HUD & EPA Webcast - 2 pm Wednesday, June 15 - Notice of Funding Availability for the Capacity Building for Sustainable Communities Program - Applications Due July 8

Received today - June 14, 2011
From: Sustainable Communities
Sent: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 2:02 PM
To: Sustainable Communities
Subject: Announcing the Capacity Building for Sustainable Communities Program

HUD’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities and EPA’s Offices of Sustainable Communities, Water, and Brownfields and Land Revitalization are pleased to announce a joint Notice of Funding Availability for the Capacity Building for Sustainable Communities Program.

For the first time ever, HUD and EPA will join forces to competitively award $5.65 million to strengthen the capacity of existing grantees from each agency to create more housing choices, make transportation more efficient and reliable, and support vibrant and healthy neighborhoods for American families.

The award program will build upon the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, an innovative interagency collaboration, launched by President Obama in June 2009, between the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), HUD and EPA to provide more sustainable housing and transportation choices for families and lay the foundation for a 21st century economy. Award recipients will support a growing network of existing and future HUD and EPA grantees that are advancing sustainable regional planning and development. The network of grantees will exchange ideas on successful strategies, lessons learned, emerging tools, and public engagement plans. The Capacity Building for Sustainable Communities grant program will award funds to capacity building service providers who will work directly with grant recipients from the FY2010, and FY 2011 HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning and Community Challenge, HUD Preferred Sustainability Status Communities, and EPA Sustainable Community Technical Assistance and Brownfield Area Wide Planning grant programs.

Applications for the NOFA are due July 8, 2011. Nonprofit organizations, local or state public agencies, for-profit organizations, nationally recognized and accredited Universities or Colleges, or any combination of eligible entities as a Capacity Building Team are eligible to apply for funding. For more information on how to apply, please review the notice of funding availability (NOFA) by clicking here.

                To see the press release for this initiative, please click here.

HUD and EPA will be hosting a webcast tomorrow, Wednesday, June 15, at 2 pm to discuss this new program. We will send out an email with the access information shortly.

For more information on this funding opportunity, please visit, or contact Rachel Kirby in HUD’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities at

In order to participate in Wednesday’s webinar, you will need both to call in by phone and to log in online.  Instructions are as follows.

Telephone Access
In order to hear webinar audio, please call (877) 941-6029.  There is no passcode—an operator will ask for your name and other optional information, and then connect you to the call.

Internet Access
In order to view the webinar, please visit  You can log on up to 30 minutes before the meeting start time.  If that link doesn’t work for some reason, you can go to and enter the meeting ID 58HH9B.

We urge you to check beforehand to ensure that LiveMeeting works on your computer.  In case it does not, you may also use the attached slides to follow along.

We look forward to your participation.

Regional Community Development News - June 12 & 13, 2011

1. Slow down, partner up - Tbnewswatch

Patience and partnerships are the key to regional economic development says Stuart Trundle.

And he should know.

The CEO of Venture Taranaki Trust saw his region in western New Zealand go from having the lowest socio-economic indicators in the country to the highest in one decade. Like Northwestern Ontario, Trundle said his region had high unemployment rates and high out-migration to places like Australia before regional economic development started to increase growth rates, salaries and create over 15,000 new jobs in a region of 109,000 people.

The road to economic development had disasters and tribulations, ... key to its success was partnerships between the public and private sectors.

"A new model a new paradigm between the private sector the public sector, that’s both local and central governments, but more importantly the community," Trundle said Monday at Fort William Historical Park, a key-note speaker at the province’s Think North II conference.

"I think it’s actually engaging every single element of your community in the governance process, in the long term planning, that you can really achieve your true aspirations as a province or a region."

One danger is moving a regional economic development plan too quickly Trundle said.

Communities are often tempted to move into strategy before even identifying what a region wants and where the decision-making will come from. What needs to be fixed, what needs to be achieved and finding the proper talent are all necessary questions that need to be answered.

"If there’s a piece of learning I think it’s learning to have run very slowly in these processes. It is a 25 and 50 year horizon for communities to really make significant turns, " he said.

"Sometimes there’s a danger of dumbing down your aspirations and perhaps also thinking too short term around political life cycles rather than intergenerationally," he said. 


2. GUEST COLUMN: Time to open dialogue between California, Nevada | Tahoe Daily Tribune

In the final hours of the 2011 Nevada State Legislative Session, the bill known as SB 271 passed, bringing with it opportunities for the two states that bound Lake Tahoe to reinvigorate the spirit of compromise that created the Tahoe Regional Planning Compact more than 40 years ago. The bi-state consensus that brought about that original agreement was no doubt hard-fought, and when Lake Tahoe's future is in the balance, the spirit of compromise has succeeded in bringing the two states together in a significant way.

