Regional Community Development News - August 9 - 15, 2011

Stories about those working across boundaries at various scales of regional community. 

0000 - Earth

Creating regional hubs to support Mozilla’s local communities 

John Slater posted yesterday about how we’re on the verge of making some big changes by combining and  ... I want to present some ideas about how to bring the vibrant set of local community sites into this One Mozilla structure. I’d like to create a set of regional hubs ... These hubs could be built around the regional maps that show where local communities are and how people can get involved. The maps are in English only now, but the hubs would be fully localized and each locale could present the information most relevant to their needs.

1000 - Europe

1108 Ireland

Smart Economy jobs and the Irish Regions: Three quarters of new projects located in Greater Dublin Area

Enterprise Ireland on Wednesday announced that 445 jobs will be created in 24 new high potential start-up companies which have been supported by government through Enterprise Ireland in the second quarter of 2011.

Many of the companies involved operate in the sectors that the Government has identified as part of the Smart Economy strategy, including biotechnology, life sciences, ICT and financial services. This is good news for Ireland but from a regional development perspective it is important to consider the extent to which different regions benefit from these developments.

 ...The regional trends outlined above highlight the timeliness and relevance of the upcoming Irish Regions in the Smart Economy Conference,organised by the Regional Studies Association at NUI Maynooth. For further details:

1116 England

Fears for green field sites with latest planning advice - BBC News

When the new government came in, one of the first things it did was abolish regional planning strategies and controversial proposals for eco-towns.

It talked a lot about 'localism' - letting communities rather than distant politicians decide where developments should go.

It left some people with the impression that local opinion would rule; that if there was an unpopular housing scheme, it wouldn't go ahead.

But it's not going to be as easy as that.

The government has published new planning advice to councils, the National Planning Policy Framework, telling them to make provision for more development and give more permission for new developments. And they've also been told that in the event of disputes the default answer to new development will be 'yes'.

Campaign groups say that will mean thousands of new homes will now be built in the East - many on green field sites. ...

2000 - Africa

2110 Egypt

Uproar in Egypt Over Government Appointment of Regional Governors from Armed Forces, Old Regime

The Egyptian government recently decided to replace some of the country's 27 regional governors. On August 7, 2011, General Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), swore in 15 new governors, 11 of whom were new to the post and four of whom were shifted from one governorate to another, as well as three new deputy governors. The 12 other governors remained in their posts.

The reshuffle caused an uproar among the Egyptian public and press. Critics complained that the new governors were appointed rather than elected, that they included no women, Copts, or young people, and that many of them were military figures and/or members of the old regime.

Responding on behalf of the government, the regional development minister urged critics to give the new governors a chance, adding that elections will be held for these posts after the amendment of the Regional Administration Law. 

2000 Southern African Development Community - SADC
2380 Angola

1. Government defends creation of tool for balanced regional integration - Angola Press

Angola defends the creation of tools enabling more balanced trading exchange among the countries of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC),  ... taking into account the existence of the most competitive economies than others (…) the organisation must work for the equality of the member countries in the integration process and trading exchanges.

“We must know what we want and how to achieve the final goals outlined by the organisation", said the minister, who mentioned the development of the region, creation of better conditions for people, achievement of integrated and sustained development in the region, among the objectives of the region.

... the Indicative Programme of Regional Development that foresaw the creation of Free Trade Zone in 2008, while the Customs Union in 2010, the Common Market (2015) and in 2018 the Single Currency.

2. Angola blocks activists ahead of regional summit | The Associated Press | News | San Francisco Examiner

Angolan authorities have barred activists from entering the country ahead of a regional summit taking place there next week.

An alliance of civil society groups known as the Regional Apex organization said in a statement Saturday that Angolan authorities had denied them entry upon arrival at the Luanda airport.

The leaders of various regional religious, labor and human rights organizations also say their bookings had been canceled. ...

2425 Kenya

1. Plans to decongest Nairobi metropolitan get underway - The Standard

The Government requires Sh227 billion in order to decongest the city. This is according to a feasibility study conducted by India-based Consulting Engineering Services ... 

Part of the fund would be used to develop a mass-rapid transit system for the Nairobi Metropolitan Region, the study said.

The transit plan is aimed at reducing traffic by integrating a number of transport systems. It would further include a heavy rail transit, light rail transit bus and a bus rapid transit.

According to Transport Permanent Secretary Cyrus Njiru, the Nairobi city transport plan would include both a road and a rail-based system.

