descent who are found guilty of crimes that are committed in the US.


Salmon Nation: Lands and Waters Map - A region defined by natural boundaries

Each drop of rain is a starting point for seeing the shape of our region in a new light. Raindrops build streams, and streams are nudged this way and that by the contours of the land. Tracing ridgelines across the landscape, our maps reveal a jigsaw pattern of drainage areas: watersheds. If we piece those watersheds together, we arrive at a larger geography defined by the life and culture it supports: our bioregion, Salmon Nation.

Along the Pacific Coast of North America — from the California redwoods north to the Arctic Ocean — any summertime stream that carries more than a couple of garden hoses' worth of water is probably home to at least one species of salmon. The first people of this region were wealthy thanks to the salmon. More recently, scientists surveying the importance of this fish to our flora and fauna have declared it a keystone of regional health.

5130 - Canada

What makes a city a magnet for talent? - The Globe and Mail

As part of its 2009 Worldwide Quality of Living Survey, consulting firm Mercer ranked the world’s top 50 cities for infrastructure by comparing their electricity and water availability, telephone and postal service, public transportation, traffic congestion and airports. Vancouver – No. 4 in overall quality of life – tied for sixth place, ... Montreal and Toronto tied with other cities for No. 15 and No. 18, respectively.

Cities can’t afford to ignore such surveys. “There’s no question that companies are increasingly looking at infrastructure and technology when they’re making decisions about where to locate,” ...

“You’ve got all these great potential scale economies in the Toronto region, but it’s being strangled by the weakness of the transportation infrastructure,” Dr. Wolfe says. A 2006 Transport Canada study found that congestion in Canada’s nine biggest urban areas cost as much as $3.7-billion annually, in 2002 dollars.


Quebec Woos Japan, China to Invest in $80 Billion Regional Plan - Bloomberg

    Companies from Japan and China, seeking new metal supplies, are considering investing in an $80 billion regional development plan in Canada’s resource-rich Quebec province, said Premier Jean Charest.

    Japan’s “investment houses” are in talks about potential investments in rare earths and lithium deposits, as well as in infrastructure, ...

    Quebec, which hosts metals from gold to iron ore, is betting that a $47 billion investment in new hydro power capacity over 25 years will help lure companies from resource- poor nations....
    Quebec’s regional plan, the so-called “Plan Nord”, will add 3,000 megawatts of hydro power and at least 500 megawatts of renewable capacity including wind over the 25-year time frame. The government will also help companies build roads, rail and ports to access mining projects that can only be reached by air at present.

    Quebec has set aside $500 million over the next five years to purchase equity in new mining projects, ...

5130-09 Alberta

1. Rules in place to review land-use plans, apply for exemptions and compensation | Canada Views

Clear rules are now in place under which Albertans can ask for a review of a regional plan, request a variance to a plan and apply for compensation in appropriate cases.

The regulation supports regional planning under Alberta’s Land-use Framework and its legislation, the Alberta Land Stewardship Act, formerly Bill 36. The Act was amended this spring to clarify government’s respect for property rights, including rights to appeal decisions and to fair compensation when land is needed for a public purpose.

Any Albertan who feels directly and adversely affected may request a mandatory review of a regional plan. Title holders who face unnecessary hardship may apply for a variance from one or more provisions in a regional plan. In some circumstances, they may apply for compensation from the Crown, such as in the case of conservation directives placed on land they still own.

2. Draft plan for northeastern Alberta outlines economic, social and environmental goals for the region | Canada Views

    After two years of extensive consultation with thousands of Albertans, the updated draft regional plan – the first developed under the province’s land-use framework – is being shared with the public.

    The Lower Athabasca Region is one of seven planning regions under the Land-use Framework, covering about 93,212 square kilometres of northeast Alberta, an area that includes most of the province’s oil sands, large tracts of boreal forest and the communities of Fort McMurray, Lac La Biche, Cold Lake and Bonnyville. The first draft of the regional plan was released in April for feedback. Albertans are invited to view the updated draft plan online at

3. Traffic jams may force oil sands workers to stop driving - The Globe and Mail

The northern Alberta town and its rapidly expanding population are linked to the oil sands by just one road: an overburdened stretch of Highway 63 that has become known for “Los Angeles-like traffic jams.”

But Mr. Alatorre, who was hired by the region last year from his home in Monterrey, Mexico, has big plans to change that – and to transform the truck-loving epicentre of the country’s energy sector into a model of sustainable transit.

As part of the region’s development master plan, he hopes to introduce an ambitious transportation strategy that would see the addition of dedicated bus lanes, light rail and municipal incentives for things like carpooling.
That the region needs to change is not up for debate. In 2010, more than 55,000 cars crossed the Athabasca Bridge along Highway 63 every day, up from just over 41,000 in 2004. The city’s population is growing exponentially and ...

5130-10  British.Columbia

Community Futures initiatives keep up with changing times -

    Businesses in the South Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys have the support of one of Canada’s leading regional economic development agencies – the first in the country to deliver a bold new program to help small companies expand their markets.

    In ... 2010-11 Annual Report, Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen (CFOS) provides details of its groundbreaking introduction of the proven ‘Economic Gardening’ program, as well as details of its other major initiatives and operations during the past year.

    Begun in October 2010, the 18-month, $183,000 Economic Gardening project uses the latest GIS technology, market intelligence, and business databases to help small businesses throughout the region to develop new marketing plans, make new contacts, and grow their sales, production capacity, and workforce.

    Since, most small businesses don’t have the expertise or resources to do market research, Economic Gardening is designed to provide them with key information and analysis. ...

5140 - United States

1. Regional Excellence: The Wealth of Regions by Bill Dodge at Regional Communities - "Think Local Planet, Act Regionally."

“There will come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt.  After them will arise seven years of famine, and the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt;  the famine will consume the land.”  Genesis 41:29-30

            The latest famine to modest plenty cycle in Chattanooga is longer than seven years, but tells an impressive turnaround story! 

            By the 1980s, Chattanooga lost its manufacturing clout and became a deserted core in a struggling region.  The combination of decades of air and water pollution, followed by the demise of the industries that had fouled the environment, resulted in the abandonment of downtown.  Some fled to the suburbs, but all too many left for growing regions, such as nearby Atlanta.

            Today, Chattanooga is becoming a vibrant core in a growing region. ...

2.  Rethinking a flawed education agenda - The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post

The most definitive study of charter schools was conducted by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University. ...

Their findings? Only 17 percent of charters provided superior education opportunities, while 37 percent delivered results that were significantly worse than traditional schools and 46 percent had results that were no different than public schools.

The most rigorous study of performance-based teacher compensation was done by the National Center on Performance Incentives at Vanderbilt University. ...

“We tested the most basic and foundational question related to performance incentives — does bonus pay alone improve student outcomes — and we found that it does not,” ...

... Edward Deming ... “The merit rating nourishes short-term performance, annihilates long-term planning, builds fear, demolishes teamwork, nourishes rivalry and politics. It leaves people bitter, crushed, bruised, battered, desolate, despondent, dejected…” 

3. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Facilities (by NRC Region or State)

Facilities (by NRC Region or State) Through agreements with the NRC, many States have assumed regulatory authority over radioactive materials, with the exception of nuclear reactors, fuel facilities, and certain other facilities. These States are called Agreement States. For questions about facilities in your region, contact a Public Affairs Officer. Use the following to find the facilities located in a State, territory, NRC Region, or regional office ... 

4. 10 Reasons the FCC Thinks Broadband Can Address Rural Issues

    Rural communities have always lagged behind urban areas in many regards. Simply having to drive further to access opportunities, and having less choice available in those opportunities, have created the disparity. The FCC is encouraging expansion of broadband internet into rural areas with the belief that the access to this technology can keep rural areas from falling further behind. - Parent/school communication; Business growth; Business development; Healthcare access; Technological Literacy; K-12 Resources; College Prep resources; Employment opportunities; Broader Cultural Exposure; Knowledge equals empowerment

5. Short-run dynamics of income disparities and regional cycle synchronization

Since the 1990s, the issue of regional income convergence and its long term tendencies has been thoroughly and heatedly discussed. Far less attention, however, has been devoted to the short-run dynamics of regional convergence. In particular, three important aspects have not yet been adequately addressed. Firstly, it is indeed essential to understand whether regional disparities manifest a tendency to move systematically along the national cycle. Then, if this happens to be the case, it becomes crucial to know whether: i. these movements are pro- or counter-cyclical, ii. the cyclical evolution of the disparities is a consequence of differences in the timing with which the business cycle is felt across regions or it is motivated by the amplitude differences across local cyclical swings. In this paper, we shed light on these issues using data on personal income for the 48 coterminous US states between 1969 and 2008.


National Poll: Vast Majority Supports Federal Investment to Protect America's Energy Coast Ecosystem - PR Newswire -

    A new national poll shows 91% of Americans believe the Gulf Coast is vital to the nation's economy and domestic energy security and the U.S. should invest additional funds in restoring the area.

    Protecting the Gulf Coast area that supplies energy to the country should be the responsibility of the federal government, according to 90 percent of respondents, with only 10% saying it is not a federal responsibility.
    In addition, 97% of respondents supported regional collaboration and felt the 31 states in the Mississippi River watershed should establish cooperative policies and methods to ensure the entire river system is healthy in terms of water quality and supply.

