Regional Community Development News - October 31, 2011

Stories about those working across boundaries at various scales of regional community following the "community motive" for security, stability and sustainability of humanity. 

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1000 - Europe


1. The Map of EU Structural Funds Transparency at Regional Level - October 2011

According to the current 2007-13 regulation, all regional and national agencies responsible for managing one of the 434 Operational Programmes funded by the 2007-13 Structural Funds must publish on the web a list of businesses or public authorities that have received public funding and the amount of funding received. But the way they do this varies greatly across Europe.

The second output of the evaluation activity of the availability and quality of open data on European Structural Funds is now being published. It’s a benchmarking report … present it … Meeting … European Commission and the Italian Managing Authorities of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), …October 27-28, 2011 in Rome. It was an extraordinary opportunity to talk about the benefits of open government data in front of a number of high-level representatives of all regional and central institutions involved in the implementation of Regional Policy in Italy (… presentation). …

2. Energy: Energy Community - European commission

The Energy Community … . Established to increase socio-economic stability and security of supply, the Energy Community has set a good example of regional cooperation in which the EU and the South-Eastern European countries can diversify their energy sources. ...

The Treaty estblishing the Energy Community entered into force on 1st July 2006. It links the European Union to Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244), Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine. Turkey, Norway and Georgia have the status of observers.

The general objective of the Energy Community is to create a stable regulatory and market framework in order to: Attract investment in power generation and networks in order to ensure stable and continuous energy supply that is essential for economic development and social stability; Create an integrated energy market allowing for cross-border energy trade and linked to the EU market ; Enhance security of supply; …


Saving Money using Regional Cards | VisitBritain Super Blog

A regional card provides discounts, special offers and promotions on visitor attractions located within the same vicinity. They can offer substantial discounts on entrance charges and – if used wisely – can save you both time and money.

1. More Days = More Savings
2. Location, Location, Location
3. Theme Based Regional Cards
4. Beat the Queues with Priority Access
5. Start Early with a Regional Card
6. Do the Maths and be prepared!

It may seem obvious but work out exactly what you would like to see in any one area and do the maths! Ensure that your list of essential visitor attractions is included on the regional pass of your choice.

A big benefit of a regional pass however is that is does provide you with an opportunity to see places you may not have thought of.

At the end of the day planning is the key to savings with a regional card. There are plenty of great savings to be made with a regional card; it’s narrowing down your choice of what to see that can make it hard!

2000 - Africa


Regional cooperation, key to curbing money laundering, terrorism – GIABA

DIRECTOR General of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, Dr. Abdullahi Shehu, has called on countries in the West African region to deepen technical cooperation and expertise in the fight against terrorism in the region.

Dr. Shehu said this in New York while addressing the meeting of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) as part of activities marking the 10th anniversary of the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001).
Resolution 1373 requires all States to take a series of measures to counter terrorism. These include securing borders, tightening financial controls and cooperating with other countries to ensure terrorists are brought to justice.

According to Shehu, there are still weaknesses and gaps related to deficiencies in the national legal framework and inadequate national coordination and collaboration between competent authorities.


Tackling Tunisia’s Unequal Regional Development : Tunisia Live

Regional development and inequality between regions are amongst the most important socioeconomic reasons for the Tunisian uprising that forced the ouster of long-time President Ben Ali. The Tunisian revolution also revealed the existence of large regional differences, and unveiled the fact that many people live in poverty and insecurity.

A major problem is that Tunisia’s interior regions do not receive the same rate of investment as coastal regions. In fact, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INS), in 2005, the rate of poverty in Tunisia’s Center East was 5.4%, in the Center West 29.3% and the South East 14.7%. ...

With regional development being a major problem in Tunisia, the question arises as to how the new constitution and the new government aim to tackle this challenge. How could political parties and independent lists boost regional investment?

Mohamed Abbou, head of the list of Nabeul 1, ...

2225 Ghana

Take advantage of Policy Fair -Veep -

Vice President John Dramani Mahama has called on business communities in Kumasi to take advantage of the Ashanti Regional Policy Fair by visiting the exhibition stands, especially those mounted by the metropolitan municipal and district assemblies, to identify the fertile grounds in the rural areas where equal motivation exists for further investment.

He said when this happens, 'we would be reducing the rapid rural-urban migration being pursued by the youth of our country in search of opportunities which might not even exist in the major cities such as Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and others.'

'The situation further compounds the challenges that we have on our hands in the cities. So in order, not to derail our rural-urban linkage under the current dispensation, there is the need for all hands to be on deck', … three-day Ashanti Regional Policy Fair at the Centre for National Culture (CNC) in Kumasi.

'Empowering the people as we build a better Ghana' is the theme. …

3000 - Atlantic Ocean

4000 - Antarctica

5000 - Americas

Regional planning brings regional governance - Henry Lamb - ... chairman of Sovereignty International

… Regional governance evolved as a way to get around the obstacles presented by multiple local governments, all of which may have a stake in the region, but often disagree on what the region needs.

Regional governments, and their initiatives, are driven by government, not by the people. Government, by its very nature, seeks to increase its power and overcome any obstacle in its path. Local governments, like individual neighbors, often disagree on how best to resolve a common problem. Consequently, governments, especially the executive branch, tend to look for ways to get around the obstacle of disagreement. One successful method is Regional Governance, which diminishes the power of local governments by conferring increasing levels of authority on the executive branch, which implements its authority through appointed bureaucrats.

In very short order, it is the unelected bureaucrats who wield the power; elected officials become little more than a rubber stamp ...

Note: Not an advocate's view. Ed.


ECLAC calls for greater regional participation in the international monetary system

The executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, has called for the region to participate more in the debate on the international monetary system.

