Regional Community Development News - November 28, 2011

This newsletter provides a scan of regional community, cooperation and collaboration activity as reported in news media and blogs. Article text is saved to on within the 1000 count limit. Geocode system and topic tags are assigned and included. These are a work in progress. "re:" is used  a pre-tag meaning: region/regions/regional. They link to the collection of related items. 
Top stories are tweeted daily.!/tomchristoffel

Carmine Palombo, director of transportation planning for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, thinks the three bus services will exist separately only for a limited time. SEMCOG is the regional planning agency whose long-term plans must include transportation projects before they can receive federal funding.
It also remains to be seen if Detroit's $528 million Woodward light rail line, which could be operating by 2015, is operated by an RTA or on its own, Palombo said.
"You wouldn't hope that there's another separate operating entity," he said.
A single, regionwide bus service is unlikely to happen because of Detroit's legacy costs, Megan Owens, executive director of Detroit-based Transportation Riders United,
which advocates for public transportation locally.
"No one is going to be willing to merge with DDOT and all its pension obligations and complex labor rules and hiring practices," she said. "I don't see that there's any way a true merger can occur."

American Water's single-pane-of-glass strategy brings multiple collaboration systems together on the desktop, avoids $3 million systems migration expense.
In an effort to improve collaboration, American Water Company took a hard look at its hodgepodge of systems from different vendors--and decided not to consolidate them.
"We decided we would rather put our effort into a multi-vendor, single-pane-of-glass environment than go to one vendor that says it does it all," said Steve Brescia, manager of enterprise architecture at the New Jersey-based company, which operates regional water utility companies across the United States.

Metro Atlanta … we can’t offer our residents and visitors — a seamless, unified transit network that offers efficient travel without a car. … Regional Transit Committee of the Atlanta Regional Commission … conceptual legislation that would create a regional governing body to bring continuity and efficiency to our current transit systems.
…Transit Committee has given three priorities to the governor’s Transit Governance Task Force that can help a transportation governance entity be most effective and meaningful to the Atlanta region:

● The newly created transit authority must be regional rather than statewide. This will allow it to deal more efficiently and effectively with regional issues.

● The new entity’s board of directors should be made up of a majority of local elected officials from the region.

● The voting power of a board member should be proportional to the population that each official represents and the financial contribution that member governments make to the entity.

Newspapers are always going to favor new building projects, because newspapers are dependent on the success of the local economy for their own success. This is the basic "Growth Machine" argument concerning the role of the media in the creation and maintenance of the local pro-growth coalition.
Critical analysis articles and editorials about the best course of action in the early stage of projects would have far more positive impact and greater likelihood of improving and correcting gaps and potential failures within the projects long before they are built.

It's no wonder why the process of organizational improvement and process innovation in the region is sooooooooooooo…ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo slow...there are limited outlets for critical analysis, and limited ways for the thinking public and advocates to shape the process, especially because we can expect very little press coverage of our positions, until it is too late to have any substantive positive impact.

The EU was often acting as a model of regional integration and provided political, strategic and financial support to many regional initiatives in Africa. However, the EU approach has not always been successful, raising frustrations, and at times resentments. At the same time, the international landscape has changed, with an increasing role of emerging players. A new GMF policy paper, authored by ECDPM experts, draws some tentative insights toward a more intensive effort at the G20 in support of African endeavors for regional integration. The EU could provide such impetus to do so, and could gain valuable insights itself to adjust its dedicated approach to support regional integration in Africa, say the authors.
o    2000-Africa

There seems to be a Washington obsession with terrorism and drug trafficking as the only security issues in the CARICOM region. ...
... However, Washington must understand that CARICOM nations are also faced with much broader security issues within their own local communities and it is rather unfair that cooperating regional nations should be hammered with narrow and selfish security issues that are centred on drug interdiction and terrorism.
... When local residents become victims of crime and the local investigating security body cannot find fingerprint powder to take fingerprint impressions, there ought to be concerns.
Therefore, the successful implementation and sustainability of the CBSI require cooperative planning in order to strengthen local security capacities. …
… If our leaders remain being Washington’s puppets, then communities are likely to pursue the path of defending themselves, thus affording the further breakdown of law and order. …

The race is on for more casinos in southern New England as Connecticut and Rhode Island look to expand to keep up with huge competition expected from Massachusetts, now that the Bay State has jumped into the business.
Connecticut's Mohegan Sun is seeking to build a casino in Palmer, Mass., as other casino developers look at Springfield and Holyoke as competitors for a western Massachusetts site. …
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed legislation Tuesday authorizing the greatest expansion in gambling in the state since the lottery was established 40 years ago. The new law authorizes up to three competitively bid casinos and one slots parlor. It caps a five-year effort that backers say will create thousands of jobs and generate hundreds of millions in revenue.