    The America's WETLAND Foundation commissioned the scientific poll of 1,132 respondents conducted August 10-14 ... The poll focuses on issues critical to sustaining the Gulf Coast region and the health of the Mississippi River.


Eco-jobs or Echo-jobs - Citizen Economists

Out of West Virginia University is a new report focused directly on us and greater Westsylvania. See: Regional Pittsburgh: The New Energy Economy.

    A lot of it focuses on some macro level energy issues for the US and really only gets to local issues at the margin. However, the new coverage of this report highlights the ‘quarter million’ jobs forecast for Marcellus Shale development in the US. I was curious if this meant there was some new independent validation of the big jobs forecast for shale gas development in Pennsylvania, but no.. the report states that number, but merely references one of the now many Penn State reports on Marcellus Shale. So it is the exact number as in the Considine et alia, reports in recent years. There is no new analysis of any jobs forecast in the report as best I can tell, it is just an echo of the one report as updated and does not mention at all any of the other controversies over the Marcellus job forecasts. ...

Humor Break - Project overlap. Dilbert comic strip for 06/16/2011 from the official Dilbert comic strips archive. 



MBTA-HSR Compatibility | Pedestrian Observations

There is going to be major investment in the Northeast Corridor, and several possibilities, including Amtrak’s NEC Master Plan, call for running trains at higher frequency and somewhat higher speeds than today on the Providence Line, and assumes electrification of commuter service. Since the line is already being used by the MBTA, which according to Amtrak is limiting the number of intercity train slots for capacity reasons, this calls for a good measure of schedule integration, based on the principle of organization before electronics before concrete.
In Switzerland, trains run as fast as necessary, not as fast as possible. In this context, this means running just fast enough to meet a good clockface schedule. Boston-Providence travel time on the MBTA today is about 1:10; for a good takt, this should be cut to about 55 minutes, allowing hourly service with two trainsets and half-hourly service with four. ...

Note: A blog for technical discussion of transit logistics. Impressive level of discussion. 

5140-01  Maine

York County to become its own economic development district |

    York County has become its own economic development district, following approval by state and federal authorities, which is expected to pave the way for more federal dollars into the region.
    Up until now, York and Cumberland counties were combined into one district, said Paul Schumacher, executive director of the Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission, which oversees the new York County district. This put each county at a disadvantage, as the federal government apportions the same amount of funds for each economic district, “so even though we have 40 percent of the population, we were receiving the same dollars as everyone else.”

    Schumacher said town managers in York County have clamored for years to separate the district, so there will be more opportunities for grants and economic development aid. In the past, federal dollars were used to rehabilitate Sanford Regional Airport and expand an industrial park in Saco, he said.

5140-04 Massachusetts

1. Support wanted in farming - Berkshire Eagle Online

    A county-wide initiative is underway to quantify the impact and infrastructure of local foods and farming in order to foster greater support and address outstanding issues.

    Keep Farming in the Berkshires is being organized on the county level by the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission. Over the next year to 18 months, groups in five different regions in the county will organize and analyze the challenges and opportunities of their local agriculture as well as prepare a plan to impact legislation and address infrastructure challenges.

    The most commonly cited farming data come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Census of Agriculture, which is conducted every five years. But the census has its limitations locally, including identifying a farm only by its largest crop output and neglecting urban and community farms and gardens smaller than five acres, according to Amy Kacala, senior planner at the BRPC.

2. Valuable lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina |

One of the most disturbing images after Hurricane Katrina was of thousands of people stranded at the New Orleans Superdome without food and water.
What resulted on Cape Cod and in other locations was a plan to stock trailers and mobile pods with supplies that could be moved to shelters on a moment's notice.

Regional emergency planners also decided to concentrate their sheltering efforts at six larger schools instead of having about 30 shelters scattered among smaller Cape schools.
During Katrina, 35 residents drowned in a nursing home in St. Bernard Parish and hundreds more drowned in their homes because they couldn't or wouldn't leave their low-lying residences.

Emergency management officials have a memorandum of understanding with the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority allowing them to use the buses to move people who do not have transportation or who live in nursing homes or group homes to shelter, O'Brien said.

5140-06  Connecticut

1. Investigating a regional council to replace planning agency

    One of the main differences between a regional planning agency and a council of governments is the leadership, according to Walker. The South Western Regional Planning Agency is led by a board of directors, with some representatives chosen by each town’s Board of Selectmen or mayor and some nominated by the towns’ planning commission. Towns and cities have between two and four representatives on the board each, depending on their population, and the full board has 22 members. The agency works hand in hand with the regional Metropolitan Planning Organization, which is comprised of the top elected officials in each town or city.

    Under a council of governments, on the other hand, the elected officials would have more direct control, as the council would be comprised of only the chief elected officials, or CEOs.

    “It shifts the responsibility from a regional planning authority to the CEOs, to put the responsibility and accountability for the actions in our region in the right hands,” ...

2. Northwest Corner towns meet to 'break down barriers' and discuss 'branding' and encouraging business- The Register Citizen

    Overcoming the northwest corner’s demographic concerns and breaking down town barriers was on the schedule at the Falls Village Inn ...

    “We need help on a regional basis with branding,” said Ward Belcher, owner of Town Hill Farm in Lakeville.

    The Northwest Connecticut Regional Planning Collaborative, along with representatives from Connecticut Light and Power and the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, met with town officials and business owners from throughout the northwest corner to discuss the best way to market the region. The meeting was a brainstorming session, for the most part, to deal with issues such as the area’s seasonal population and post-agrarian economy.

    “It’s about creating a unified message,” said Dan Bolognani, Chairman, Board of Directors of the Western Connecticut Convention & Visitors Bureau.

    As part of the Village Center Vitality Initiative, NWRPC staff member Jocelyn Ayer and CERC vice president of marketing Kristiana Sullivan fielded pitches ...

3. Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials, Northwest Connecticut Council of Governments to consider proactive merger- The Register Citizen

    Following a merger by regional planning organizations Mid-State Regional Planning Agency and Connecticut River Estuary Planning Agency earlier this summer, and staring at a possible state-mandated merger, local officials are pondering their next move.

    During a joint meeting of the Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials (LHCEO) and the Northwestern Connecticut Council of Governments (NWCCOG), municipal leaders Tuesday discussed their intentions of maintaining a level of cooperation among themselves should the state’s Office of Policy Management “force” the organizations to merge.

    Town officials decided they would gather themselves at their respective regional organizations to discuss whether it would be a good idea to form a coalition weighing the options.

    Litchfield First Selectman Leo Paul, Jr. opened the topic up for discussion after hearing of the other organizations merger at a Connecticut Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. ...

5140-07  New York

1. St. Lawrence County Economic Council meets, talks of vision for future of region - Watertown Daily Times

    The north country got its first look at the newly formed regional economic development council Friday, the group tasked with developing a plan it hopes will help secure millions in funding and spur economic growth in the area.
    “There were no surprises,” Clarkson University President and Regional Council Co-Chairman Anthony G. Collins said. “Many of the people here have been talking about the same issues for a long time — about what the opportunities are and what the challenges are.”

...  formed nine subcommittees ranging from tourism and small-business development to infrastructure improvements.

    Each of the groups will be in charge of developing a plan to improve its particular topic. These nine plans will be combined into one regional plan to be submitted to the governor in mid-November. The top four regional plans from across the state will receive $40 million each, while the bottom six will split the remaining $40 million.

2. Andrew Rudnick: Leave it to Me | Artvoice Daily
Each council’s initial job is to complete a strategic economic development plan for its region (our region is Allegany, Erie, Niagara, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua counties) by November 14. The format for that plan, as well as the process for completing it (and, believe me, there is lot’s of process……..), are precisely defined by the Governor’s office.

In my conversations with Partnership members, electeds and other government officials, and even council members, there is a lot of misinformation about what the councils can do. ... The implementation of the councils’ actual activities really is a “work in progress” due to the limited number of Cuomo administration central staffers who are directing this work only recently being able to turn their attention to it, and because there is a strong bias among them that any/all prior economic development planning efforts are “unworthy” of serious consideration in this process.

3. NYPD, suburban forces share anti-terrorism duties -

... it's hard not to think of the 9/11 attack during a visit to the Kensico Dam in Westchester County.

... The dam, which holds back billions of gallons of New York City drinking water and looms 130 feet above, has been viewed as a potential terrorist target ever since. Alongside it sits a police car, and a helicopter hovers above.

Those protective forces _ the police car from New York City and the helicopter from Westchester County _ illustrate a legacy of 9/11: teamwork between the city's and the suburbs' police forces.

Cooperation between the New York Police Department and the many smaller forces that surround the city has been transformed in the past 10 years and is much better suited to deal with major threats, officials throughout the area said.

Officials say cooperation should help detect activity in the region, like a bomb being built in the suburbs, that endangers the city; and reinforce protection of potential targets outside the city.