"Four major types of movements take place within the city. They include international, national, intra-regional and intra-city. All these movements share the same transport links and conflict with each other," Njiru said. ...

2. Land Prices Boom As Nairobi Grows South

... Mr Peter Ngau, a professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Nairobi, said the spread of the city towards Machakos was intended when the Nairobi Master Plan was made in 1973.

"Although the plan indicated the area would be residential, it also demanded that there would be development of infrastructure. That was never done. I think the Government considered the infrastructure as a heavy investment and did not have the funds," said Prof Ngau.

"Machakos, to me, is a metropolitan county. ...

3000 - Atlantic Ocean

4000 - Antarctica

5000 - Americas

1. The Importance of Regional Planning That Matters - Kaid Benfield - Life - The Atlantic

The Places to Grow land use plan for the region of Ontario around Toronto and Hamilton (image above) is one of the best I have seen. I will discuss it more below, but you can tell how well-conceived it is just by looking at the amount of protected land it saves while accommodating a tremendous amount of regional growth in population and jobs.

Planning at the regional scale is critical. As our economic, land use and transportation patterns have evolved over the last century, metropolitan areas have become increasingly important. In most parts of the country, the political boundaries established by municipalities long ago are no longer relevant to businesses' or residents' activities, to say nothing of environmental media such as air and water.

As a result, to meaningfully influence environmental impacts associated with development, land use, and transportation, we must act at a level where central cities and suburbs can be considered together. ...

2. UNASUR: Regional Cooperation Must Deepen in Face of Global Economic Crisis |

“There is a realisation in the region, after a long period of time, that the problems coming from the North can cause external problems that can affect our economies” ... member countries agreed on the need to act as a geo-political bloc in order to protect the region from the latest global crisis, demonstrating that the continent is “reacting and responding in order to build our economic strength,” said Maduro.

Some of the main propositions aimed at insulating UNASUR economies from any related economic downturn include placing limits on the speculative activities of foreign capital and increased intra-regional trade.
Colombian Finance Minister, ... suggested the creation of a regional monetary fund in view of the instability of the US dollar and the Euro.

5130 - Canada

5130-09 Alberta

Good intentions aren’t enough when it comes to legislation - Mayerthorpe Freelancer - Alberta, CA

For a while now, I had been hearing reports of anger about the province's land-use legislation.

There are several bills, but the one causing most of the discontent is Bill 36 which sets out the framework for regional planning in the province.

The idea is to balance the needs of everyone in the province with regards to future land-use, which is a lofty goal for any government. The legislation was described by Ted Morton, the Minister of Sustainable Resources when it was developed, as the most comprehensive land-use policy in North America.


The framework will have a massive, far-reaching impact on the province and stresses conservation.

Almost as soon as it was passed, the legislation came under ferocious attack, mostly from southern Albertans who felt it was an attack on their property rights. ...

... the legislation makes sense in theory. It needs to be fixed, not thrown in the junk pile.

5140 - United States

1. A lot at stake for flyover country -

It's impossible to say with any certainty what would happen if the subsidies ended because the market has been so distorted by the federal government's intervention. ... introduction of subsidies created a dependence on subsidies. ... original plan was for Essential Air Service to last a decade, buying time for small-town airports to adapt to deregulation. Instead, it has become an ever-more-expensive fixture of aviation policy.

Lawmakers have talked about scaling back the program, increasing the required distance between a subsidized airport and a larger regional hub. ... House Republicans included changes along these lines ... measure bars subsidies for airports less than 90 minutes from a hub, or where the average subsidy last year was $1,000 or more per passenger. The Senate initially recoiled ... blocked the bill.

As important as Essential Air Service may seem to its backers, the stakes for rural areas will soon be exponentially higher.

2. The Connected States of America

Through communication people across the United States (in fact around the world) are more connected with each other than ever. The ubiquitous nature of mobile phones allows everyone to maintain friendship, family, and business relationship with ease. The Connected States of America graphic shows three layers: The United States of America experience an increase in urbanization which is shown in the lowest layer representing the population density per square mile. The center layer shows the mobile connections between the people, where a link represents reciprocal phone calls and the color assigns the respective community which in turn are shown in the communities layer. The height of the link represents call volume between any two counties.

3. New national report shows many differences in the types and levels of substance use and mental illness problems experienced among the states

A new report providing state-by-state analyses of a wide range of behavioral health issues reveals that despite some wide variations among the states in the types and levels of problems they confront -- every state must deal with these issues. For example, among those aged 12 and older, Iowa had less than half the current illicit drug use rate of Alaska ( 5.3-percent versus 13.5-percent ) yet Iowa also was among the top 10 states with the highest levels of people age 12 and older currently participating in binge drinking ( 28.6-percent ).

