Regional Community Development News - June 14, 2011

1. Visiting business leaders preach the gospel of regionalism - St. Louis Beacon

If St. Louis area business and government leaders needed any more reasons to embrace the gospel of regional cooperation to boost economic development, they got a powerful sermon on Tuesday: Other regions already are way out front.

Economic development experts from other regions met with St. Louis region business and government leaders to stress the importances of working together.

That was the lesson taught by economic development experts from Kansas City, Nashville and Oklahoma City. ... hammered home the point that intramural turf battles can't do anything but hurt a metropolitan area's efforts to attract businesses from an outside world that is focused on a much larger picture.

... chief economic development and marketing officer for the Nashville area chamber of commerce, put it: "Fighting is nothing but risk, and risk is the enemy of economic development."

... Kansas City Area Development Council: "We have to approach what we do as a region. We can't do it any other way."


2. Amazon's goal to eclipse 2,000 jobs - Business - The Sun News

Online retailer Amazon is looking to bring more jobs than the initial payroll of 2,000 to a distribution center it is opening this fall ...

..."We have a history of growing in states that welcome us. We want to grow here."

That goal was announced near the conclusion of a daylong celebration of Amazon's arrival in the Midlands, a gathering that seemed unlikely after a legislative setback in late April.

... credited the determination of area business and political leaders to revive a tax break for the $125 million project as a turning point in the conflict.
Lexington County leaders say the resurrection of the project taught them ways to better work together. 

It broke longtime barriers to regional cooperation, County Councilman Johnny Jeffcoat of Irmo said.

"This is the catalyst that brought it all together," Setzler said. Those ties will be useful in the future,

"This is the issue of today," he said. "Tomorrow, there will be another."

3. EDITORIAL: Regional economic development the right path to growth | The Jackson Sun

When it comes to economic development, bigger is better. That is why metropolitan areas such as Memphis, Nashville and Chattanooga manage to attract big corporate investments, expansions and economic growth. These are tough business environments for smaller communities to compete against. That's why the regional approach to economic development involving Jackson-Madison County and several other West Tennessee cities and counties make sense.

Jackson has long been the economic hub of West Tennessee outside of Memphis-Shelby County. Even a community the size of Jackson-Madison County is hard pressed to compete with large urban areas. But when you begin to think regionally, rural West Tennessee becomes a more attractive potential business environment.

Non-urban areas can have advantages over large urban areas. ...

Gov. Bill Haslam has placed great emphasis on regional economic development by establishing nine regional centers to promote economic growth. ...

4. Region strives to be wind energy hub | The Columbian

A wind energy supply chain is emerging in the Portland-Vancouver region as manufacturers and economic development agencies step up efforts to win a growing piece of the global wind energy market.

..., regional economic development agencies, including the Columbia River Economic Development Council and the Portland Development Commission, are offering companies renewable energy training programs and are talking up the region at global wind power trade shows.

Most of the wind turbines in the U.S. are imported from foreign manufacturers, largely in China and Europe. Yet, regional wind energy boosters hope to make the Portland-Vancouver region a hub for the manufacture, installation, repair and maintenance of wind energy components.

The work to get there is under way. ...

5. Plans envision Pittsburgh airport of future | Pittsburgh Business Times

A pedestrian-friendly world trade center on Pittsburgh International Airport grounds. The green redevelopment of University Boulevard in Moon Township. The creation of a new high-tech town at the now-rural corner of Routes 22/30 and the Findlay Connector. These are some of the plans that could jump from the drawing board to reality in and around Pittsburgh International Airport within the next three or four decades.

... The idea is to create a Pittsburgh Aerotropolis, an economic region centered around an airport that combines the best of industrial, commercial, educational and residential development. The term was coined by John Kasarda, of the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina, who addressed the conference Monday at Robert Morris University.

There are already Aerotropolises in Dallas, Dubai, Hong Kong and, most notably, Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

6. Bernard Ginns: Teamwork the key to delivering the goods in business - Business News - Yorkshire Post

THE Yorkshire International Business Convention is supposed to be about inspirational speakers inspiring an audience of Yorkshire business leaders.

But it was difficult to feel inspired about the local enterprise partnerships, whose chairmen took part in a debate at the conference.

... it is about the distinct lack of regional coherency in the whole set-up.

Mike Firth, the YIBC organiser, summed up the problem in his opening remarks.

“We have a real issue in Yorkshire with the demise of the regional development agency. I think we have lost our voice.

“Whatever you thought of Yorkshire Forward, it was connected to London. I’m really concerned that control is being moved back to London.”

Mr Firth added: “We need business to stand up and shout for Yorkshire.”