4. Andrew Mellon Foundation Commits $1 Million in Support of Phase II of the Central New York Humanities Corridor : Rochester News

    The Central New York Humanities Corridor—an interdisciplinary partnership among the University of Rochester, Syracuse University, and Cornell University focused on enhancing scholarship in the humanities—has received a second award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in the amount of $1 million over three years.
    "The concept and philosophy of a regional humanities corridor connecting scholars and artists in a diverse number of collaborative research projects and cross-institutional activities represents a tangible and very practical response to the so-called 'crisis of the humanities,' says Lambert. "By combining research missions in areas of overlapping strength, as well as fostering new areas of humanistic inquiry that cannot be supported by one institution alone, the overall goal of the Humanities Corridor is to create opportunities for new kinds of collaboration, including other liberal arts colleges in the region, as one of the goals in Phase II of the project."

5. Southern Tier Wireless owner responds to questions about company’s interests - Olean Times Herald

    As Southern Tier West, the area’s regional planning and development agency, attempts to raise the necessary funds to implement a broadband wireless initiative in Cattaraugus County, questions over the legitimacy of its partner company, Mr. Hawley’s Southern Tier Wireless, have arisen.
    Concerns regarding Southern Tier Wireless arose after Southern Tier West asked for $5,000 from a number of Cattaraugus County towns in order to fund an initiative to bring high-speed wireless Internet to the county’s rural areas.

    Mr. Hawley’s company provides the Internet service, ...

    Several Cattaraugus County towns questioned Mr. Hawley’s desire to service the area’s most rural residents while larger companies, such as Verizon and Time Warner, show no interest in doing so. Some town officials also feared that the company would significantly raise prices as soon as it was established in an area.

    “That’s not how we work,” Mr. Hawley said, ...

6. News: Double Duty - Inside Higher Ed

    University presidents often describe their positions as all-consuming, exhausting jobs. But for Candace Vancko, Bjong Wolf Yeigh, and John F. Schwaller, three presidents in the State University of New York System, running one campus just wasn't enough.

    Plans announced this month call for the three leaders to simultaneously run two of the system’s smaller campuses each.
    The move is part of a larger push by the system's central office to spur regional collaboration among institutions. Ideally, administrators say, the two-campus presidents will be able to find ways to consolidate administrative functions in areas such as purchasing, information technology, and human resources, thereby saving taxpayer dollars. Despite the shared leaders, administrators say they hope to maintain each campus's distinct identity, academic programs, and support base.

    “For years the system has been very decentralized, and there has not been a great deal of collaboration among the campuses,” ...

5140-08  New Jersey

Essay: Innovative Land Use Requires Work, Patience and Sacrifice - NJ Spotlight

The key to New Jersey's success is the willingness of its people to be steadfast in protecting the local control of governmental functions, while utilizing regional and statewide planning as a framework. Just as county governments were created to provide those services that bridge the gaps between towns, state government must provide services that bridge the economic and infrastructure gaps between counties. This state has led all states in the union in applying regional solutions to the broader issues of resource protection.

New Jersey's various landscapes abound with examples of the success of regional planning. In the Meadowlands, regional planning has transformed what was once a dump into a productive development, bejeweled with restored habitat and resources serving all the residents and businesses of northeastern parts of the state. ...

The New Jersey Pinelands Protection Act was signed into law in 1979. ...



Southern Governors issue joint statement on regional economic collaboration | Blogwire | Mountain Xpress

    “The American South is the best region in America to do business and we must continue that momentum by increasing our commitment to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. Over the last three days, governors in the American South have learned of opportunities and challenges in medical and energy innovation, technology transfer, workforce development and developing the next generation of innovators. We will continue to collaborate as state to identify ways to make our partnerships more effective and we will work with our federal partners on solutions that make sense for our economic future. The end game is a bipartisan one, to improve our ability to create jobs and enhance our economic growth.”

    Founded in 1934, Southern Governors’ Association (SGA) is the oldest and historically the largest of the regional governors’ associations. SGA uses the power of connection, collaboration and communications in a bipartisan manner to solve regional problems, ...

5140-13 Virginia

1. Research center opens in Bedford County | WSLS 10

    The ribbon was cut Thursday to open the acclaimed Center for Advanced Engineering and Research in Bedford County amid an atmosphere of enthusiasm.

    The project, anchored by years of regional collaboration, has come to fruition and a crowd of more than 100 with many public officials and business leaders in attendance came to marvel at the new 30,000-square-foot facility.

    “This ribbon cutting holds the promise of jobs and opportunity for people in our region for years to come,” said Del. Kathy Bryon, R-Campbell County, adding the opening was not a typical event.

    “It’s meant to be an economic engine for the region,” said Bill Guzek of the CAER board of directors. “This is just the beginning.”

    A nonprofit organization within Virginia’s Region 2000 Partnership, the center is set to create relationships with high-tech industries, major research and development centers and university researchers. It will also provide professional development for scientists and engineers.

2. Bill Bolling kicks off regional alliance with cooperation theme

    Pushing a theme of cooperation among six regional partners, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling launched the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance during a brief visit to Riverstone in Halifax County Friday morning.

    The alliance is a newly formed marketing partnership comprised of Halifax, Pittsylvania, Henry and Patrick counties and the cities of Danville and Martinsville that promotes economic development and job creation in Southern Virginia.

    Saying “we all have a stake” in job creation, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling cited the importance of regionalism and the valuable role that the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance will play in marketing the assets of the six communities it will serve.
    The alliance has received a total of $600,000 in funding from the Virginia Tobacco Commission that funds $200,000, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership that provides $200,000 and each of the six communities that are contributing a total of $200,000 over the next two years.

5140-14  West Virginia

Region VII Holds Quarterly Meeting in Tucker County - WVNS-TV -

    Facing the future together was the theme at Region VII's Planning and Development Council meeting ...

    "Our focus has been for years trying to get up to where we need to be with providing water sewer services, and broadband, and the basic infrastructure you need with community development to bring economic development, but other emerging issues have come to the forefront," said Rosemary Wagoner, executive director.

    Those issues were on the minds of every city and county leader who attended the quarterly meeting. Region VII is one 11 regional planning and development councils in the state. The West Virginia Legislature established regional councils in 1971, which set forth responsibilities of state and local governments in guiding the orderly growth and development of the state.

    The confusion over Marcellus Shale drilling, the completion of Corridor H & providing workforce training were issues discussed. Officials said the meeting is a way to open a dialogue of helpful information.

5140-15 North Carolina

Bryant's Travels Concern Charlotte Regional Partnership Committee - WFAE 90.7 FM

Members of the Charlotte Regional Partnership don't have a problem with the concept of "regionalism" that CEO Ronnie Bryant often emphasizes. They just don't like the amount of time he spends discussing the topic outside the Charlotte region, according to this report in the Charlotte Business Journal ... .

The complaints come from the CRP's Economic Development Advisory Committee, which is comprised of representatives of the CRP's 16-member counties. The committee's chairman confirmed the complaints, but members would only speak at length on condition of anonymity.

The story by Ken Elkins reports that Bryant's schedule in recent months has included speaking engagements in Lincoln, Neb.; Biloxi, Miss.; and Johnson City, Tenn. His contract also allows him to teach 10 days a year at the University of Oklahoma's Economic Development Institute, the CBJ report says. Bryant - "It's a feather in Charlotte's cap. My national visibility has helped Charlotte. I'm synonymous with Charlotte," ...

5140-17  Georgia

1. Alpharetta to send Livable Centers update to ARC - Neighbor Newspapers

At Monday’s City Council meeting, council members approved the city’s five-year Livable Centers Initiative Downtown Circulation Study update, which will now be sent to the Atlanta Regional Commission for review.

According to community development director Diana Wheeler, the Atlanta Regional Commission established the initative program to encourage the development of plans that link transportation improvements to land use projects.

She said the ARC’s objective was to encourage and support sustainable and livable communities that complement regional development policies.

“It’s important that communities try to get LCI projects because there are implementation funds that are associated with this part of the LCI program,” she said. “In order to keep ourselves ... eligible, we need to provide an update report.”

Alpharetta’s 2003 Downtown Master Plan met the initiative requirements and was ‘grandfathered’ into the LCI program by the ARC in 2007, according to Wheeler.

2. Atlanta Forward / Another View: 5-0 ‘yes’ vote creates positive momentum  |

Metro Atlanta took a big step last week toward creating greater mobility, bolstering economic development and creating a better quality of life when the executive committee of the Atlanta Regional Transportation Roundtable adopted a $6.14 billion draft list of transportation investments.

Getting to this point has truly been a regionwide effort, involving residents, business and civic leaders, as well as elected officials from all levels of state, regional and local government. The 5-0 “yes” vote is a huge building block that creates positive momentum toward a new era of mobility and regional cooperation.

In June, the five-member executive committee began with a list of more than 400 projects priced at $23 billion. ... This list must now be finalized and approved by the entire 21-member roundtable by mid-October to go to voters in 2012. ...

3. University to help create regional technology charter school | AccessNorthGa

North Georgia College & State University and three area school systems will work together to create a regional technology charter school that serves students in Hall, Lumpkin and White counties.

A $50,000 grant from the Race to the Top Innovation Fund, which was awarded earlier this month, will fund the costs of planning and designing a high-impact regional charter school with specific focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Planning will include drafting a charter petition for the academy, which will target 400-600 students a year.
Because of the influx of high-tech industry in the region, one goal of the academy is to create an "engineering pipeline" in northeast Georgia to prepare to pursue additional education, internships and careers in technology, ... A second goal of the academy is to make new opportunities available for economically disadvantaged students in the area, many of whom will be first-generation college students. ...