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee said the state gets more than $300 million a year -- the third-largest source of revenue -- from its lottery and two casinos. …

Premier Ted Baillieu has announced the Victorian Coalition Government would contribute $3 million to a project led by the University of Ballarat to increase regional students’ access to higher education and training.

Mr Baillieu, who is also Minister for the Arts, was at the University of Ballarat on Friday to mark the 10th anniversary of the university’s Arts Academy.
The project will see the University of Ballarat lead a consortium of five regional TAFE institutes to train 180 TAFE teachers to deliver high-level vocational education and training programs and elements of some undergraduate degrees.
The funding is part of the Victorian Government’s $20 million Regional Partnership Facilitation Fund designed to increase alliances between universities and VET providers in rural and regional Victoria.

Economic-development initiatives aren’t always easy to get your arms around, but a regional group authorized by the governor has done a sound job listing the area’s strengths and weakness — then identifying potential projects that could greatly enhance the Mid-Hudson Valley.
In those regards, the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council has fulfilled its initial mission, something each of the 10 councils across New York had to do, in part, to be eligible for state funding.
As set up by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, these councils are in fierce competition for economic-development dollars. ...
In total, the governor says about $1 billion of economic aid will be made available over time to the councils, charged with coming up with five-year plans to boost their regional economies.
This regionally driven, competitive process is a radically new approach by the state and bears watching.

“Between about 1980 and 2003 or 2004, we underinvested in electrical transmission,”
... power outages that have become more common during times of peak demand reflect a grid that is not equipped to meet the needs of bulk areas. Today, energy sales between utilities can involve “hundreds and thousands of megawatts in a lump,” and digital communications allow instant calls for more generation.

Meanwhile, 25 percent of transformers and lines are more than 20 years old, with much of that infrastructure much older...

“If our economy is to function at the rate it needs to, it’s going to have to be on the grid,” he added, and that requires transmission system improvements, and regional and inter-regional planning and cooperation.

Wind energy development is complicating an already complex system because of the geographic gap between supply and demand. “The highest qualities of renewables we have found are where there isn’t a very big load,” Hoecker said.

The emerging geopolitics of Asia envisages greater role for South Asian regionalism in strategic terms. The region seems to hold the key to stability in Asia and beyond. This larger context should not be missed in evaluating the recent 17th Saarc Summit in Maldives and assessing the Asean and East Asia Summit meetings in Bali. The Maldives summit also proved the considerable default value of Saarc as an institution once again. The smallest nation of the region, playing host in a setting south of the equator, underlined the vital maritime dimension of the grouping.
The summit also projected the improving outlook in India-Pakistan relations, and the upgradation of other bilateral ties all round. It showed Saarc’s inherent strength to coax and cajole the region to summit diplomacy every year and a half. The optimism, comfort level and progressively better convergence of interests of leaders at the summit should now be matched by rapid follow-up action. Going by the trends ...
o    8000.SAARC
o    re:summit
o    re:diplomacy

Reviewing articles on the Havana Times website, I found one comment to a post by a colleague that was a sharp rebuttal concerning regional differences.

We assume that such feelings have always been held by Cubans, but this isn’t a phenomenon unique to us. Rivalries between regions, states, cities and towns occur all over the world.