SB 271 is the latest signal sounding that Lake Tahoe's future is currently in the balance. Discussing bi-state consensus is again in order, but the pressing issues are different. Forty years ago, the problems were rampant growth and a lack of environmental controls on new development. Change was needed.

Today, Lake Tahoe faces an outmoded economic base, aging infrastructure, and the need for a stormwater control program to restore lake clarity that could cost up to $1.5 billion over the next 20 years. Throughout the proceedings on SB 271, the Nevada legislators and stakeholders who worked on this bill showed clearly that they want to protect Lake Tahoe. But they also want TRPA to again be the solution, not the roadblock, to needed changes at Lake Tahoe.

Rather than look at this legislation as a negative, the better view is for the community to see the encouraging possibilities for reasonable reforms it opens up for us.

— Joanne S. Marchetta is the executive director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

3. County decides to move forward on forensic center | center, county, forensic - Odessa American Online

Ector County Commissioners approved moving ahead with taking over the Permian Basin Forensic Center and operating it as regional consortium ...
County Judge Susan Redford said the offer by the center’s parent company to donate $665,000 to Ector County in building, furniture, supplies and equipment would have expired ...

“It’s not a good deal for us alone,” Redford said.

The Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission has been working with the county to set up this regional group. The PB Regional Planning Commission is a forum for promoting intergovernmental cooperation, coordination and regional planning to address area-wide problems.

Under the plan, Ector County would be the host county and other counties would buy in by paying an annual fee and the cost of the autopsies. Redford said she would form a committee with the regional planning commission to develop a regional model for venture. Twenty-nine counties used the forensic center when it was open. ...

4. Lowry welcomes 'fantastic' boost for region - The Irish Times

The €460 million casino and leisure development proposed for Two-Mile-Borris will provide a huge economic fillip to Tipperary and the wider region, ...

“It’s fantastic news,” ... decision to grant permission to the Tipperary Venue, albeit without the 15,000-capacity indoor entertainment venue and against the recommendation of the board’s inspector.

An Taisce, which led opposition to the Tipperary Venue, said that the “split decision” of the board in granting permission to some elements of the project contravened the National Spatial Strategy policy of locating new development in existing designated regional centres, and national climate and transport policy in curtailing car-based development.

... the country has over-capacity of 15,000 hotel bedrooms. “The decision exacerbates the spectre of ghost developments. Once more this is evidence of short-term expediency and developer-led planning overriding national spatial plan and regional planning guidelines,”

5. Stegmaier aims to improve life in county, region | Richmond Times-Dispatch

Chesterfield County Administrator James J.L. "Jay" Stegmaier is a passionate man.
Ask him about regionalism, which tops his current list of pet projects, and he ... delivers a reasoned explanation for how and why he's able to work, mostly behind the scenes, on quality-of-life issues in Chesterfield and surrounding localities.

... Stegmaier has been a visible and vocal presence on a wide variety of regional issues, commissions and groups.

... Greater Richmond Chamber, the Capital Region Collaborative and Leadership Metro Richmond, among other groups that have worked in recent years to solve regional problems and to improve the quality of life in the area.
He says the Board of Supervisors, ... has made regionalism a priority, too. And the leadership in neighboring localities, he said, is amenable to open, honest and occasionally tough conversations about what the area needs.

Some of that, he said, has come about because of a consistency in county leadership.

6. Regional habitat plan moving forward - San Antonio Express-News

The Southern Edwards Plateau Habitat Conservation Plan ... has been on residents' radar all year, beginning with a standing-room-only crowd that filled the Kendall County Commissioners courtroom on Feb. 14 to warn that San Antonio shouldn't look to Kendall County's private property resources to offset damage to the habitat of endangered species.

At issue is the plan's vision to voluntarily set aside some acreage for endangered species to mitigate, or offset, development in northern Bexar County.

The city of San Antonio and Bexar County are seeking an Incidental Take Permit from the U.S. Department of the Interior's Fish & Wildlife Service. An incidental take permit is the agency's stamp of approval for development to proceed despite damage to endangered species and/or their habitats.

As part of the permit process, land would have to be purchased and set aside elsewhere in the region to offset the potential damage of development.

7. DuPage County Airport a model for regional airport excellence - Welcome to the FastLane: The Official Blog of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation

Last month, I spoke with members of the Regional Airline Association about the important role regional airports play in American aviation and in our economy.

