Regional Community Development News - June 21-23, 2011

 1. Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Foundation Announces Groundbreaking Economic Study of Metro Region -- CHICAGO, June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Foundation today announced that it has undertaken a ground-breaking economic study of the Tri-State Chicago Metropolitan Region to be conducted by The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).  This is the first study of a U.S. metro area and will encompass a dynamic geographic and economic area that includes parts of southeast Wisconsin, northwest Indiana and the Chicagoland area, creating a comprehensive understanding of how a more integrated economy will enhance the region's global competiveness.  "This study will provide invaluable insight to the three states and encourage cross state participation, something that has been difficult to achieve," ...

"The Tri-State Chicago Metropolitan Region is a unique review, because not only is it the first Territorial Review in America, but it presents the challenge of having three separate governments to work with.

 2. Official: Growth Management Lives On After Legislative Changes |

The death of growth management in Florida has been greatly exaggerated, a state official contended at a conference in Polk County on Wednesday.

"I was a little surprised at the obituaries written about growth management," said Billy Buzzett, secretary of the soon-to-expire Florida Department of Community Affairs, referring to media reports on changes to state law in the 2011 legislative session. "Growth management is not dead."

... The current DCA will expire on Oct. 1 and will become part of a new agency called the Department of Economic Opportunity.

Growth management may not be dead, but the Legislature massively shifted the responsibility for approving new residential and commercial development from the state to the county and municipal level, according to DCA officials.

...Buzzett and other DCA officials didn't criticize the new growth management law, but they indicated the Legislature did not always accept their proposals.


 3. New Policy Paper Calls for Creations of Regional and Local Collaborative News Networks -- WASHINGTON, June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation released a new policy paper that calls on leaders of local print and broadcast media to spearhead the creation of regional and local collaborative news networks that meet the information needs of their communities. These interactive news networks are part of a broader set of strategies for re-inventing local journalism that are aimed at addressing the need for media policies that foster innovation, competition and support for business models that provide marketplace incentives for quality journalism.Re-Imagining Journalism: Local News for a Networked World, by Michael R. Fancher, outlines five strategic areas that are critical for reforming local journalism and calls upon for-profit media, not-for-profit and non-traditional media, higher education, community and non-profit institutions, libraries, researchers, government at all levels, and citizens to each play a role ...

 4. Four East Side communities will study merging, with county help | Cleveland

Decades ago, they split apart. Now, Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike and Woodmere are considering merging in the most significant step toward regionalism Cuyahoga County has ever seen.The four East Side suburbs -- which along with Hunting Valley once made up Orange Township -- already share a school district, recreation programs and senior services. Last year, they studied sharing police, fire and public works. And Wednesday they announced they will study whether joining together could save their residents serious money....Planners and other good-government advocates have long viewed Cuyahoga County, with its 59 communities, as ripe for mergers, collaborations or tax-sharing agreements.
The latest merger proposal grew out talks four years ago about sharing services, said Moreland Hills Mayor Susan Renda. The idea took on added urgency this year, when the state announced big cuts in aid to cities and the county offered assistance.

 5. Orange Mayor Kathy Mulcahy speaks out on regionalism | Cleveland

Mayor Kathy Mulcahy welcomes neighboring communities to stop talking about regionalism and actually do something about it.

Mulcahy has talked of regionalism several times during council meetings and with other public officials. She said Orange is in the perfect position to be a leader in testing the municipal theory of “regionalism.”

“We have well-seasoned, long term, well known department heads. ... “Their community roots are very deep. They know most of the key players in the Chagrin Valley. They place us in a good position to be a leader for regionalism.”

She said the Baldwin Wallace study conducted last year in hopes of offering regionalism recommendations to Pepper Pike, Orange, Moreland Hills, Hunting Valley and even Woodmere has given the village a great body of knowledge to follow up on.
Mulcahy said the communities need to quantify what regionalism means in terms of economic benefit.

 6. A zoo for all of us - Toledo Blade

Wood County commissioners refused Tuesday even to ask their constituents whether they would be willing to pay the same property tax to support the Toledo Zoo that Lucas County residents have paid for years. So much for regional cooperation to support a regional asset.

Commissioners rejected zoo officials’ request to place on November’s ballot a 0.85-mill, five-year levy that would have cost the owner of a $100,000 home 50 cents a week. A renewal of that operating levy for the zoo will appear on the Lucas County ballot this fall.

The zoo’s benefits, economic as well as educational and cultural, transcend Toledo and Lucas County. Zoo officials said they needed help from Wood County because of rising costs of animal upkeep and staff, and dwindling revenue from a deteriorating Lucas County tax base.

In a typical year, the number of Wood County residents who visit the zoo equals more than half the county’s population. ...Wood Countians would have gotten one day a week of free admission ...

 7. Area biotech path could lie through Richmond | Daily Progress

Though Robert T. Skunda considers Virginia only middle of the pack compared with other states’ biotech programs, the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park president hopes the state’s biotech industry will grow stronger, including the improvement of regional collaboration.

Effective collaboration is among numerous ingredients that could help the industry thrive in the coming decades. Commitment from universities to advance biotechnology is also key, experts contend, in addition to securing stable funding streams.