The report developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ( SAMHSA ) provides valuable insight to state public health authorities and service providers on the scope and nature of behavioral health issues affecting their states. The report is part of SAMHSA’s strategic initiative on data, outcomes, and quality -- an effort to provide the best available information to everyone involved in the behavioral health field.

4. What every regional theater should have. Ken Davenport - Opinions from a Broadway Producer

Every single regional theater should have shows just for kids at some point in their season, and as often as possible. I’m talking Cinderella, or Freckleface Strawberry or anything with Bears. The production values don’t have to be high. Kids don’t need falling chandeliers. And parents don’t care either, they just need something to do with their kids on a Saturday that doesn’t involve the television. ...

5. Community Toolbox - River, Trails and Conservation Assistance - National Park Service


5140-04 Massachusetts

Amherst signs on to regional land-use plan | GazetteNET

The Select Board this week voted unanimously to support the updated Valley Vision, a Pioneer Valley Planning Commission document that should assist communities in realizing the benefits of zoning reforms being adopted by the state and ensuring that area cities and towns continue to have shared priorities.

PVPC Chief Planner Chris Curtis told the board that the updated vision will assist the Hampshire and Hampden county towns in complying with state sustainable development principles, creating maps for both priority development and priority protection, and meeting the standards set by the state's Comprehensive Land Use and Regional Partnership Act, expected to be adopted by the Legislature this year.

Regional planning ... has helped to counter what had been the trend in area, what he calls sprawl without population growth. Between 1971 and 1999, 35,000 acres in the region were lost to development, but since 1999, 32,500 acres have been placed in permanent protection, he said.

5140-07 New York

1. State bigwig: Cooperate to develop Adirondack region

Communication and cooperation will insure that Adirondack communities don't fall through the cracks in a new state economic development strategy built around 10 regional economic development councils, the state's top economic development official said Monday.

Under the new strategy, the Adirondack Park is cut up among three separate economic development councils, causing some local government officials and advocacy groups to question whether the vision for development in the park will be fragmented.

Kenneth Adams, president and chief executive officer of Empire State Development Corp., said he has advised that the best way to prevent fragmentation is for economic officials of Adirondack communities to create a "working group" that advises each of the three councils on regional development issues.

"Economic development in the Adirondack Park is a special situation, so I would suggest that they create a working group and focus on that within the structure of the regional councils," ...

2. Race is on for regional economic development council - Herkimer, NY - The Times

Currently, the state’s economic development efforts are managed through dozens of separate state and local agencies. The newly-formed Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council and nine other councils like it will seek to change that by bringing together stakeholders in every region of New York to serve as a coordinated point of contact for economic development.

Meeting for the first time behind closed doors on Thursday at SUNYIT in Marcy, the local council began to develop a plan for the region so it can apply for $1 billion in state funding for projects.

“I have to admit that we are still trying to sort it all out,” state Assemblyman Marc Butler, R,C,I - Newport, said during Thursday night’s meeting of the Herkimer County Legislature’s Planning and Development Committee. “We still don’t know all of the particulars about the process, which is why the quick turnaround is my major concern with it. It’s a lot to absorb in a short period of time.”

3. 20 leaders graduate from Progress program | The Poughkeepsie Journal

Twenty business, nonprofit and civic leaders graduated from the Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress Regional Fellows program in June.The program is designed to expand the horizons of already acknowledged leaders in their respective communities and disciplines. It also teaches them to take a regional approach to work."We've never seen a greater need for cross-regional collaboration in the Hudson Valley," said ... president and CEO of Pattern for Progress "Whether it's for job creation, municipal efficiency, affordable housing or land use, these turbulent times demand a regional approach to problem solving."

The program includes biweekly meetings where participants interact with expert lecturers, discuss readings on leadership, current events and regional planning; participate in challenging debates; and develop creative, long-term team projects. One of this year's teams analyzed the structure of New York state school districts to increase efficiency and accountability.

4. DEVELOPMENT: The wrong path to grow the state’s economy - Letters - Rochester City Newspaper

While the council is too corporate-heavy, it is also strikingly devoid of people with community and regional planning backgrounds who understand regional land use and development dynamics and their effects on tax revenues and tax burdens. These people know that our prevailing regional development pattern - lots of new development in the absence of population growth - is overall very expensive to governments and therefore to taxpayers. ...representatives on our regional council are oblivious to this pattern and its ramifications, and we therefore run the risk of growing an already huge irony: in our quest to increase tax revenue and reduce tax burdens on governments and citizens, we will just make the burdens bigger.