Regional airports operate more than 13,000 flights a day, which amounts to more than half of all commercial flights nationwide. These airports are also home to the regional airlines that allow Americans to fly where national carriers cannot afford to serve. They connect millions of us to family and friends; they connect local businesses to national markets. They also provide a base for many corporate aircraft fleets and serve as vital reliever hubs for our metropolitan 

Yesterday, I visited the DuPage County Airport, one of America's busiest general aviation airports and a terrific example of the benefits regional airports provide their communities.

8. TIS Committee Focuses on Regional Collaboration, Transportation Reauthorization | National League of Cities

NLC’s Transportation Infrastructure and Services (TIS) Steering Committee met last week in Kansas City, Mo., to work on authorization, transportation finance, regulatory streamlining and goods movement and to discuss the importance of regional collaboration and cooperation.

... discussions on alternatives to the federal fuel tax, strengthening metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and proposals to change the threshold for becoming and remaining an MPO.

...TIS also held a joint session with the Information Technology and Communications Steering Committee on Kansas City initiatives that use information technology for improving transportation programs. Operation Greenlight coordinates traffic across the region to reduce fuel consumption and accidents and emissions.

... successes and challenges faced by the region’s coordinating body, the Mid America Regional Council (MARC), which seeks to improve connectivity and fill the gaps in transportation in the region.

9. Shining Light award an honor for regional leaders | Detroit Free Press |

Spotlighting exceptional people doing outstanding work that uplifts the region is what the Shining Light Awards are all about, and the nomination process is currently under way.

The Free Press and the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, a group of business, government and labor leaders, cosponsor the annual awards.
Inspired by longtime Free Press editor and publisher Neal Shine, the Shining Light Awards are presented in his memory and honor individuals who make important contributions to regional cooperation, progress and understanding in metro Detroit.


10. Guest voice: Why Erie needs to ramp up historic preservation - Local Columns - Erie Times-News

Many in Erie believe that demolition and more parking lots represent the best way to foster redevelopment of our urban core. ... Six years ago, regional leaders claimed the EMI demolition would attract a taxpaying manufacturer and good jobs. Instead, we have a nice football field in the heart of Erie's historic industrial corridor, with few jobs, and zero tax dollars.
The demolition-as-jobs strategy ignores the well-documented fact that across the country, preservation-restoration projects generate many more local jobs than new construction projects. If Erie's political and economic development leaders are seeking to create jobs, they should do what so many other cities have done so effectively: Formulate a policy-driven and multifaceted strategy to adaptively reuse the industrial, commercial, civic, sacred and residential buildings that have been part of our city and this region for generations.

11.  New report outlines potential for lakeside areas - Post-Tribune

Identifying projects with the most potential to rejuvenate an industrial corridor of Southeast Chicago and Northwest Indiana is the aim of a report released Monday.

The Urban Land Institute and the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority prioritized projects extending from the former U.S. Steel South Works site in Chicago to the company’s plant in Gary. ...

“We spent time looking at projects already on the drawing board,” said Paul Shadle, co-chair of Urban Land Institute Chicago’s infrastructure committee.

The architects of the plan held onto the idea that future success of the corridor is dependent on Illinois and Indiana working together.

“The big recognition that we have today is we are on the same team,” RDA Executive Director Bill Hanna said. “At the end of the day the bottom line is we are on the same page, pushing in the same direction and asking the right questions.”

12. Regional transportation plan is still too vague for citizens | The Tennessean

A “Long Range Transportation Plan” has been adopted by those with a vested interest in transit and growth ( “Music jams, traffic jams: Consider mass transit,” June 7). Attendance at public meetings revealed little if any interest, by John and Jane Citizen, homeowners and neighborhood associations, etc. Why? It’s too long-range for them — 25 years!

As for the “free” Music City Circuit — it is free at the fare box, for the rider. To be complete and objective, tell us what it is costing per rider.

Current planning merely takes us to the lifestyles of other mega-metropolitan areas that don’t have the appeal of the Nashville of today. Let’s take advantage of their mistakes, instead of repeating them.

Some cities such as Atlanta have state-of-the-art transit and still have traffic congestion — an end product of growth. A challenge to our political leaders and media: Tell us the complete intent of the plan. Tell us what will happen if the plan isn’t executed.

13. Watershed planning can prove rewarding | The Columbus Dispatch

More than 1,500 square miles of central Ohio are a blank slate, waiting for locals to decide what land they'd like to preserve, cultivate or develop.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission has asked local officials, residents and business owners to create maps in five watersheds, identifying areas for priority development, conservation and agriculture - a process called "balanced growth planning."