As both Richmond and Charlottesville are positioned to continue developments in the biotech industry, Skunda says, solid ties between the cities could advance the interests of both.

 8. Regional planners in turmoil || Gulf Coast Business Review | Tampa Bay, Bradenton, Sarasota, Fort Myers, Naples

Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council members considered suspending Executive Director Ken Heatherington at an emergency executive committee meeting Thursday afternoon. But his job is still not safe, and he could be fired by the end of the month.

Council Chairman and Marco Island Councilman Chuck Keister called the meeting, and issued an email about the subject only two hours prior. Keister recommended the suspension following a public outcry that ensued after Heatherington terminated three staff members because of budget cuts and put another on administrative leave for violating department policies. Three of the four are planners: David Crawford, Jason Utley and Dan Trescott. Trescott is accused of the policy violations.

The controversy evolved from a decision by Heatherington to move forward with the layoffs that were to be effective at the end of June, rather than present alternatives to Keister and the council first.

 9. Bike-sharing network may expand to Rockville - The Washington Post

Those sturdy red bicycles that have woven their way into the urban landscape in the District and Arlington could make their debut in Rockville by next year with the help of a $1.9 million federal grant approved Wednesday by the regional planning board.

More than 1,100 bikes offered by the Capital Bikeshare program already are being used by commuters, shoppers and tourists in Washington and across the river in Arlington, with riders choosing bikes from more than 110 secure docking stations.

The funding, approved by the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board during a regular meeting, would be used to add 200 bikes and 20 docking stations in Rockville and Shady Grove. Because it’s unlikely that many people would pedal from Rockville into the District, most of those bikes would be used around town or to commute from home to Metro stations.

10. New research provides analysis of operational costs in trucking | Canadian Transportation and Logistics

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has released the findings of its 2011 update to An Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking. ...

"Given the essential role that trucking plays in freight transportation, quantifying the value of proposed infrastructure improvements depends on real-world industry data. As a result, ATRI's operational costs data will be a critical input to the transportation planning process," said Ted Dahlburg, manager of freight planning for the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Philadelphia-Camden-Trenton region.

ATRI identified 2008, 2009 and first quarter 2010 cost per mile and cost per hour figures stratified by fleet size, sector and region of the country. ... The average marginal cost per mile was $1.45 in 2009 and $1.49 in the first quarter of 2010 for the for-hire segment of the industry.

... "Fleets are extremely sensitive to even the smallest change in operating costs

11. Mississippi coastal tourism going regional | The Associated Press | Entertainment | Washington Examiner

A new regional tourism partnership created to help administer a $16 million grant from BP may soon replace individual tourism bureaus all along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The Mississippi Coast Regional Partnership was created earlier this year after the state and BP agreed to award Mississippi $16 million for tourism.

The partnership is made up of two representatives from Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson counties respectively, and seven appointments from the Gulf Coast Business Council....

"At the end of the day, we feel like it will make it better for Hancock County," Pullman said. "If we get on the backs of Harrison and Jackson counties, there is going to be a lot of spill over, and a lot more opportunities."

Local tourism officials, however, say they are not sold on the regional approach.

Beth Carriere of the Hancock County Tourism Bureau said creation of the partnership means the end of the local bureaus....

12. Opinion: Regional strategy key to clean energy - Rep. Lois Capps - POLITICO

Last week, President Barack Obama traveled to Durham, N.C., to tour Cree Inc. — one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of energy-efficient lighting. He spoke with employees and met with his Jobs and Competitiveness Council to discuss initiatives and policies to spur economic growth, promote job creation and accelerate hiring across the United States.

A major point of agreement is that one of the most effective models to achieve these goals is regional innovation clusters that focus on developing and commercializing clean energy technologies, accelerating regional economic development and creating jobs. Another is that strong federal support for energy research is critical to developing technologies that will allow the U.S. to transition away from imported oil, reduce carbon pollution and build a world-leading clean energy industry.

Research funding alone, however, is insufficient to address the commercialization needs and economic development opportunities available ...

13. Quality of life issues align in 5 ET counties » Knoxville News Sentinel

While five East Tennessee counties span areas as diverse as downtown Knoxville in Knox County to rural farmland in Union County, they share much in common, a special report released Tuesday shows.

Ninety percent of the residents of Knox, Anderson, Blount, Loudon and Union counties spend nearly half their incomes on housing and driving, according to that "State of the Region" report.

Common health concerns include heart disease, diabetes and childhood obesity, it states.

Issued by the Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission, the report is the benchmark for an ambitious, multi-year study of the region about to be launched by a team of professional consultants.

"It is Planning 101," Mark Donaldson, MPC's executive director, said of the report. "We figure out where we are as a region, where we want to go, and how to get there."

The regional planning effort even has a catchy title: Plan East Tennessee, or PlanET for short.

14. Gov. Scott makes appointments to regional planning councils | Saint Petersblog

Governor Rick Scott today announced nineteen reappointments and two appointments to eight regional planning councils throughout the state.

Apalachee Regional Planning Council, Region Two ...