If our Regional Economic Development Council does not make cooperative regional land use and development planning a key facet of our regional economic development plan, we will just keep growing the wrong way and won't achieve even an economic zero sum game region-wide.

5140-08 New Jersey 

N.J. appeals court upholds validity of Highlands Regional Master Plan

A state appeals court ... decisions in four separate cases that uphold the validity of the state’s controversial Highlands Regional Master Plan and Highlands Act in its efforts to protect the area’s natural resources and water supply.

The court held that the plan is the guiding planning document for the Highlands and for issues such as like affordable housing, transfer of development rights, and local planning. The court also ruled that the plan also is the tool to guide development and protection of natural resources in the Highlands.

In a court action brought against the council, Gov. Chris Christie and the state Council on Affordable Housing by ... Fair Share Housing Center, the court affirmed the right of the Highlands Council to develop a master plan for the Highlands region and that its goals are broader than how it affects affordable housing. The court held that the council must also look at water supply, regional planning, and resource capacities in its plan.



Review of Regional Studies - The Official Journal of the Southern Regional Science Association

5140-12-01 Metropolitan Washington-DC-MD-VA

Study of DC Region Shows Major Impact of Transportation Expenses on Household Budgets : Center for Neighborhood Technology fits into the goals of the Region Forward report by the Greater Washington 2050 Coalition of public, private and civic leaders. Region Forward sets a goal that average household housing and transportation cost in major job centers will not exceed 45 percent of the area median income.

... “Places that are ‘location efficient’, which offer multiple transportation options and access to amenities, tend to have low transportation costs. This helps residents be more economically resilient, and enables them to better weather economic adversity.”

“In the end, this is the big question, how can we grow the region and become more resilient to economic ups and downs—whether it’s a credit crisis or volatile fuel prices? The Region Forward Coalition is working on this right now and this report, and the data behind it, will help inform the discussion.”

“We are at a critical time for the region,” ... Executive Director of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

5140-13 Virginia

1. Regional water plan deadline is approaching | Northern Virginia Daily

The deadline looms for the region's localities to devise plans for future water supplies and how to respond to drought as required by the state.

Winchester City Council and the Frederick County Sanitation Authority are scheduled to discuss the draft of the Northern Shenandoah Regional Water Supply Plan at their respective meetings on Tuesday.

The Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission is working with the municipalities in the area to develop the plan, which the agency must submit to the State Water Control Board by Nov. 1. The NSRVC will submit the plan on behalf of Winchester, the counties of Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah, Warren and the 14 towns therein.

The plan summarizes existing water sources, use and identifies suitability of existing supplies to meet future demands through 2040, according to information provided by Winchester officials.

2. Preparing to meet the inevitable |

... We don't know yet - we can't know - what form those cuts will take. We can't know how deep they'll be and how targeted. But we do know they're coming.

For years now, various organizations have worked to prepare Hampton Roads for the days when defense spending can no longer be 45 percent of the economy, when it no longer produces most of the region's economic growth.

They have toiled much in isolation, in individual cities, and with little in the way of public support. They have been atomized both across the region and across various interest groups with varying missions. All of which has blunted their efforts to transform the economy of Hampton Roads.

That will no longer be good enough. The coming cuts will demand we replace regional competition with regional cooperation and find new ways to do things that haven't changed in decades or centuries.

The next few years will present serious challenges for many of us and require every bit of our huge store of good ideas and good will.

5140-16 South Carolina 

Have a say in regional planning | The Post and Courier, Charleston SC

The Lowcountry's political landscape shifted a few years ago, as the housing boom peaked and a growing number of residents began questioning if growth -- at least the kind of growth they were seeing -- was really a good thing.

That shift created an opportunity, too.

For the first time, mayors and other tri-county leaders agreed to join together to create the area's first regional plan.

That work is now finishing up, ...

The effort -- billed the first of its kind in the Carolinas -- was initiated by Charleston Mayor Joe Riley but steered by Dorchester County Council Chairman Larry Hargett,
Kathyrn Basha, a planner with the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments, said the plan is not so much about picking winners and losers among local landowners and municipalities.

"It's more, 'Where is it most efficient for us to grow so the public doesn't bear the heavy cost of transportation issues and water-quality issues?'"