These always appeal to comparative terms, such as the inequality of opportunities created by different levels of economic, social or cultural development between regions.
Regionalism is a phenomenon worthy of in depth study. It has various aspects, indeed very curious ones, such as an implicit derision by capital city residents of their provincial cousins 

It’s as if those who are born in the capital feel “superior” to those people throughout the rest of the country-

The fact is that regionalism is noxious-

Regionalism tends to be sectarian and can create biases that harm society if people look at others with disdain simply because they were born elsewhere.
o    5212-00-Cuba

A five-county initiative recently introduced to the Knoxville metro area is currently putting together resources and ideas to help create long-term solutions for the region's future.
The latest undertaking of the Plan East Tennessee project was a series of November forums held throughout the region.
In Anderson County, more than three dozen citizens, city and county officials, and elected officials met at the Alex Haley Farm in Clinton to discuss the communities' and region's assets, and tried to prioritize the area's strengths and challenges.
Plan East Tennessee is a regional partnership of communities working toward a shared vision. The focus of the plan addresses five themes: jobs, housing, transportation, a clean environment, and community health.
The goal of PlanET is to create long-term solutions for investments in the five-county region and to define the next chapter in its history, leaving a legacy of optimism and opportunity for future generations.
o    re:plan
o    re:long-term
o    re:future
o    re:vision

They are called man camps — temporary housing compounds supporting the overwhelmingly male work force flooding the region in search of refuge from a stormy economy. …
Confronted with the unusual problem of too many unfilled jobs and not enough empty beds to accommodate the new arrivals, North Dakota embraced the camps — typically made of low-slung, modular dormitory-style buildings — as the imperfect solution to keeping workers rested and oil flowing.
But now, even as the housing shortage worsens, towns like this one are denying new applications for the camps. In many places they have come to embody the danger of growing too big too fast, …
The grumbling has escalated despite the huge influx of wealth from the boom, largely because it has become clear that growth is overwhelming capacity. Indeed, local leaders note incredulously that a conference on regional infrastructure took place in Colorado last month because the region lacked the facilities to host its own event.
o    re:boom

We're all in this together.
It's not the most original theme but certainly an appropriate one to hold a share of centre stage at the third annual Leeds and Grenville economic development summit held Friday at the North Grenville Municipal Centre.
And it came through loud and clear during a presentation by consultant Rory Baksh, who spoke about the development of a regional integrated community sustainability plan.
Baksh, associate and project manager with Dillon Consulting, said he was impressed with the passion shown for economic development by a crowd of 150 municipal and business leaders.
But he said that passion must be sustained for the regional sustainability plan, which is mandated by the federal government for the promise of s-tax revenue paid to the municipalities.

Reuters reports schools and businesses were closed and Peruvian police fired tear gas on Friday to break up a protest at Newmont Mining and Buenaventura’s proposed $4.8 billion Conga gold mine as the government tried to mediate a bitter environmental dispute over the project.

Residents in the northern city of Cajamarca which has more than 200,000 residents (pictured), led by the president of the region, say a new mine – adjacent to South America’s largest gold mine Yanacocha – will harm agriculture and livestock by relocating water supplies.

Nearly 500 years ago in Cajamarca the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro captured the Inca emperor, Atahualpa, and as a ransom demanded a room full of gold and two rooms of silver. The Incas handed over the precious metals but Pizarro killed Atahualpa anyway. Reuters quotes Jorge Rimarachin, a lawmaker from Cajamarca: “Everybody in Cajamarca knows the history of Pizarro. It’s very present in the minds of the people.”
o    5442-00-Peru

Regional Economic Development Council Final Five-Year Strategic Plans: 2012-2016
Regional Council Final Five-Year Strategic Plans: 2012-2016
Capital Region
Central New York
Finger Lakes
North Country
Long Island
Mohawk Valley
New York City
North Country
Southern Tier
Western New York
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o    re:plan
o    re:councils

Consultations are about to start to create a revised community plan to guide the future development of Mount Washington.
The work will be carried out by CTQ Consultants Ltd on behalf of Comox Valley Regional District over the next six months.
After they have made their final recommendations next May, regional district staff will draw up an official bylaw to guide future land use planning and development, along with the provision of public services.
In the Comox Valley Regional Growth Strategy, Mount Washington is designated as a 'settlement node' where growth will be encouraged, not just on land owned by the alpine resort company but also in the surrounding community.

Just days after the interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities was issued a death blow by having its funding axed in the FY2012 transportation budget, which President Obama signed into law Friday, HUD issued a reminder of just how sad that loss is: The agency released its list of 2011 award grantees — communities embarking on visionary projects that, with this assistance, will enable them to plan for the future holistically.
In truth, HUD’s Office of Sustainable Communities wasn’t completely zeroed out – there’s enough in the budget to keep the lights on, but not enough to make grants. I’m not sure what the office will do if it’s not making grants, though. Maybe some low-level cooperation with DOT and EPA can continue – after all, it seems like a no-brainer that the efforts the three agencies have made fit well within the goals lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been trumpeting this reauthorization cycle: streamlining federal process, ...