5140-18  Florida

1.a Cape council should go slow on regional planning council decision - Cape Coral Daily Breeze

    ... we think our city council should go slow and look not only at what might be best for the Cape short-term, but what will benefit Cape Coral - and the entire region of which it is a part - in the long-term.

    We suggest two things:

    One, that the city address its membership, and those dues the mayor would like to save, during the budget workshops and meetings process. Specifically, membership should be considered within the context of the city of Cape Coral's economic development plan. We've been told that includes the hiring of a new economic development director and a new concentration of effort on jobs.

    The question the Cape council needs to address is how does the mayor's recommendation dovetail into these stated city goals?

    Membership and a leadership presence within the Southwest Regional Planning Council needs to be part of that conversation.

    Two, the city needs to pay its in-arrears dues now.

    Those are the issues at hand.

    - Breeze editorial

1.b Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council reflects on role | The News-Press 

The Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council could become a bigger player in the area’s economic development as it seeks to shed a bulky bureaucratic reputation for a sleeker, more relevant one.
Officials hope to reinvigorate the agency, which is one of 11 planning councils in Florida, by emphasizing the need to foster economic development on a regional scale. Spending on economic development has been 2 to 3 percent of the budget since 2007.

State and federal grants provide 75 percent of the council’s money. The budget is about $4 million.

For the past 38 years, the council has shaped growth in six counties by reviewing major development proposals for compliance with growth management regulations.

It’s also been a liaison between local governments and the state and federal agencies concerned with growth.

But times have changed, and the council needs to adapt or it could disappear.

“It’s going to make the organization leaner and more relevant to the agencies funding it, ...

1.c Decision on regional planning council postponed - Cape Coral Daily Breeze

City Council postponed its decision to withdraw from the Regional Planning Council Monday, waiting for more information before making a final decision.

The postponement comes, in part, after Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz discovered that the city of Sanibel doesn't pay dues to have a seat on the council, using an old agreement that gave a free rotating seat to two municipalities in Lee County, ...

Council decided to pay its current dues of approximately $12,214 for the last quarter, and then address the issue again during its voting meeting Sept. 12.
The county has two seats on the regional planning board. ....

"I'm not comfortable with county commissioners," Councilmember Derrick Donnell said. "They do a great job, but I want us representing us."

"I'm reluctant to have our county commissioners work as our representatives many times they have interests adverse to ours," Councilmember Bill Deile added.

2. Charles G. Pattison: Guest commentary ... Improving existing roads should come before new corridors - Naples Daily News

... points of concern and recommendations as Florida’s new transportation “vision” process takes shape over the coming months.

... Department of Transportation is reviving its 2006 future corridors plan. ... implement a policy that new capacity on interstates, expressways and major river crossings should be funded at least partially through tolls.

For the record, we believe that with regard to highways, expanding capacity of existing major interstates and expressways (including multimodal options) and replacing aging infrastructure should constitute Florida’s highest transportation priority. Improving roads “where the people are” will facilitate growth and economic-development opportunities in existing developed areas, providing the highest and best use of transportation dollars.

Place greater emphasis on alternative modes of travel between regions of the state, including rail and air transit in close coordination with strategically chosen road and port projects.

4. Regionalism not good for colleges | The News-Press

The Florida University System's board of governors got some excellent advice this week from professional staff looking over a proposal to regionalize Florida's 11 state universities.

The advice was: Don't do it.

The idea, obviously conceived in haste with a touch of turf retribution, would have grouped Florida's universities into zones based on economic development regions.

Had the idea gone forward, any time a university wanted to break the surly bonds of its base campus to create new programs, establish satellite campuses in another region or develop corporate partnerships in another university's backyard, it would have had to get that other university president's personal approval.
A revision that seems reasonable would require each university to notify the board of governors and the chancellor in advance of establishing new programs in a region where another public university is established.

5. Editorial: Discussion of Treasure Coast virtual school significant step in regional collaboration -

    Can it be? Are the four public school districts on the Treasure Coast actually going to collaborate with a regional goal in mind?

    Based on comments during a joint meeting of school officials from St. Lucie, Indian River, Martin and Okeechobee counties, that prospect may become a reality.

    The first regional approach to education goals, according to that meeting, may be creation of a regional virtual school. While each of the districts offers courses through contracts with the Florida Virtual School, a state-approved provider, if the school districts on the Treasure Coast create their own virtual school, costs may be reduced, more children may have more opportunities for courses, and course offerings may be expanded.
    Two factors apparently play a major role in opening the discussion. One is the need to do more with less revenue. Creating a regional virtual school could help accomplish that.

5140-19  Kentucky

1. Some thoughts on ‘super regionalism’ - The Richmond Register

    Mayor Jim Gray of Lexington and Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville rolled out a plan for “super regionalism” that has the potential to really boost the economy of Central Kentucky, including Madison County.

    What impressed me was that the two mayors of the two largest cities in Central Kentucky have the foresight to recognize that cooperation and coming together can make a big difference in any project.

    They are promoting the idea that working together to build on our manufacturing assets and our educational assets will supercharge the economy of the region.

    While Louisville has the Ford Motor plant and a great research university, the Lexington area has the Toyota plant and another great research university.

    With teamwork, the two mayors see these assets as a driver to a great economic engine that lifts the entire region.

2. County leaders address four big regional issues | |

    The judge-executives of Boone, Kenton, Campbell and Grant counties Tuesday morning touted regionalism, warned against the dissolution of the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission, talked of possible 911 dispatch mergers and urged the need for the federal government to fund a new Brent Spence Bridge.

    They spoke to hundreds of business leaders Tuesday morning during the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce "State of Northern Kentucky" address in Erlanger.

    All four judge-executives said the elimination of NKAPC would be a mistake. The Home Builder's Association of Northern Kentucky and the Northern Kentucky Tea Party submitted 24,700 signatures to the Kenton County clerk last week to put the elimination of planning commission and the property tax that funds it on the November ballot. NKAPC provides planning and zoning staff for 18 cities in Kenton County, unincorporated areas in the county and is contracted by the city of Cold Spring in Campbell County

5140-20 Tennessee

1. State initiative plans grants for regional business accelerators |

    As part of Gov. Bill Haslam’s plan to create jobs, state leaders are now accepting applications for grants to support nine regional business accelerators throughout Tennessee.

    “The accelerators will provide education, training, mentoring, strategic and technical support and expanded access to capital to support innovation and regional entrepreneurship,” Tennessee Economic & Community Development spokeswoman Valerie Somerville said in an email. “Each accelerator will support and grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem within the area it serves and be incorporated into the strategic plan being developed for each Jobs4TN region.”
    Commissioner Bill Hagerty, who heads the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, said that the regional job base camps — which divide the state into sections with leaders for each portion — will be one of the most successful parts of the plan.

Note: The State Agency region boundaries linked above match the nine Development Districts. Such regional community alignment is very useful. One would expect it to be a commonly used tool to enable coordination and cooperation. Because few states use this alignment strategy, those that do have an advantage. My formula for effective regional communities is DNA - Define geographically and find a common Name for the region, then then Align programmatically  with other geographies that are greater or lesser. 

2. Regional summit stirs collaboration

    Infrastructure, technology, transportation and education were among the topics addressed during a regional economic development summit.

    About 150 people from 13 northeastern Georgia counties took part in the Governor’s Competitiveness Initiative regional meeting Thursday at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.

    The session’s purpose was to gather input from business and government leaders, as well as residents, on ways to strengthen the state’s economy.

    The meetings are being held in each of the Georgia Economic Development Department’s 12 regions.

5140-25  Oklahoma

5 area chambers join with Tulsa, Broken Arrow in compact | Tulsa World

Officials of five area chambers of commerce and the Tulsa Metro Chamber signed a commitment to collaborate on regional economic growth ..., joining a compact that Tulsa and Broken Arrow had formed in April.
Regionalism is necessary in today's global marketplace, said Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Metro Chamber. He noted that the fastest-growing economies are taking a regional approach that leverages industry concentrations, work force, infrastructure and pro-business government.

"We simply no longer can compete as individual cities," Neal said. "We are part of a mega-region, which competes against other mega-regions across the country."

... success of another mega-region ... mayors and other representatives from across the Tulsa region traveled to Louisville, Ky., to learn from efforts there. Twenty-six counties from Indiana and Kentucky came together across state lines with the goal of becoming a top 20 economic powerhouse, and their results were phenomenal

5140-26  Texas

Small towns eligible for aid - San Angelo Standard Times

    Less can be more when it comes to revving up the economy in small Texas towns.

    A state loan program just began making $1 million loans available — down from the old $5 million minimum — to qualifying public and private organizations, officials said. The change puts this route of economic development in reach of small towns. ... need for smaller loans ... "There were projects that we needed $1 million for,"- "A million, we could have borrowed, and we could have paid back. Five million was way beyond what we needed."

    The nonprofit Texas Small Business Industrial Development Corp. can now grant those $1 million loans to small towns at less than 4 percent interest through the Texas Public Facilities Capital Access Program.

    The possibilities for projects through the loan program are many: airports, parking and other transportation facilities, infrastructure improvements, pollution-control facilities, manufacturing and industrial plants, job training centers for universities ...