5140-17 Georgia

A plan to help Atlanta think big  |

The AJC’s recent Atlanta Forward series focused attention on the key challenges and corresponding opportunities facing the Atlanta region over the coming decades. We are at a critical juncture, a crossroads in our metro area’s development and future prosperity. It is vital that we move forward with clear vision and bold action. We must look long term at the big picture and what we want metro Atlanta to be in the next decade, and beyond.

As a regional leader and planning agency, the Atlanta Regional Commission recently adopted Plan 2040, a sweeping regional blueprint to sustain metro Atlanta’s livability, quality of life and prosperity through midcentury. It will guide decisions and investments as the region prepares to add some 3 million residents.

Plan 2040 is based on the triple bottom line of economic, environmental and social sustainability. Yes, it addresses highways, transit and other physical infrastructure. ...

5140-18 Florida

1. Building a Regional Business Plan | FORWARDFlorida

Looking to answer questions such as “Where will the jobs of the future come from?” the Tampa Bay Partnership, Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council and a coalition of regional partners have embarked on building a Regional Business Plan for Tampa Bay — a collaborative, strategic effort to identify and grow the next generation of jobs that will build sustainable, inclusive and real prosperity in Tampa Bay and, through collaborative efforts, across Florida’s Super Region.

As global competition for business and talent grows ever stronger, the leaders of Tampa Bay realized that the traditional methods of recruiting business to support economic growth are unsustainable. Regional leaders concluded that Tampa Bay’s sluggish recovery from this latest recession was further proof that the region must take a different view for the future.

... most effective, efficient way to create jobs in the region is to identify and focus on specific industry sectors based on the region’s core strengths.

2. Mayor proposes withdrawal from planning council - Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Mayor John Sullivan wants Cape Coral to pull out of the Regional Planning Council to save the $50,000 fee.

Sullivan said the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council -which includes governmental representatives from Charlotte, Collier, Lee, Glades, Hendry and Sarasota counties - does not help the city and Cape Coral is wasting its money.

"We have two county commissioners that represent us and if we have an issue we can go to a meeting and speak during public comment," Sullivan said. "It's a waste of money."

With the Department of Community Affairs - which previously handled land use changes and cases on a state level - nearly a thing of the past, County Commissioner John Manning stressed the onus for land use and planning is now squarely on the shoulders of local governments.

As one of the Cape's representatives on the Board of County Commissioners, Manning said he'd like to see the city stay the course with the Regional Planning Council.

3. Study to collect data on noise |

The Central Florida Regional Planning Council members has voted to approve a $150,000 consultant contract to update noise data for the Avon Park Air Force Range.

The study will be conducted by Wyle, Inc. of Arlington, Va. It is an update of a 2005 study that was based on data collected in 2000, said Helen Sears, the planner for the agency involved in a study involving future land use around the 106,000-acre military training range that straddles Polk and Highlands counties. Sears said the study is expected to take 18 months.

According to the staff report, the results of the study will help local officials to "identify and promote compatible land uses near the range to protect the public health, safety and welfare."

The land-use study, which has been under way since late 2008, is intended to avoid encroachment of development around the military installation that could interfere with training exercises because of complaints about noise from aircraft and other military operations.

5140-19 Kentucky

1. Louisville, Lexington mayors discuss 'super region' - Business First

The cities of Louisville and Lexington are starting work on a regional economic development initiative that will focus on improving both cities’ competitiveness in advanced manufacturing.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray provided an introduction to the plan during the Leadership Louisville CenterbizWatch ’s annual luncheon, which was held today at the Galt House Hotel.

The mayors announced the name of the project — Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement — but unveiled few details.

Those details are expected to come as a business plan and action steps are developed during the next year. The plan is slated to be ready in fall 2012.
The projected cost of the collaborative effort is $250,000, to be funded with private dollars being raised jointly by Greater Louisville Inc., the metro chamber of commerce, and Commerce Lexington, that city’s economic development agency.

2. Lexington, Louisville Mayors featured at CommerceLex Public Policy Luncheon | Our Government

“Super-regionalism” is a trend that is taking hold throughout cities around the world. The thought that regions benefit no matter where business and industry relocates within a region is not a new one, but larger cities in close proximity with one another are now embracing that strategy as well. ...

5140-19 Kentucky
5140-28 Ohio
5140-28 Indiana

Freight plan 'vital' to economy |

More than 323 million tons of freight flow through Greater Cincinnati every year by air, road, river and rail – and that figure is expected to increase by 56 percent, to 487 million tons, over the next three decades.