Tom's thought: "States and Counties are regions, as are nations."
The Rhode Island Division of Planning has won a $1.9 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to create a new statewide housing and economic development plan.
The plan, called “A Sustainable Rhode Island,” will deal with gaps in the state’s Guide Plan having to do with housing and economic development, a release announcing the grant said.
The grant is part of $97 million in Sustainable Communities grants HUD is making this year.
Groups expected to be involved in the planning process funded by the grant include:
Rhode Island Housing
Rhode Island Public Transit Authority
Rhode Island Department of Transportation
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation
Rhode Island Department of Health
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
GrowSmart Rhode Island
Rhode Island Legal Services
o    re:region

Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin’s request in 2002 to United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta for advice on how the city could address homelessness marked a turning point in the region. That request led to the eight-jurisdiction Regional Commission on Homelessness as a public/private collaborative that includes business, philanthropy, faith-based and government entities.

With support from United Way, this community effort has created more than 2,400 supportive housing units, 400 units of family supportive housing, the Gateway Center and many effective partnerships that constitute a continuum of care.

Initially, the regional commission proposed a 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness, defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development as an individual with a disability who has been homeless for a year or more. Our strategy is to close the front door to homelessness by preventing evictions and foreclosures, open a back door by ushering individuals into supportive and …
o    re:homeless

The New Metro Minority Map: Regional Shifts in Hispanics, Asians, and Blacks from Census 2010
Source: Brookings Institution
This paper shows how the rapid growth of Hispanic and Asian origin groups and new internal shifts of African Americans are transforming the racial and ethnic demographic profiles of America’s largest metropolitan areas ahead of other parts of the country.
o    re:census

To provide a better reflection of its global presence, MetLife Inc. (NYSE:MET) will undergo restructuring of its business segments. As a result, the company will now be divided into three geographical regions – The Americas, Asia and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). Additionally, MetLife is also creating a new global employees benefits unit.

Earlier, the company was divided into U.S. and International geographical regions. The acquisition of the American Life Insurance Company (ALICO) unit of American International Group Inc. (NYSE:AIG) in November 2010, amplified the company’s international presence substantially.

The acquisition expanded MetLife’s presence to 64 countries (up from 17 previously), thereby significantly increasing its International revenue share. Revenue at International increased more than three-fold in the third quarter of 2011 to gross $5.1 billion. …
o    re:global

The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (Metro Denver EDC) is committed to the economic development and growth of the Metro Denver region. The EDC brings together the interests of a broad range of public, private, and public/private groups to promote the Metro Denver area as a single economic entity. The collaboration of such a variety of groups and interests requires that certain standards of conduct must be developed and adhered to for the Metro Denver EDC to meet its goal. This Code of Ethics represents the standards that each member of the Metro Denver EDC supports and practices in its daily conduct of business.


We, the members of the Metro Denver EDC, set forth the following principles of behavior and standards of conduct to guide efforts in promoting the long-term economic health of the Metro Denver community. We fully realize that no Code of Ethics is of value without an inherent level of trust in the integrity of one another and a commitment from each of us …


Regional Leaders Commit to Culture of Collaboration | Indiana's NewsCenter: News...
On Monday afternoon, more than 100 people attended the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership's 2011 Annual Meeting, with the audience represented economic development partners from 10 counties in Northeast Indiana as well as business, education, government and foundation leaders.

The meeting concluded with a strong demonstration of regional collaboration as executives from all 10 local economic development organizations in the region signed a Code of Ethics.
The idea for the development of the Code came from a Leadership Experience trip to Colorado, earlier this fall organized by the Regional Partnership and Leadership Fort Wayne. The 36 leaders from Northeast Indiana who participated on the trip witnessed a powerful collaborative culture in Denver centered on a Code of Ethics that the Denver Metro region adopted over 20 years ago. 