With central Ohio expected to gain population, making a plan now can help in the future, MORPC associate planner Erin Grushon said.

Balanced growth was launched in 2005 by the Ohio Lake Erie Commission in four northeastern Ohio watersheds. The plans were endorsed by the state two years ago, meaning that communities are eligible for state incentives if they follow the maps' plans.

14. Are Businesses Fleeing the Suburbs? -  INFRASTRUCTURIST

Crain’s is predicting the fall of the ”the suburban corporate headquarters campus.” At least that appears to be the case in the metropolitan Chicago region. A number of big companies — including Sears, AT&T, Motorola, and Sara Lee — are eyeing a return from their suburban compounds to the Windy City. The trend reflects a new “corporate mindset,” writes Crain’s in a special report:

As the 21st century enters its second decade, many companies are discovering the drawbacks of the isolation they sought. Hard-to-get-to headquarters limit the talent pool a company can draw on and feed a “not-invented-here” insularity that ignores major shifts in industries and markets.

The reason for such moves, writes Christopher Leinberger at The Avenue, is that the “millennial generation” insists on living and working in walkable cities:

15. North Eastern Council prepares tourism roadmap - The Assam Tribune Online

Regional planning body North Eastern Council (NEC) has prepared a master plan for the development of tourism in India's northeastern region, an official said here on Monday.

"The draft master plan will be discussed in the NEC meeting in New Delhi later this week," NEC director (human resource development) Sherry Lalthangzo said in a statement. "The master plan was prepared as per the 'NER Vision 2020' by the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)," she added.

The 'NER Vision 2020' document, announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in July 2009, sought to spur investment, reduce poverty, enhance connectivity and bring the backward northeastern region on par with the rest of the country by 2020. A total of Rs 14 trillion will be required to implement the project.

16. Dump the Pump Day to promote public transportation | Pensacola News Journal

In light of high gas prices, Escambia County Area Transit will join other public transportation systems nationwide to participate in the sixth annual National Dump the Pump Day on Thursday.

This year’s slogan is "Dump the Pump. Save Money. Ride Transit."


ECAT’s general manager and a representative from the West Florida Regional Planning Council will speak about the importance of public transportation and a proclamation will be presented.

... Dump the Pump is sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). The 2011 National Dump the Pump Day encourages people to ride public transportation and save money, instead of driving a car.

Started in June 2006, when gas prices were $3 per gallon, this national day emphasizes that public transportation is a great travel option that also helps people save money.

17. Group hopes to find keys to regional growth -

Are you unemployed? Underemployed? Have your buying habits changed? ...

... president of the Chesapeake Group, the consulting firm hired by the Pottstown Metropolitan Area Regional Planning Committee to help figure out how to make the most of this sluggish economy.
The idea is to get a picture of the market in the eight municipalities that comprise the group, as well as the surrounding area, to help determine what kind of businesses should be encouraged, and what kind don't stand a change or are already amply represented.

And to get that information, they need your help. The study will be based on a survey that is online ...
"This information is extremely important for our fiscal impact strategy,"..."and we hope to use this information to help figure out how many businesses this region a can really support."
"the world has changed very rapidly and there is no good data out there to understand how this economy has put stress on families."

18.  8th Annual Conference of Technipolicy Network - Open Innovation for Regional Development  - 26-28 September 2011, Tampere, Finland

Financial Crisis 
19.  Stephen Zarlenga: How the Economists Facilitated the Crisis and Must Now Be Held Accountable - Huffington Post

The ongoing financial crisis presents a rare opportunity for monetary and banking reform. There's no denying that the present "Economics Regime" has been a key cause of the pain, suffering, illness and even death inflicted on America's less affluent; and of the worldwide economic destruction. It's important that the economics profession be held to account for its part in this crisis. This was well expressed by economist James K. Galbraith in his testimony to the Senate Crime Subcommittee on May 4th, 2010:  

"I write to you from a disgraced profession. Economic theory, as widely taught since the 1980s, failed miserably to understand the forces behind the financial crisis." With rare exceptions, those in control of the world's monetary/economic agenda and the theories supporting it have helped bring the world to its knees. Shouldn't they and their theories be held accountable?

Which particular monetary error is most responsible for the tragedies? In our view, the most glaring error is that economists have not understood or appreciated the difference between money and credit.

More bookmarks:

Regional Communities - "Think Local Planet, Act Regionally."