Transportation officials describe it as a “tsunami of freight” headed for the region, and on Wednesday they unveiled a plan to prepare for it.

“The decades of freight are upon us,” said Mark Policinski, executive director of the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI).

“Those regions, those areas, those countries, that can move goods more efficiently than others will win. And they that cannot, will lose,” he said.

The Regional Freight Plan is the result of a year of study by OKI, a planning agency that administers federal transportation funds in an eight-county region.

It calls for 58 air, road, river and rail projects totaling $4.3 billion.

... officials say implementation is vital if the region is to remain competitive in the global economy.

5140-27 Michigan

Red Cross reorganizes regional chapters - Crain's Detroit Business - Detroit News and Information

The American Red Cross Southeast Michigan Chapter now oversees affiliates in Washtenaw, Lenawee, Monroe and St. Clair counties as part of a national reorganization.

The reorganization is intended to streamline operations, cut expenses and ensure donor dollars are put to best use, the Red Cross said in a release.

The organization could not immediately say how much money it expects the move to save across its local operations.

The new regional affiliate will be managed by the Southeast Michigan chapter, now renamed the Southeastern Michigan Regional Chapter, in Detroit, but each chapter will retain a strong presence in it local area, with no planned closures of Red Cross offices, said Allison Koenigbauer, who handles communications for the organization. ...

5140-28 Ohio

Government jobs fuel earnings growth in metro areas | The Newark Advocate

Ohio's metro areas bounced back in 2010, reporting $5 billion more in earnings than the previous year, according to newly released federal income data.
However, reductions at the state level and talk of further cuts from the federal government might slow that growth this year. A regional planning administrator said that would be a mistake.

A net of 3,000 state and local government jobs were added in 2010 and about 43 percent of them were in the Columbus metro counties, ...

The state and local government sector in this area is the third-biggest economic sector in the state, behind both manufacturing and health care in Cleveland.

Nancy Reger, assistant director of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, warned cutting just to cut could jeopardize some of the growth fueled by the stability of those jobs, ...

5140-33 North Dakota

Southwest county officials plan region’s economic future | The Dickinson Press | Dickinson, North Dakota

Southwest county officials collaborated to formulate ideas that could translate into $1.2 million toward an regional economic plan during a meeting Wednesday afternoon at the Medora Community Center.

The Southwest Rural Economic Area Partnership sought input from the Department of Transportation, the city of Dickinson, American Petroleum Institute, U.S. Department of Agriculture and a strategic planning company for the best approach to unify and prioritize county projects in the long term.

Unlike most areas of the nation, counties in the western half of North Dakota are not bogged down with unemployment and a poor economy. The counties are concerned with accelerated growth in a rural setting and there needs to be a collaborative effort to plan for expansion and make living manageable for residents of the region, Southwest REAP Director Shirley Brentrup said.

The Southwest REAP is in the process of applying for a federally-funded Regional Sustainable Community Planning Grant.

5140-31 Wisconsin
5140-32 Minnesota 

Promoting Jobs and Investment - Room for Debate -

Reliable, adequate and accessible transportation is one of the most important resources needed to foster a thriving business marketplace. The Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area has grown to include 13 counties; including Pierce and St. Croix Counties in Wisconsin. Our regional challenge is to make strategic investments in the transportation system that not only meet the needs of the three million people who already live and work in this vibrant metro area, but can also handle the future demand as we continue to grow.

Why not support a project that favors growth and regional dynamism?

For decades St. Croix River Valley residents and the entire eastern Minneapolis-St. Paul metro region have been trying to solve a decades-long transportation problem that just keeps getting worse. The 80-year-old Stillwater Lift Bridge was originally designed to handle 11,200 cars per day, but today it is overburdened by an average of 18,400 ...

5140-37 Missouri
5140-38 Kansas

ImagineKC -  Imagine a vibrant, connected and green Kansas City region - Episode 6: Connected Corridors

The August 18 episode of Imagine KC will look at strategies to connect our region's most vibrant places along key arterial streets and corridors. A regional corridor strategy is in the works that will increase transportation choices to allow residents, workers and shoppers to more easily travel around the region by foot, bike and transit. Stories in this episode will look at plans and work underway to connect priority corridors to form the backbone of a regional system and how some of our region's most valued places will benefit from improvements and revitalization along these routes.


5140-46 Arizona

MAG named as part of Brookings economic development pilot program - Phoenix Business Journal

The Maricopa Association of Governments and some of the Valley’s economic development agencies were named as part of a pilot program being developed by the Brookings Institution to help regions develop economic development strategies.