'Cooperation can overcome power shortage in South Asia' |
South Asian countries must cooperate in addressing the issues of growing power shortage and energy insecurity due to high oil and gas prices in the international markets, … 

… India was trying to increase cooperation with all the neighbouring countries including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan to ensure energy security in the region.
Vyas said India proposes to set up an integrated power grid system covering member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to address the problem of power deficiency in the region.

"With India looking at increasing power availability by 800,000 gigawatts by 2030 to sustain GDP growth rates of 8-9 percent, the country's demand for energy will drive the formation of the SAARC energy grid," … 

"A lot is being done at the bilateral level but this needs to be scaled up to the regional level," …
o    8000.SAARC


Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board lands grant - Observe...
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer has announced that the Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board is set to receive $66,000 in funding from the Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) as part of a Partnership Planning investment to establish an economic development planning framework, process, and strategy that supports private capital investment and job creation in the region.
Specifically, this grant will help improve rural broadband, transportation and small business development. Schumer commended the EDA for their work to support economic development in New York.
"This is exactly what Western New York needs," said Schumer. "I applaud the EDA for choosing the Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board to receive this investment, as it will boost the economy in the region through improved transit, broadband and small business growth and create jobs for Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua residents."


Central Florida Takes in Millions for Rail and Roads Plans | Transportation Nati...
This week the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a $2.4 million dollar grant to the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council to develop transit options around Central Florida’s planned Sunrail commuter train stations.
The money comes in the form of a HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant. East Central Florida Regional Planning Council (ECFRPC) Commission Chair Cheryl L. Grieb says “The grant funding will support detailed station area planning for six of the 12 phase I Sunrail Stations, and affordable housing assessments for all 12 station areas.” Sunrail is slated to start running in 2014.


Cityscape: Our wastewater treatment system is one of region's great environmenta...
Last summer, Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay pitched a 1-0 gem against the Flordia Marlins, yielding no hits, runs, errors or walks over nine innings. It's what baseball calls a "perfect game."
Employees of the Metropolitan Council's regional wastewater system recently completed a perfect game of their own — 56 months of perfect compliance with their federal and state environmental permits.
Every day, the system's seven treatment plants process some 260 million gallons of wastewater from 105 communities in the metro area. It's enough water to fill the Metrodome in less than two days.
2,000 compliance tests a month
There are plenty of chances to fall short of environmental standards, since the compliance process involves some 2,000 laboratory tests each month for multiple pollutants in water samples taken from across the system. 


$4.9M HUD grant targets action on regional growth | & The ...
For two decades, cities, towns and counties in the Charlotte region have worked to blur boundaries to tackle issues and challenges they all increasingly share.

Now that will be done in a bigger way after the federal Housing and Urban Development department - awarded a $4.9 million grant to the Centralina Council of Governments to pay for regional sustainability planning.

It will pay to implement a plan by Centralina COG, the Catawba Regional COG and the Charlotte Regional Partnership that links officials and business leaders in 10 N.C. and four S.C. counties to develop well-managed growth.

Among the identified issues: The region's population is expected to double by 2030. Natural resources are at risk. To compete globally, the region must regain strength with healthy cities.

To get there, the "Connect" plan focuses on such vital concerns as reducing housing and transportation costs and environmental concerns; growing jobs and educational opportunities; and revitalizing communities hit


Regional economic development consortium wins federal grant
A consortium of municipalities in Warren, Washington and northern Saratoga counties has been formed to develop a regional plan for housing, transportation and economic development.

"We are looking, just as the governor and Washington now are looking, that things have to be done on a regional basis," said Glens Falls Economic/Community Development Director Edward Bartholomew.

A $750,000 federal Department of Housing and Urban Development grant announced Monday by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., will pay for preparation of the plan over three years.

"With this investment, the Adirondack Gateway Council can take a lead role in charting the path for the region's future, coordinate better access to transportation and broadband and boost sustainable development," Schumer said in a prepared statement.
Adirondack Gateway Council is the name of the consortium of municipalities that received the grant.

The plan would compile statistics on a regional basis. …


HUD grants $2.6M to Shelby County for regional planning - Memphis Business Journ...
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded Shelby County a $2.61 million regional planning grant focused on green initiatives and sustainability.
Called the Mid-South Regional Greenprint and Sustainability Plan, it will focus on long-term land use planning in the region.