He’s right. Someone or something has to step into the void and promote the many interests of this unique region.


7. The Daily Home - Population rise draws talks of redistricting

PELL CITY — The City Council began formal talks about redistricting for next year’s election after the 2010 census showed a substantial increase in the city’s population.

Brett Isom, a geographic information systems administrator for the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, told the council Monday night that the city saw 33-34 percent growth since the last census, which will require a new form of government after the 2012 election.

“There’s no reason to think we can’t keep five districts,” Isom said.

The Regional Planning Commission helped the city re-establish voting districts after the 2000 census came out.

“We were able to maintain a minority district,” Isom said.

8. Council delays funding of Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority | The Charlotte Observer Newspaper

The Charlotte City Council passed its $1.6 billion budget Monday night, but voted to withhold $10 million slated for the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority because of concerns with oversight at the city's tourism arm.
The CRVA board in April had voted to hire a consultant to review its operations after the Observer reported a staff member had been given $115,000 in bonus payments from the CIAA basketball tournament. In addition, the consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers, was to review the authority's spending. The Observer reported that the CRVA spends money on local business leaders and public officials for dinners, drinks, sports and concert tickets as "thank you" gifts.

But after paying PricewaterhouseCoopers $25,000 plus expenses, the CRVA said it had no written report from the firm. Instead, it released to the media a 21/2-page summary of the consultant's findings, written by board members. 

The summary had few details.

9. Regional Group Greenlights Three Major Transportation Studies in Jersey City | The Jersey City Independent

Bus Rapid Transit to Journal Square, a bikeway along the Morris Canal and permanent mass transit into the heart Liberty State Park — these are the major transportation issues soon to be examined in Jersey City, now that the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) has authorized three new local studies as part of its Fiscal Year 2010-11 work program.
The studies are part of the NJTPA’s Subregional Studies Program, a competitive grant program designed to help counties and cities develop transportation improvement strategies rooted in the NJTPA’s Regional Transportation Plan. The Liberty State Park and Morris Canal studies are estimated to cost $220,000 each, and the BRT study is estimated to cost $250,000, with funding beginning on July 1 and stretching over two years. All three studies will be paid for primarily with federal funds.

10. Area seeing more transit than road projects for first time - Post-Tribune

For the first time, local transit projects outnumber road projects in the 2012 to 2015 Transportation Implementation Program, Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission directors said Tuesday.

“When people say transit is dying, we’re increasing it,” NIRPC director of planning Steve Strains said. “One hundred ninety-three is a significant number of transit projects.”

The 2012-2015 transportation improvement plan includes 193 transit projects, 161 local projects and 93 Indiana Department of Transportation highway projects.

While there are a greater number of transit projects, more funds are going to local and INDOT highway projects. ...

Iowa Workforce Development is shutting down 37 field offices statewide, despite top legislators from both political parties saying they oppose the plan.

The plan is expected to affect rural parts of the state the most. Lawmakers say it would cause some unemployed Iowans to have to drive up to 80 miles to one of 16 regional workforce development offices, rather than having a satellite 
office that’s closer to home.
Iowa Workforce Development Communications Coordinator Katie Hommer on Thursday told that the budget plan calls for shutting 37 offices statewide, or two fewer than the original plan of closing 39 offices. A February news release from the department described it as a “reformed and enhanced delivery system” that would turn 55 field offices into “16 regional integrated one-stop offices and over 500 locally enhanced access points.

12. USL outlook on administration and regional development includes three stages till 2016 - Romanian News Agency

The outlook of the opposition Social Liberal Union (USL) on the public administration and regional development will be implemented in three stages, till 2016, but only after a referendum is held and the Constitution is amended, ...

In 2012 they should start transferring tasks from the central government to the regions and the Ministry of Regional Development is dissolved. In 2014 the local authorities will elect a regional council, headed by a regional chairman, and there will be a transition period till 2016 in order to take over the funds control.

In the USL outlook the central government retains regulating and controlling tasks and everything pertaining to development must devolve on the provinces.

Every region must have a big university, a big hospital, an airport, a business centre and a cultural centre, suggests USL.

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) has once again shown that regionalism is very much alive and can work well for the benefit of the people of nations that choose to co-operate in the true spirit of the norms agreed upon by concerned signatories.
Last month, the Solomon Islands decided to close its territorial waters to international purse seiner vessels fishing in them. Observers are hailing this decision as one of the toughest stands taken by a Pacific Islands nation in favour of sustainable fisheries and in co-operating with other signatory member nations of the Parties of the Nauru Agreement.

More "region, regions, regional" resources tagged "re:*" with global geocodes:

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