The project, done by the institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, will work with MAG as well as the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Arizona State University and the Thunderbird School of Global Management on developing a plan.

Brookings opted to go with the Phoenix area for one of its pilot programs because the region already has several groups working together, said Amy Liu, Brookings senior fellow and co-director.

The effort is part of the Brookings-Rockefeller Project on State and Metropolitan Innovation, an effort between the institution and the Rockefeller Foundation.

5140-42 Nevada
5140-50 California

Lake Tahoe boat inspection finds 37 quagga mussels on vessel | Carson City Nevada News

Boat inspectors at the Spooner Lake inspection station prevented a boat with 37 quagga mussels from entering Lake Tahoe on Aug. 7. The boat had arrived from Lake Mead, a water body known to be infected with aquatic invasive species. This incident was the first evidence of quagga on a boat attempting to enter Lake Tahoe this year, according to officials at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Inspectors from the Tahoe Resources Conservation District (Tahoe RCD) thoroughly decontaminated the vessel after the mussels were detected. Decontamination involved removing the mussels, flushing the boat and engine with hot water multiple times, followed by a power wash. The Nevada Department of Wildlife dispatched a Fish & Game Warden who released the boat after the decontamination was completed.

“This is more evidence that our boat inspection program is working,” said Julie Regan, Chief of External Affairs for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. ...

5140-50 California

Out of bankruptcy, a steal for taxpayers |

When SANDAG, the regional planning agency, began last fall to explore a takeover of the bankrupt South Bay Expressway, the questions were many. ... 10-mile highway that was conceived in 1991 and finally opened in 2007, at a cost of $635 million, but which never came close to attracting the number of toll-paying cars and trucks that had been projected.

... SANDAG board approved a tentative deal to buy the road for $345 million. ...

Jerome Stocks, chairman of the SANDAG board, says the agency may only have to come up with about $245 million of the purchase price because the remaining $100 million or so is owed to the federal government and, he says, the Department of Transportation does not want to give up its ownership stake. In addition, purchase of the road would likely obviate the need to add four express lanes to Interstate 805 south of SR-54, scheduled for around 2030 and estimated to cost nearly $700 million, making more money available for other regional projects.

6000 - Pacific Ocean

6000 PIF Pacific Island Forum

1. PIF at 40—‘far from perfect’, regionalism comes full circle - Islands Business - FORUM

Has PIF stood the test of time at 40?

I think so. I think we’ve stood the test of time, the verdict is one of a need to come together, and some of the challenges that caused the leaders to consider coming together in 1971 persist. These challenges are difficult, complicated, and enormous ones that the region is best able to meet by uniting. My expectation from the history of 40 years is that these challenges will persist. Specifically, part of the motivation for them to form themselves was the need for a Pacific Islands-centred voice in 1971. ...

Talking about trade ...what does all that say about the strengths and weaknesses of the Forum at 40?

I think it says something first about the complications of a modern world. It does put a perspective on economic growth and the difficulties of islands countries finding realistic and viable options to maintain and sustain populations in a very difficult and complicated world—a world that is shrinking in the sense of its globalisation.

2. Disability issues an enormous challenge | Scoop News

There must be a change of attitude and perception on how to address disability issues not only at the policy level but also at the operation level in the Pacific region.

“The challenge of addressing disability issues, in particular, the issues and concerns of persons with disability is not a new challenge. A challenge that has existed for many years. One, unfortunately that has been neglected for far too long,” said Mr Teo.

But, Mr Teo said “it is pleasing to observe, that attention and focus on addressing the issues of persons with disability has intensified and gathered strong moment in the last decade or so, not only at the global level but more recently at the regional and national level.

According to World Bank estimates in 2007, persons with disabilities represent an estimated 10 percent of any population. ...

7000 - Oceana

7420 New Zealand

Cuts could hit North hard |

Northland could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars each year if the NZ Transport Agency goes ahead with funding cuts.

The government agency is proposing to change its subsidies, called Funding Assistance Rates.

If the changes go ahead local councils will either have to pay more or deliver fewer transport services.

The cuts are proposed for subsidies on running passenger transport facilities, public transport infrastructure, regional transport planning and management, transport planning studies, and road safety promotion and education.

The Northland Regional Council says it could lose $160,000 a year just through the change to regional transport planning and management.

7430 Australia

1. Most Australians fear second global financial crisis | Herald Sun

... an Australian academic has questioned whether Asia is up to the challenge of its growing international responsibilities.