The grant’s partners include the West M
emphis MPO, the Mid-South Regional Greenways Steering Committee, ULI-Memphis, the Hyde Family Foundation, Memphis Regional Design Center, the Community Development Council of Greater Memphis and Mid-South Peace and Justice Center.

One focus of the grant is to increase participation by traditionally marginalized populations as well as increase access to greenways, bikeways and other modes of alternative transportation in low-income and minority neighborhoods.


McBride Dale Clarion Chosen for Regional Growth Planning Process | clarion, mcbr...
The effort to launch a long-term, strategic planning process for the tri-state region that includes Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Northeast Alabama reached another milestone with the selection of a team of firms led by McBride Dale Clarion to serve as facilitators. … The goal of the Regional Growth Planning Process is to engage people from across the region in developing strategies to preserve what we love about our home communities while making the most of our economic momentum. … 
Regional Growth Planning Process Q&A;

1) Which counties are included in the footprint for the planning process?
• Alabama Counties: Dekalb and Jackson
• Georgia Counties: Catoosa, Dade, Murray, Walker, Whitfield (anchored by City of
• Tennessee Counties: Bledsoe, Bradley (anchored by City of Cleveland), Hamilton
(anchored by City of Chattanooga), Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea and Sequatchie
o    re:planning
o    re:growth


Efforts of 40 area agencies land federal regional planning grant | Lansing State...
The promise of $3 million in federal money to improve the quality of life — including revitalizing a 19-mile stretch of Michigan and Grand River avenues — is a good way to draw a crowd.

More than 30 people gathered outside the Michigan State University Center for Community and Economic Development on Monday to hear about the grant the region will receive over the next three years.

"I think the go-it-alone philosophy is coming to an end," Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero said. "This is proof positive that when we all pull in the same direction, there is nothing we can't achieve."

The ultimate goal? Managing population, employment and fiscal declines while strengthening environmental quality, economic opportunities and social equity.

The three-year grant will begin with plenty of local meetings, research and planning, said Susan Pigg, executive director of the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, the lead grant applicant.


Collaboration credited with $4.5 million grant win - The Denver Post
The words "collaboration," "cooperation" and "working together" were on the lips of top Colorado politicians who gathered in downtown Arvada Tuesday to celebrate a $4.5 million federal grant for transit-oriented development.

The money, granted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), will be used to plan and design urban centers near three light-rail stops on future FasTracks lines. Possible projects include affordable housing and pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly improvements along the planned Gold, East and Northwest lines.

HUD handed out $96 million in grants to 56 projects nationwide Tuesday. There were 468 applicants totalling $500 million, so the money wasn't easy to get.
Congressman Ed Perlmutter said Colorado's reputation for working together helped win the grant.


Kansas City Metropolitan Area Awarded HUD Sustainable Communities Grant - Kansas...
Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) will receive a HUD 2011 Sustainable Communities Grant for $403,432. The grant will allow the Kansas City region to align codes and policies in participating communities to encourage and foster sustainable development and redevelopment.
This funding is among the 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants -- totaling over $97 million – HUD announced. The First Suburbs Coalition at MARC is one of the 27 communities and organizations receiving a Community Challenge grant. Another 29 regional areas are receiving Regional Planning grants. The goal of the Sustainable Communities grants is to help communities and regions improve their economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation. ...


Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership field test results suggest pot...
- Injection field tests conducted by the Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP) suggest that geologic capacity exists to permanently store hundreds of years of regional CO2 emissions in nine American states.
MRCSP’s just-released Phase II final report indicates the region has l
kely total storage of 245.5 billion metric tons of CO2, mostly in deep saline rock formations, a large capacity compared to present day emissions. … CO2 emissions in the MRCSP area, over half of the emissions come from large, stationary sources such as power and industrial plants. These units account for nearly 700 million metric tons annually.

MRCSP is one of seven Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSPs) established by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) to determine the best geologic and terrestrial storage approaches and apply technologies to safely and permanently store CO2 for each partnership’s specific region.


Report Finds Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) Creates Jobs and Stimulat...
A new report finds that the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) has had a positive economic impact on the region. According to the report by the Analysis Group, RGGI, a carbon dioxide cap-and-trade program for large power plants in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, has injected $1.6 billion into the region’s economy, and created 16,000 jobs since the program launched in 2009.