Humor Break - Standards Meeting - Dilbert comic strip for 08/02/2011 from the official Dilbert comic strips archive.


5140-27 Michigan

1. Regional quality of life stats released - Leader & Kalkaskian - Morning Star Publishing

    Detailing various data sectors applicable to 10 area counties, including Kalkaska, the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments (NWMCOG) recently released its regional quality of life statistics in an updated and improved format.

    A citizen and policy makers’ guide to assess and monitor quality of life issues in the region was setup by NWMCOG called “Benchmarks Northwest,” which provides easy access to nearly 400 indicators related to quality of life in northwest lower Michigan.

    The council gathered the information this summer, with the last massive data report from the council released around 2004 tied into the United States Census Bureau reports.

    “Data are an important part of decision-making. They provide individuals, non-profits, businesses, and local units of government indicators relevant to their operations or interests,” said Matt McCauley, director of regional planning and community development at NWMCOG.

2. Opinion: Bureaucrats need to make West Michigan a region again |

    “What have you done with 250,000 people?”

    So I asked a site consultant a few years ago, after our population numbers dropped sharply according to census data published by the federal government. Unfortunately, the answer had more to do with number crunching than West Michigan’s ability to retain and attract investment and talent. For reasons known only to federal bureaucrats, “West Michigan” — for statistical purposes — was changed from Kent, Allegan, Ottawa and Muskegon counties to three separate areas: one that includes Kent, Ionia, Newaygo and Barry counties, as well as one each for Ottawa, Muskegon, and Allegan counties. Never mind what we collectively thought about this.

    Welcome to the arcane and bizarre world of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB)-published “Standards for Defining Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs),” a set of federal rules governing how the nation is divided for statistical reporting. ...

3. Detroit's Gary Brown talks regionalization with Hills | Observer and Eccentric Newspapers and Hometown Weeklies 

Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown visited the Farmington Hills City Council ...

Brown has been visiting local officials in the suburbs for the past several months. He said he wants to reach out and keep the door open for regional cooperation.

“I have been travelling all over Oakland and Macomb, to say we believe in regionalization,” said Brown.

He said Detroit will not receive a single federal dollar in assistance until it shows it can solve its problems regionally.

Mass transit is the logical place to grow regionalism between Detroit, Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties, he noted.

“We must find a way to get a reasonable authority in place,” said Brown. “The system goes nowhere without a regional authority.”

Farmington Hills Mayor Jerry Ellis said Brown was “preaching to the choir.” He said the City Council has advocated to turn the SMART bus millage into an all-in or all-out system, ...

4. Mid-Michigan ISDs to collaborate, combine resources - Arenac County Independent

A new collaborative between area independent schools districts will have a positive effect on area schools according to Michael Dewey, superintendent of the Bay-Arenac Intermediate School District.

The newly formed Great Lakes Bay Region Instructional Services Department will combine curriculum and professional development efforts from the Bay-Arenac ISD, Midland County Educational Service Agency and Saginaw Intermediate School District.

Dewey said the new collaborative will have a positive effect on students at school districts in the Arenac County area.

“Because of this collaborative, we will have access to a lot more resources,” he said. “Before, we may have had six or seven contact specialists at the ISD who could educate students on subjects like math and science. Now we have access to 18 contact specialists from across the region.”

The new collaborative will also help districts who have had to make administrative cuts recently, ...

5. 4 named winners of 2011 Shining Light awards | Detroit Free Press 

The efforts to make Detroit a better region take on many forms, but the most successful leaders bring diverse groups together, as demonstrated by the recipients of this year's Shining Light Regional Cooperation Awards.

These winners will be honored by the Free Press and the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition at a ceremony Oct. 13:
• The Neal Shine Award for Exemplary Regional Leadership: Paul Hillegonds, senior vice president for corporate affairs at DTE Energy, who helped in the efforts to remake Campus Martius and the Detroit riverfront.
• The Dave Bing Future Leader Award: Brian Balasia, president and CEO of Digerati, who has collaborated on ways to keep Michigan's talented young people in the state.
• The Eleanor Josaitis Unsung Hero Award: Susan Goodell, president and CEO of Forgotten Harvest, ... and Louis Green, president and CEO of the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council, ...

5140-28  Ohio     

1. Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG) President Honored

Anthony L. Reams, president of TMACOG, received the Walter Scheiber Leadership Award at the June 15 annual meeting of the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC). The award is granted annually to a director or president of a regional council of governments who demonstrates professional and executive management excellence in carrying out regional concepts, approaches, and programs.

Mr. Reams was nominated by John Getchey, executive director of the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments in Youngstown. ...

Mr. Reams was particularly cited for his commitment to development of the statewide association of regional councils. Mark Policinski, executive director, Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments said, “Tony Reams demonstrated leadership when he helped rebuild the Ohio Association of Regional Councils. We’re now a more effective organization, recognized by NARC as one of the best state organizations in the country.”

2. Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission Announces The Materials+Energy+Economics Program for Ohio Businesses 

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission announces a unique program that can save millions of dollars for Ohio businesses while resulting in substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and waste sent to landfills. A new federally-supported program, ME3 (Materials+Energy+Environment+Economics), offers energy and "lean and clean" facility audits, along with participation in a network of companies that convert waste materials into profitable feedstocks.

Ohio-based manufacturing companies can receive professional assistance to reduce their operating costs, improve their productivity, and lower their environmental footprint. For a limited time, companies entering into ME3 will receive a one year membership in the Ohio By-Product Synergy (BPS) Network along with a complete suite of E3 assessments and services for a significantly reduced fee. Participants also receive a complimentary one-year membership in the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development.

3. Focus has to be bringing jobs to Appalachia | The Tribune

    Some economic developers do not want to see the region as Appalachia, but we are who we are. Maybe we can come up with a better marketing phrase, but another strategy would be to promote the strengths of Appalachia — strong work ethic, strong families and natural resources.
    JobsOhio is a major change. We know that the results that we want are not there under the past system, so Appalachia needs to become a part of the process by sharing what we want to do for our future. The Appalachian Business Council is inclusive and welcomes new members.

    Appalachia cannot sit back and say we do not want change, but what we can do is be part of how the change is taking place and attract jobs and investment to our region. It is for this reason we need a board member on JobsOhio to be at the table to give Ohioans, in general, and Appalachia, specifically, more jobs. The only way it will work for us is if we, as a region, are actively involved.

4. JobsOhio teams with Team NEO | WTAM - Local News 

    Team Northeast Ohio (Team NEO) announced Monday the election of 13 regional business leaders as additional trustees to oversee Team NEO’s new responsibilities in strengthening regional collaboration and advancing Northeast Ohio’s economy.

    As one of six JobsOhio network partners across the state, Team NEO will operate the JobsOhio regional office in Northeast Ohio. In addition to Team NEO’s role of marketing the region and attracting new businesses, it will facilitate the development of a regional economic strategy, increase collaboration among the region’s key economic development groups and assist companies and communities that are seeking support from JobsOhio for growth and job creation.

    ... new trustees bring high-level and broad-based business acumen to the board. Each has a deep personal commitment to collaborating to accelerate the growth of our region’s economy. We welcome them to the team and look forward to their contributions.”

5. Columbus2020 to take regional role in JobsOhio plan - Business First

    ... public rollout of Ohio’s new economic development strategy. At the stop, they said a $24 million pool is being established for six organizations around the state, including Columbus2020, that will be charged with putting together the initial stages of economic development deals, then funneling those to the new private nonprofit JobsOhio organization.

    Under an economic development contract with the state, JobsOhio will work with existing companies to expand or those looking to relocate to Ohio by providing some incentives. It also will assist those companies to quickly prepare applications for incentives that need to be approved by the state.

    Being a private organization will allow JobsOhio to work quietly with companies that want to keep the early stages of their expansion or relocation efforts a secret, said Mark Kvamme, interim chief investment officer of JobsOhio.

    JobsOhio will be funded through the state’s wholesale liquor business, ...

5140-32  Minnesota

1. Met Council Development rate in seven county metro area continues to slow - Shakopee Valley News

The rate at which land is consumed for development in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area continues to slow, according to the Metropolitan Council. Analyzing land-use data the council collects every five years, the council’s Research Department says the slowdown in the rate that land is being used for development mirrors the region’s slowing growth in population and record-low levels of residential construction in the last half of the decade.

The most recent land-use data, interpreted from aerial photography conducted in spring 2010, show the region added 23,000 developed acres from 2005 to 2010, .... This is an average rate of 4,500 acres per year, compared to an average rate of 7,500 acres per year during the first half of the decade, 2000-2005. During the 1990s, the region added developed land at an average rate of 9,200 acres per year.

Housing is by far the largest single land use, accounting for more than one-fifth of the region’s area. ...

2. Mural Painted on Mpls. Street to Help Slow Traffic | KSTP TV - Minneapolis and St. Paul

    In an attempt to make a busy intersection safer, a Minneapolis neighborhood used the street as their canvas.

    Sunday the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization, or CNO, painted a mural onto the pavement at East 34th Street and 19th Avenue South with help from more than 100 volunteers.

    The goal is to highlight the busy intersection so drivers see it and slow down. The intersection is a concern because it's used by kids headed to Corcoran Park.