Australian National University professor Peter Drysdale said while the GFC and the creation of the G20 had put Asian economies in the "driver's seat of world economic affairs", the region's architecture urgently needs restructuring.

"The region needs to strengthen existing frameworks and build new institutions which support financial and monetary cooperation, facilitate global and regional trade agendas and encourage ongoing dialogue with the United States and the European Union," Prof Drysdale said.

Promoting a one-day forum on Asia's global role at the ANU on Friday, he said the region also needed to accommodate Asia's rising importance in political and security affairs.

"Currently none of the existing regional institutions addresses all of the key dimensions of regional co-operation that they now need to face," Professor Drysdale said.

2. University a blue-chip investment for region - Central Western Daily

CHARLES Sturt University delivers nearly $1 billion in flow-on effects to the economy of regional NSW and create almost 5000 jobs in the region, according to a new report.

The Growing Our Communities: Regional Development Report ... shows CSU as a key player in regional development.

CSU vice-chancellor Professor Ian Goulter said the report showed the regional university offered benefits extending beyond the roles of education and research.

“We see our role as providing local opportunities that build human capital and stem rural youth migration, develop innovations that address local challenges and opportunities, train, retain and attract professionals in regional labour markets, and grow our state and national economies,” Professor Goulter said.

3. Incomers face complex job - Between the Lines - Illawarra Mercury

... revitalisation of our regional city is just one challenge facing our incoming council leaders, and it is more than a discussion about cars or surveys.
The region faces some real challenges - and limitations - to deliver on community expectations should the property industry's expertise be discarded.
We support the managed, sustainable growth of this region through investment in the built environment.
In the Illawarra, we want to make a difference beyond our industry.
Our key priority is to seek an ambitious Illawarra Regional Plan which strategically facilitates development, investment and job creation - a road map of where we want to go.
It won't just happen - great cities take sound planning.

Finally, we need the culture and governance systems that support these endeavours and create benefits for all.

... Collaboration is needed to determine the goals and the best approach to help the region reach its full potential.

8000 - Asia

ADB's Asia 2050 vision, roadmap | The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online

The Asian Development Bank’s massive study, “Asia 2050: Realizing the Asian Century,” presents a strategic framework and related general strategies for our Asia-Pacific home region in the next 40 years. Most essential to any country’s successful transition ... are three fundamental dimensions: National action, regional cooperation, and collective global effort.

The national policy agenda retains its paramount importance, but Asian policy makers must look beyond their borders because:

• Inter-generational issues have national, regional, and global aspects.
• Asia has the most to gain (or lose) from the enhancement of these global virtues for future prosperity: An open trading system, a stable financial system, climate change mitigation, and peace/security/harmony.
• Diversifying markets to reduce heavy reliance on Western countries requires Asian leaders to ... remove ...barriers
• Cross-country disparities lead to conflict, thus requiring coordinated/integrated action

8140 China

EconoMonitor : RGE Analysts » How Will the Rise of China’s New Regional Economic Centers Affect the 2012 Political Transition?

As ideological and institutional factions strengthen, regionalism is also beginning to play a growing role in the formation of China’s top leadership. Historically, the regions of Beijing and Shanghai have been the seats of political power within the country, and in more recent times, Guangdong has held the seat of economic power. For aspiring leaders, support from party members in Beijing and Shanghai has facilitated passage to the top posts, while an assignment in Guangdong could provide the knowledge and networks for managing a changing economic structure and landscape.

However, growing income disparities and evolving global economics have given rise to new regions of focus within China. Regional politics and interests have always existed in China but have been concentrated in the national capitol and core economic hub. China’s president, might take greater account of regional affiliations and interests beyond the traditional powerhouses ...when it comes to development policies

8324 Indonesia

Slow Ratification, City Uses Old Spatial Planning Bylaw -

The Home Affairs Ministry through its letter No 650/1567/SJ about Dispensation Respond of City Spatial Planning on April 29, 2011, let the Jakarta Provincial Government to give similar service according to Jakarta Spatial Planning Bylaw 2010.

Letter signed by Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi has been cooperated with Ministry of Public Works, and stated that spatial planning is formal guidance of regional development planning and control device in spatial utilization, especially related to spatial utilization permit publication.

As reported before, the Jakarta Bylaw No 6/1999 about Spatial Planning of 2010 has already expired. In fact, the bylaw replacement issuance is getting slow. It is afraid there will be vacuum of law for spatial planning implementation.

9000 - Indian Ocean

Cooperation? Dilbert by Scott Adams - Standards Meeting 

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