So, what do we take from this? First, despite low allowance prices, the program has been a success, as the states have built a robust program design that still delivers benefits to the region. Second, this report provides further evidence that properly designed climate policies can boost the economy, and so we don’t need to choose between the economy and the environment. Finally, the report shows that states can still serve as “laboratories of democracy” by testing new ideas and policy proposals.

The Analysis Group found that RGGI led to a small 0.7 percent increase in electricity prices. …


Grantees of 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced the recipients of the 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants, totaling over $97 million. Twenty seven communities and organizations will receive Community Challenge grants and 29 regional areas will receive Regional Planning grants. The goal of the Sustainable Communities grants is to help communities and regions improve their economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation. 
Press Release
List of FY2011 Community Challenge and Regional Planning Grants
Summaries of FY2011 Community Challenge and Regional Planning Grants
Map of FY2011 Community Challenge and Regional Planning Grantees
o    re:grants


Vision 2020 sees seven transformative goals in region | The News-Sentinel - Fort...
… Vision 2020, a regional effort for improvement in northeast Indiana. … “five pillars,” areas of focus with great potential to improve the economy: 21st-century talent, competitive business climate, entrepreneurship, infrastructure and quality of life. The goals … increasing the proportion of Northeast Indiana residents with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025. … Encouraging entrepreneurship through Quick Start … Improving regional internet access … Improving access to the Interstate … Continuing to streamline the permitting and zoning processes … create a more business-friendly climate. Increasing flight frequency … Pursing riverfront development in downtown Fort Wayne to help create a vibrant and dynamic metro center for the region. … “The mission of Northeast Indiana is to develop, attract and retain talent.” – and guiding vision: “The vision is for Northeast Indiana to become a top global competitor, exceeding the expectations of businesses and residents.”
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o    re:vision
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Northern Nevada business: Seeds in place for economic future |
The good news for northern Nevada in the much-publicized 181-page economic development agenda unveiled by Metropolitan Policy Program of The Brookings Institution and SRI International:
The region already shows strength in five of the seven economic sectors that researchers say are likely drivers of Nevada's effort to free itself from the muck of the recession.
Even better news: The researchers say innovation will be among the key factors spurring recovery, and northern Nevada already is home to the bulk of research and innovation activity and investment in the state.
The bad news: Even with all this, the region's economy remains unbalanced — it's only half as diverse as the national average — and Reno, Sparks and Carson City have suffered what the researchers called “severe and protracted dislocations” during the recession.


Regionalism: Wonky but Real - Citybizlist Baltimore
… despite city limits, voting districts and state lines on maps, in the real world of air and water, of urban transportation and economies, city regions function in ways our American political systems may not recognize. Although environments, economies and living patterns create very real urban regions, those geographic areas don't exist in the basic structure of the government of the United STATES. Under the Constitution, states have powers; cities don't. So is it possible to invigorate meaningful efforts to manage city regions as regions? … several days chewing over that question … plenty of good ideas taking place at the regional level. … In today's grim economy, state governments should recognize their enlightened self-interest in helping, not hampering, their city regions. … With or without a formal regional government, smart metro areas will - often led by the business community - start working together. … a regional approach may not be the answer, but should always be a question
… White House Rural Council meeting at the Transylvania County Library with leadership from the Land-of-Sky Regional Council, …
One theme … the need for communities to be solution oriented by setting priorities and realistic goals for the direction they want their region to head. … county is working within the region to figure out how they can build a sustainable community for the future, one that recognizes the great economic value of the water, farmland and forests in Western North Carolina.

Participants asked about how communities can continue economic growth with declining Federal, state and local resources. We spoke about the need for regional planners to get the right people around the table in order to create a clear vision in the community so that they can make the best use of Federal funding to form partnerships and leverage private sector development. Because ultimately, the economy in Brevard, like the small towns we grew up in, is linked to the rest of the region. …

Basic Geocodes - 
0000 - Earth
0900 - Arctic Ocean
1000 - Europe
2000 - Africa
3000 - Atlantic Ocean
4000 - Antarctica
5000 - Americas
6000 - Pacific Ocean
7000 - Oceana
8000 - Asia
9000 - Indian Ocean
"Global Region-builder Geo-Code Prototype" © 
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