    Neighbors say it's already working. Drivers are taking notice and heeding the stop signs.


    The project is just one of ten public arts projects planned for the next two years all to be paid for with a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.

    The CNO received $14,767 from the MRAC. The neighborhood kicked in some more money to bring the total for the ten projects to $22,000.

5140-33  North Dakota

ESF assists in drafting recovery plan for region - Minot Daily News

    The federal government is prepared to play a major role in the Minot region's flood recovery over the next three months, Tim Gelston with the federal Emergency Support Function told Minot's Flood Recovery Committee ... coordinating agency is the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Primary agencies are the departments of agriculture, homeland security, housing and urban development and Small Business Administration. Partners include ...

    Local partners also will be part of the planning.

    "It doesn't work if you are not part of the process. It has to be about us supporting your efforts to create your own plan," Gelston said. "It captures your vision for the community's future and a list of projects that your community has determined it wants to accomplish."

    He stressed the the plan also needs to be regional in scope, which the recovery committee also felt strongly about.

5140-35  Iowa

Regional Housing Trust Fund Has New Look Since Early 2010 | Oskaloosa News

    The RHTF or Regional Housing Trust Fund for Area 15 Regional Planning states that it’s mission is “The mission of the AHEAD RHTF is to promote the creation and preservation of affordable housing for low to moderate income households in our region.”
    Visit the RHTF website ... if you live in the following communities: Agency, ... Maharishi Vedic City. 

5140-37  Missouri

Centralia residents form own organization to revitalize economic engine | The Columbia Daily Tribune - Columbia, Missouri

At a social gathering organized by Centralia Regional Economic Development two weeks ago, there was a noticeable sense of accomplishment ...

The effort actually began nearly two years ago, in the fall of 2009. Several local businesspeople started meeting and expressed an interest in forming an economic development group similar to Columbia’s Regional Economic Development Inc. ...
...Centralia Chamber of Commerce brought in the University of Missouri Extension to help the floundering group. UM Extension held a “sort of a Community Development 101” for residents interested in keeping the effort going. They broke down the community’s goals into manageable chunks and revitalized the effort.

For the next two months, a visioning committee met weekly to write a mission statement and bylaws. In January, CREDI began holding open meetings each month and elected board members. “All of a sudden, we had an organization,” Stevens said.

5140-38  Kansas

1. Kansas: The Poster Child For Transmission Development

... Heartland Transmission Conference ... there's no place like Kansas for high-voltage transmission. That's because Kansas realized early on the benefits of developing its wind energy potential; it understood that new transmission will be critical to moving wind energy to market; and it figured out how to get it done.

This success of the Kansas approach ... clear ... officials and experts ... environmental leaders and other stakeholders examined where the state stands in transmission development and projected where they see the state and the region going in the future. Everybody agreed: transmission is the key to unlocking the full potential of renewable energy.

... presentation on the Regional Perspective panel discussion, transmission development boils down to the three "P"s: Planning, Pricing and Permitting. Here's how they play out in Kansas.

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP), which oversees transmission development in its nine-state region that includes Kansas, ...

2. Council receives update on Abilene population growth - Abilene Reflector-Chronicle

    U.S. Census figures have shown Abilene has grown in the past 20 years, according to one city official who tracks that information.

    Tim Hamilton, community development director, told those in attendance at Tuesday’s Abilene Economic Development Council meeting, that population has grown from 6,242 to about 6,844 over the past 20 years. ...

    He believed that in discussions with area officials that Abilene could have regional spinoff with the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, a Department of Homeland Security project that is expected to open later in this decade.

    Hamilton and city manager David Dillner met with Manhattan officials about regional projects in general. There is an interest in not only Manhattan but others in the Manhattan-Junction City corridor for regional collaboration and exchange of ideas.

    “We could potentially benefit from a regional economic development council,” he said.



1. Governors of California, Nevada sign Tahoe agreement |

    A summit at Lake Tahoe on Monday brought an agreement between the Governors of California and Nevada. Now all they need is hundreds of millions of dollars.

    The first Tahoe Summit began between President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore in 1997. Since then, $1.5 billion has been spent on measures designed to keep the lake waters clear.

    But there's a problem: Silt in the lake is on the rise, and the money's running out.

    "There is no magic bullet there," said Governor Brown when asked what the state could offer in terms of funding. "There is no Santa Claus. There is no bag of tricks."

    Brown's best hope is the economy in California will turn around again. In the meantime, Brown signed an agreement on Monday with Nevada's governor to develop an updated regional Tahoe plan by the end of next year.

    Nevada had been threatening to pull out of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. The agreement to develop a regional plan by the end of next year keeps everyone on board for now. ...

2. TRPA committee charts path for regional plan update |

To streamline the review and deliberation of items crucial to the Lake Tahoe Regional Plan Update, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board on Wednesday chartered a new committee to focus on update of the Plan.

The formation of this committee comes on the heels of the annual Lake Tahoe Summit where federal and state representatives urged swift completion of the plan update.

The TRPA Governing Board called for the newly formed committee to become a driving force on issues related to the regional plan and to bring greater efficiency and focus, ...

“Following the Summit, it is clear that completing the regional plan update is a top priority for the Agency,”
“The Committee will be able to delve deeply into the most contentious issues while keeping alive the spirit of compromise between the states and between different stakeholder groups to keep the plan update on track and on time,” ...

5140-46 Arizona

Regional 311 help-line system weighed

    Say your car hits a pothole. Or maybe a neighborhood stray is barking incessantly. Or there is new graffiti painted on your alley wall. Who do you call?

    In many major U.S. cities, there is one number to dial for those kinds of non-emergency government services: 311. And while that is not presently the case in the Valley, local governments in Maricopa County are in the early stages of creating a regional 311 system.
    The Maricopa Association of Governments, a coalition of local governments that serves as a regional planning agency, last month formed a group to create a 311 model for cities, towns and county governments in the metropolitan area. MAG will evaluate the technology infrastructure that the system would need and how costs could be shared between local governments.

    In Maricopa County, it is not unusual for a Phoenix resident to work in Tempe and socialize in Scottsdale. That is why a regional 311 system makes sense for the Valley, ...

5140-49 Oregon

1. Long-range growth plan for Portland area faces vote on Friday |

    An unprecedented long-range growth plan for the tri-county Portland area faces a vote Friday as the state Land Conservation and Development Commission wraps up two days of testimony and deliberations.

    Metro and the counties submitted amendments in May, accompanied by 14 objections from cities, neighborhood groups, individual property owners and advocacy groups.
    The commission will vote on urban and rural "reserve" designations that will guide development and preservation in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties until 2060. The counties and Metro, the regional government, submitted plans designating 28,256 acres of urban reserves. Those areas will be considered first when the urban growth boundary is expanded. Another 266,628 acres was designated as rural reserves, meaning it will remain as farms, forests and significant natural areas.

2. Central Oregon thinks regionally to attract large lot industrial employers [Daily Journal of Commerce (Portland, OR)]

By bringing a data center to Prineville, Facebook hasn't just helped the city; it's been a boon to almost all of Central Oregon.

And therein lies the problem, officials in Cook, Jefferson and Deschutes counties say.

Facebook is the only one of its kind in the area and county officials say it's time the large-lot industrial employer had company. Toward that goal, Deschutes County officials last week took the first step to implement a region-wide economic opportunities analysis that will help towns and cities in the county justify urban growth boundary expansions or zoning changes for industrial sites of more than 50 acres.
For more than a year, the tri-county area has been working with Economic Development for Central Oregon to compile the analysis, which will be entered into each county's comprehensive plan and used to justify land-use decisions. It's a move that was sparked by Facebook's decision to come to the region, ... Deschutes County's planning director.

5140-50  California

1. New regional effort launched to create jobs in Sacramento area - Sacramento Business, Housing Market News | Sacramento Bee

Community leaders launched a regional effort Friday to lift the Sacramento area out of its financial and employment doldrums and set it on the path toward creating jobs and building a stronger, more diverse economy.

The initiative, branded "The Next Economy," and unveiled at the Sacramento Metro Chamber's State of the Region event today, seeks to expand the region's economic base beyond the two-legged stool of government and construction that had long sustained Sacramento, but now is creaking under the weight of recession and budget cuts.

The groups cooperating on the regional strategy are the Metro Chamber; Valley Vision, a local nonprofit dedicated to regional planning; the Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization, or SACTO, a nonprofit that recruits companies to the region; and the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance, or SARTA, a regional technology incubator.

... including a reality check: "Identifying what will work best in the short and long term."

2. Amid ongoing debate, fate of AMBAG in doubt - San Jose Mercury News

The Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments sounds like a brotherhood. But among its ranks, unrest is swelling. ...The regional planning body - an agency few have heard of, but that plays a role in local transportation, environmental and housing issues - is taking a hard look at whether it should continue to exist.

"I think what you're seeing is the result of 10 or 15 years of unhappiness with AMBAG," county Supervisor Ellen Pirie said, a member of AMBAG's board.

Next month, AMBAG's board members, comprised of elected officials from Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties, will hear a report airing several issues that could be key to AMBAG's future. It follows work undertaken in other agencies throughout Monterey Bay that points to one question: Is AMBAG worth the price?