15. The Geography of Peace - Creative Class

The overall level of world peace world fell for the third year in a row, according to the latest version of the Global Peace Index produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace. Most of this trend was driven by the increased “social and political turmoil in the Middle East and North African Nations during the early part of 2011,” the report notes.

But what are the factors that shape the relative peacefulness of nations? And, what is the connection between peace – or its opposite – on their economic growth, well-being, and prosperity?

This map charts the Global Peace Index (GPI) scores for 153 countries worldwide. The GPI is based on 25 separate indicators of internal and external conflict, including wars and external conflicts, deaths from external conflicts, militarization, weapons exports, homicides, access to weapons, violent political demonstrations, prison populations, and police presence.

16. ‘Adventure capital of the UK’ - News & Star 

LEADERS from Cumbria’s tourism industry met to discuss how they can better co-ordinate marketing activity to provide a boost to the region’s visitor economy.

There are growing fears over the ability of the region to promote its “world class” tourism offer in light of public sector funding cuts and the phasing out of the Northwest Regional Development Agency, which heavily supported the sector.

Tourism experts believe the physical make-up of the region means it requires a unique marketing strategy.


17.  Five Regional Cities And Economic Corridors To Propel Transformation Agenda - BERNAMA

Transformation programmes will be formulated and implemented for five regional cities and economic corridors in recognition of their importance and potential to propel the economic growth of the country.

In a statement Tuesday, the Performance Management & Delivery Unit (PEMANDU), said the transformation programmes for the five will build on the excellent work done to-date.

"It will take the development achieved to-date to the next level to build out regional and global hubs in their economic areas of specialisation," it said.

The five are -- Georgetown and the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER); Johor Baharu and Iskandar Malaysia and East Coast Economic Region (ECER); Kuching and Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE); and Kota Kinabalu and Sabah Development Corridor (SDC), it said.

18. The former Yugoslavia: Let's hear it for the Yugosphere | The Economist

Two years ago I coined the term "Yugosphere" in an article for The Economist. I thought the word encapsulated some of the dynamics I had seen developing in the former Yugoslavia in recent years. ...

... the idea also has political application. I expect to see ever-more co-ordination among the states of the former Yugoslavia. ...

First, the Yugosphere was simply a way of describing the renewal of thousands of broken 
bonds across the former state.

Call it the Yugosphere, call it the “region”, the “zone”, the Adriatic or whatever. No one outside the area cares. In fact, given everything else that is going on in the world few people outside the Balkans care about the region at all. Look at the Yugosphere. Disastrous demographics, low productivity, comparatively poor infrastructure, suffering from a long-term decline in education standards. And a combined population barely the size of Shanghai. In a world like this more co-operation is surely in everyone’s interests.

19. Health tourism on the Hungary, Croatia borders

An EU funded project, ‘The Role of Health Tourism in Improving the Competitive Strength of the Rural Areas in Hungary and Croatia’ is a trans-border project that aims to define factors necessary for the improvement of the competitive strength of the rural trans-border area through health tourism. The research results will be available soon.
Health tourism is one of the oldest types of tourism in Croatia. It is the use of comparative natural and healing advantages arising out of the climate, with the purpose of maintaining and improving health and quality of life. The basis of health tourism is the use of natural healing factors that can come from the sea, spa, or climate. Geothermal sources are an extremely important resource in Hungary, so health tourism is also important there. The social impact of health tourism on the standard of living, employment and education will be determined.

20. Future cohesion policy could have 51 ‘intermediate’ regions - Europolitics

The creation of a category of intermediate regions in the EU’s future cohesion policy, for regions with GDP of between 75% and 90% of the EU average, is still at the heart of debates on Structural Funds. ...

... The new status would entitle all of them to the same treatment, whether or not they were previously convergence regions (today, those exiting the convergence objective receive more money than those never under the objective, even if they have the same GDP).

According to the commissioner, 51 European regions out of 271 could be concerned by the new category (figures to be confirmed, ...). According to a Commission working paper consulted by Europolitics, affected will be one region in Austria, four in Belgium, nine in Germany, four in Spain, one in Finland, ten in France, six in Greece, four in Italy, Malta, two in Poland and nine in the United Kingdom, for a total of 48 regions in ‘old’ member states of the 51 concerned (51 less Malta and the two Polish regions).

21. Growth management a major municipal topic - Cochrane Eagle

How to manage a rapidly growing population is on the minds of both Cochrane town council and the Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP).

Mayor Truper McBride said Cochrane will not pursue an annexation of land anytime in the near future and will pursue a growth management strategy — including laying out goals for housing density.

“We have a 30-50 year supply if managed well,” he said.

22.  Task force wants to scrap NEDC - St. Catharines Standard, Niagara Region, Sun Media - Ontario, CA

A Niagara Region task force has recommended the Niagara Economic Development Corp. be disbanded.

In its place would be a single economic development system working out of one Niagara Region department.

Its report, released Wednesday, would ultimately mean folding together the economic development activities of all 13 Niagara municipalities into a single unit.

The result would be "one-stop shopping" and less confusion for businesses seeking to stay in, expand or move to the region.


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

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