Stephany Aguilar, a Scotts Valley councilmember and president of AMBAG's board, says it is. ..."I will fight for the benefit of the region," ...

AMBAG is one of several regional planning agencies in the state. It is the federally designated regional transportation agency, and oversees other programs, such as a rideshare program and Energy Watch. It also pitches in on special projects, such as installing electric vehicle charging stations, and serves as a data clearinghouse for planning bodies throughout the region.

It also helps set greenhouse gas reduction policies, and is under a state mandate - like similar groups across California - to draw up a "sustainable communities" plan to reduce vehicle travel and fight global warming.

Under it's rules, AMBAG members representing 75 percent of the region's population have to approve a dissolution. So does the city of Salinas, which has a veto as the largest city in the area. Gov. Jerry Brown also would have to sign off.

"The concept of AMBAG, I agree with. That said, there are a lot of devils in the details," said Steve McShane, a Salinas City Councilmember and the city's lone representative to AMBAG. McShane said he keeps his Salinas colleagues informed of developments. 


3. California Central Valley air board asks for regional cooperation to avoid new $29m ozone fine - The Washington Post

Air quality officials in one of the nation’s most polluted basins are appealing to residents’ sense of civic responsibility to try to save the region from an extension of a federal fine for ozone pollution.

The San Joaquin air basin in California’s Central Valley became the first in the nation to be fined last year for failing to meet the federal deadline for reducing ozone pollution.

Now as an ozone-trapping summer temperature inversion begins forming across the valley, officials have launched a media blitz to get the word out that short-term personal sacrifices might help avoid the same fate in 2011.

“All it takes is for one place in the valley to go over for one hour and it jeopardizes everybody’s attainment status,” said Sayed Sadredin, executive director of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.

The valley must record three clean years in a row for the $29 million annual fine to end. ...

4. Huffman bill that would count foreclosed houses toward affordable housing goals heads for governor's desk - Marin Independent Journal

Legislation introduced by Assemblyman Jared Huffman that will allow local governments to count foreclosed property toward meeting their requirement for fostering the creation of affordable housing was approved by the state Assembly ...
To win political support for his legislation, Huffman was forced to remove a critical part of the bill. The excised section would have allowed local governments to petition their regional planning agency to reduce the number of affordable housing units they're expected to foster per acre.

Nowhere in Marin is this "density" issue more hotly contested than in Novato, where the City Council voted in July to defy the Association of Bay Area Governments' requirement to zone properties for a minimum of 30 living units per acre, the requirement for metropolitan areas. Instead, the council agreed to adopt a maximum density of 20 units per acre for future affordable housing projects, the requirement for suburban areas.

6000 - Pacific Ocean

7000 - Oceana

7420 New Zealand

1. The Draft Plan: five key matters - Christchurch Earthquake Rebuild |

This first Draft Plan, for the CBD, is a reader's digest of the mass of ideas and visions volunteered by the community, the council and its consultants. ... studies must be undertaken and the case proven before an extensive light rail or any other alternative public transport proposal could enter the regional Public Transport Plan and the Regional Land Transport Strategy as a project ...

A single agreed urban regional development strategy is essential to provide a focus for the councils, all public agencies, the Government and the private sector so they can work toward common urban development goals.

An agreed Canterbury-wide regional planning approach to a hierarchy of settlements is essential. Some of the solutions to Christchurch's post-quake problems will be found in the surrounding Canterbury towns.

Recent earthquakes now suggest a ceiling of about 450,000 residents for Christchurch and that a larger share of future growth should be accommodated in regional towns. ...

2. Quakes boost regional economy |

Nelson's economy is showing its first upswing in two years – boosted slightly by spinoffs from the Christchurch earthquake – but the picture isn't entirely pretty.

The Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency's six monthly progress report shows many sectors are battling and there is still plenty of challenges ahead.
Nelson's GDP has declined for three out of the last four years and lagged national trends. It has now recorded its first upswing since 2009.

Mr Findlater said the Christchurch quakes had a "temporarily positive influence" on the region's economy. Nelson Tasman had been a haven for refugees and provided seasonal employment for "considerable numbers" of Christchurch people, while holiday-style accommodation had seen increased demand from those wanting a break.

It was "hard to say" how long the Christchurch situation would continue to have an influence. ...

7430 Australia

1. Planning a Strong and Unique Economy - Lara Giddings, MP and David O'Byrne, MP - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

    The Tasmanian Government today unveiled a blueprint to achieve a bright and prosperous economic future for the state.

    The Economic Development Plan - will guide Tasmania’s economic direction and priorities for the next decade and beyond.

    “These reforms helped modernise and diversify our economy and restore confidence in the State’s finances by returning the Budget to surplus and eliminating net debt.

    “Now, as we adapt to the post GFC world, we are embarking on a new plan that allows us to adapt to the transition out of old industries and boost prosperity for Tasmanians through socially and environmentally sustainable development.

    “We know that jobs are the key to improving social standards and creating vibrant and resilient communities.

    ... strong emphasis on supporting job creating industries in regional and rural areas, assisted by the $120 million regional development fund recently committed by the Commonwealth in the Forestry Intergovernmental Agreement.

2. Oval funding anguish - Local News - The Transcontinental

The Port Augusta City Council is confident it will receive federal funding for the Central Oval upgrade despite a blunder that allowed metropolitan councils to access the same money.

The council has applied for $5 million through the federal government’s Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF) – an initiative designed to improve policy outcomes for the regions and included the promise of funding for local regional needs.

But application guidelines failed to differentiate between regional and metropolitan locations, allowing money believed to have been earmarked for rural communities to be accessed by any local government or not-for-profit organisation anywhere in Australia.

This allowed Adelaide City Council to apply for $25 million for the Victoria Square redevelopment.

Port Augusta City Council’s city manager Greg Perkin said while the increased competition would lessen council’s chances of receiving the money he was optimistic of its chances.

3. LNP to use plans to handle boom | Biloela News

STATE Opposition leader Jeff Seeney has revealed the LNP would manage the mining boom by creating regional plans that would ban resource projects in urban and intensive farming areas.
Queensland Resources Council acting chief executive Greg Lane blasted the changes, which would see about 10% of the state's existing exploration permits declared null and void.

Mr Seeney labelled State Government plans to ban mining exploration within 2km of towns with populations over 1000 as a “knee-jerk reaction.”

Premier Anna Bligh said a buffer zone would be declared via an exploration restricted area over land bound by the South East Queensland Regional Plan, as well as other regional centres and towns with a population of 1000 or more.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Ms Bligh said the 2km distance was open to consultation.

4. Funding for regions to be reviewed - The West Australian

A controversial Royalties for Regions program that has attracted persistent Opposition accusations of pork-barrelling will be reviewed, Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls has announced.

The Country Local Government Fund, a $150 million-a-year program of grants to country councils, will be reviewed by the WA Regional Development Trust, an advisory body chaired by former Democrats WA senator Andrew Murray.

Shadow regional development minister Mark McGowan last month took Mr Grylls to task because nearly one-third of the money set aside in the 2011-12 funding round was directed to councils in just two Nationals seats, held by Mr Grylls and Sport and Recreation Minister Terry Waldron.

The remaining two-thirds of the money was allocated to the other 15 non-metropolitan seats, six of which are held by the Liberals, five by Labor, three by the Nationals and one by an independent, John Bowler.

5. Regional planning to see success | Gladstone News

    “FAIL to plan, plan to fail” the old saying goes and Minister Tim Mulherin is determined to see the state's regions succeed.

    Outlining the State Government's plans for stronger regions to about 50 people at the Way To Grow forum in Gladstone ... Queensland's Minister for Food, Agriculture and Regional Economies said ...“We've been dudded for years,”...

    “We're dealing with 40 years of legacy issues as part of this process because in the past, there was no plan,” he said.

    For a state with hundreds of billions of dollars of assets and infrastructure, Mr Mulherin said the current three-pronged regional planning strategy was a first for Queensland.

    Incorporating the Queensland Regionalisation Strategy, the Bruce Highway Upgrade Strategy and the Queensland Infrastructure Plan, he said social infrastructure would be planned together with the roads, ports and “hard” infrastructure supporting regional industry growth for the first time.

8000 - Asia


Soesastro’s ‘second-generation’ strategy | The Jakarta Post

    The second-generation economic reform referred to tackling behind-the-border barriers from protection to sensitive sectors to institutional or regulatory deficiencies due to erroneous or misguided policies.

    The second-generation regional cooperation helps tackle these behind-the-border barriers.

    This second-generation model puts regional economies into two-way relations: how they benefit from regional cooperation and how the economy of the region as a whole benefits from individual regional economies.

    In the context of East Asian regional cooperation, this work remains undone despite its urgency. There are many reasons to explain the absence or limit of such regional cooperation.

    First, tackling behind-the-border barriers, which often become the main bottlenecks to domestic competitiveness, needs strong domestic political will that may be politically difficult to implement, especially if it is impeded by those with vested interests in the status quo.


Saudi Arabia: Redrawing the Map of Regional Alliances

    In contrast to the international and Arab response toward Qaddafi, the Arab states have hesitated to adopt an assertive stance against Asad. Yet ... different voices are starting to emerge: first, the joint statement by the Gulf Cooperation Council, which called for Syria to stop “the lethal oppression of its citizens,” and later the Saudi King’s statement, unusual for its severity, which declared that what is happening in Syria “is unacceptable to Saudi Arabia, which demands an end to the killing machine.”

    This statement testifies to Saudi Arabia’s positioning itself against the radical front led by Iran – after it previously did so in Bahrain – as it understands that the events in Syria have reached a critical level that may tip the balance against the Asad dynasty. This joins Saudi Arabia’s adoption of a more assertive stance since the start of the uprisings in the Arab world and its attempt to redraw the map of regional alliances in accordance with its interests.

8120  Korea

Korea signs E-Govt MOU with East Africa | FutureGov

Seoul Metropolitan Government Mayor Oh Se-hoon has signed a memorandum of understanding to increase mutual cooperation in e-government technology and other areas of interest with East African Community (EAC) Secretary General Richard Sezibera.

The EAC, which consists of the republics of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi and Tanzania, was formed to promote regional cooperation and development.

Sunyoung Jung, Assistant of Seoul Government CIO Dr. Jong-Sung Hwang, told FutureGov, “Together, the EAC and Seoul Metropolitan Government shall strive to work together to enhance e-government for development, establish and strengthen the Information Management Services in the EAC organs, institutions and other relevant institutions in the partner states, with the aim of achieving a paperless EAC, work together to support the development and deployment of key e-government applications, and build ICT Institutional Capacity for the EAC.”

8140  China

Dandong projects catch nation's attention - China Daily

    The State Council has approved the Progress of Invigorating Old Industrial Bases in Northeast China in 2010 and Priorities of Work in 2011... Accordingly, government bodies will give priorities and policy supports to Dandong for key projects of the city in the 12th Five-Year Plan period and its long-term development in the fields of infrastructures, social undertakings, industrial restructuring and upgrading and regional cooperation.

    Regional cooperation in the eastern part of northeast China, initiated by Dandong, will be brought into the national priority list. The Priorities of Work stresses to "deepen cooperation among the four provinces and one autonomous region in the northeast China to promote the regional economic development."

    Dandong will strive to integrate the planning of tourism, transportation, and water conservancy in the region. The Priorities of Work can help complement each other's disadvantages in the region and to boost common prosperity.

8272 India

1. Final call on Greater Chennai by fiscal year-end - southindia - Chennai - ibnlive

The State government will decide on the expansion of the Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA) before the end of this fiscal, R Vaithilingam, Minister for Housing and Urban Development, told the Assembly on Thursday.

In view of the fast-paced development taking place in areas beyond the present metropolitan area jurisdiction, like Sriperumbudur, Kelambakkam, Tiruvallur and Maraimalai Nagar, it had become necessary to review the Chennai Metropolitan Planning Area that was notified in 1973-74, he said.

The present CMA was limited to 1,189 sq kms which was the smallest in extent in the country. “In other cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata, larger regions have been declared as metropolitan area and comprehensive regional planning is being made.”

The need for a larger planning area around Chennai was being examined and a detailed report was prepared by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) for the government’s consideration. ...

2. No recognition to gated enclaves: BDA

A rude shock awaits those living smug and safe in the ''gated communities'' in the City. The major civic agencies do not recognise the islands of privacy that have sprouted across the metro and its suburbs.

In response to a query under the Right to Information , the Bangalore Development Authority and the Bangalore Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (BMRDA) have said that their rules had no provision for a “gated community”. Further, it is also learnt that the local Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike also does not recognise the concept. The information furnished by the two prominent planning agencies of the City is likely to give a rude shock to hundreds of citizens who believed that they were ‘protected’ from the outside world by building a wall around their luxury homes.

... the BDA said such layouts where houses/apartments have been constructed with approval from the Authority cannot claim ownership of the civic amenities within its campus. ...

3. Where’re those IT villages promised by MMRDA? - Mumbai - DNA

    When the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) announced ‘IT-enabled villages and virtual classroom project’ last year, it painted a rosy picture for the distant and under-developed areas of the metropolitan region.

    However, almost a year later, the project has not seen any progress at all.

    The IT-enabled villages programme was one of the first major projects that the authority planned after deciding to concentrate on regional infrastructure in October last year. However, not a single step has been taken after the announcement to create virtual classrooms in Thane district and equip the hospitals with virtual healthcare systems.
    When DNA inquired about the progress of the project, not a single official was able to give convincing answers.

4. Pilerne group cries foul over Regional Plan 2021's 'glaring discrepancies' - The Times of India

    The Pilerne citizens' forum on Tuesday strongly objected to "glaring discrepancies" in the draft regional plan 2021 for their village from what was initially proposed by the villagers.

    In a representation to the chief town planner, the group also blamed the village panchayat of Pilerne-Marra, which "in complete contravention to the letter and spirit of the preparation of RP 2021, instead of preparing a plan that represents the collective wishes of the villagers, has accepted suggestions for individual and personal land-use changes, and has forwarded the same to the town and country planning department".
    Spokesperson for the group, Yatish Naik, said there are several anomalies in the draft regional plan 2021 for Pilerne as compared to what was suggested by the residents. For example, while the roads in this quaint village are about 3-m wide, in the draft plan they have been shown variously from 6 m to 15 m. "This is to facilitate mega projects in the village in the future," ...

8316  Philippines

1. RDC-CAR encourages agencies, SUCs, LGUs to enlist celebrations, activities with RDC - Philippines

Agencies, state universities and colleges (SUCs), and local government units are encouraged to enlist their celebrations and activities with the Regional Development Council – Cordillera in order that these would receive support in terms of dissemination and for synchronization of activities.

The idea is to have a more united, comprehensive, and cost-effective celebration in the region, said the RDC-CAR.

Lead organizations and institutions most often encourage the participation of various organizations in the region including launching programs and hanging of streamers, the measure states.All regional line agencies, SUCs, LGUs, other government offices, and institutions are enjoined to hang up streamers.

It also encourages that meetings be held one month prior to the celebration for proper planning of activities.

The RDC-CAR Development Administration Committee will take charge of the consolidation of such undertakings.

2. Farm-to-Market Roads come first in Northern Mindanao - Cagayan de Oro News | Philippine News

    Northern Mindanao (Region 10) has enjoyed a well-earned reputation as one of Mindanao’s regions with the better infrastructure network, but regional planners agree much remains to be done.

    During the recent Regional Development Forum facilitated by the National Economic and Development Authority Region X (NEDA-X), ... most of the roads in the region remain gravel or dirt as of 2010, with almost 32.00 percent or 603.38 kilometers of the total arterial and secondary roads still unpaved and about 88 percent or 2,640.528 kms. of local provincial roads are still graveled or dirt roads.

    “The overloading of existing strategic roads and bridges was also noted, as well as the worsening traffic congestions in major cities,” Mr. Babaylan said. “In the rural areas, farm-to-market roads are still inadequate.”

    However, in its ranking of priorities, the InfraCom ranked the construction and rehabilitation of farm-to-market roads as most important.

9000 - Indian Ocean

9110  Sri Lanka

Too big to be ignored: India as a source market for tourism industry of Sri Lanka: - Economics of tourism industry -

    The tourism industry that produces tourist services as an ‘export commodity’ consists of a range of enterprises, establishments and organisations providing goods and services to meet the requirements of tourists.

    Tourism appears to be one of the most valuable sectors for reducing the economic marginalisation of developing countries in the global economy, as well as that of relatively underdeveloped regions and social groups within a particular country.

    Tourism is more labour-intensive than most of the other service sectors, ...It creates attractive job opportunities to ‘educated-youth’.

    Tourism is an important source of poverty reduction strategy as it is essentially linked to construction, agriculture, transport and, infrastructure is characterised by wide spillover effects on other economic activities.

    Tourism also reduces regional development imbalances by promoting the growth and development in different regions based on their local identity and local comparative advantages.

0000 - Earth again

Humor Break - Matrix management - approval from the cloud. Dilbert comic strip for 06/21/2011 from the official Dilbert comic strips archive.

1. A Joined-Up Regional Approach - Investis blog

    How do you communicate information that specifically concerns one market without overwhelming other markets with irrelevance? The answer, perhaps unsurprisingly, is to provide a suite of regional sites. However, all too often companies decide to hive off the design, build and the hosting of these sites to regional agencies. This frequently leads to a lack of coherence and consistency with group messaging and branding, not to mention causing significant additional costs.

    Furthermore, because the group website is (quite rightly) perceived as the definitive information source, regional sites often exclude content on the basis that the information is already on the group site. This leads to a frustrating user experience as well as sites that can feel both slight and lacking in authority.

2. Lera Boroditsky: How Language Shapes Thought -

SummaryDo the languages we speak shape the way we think? For example, how do we think about time? The word "time" is the most frequent noun in the English language. Time is ubiquitous yet ephemeral. It forms the very fabric of our experience, and yet it is unperceivable: we cannot see, touch, or smell time. How do our minds create this fundamental aspect of experience? Do patterns in language and culture influence how we think about time?

Do languages merely express thoughts, or do the structures in languages (without our knowledge or consent) shape the very thoughts we wish to express? Can learning new ways to talk change how you think? Is there intrinsic value in human linguistic diversity?   

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0000 - Earth
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7000 - Oceana
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