… Bárcena said the Caribbean and Latin America deserve “a place at the table to discuss the international monetary system, given that it is a region which has strengthened its monetary reserves over the past years.”

The objective of the meeting was to reach a common regional position for the next G20 Summit …

Argentina, Brazil and Mexico are the only regional countries which are part of this multilateral forum, which will discuss the European financial crisis and how to achieve a more inclusive financial system.
… “We must form new visions of a global, and in particular, regional financial structure to deal with international crises more effectively,” she said.

Bárcena said this could be carried out by strengthening the region’s reserves or creating a new regional fund.


1. Skerrit promotes regional unity and the CCJ - Barbados

Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit wants CARICOM leaders to commit to commit to the concept of regional unity and rebuild the bonds of trust among the leadership of the Region.

Delivering the first David Thompson Memorial Lecture in Bridge Town on Thursday night, Skerrit noted the reluctance of his fellow CARICOM leaders to urge their legislatures to join the appellate jurisdiction of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice that was established in 2001 to replace the London-based Privy Council as the region’s final court of appeal.

He said participation in the CCJ “would strengthen and develop our Caribbean jurisprudence by increasing access to justice with our very own highest appellate court in our own community. This would be a court that better reflects our laws and social norms and by its very existence, proclaims our independence”.

2. Regional stakeholders gather to plan public education about EU partnership | Antigua Observer

Regional stakeholders are meeting here to hammer out a communication and public education strategy to support the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed three years ago between CARIFORUM states and the European Union.

At the onset, those attending the two-day workshop at the Heritage Hotel were told that the strategy should be tailored to suit the national environment.

That message came from Barbara Williams, co-ordinator within Antigua & Barbuda’s EPA Implementation Unit, who said it should also be linked to the status of implementing the reciprocal trade and development deal within each state and at the regional level.

“I urge you to be creative when focusing on the development of the communication strategy since the full understanding of the public and private sectors is vital in order for CARIFORUM to reap the benefits outlined in the accord,” she told participants.

5130 - Canada

5130-09 Alberta

The Annals of the Klein-tastrophe: 18 years of chaos and conflict in regional planning - Alberta Diary

“Limits to growth on horizon”…Edmonton Journal “Greater role for regional government seen as city runs out of room to develop in 35 years”

…area needs some form of effective regional government that can “make decisions & co-ordinate growth among the municipalities.” 

Otherwise, it’s going to be nothing but high-cost, inefficient, dispute-generating leapfrog development like-now, only worse.…

About 18 years…how long it’s been since Alberta destroyed a regional planning system that was effective at resolving the kinds of problems Edmonton now faces, inexpensive to operate & the envy of the world…

What happened? The destruction of Alberta’s regional planning system was another act…government…, which perpetrated many such disasters in health care, government services, education, environmental protection, electricity “deregulation” & a broad range of other policy areas.…

Regional planning – which used to work very well indeed, thank you very much–will be extremely difficult to put back together ...

5140 - United States

1. Where the 1% Live - Jobs & Economy - The Atlantic Cities

Occupy Wall Street and its companion movements throughout the world have focused attention on the top 1 percent of the income distribution, which raises the question—where do those 1 percent live?

Internal Revenue Service data shows that the top 1 percent are largely executives, managers or financial professionals, while smaller numbers are doctors or lawyers. But because the IRS data suppresses the locations of many of the very highest-income households, it isn’t actually possible to say where the top 1 percent live.

However, it is possible to figure out the locations of households with incomes of $200,000 and up (approximately the top 3 percent in 2008, the latest year for which IRS geographic data is available. Nationally the income cutoff for the top 1 percent was $380,354 in 2008).

These very high-income households are disproportionately metropolitan. …The top 3 percent are highly concentrated in a relatively small number of large metropolitan areas.

2. MSA - County Lookup - FFIEC Geocoding System

The FFIEC Geocoding System allows you to retrieve Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), State, County, and Census Tract codes for street addresses. Beginning with 2004, Metropolitan Area was changed to a 5-digit Metropolitan Statistical Area/Metropolitan Division (MSA/MD) number).

This system requires you to enter a street address along with a city and state OR a zip code. You do not need to fill in all four fields. Make sure that your address is accurate. If it is a street, do not enter it as an avenue or boulevard, etc. Do not include apartment numbers with the street number and address. Include the correct city and state or zip code for the street address. The System does not geocode P.O. Boxes or Rural Routes.

3. The Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program | Planning Resources

Federal transportation legislation requires that a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) be designated for each urbanized area with a population of more than 50,000 people in order to carry out the metropolitan transportation planning process, as a condition of Federal aid.

As a result of the 2000 decennial Census, 76 new urbanized areas were identified; 47 of these lie outside the metropolitan planning area boundaries of any existing MPO. These areas will either have to establish and staff a new MPO, or merge with an existing MPO.

Additionally, a total of 48 new Transportation Management Areas (TMAs) were designated by the Secretary of Transportation as a result of increases in their urbanized area population or because of splits or mergers of urbanized areas within existing metropolitan planning area boundaries. TMAs generally are metropolitan areas with a population greater than 200,000.

4. Government Documents: Letter from 31 Regional Federal Depository Coordinators to GPO

... libraries, the information delivery environment, and our users' needs are all rapidly changing. Much is in flux, but much is known about this new era. 

Our users expect information, including government information, to be at their fingertips via their computer or hand-held device. With 97% of the new government information available electronically via the depository system and through the Internet we are doing a good job supplying this demand for instant results. Our users also expect government and other information to be preserved for the future. 

With the geographically distributed system of regional and selective depository libraries we are addressing that need for printed federal government information What the current federal depository library program is not doing a good job of is taking advantage of technology and new collaborations … in particular regional depository libraries. The 47 regional federal depositories attempt to have redundant collections ...

5. Brian Cole of Building Communities Tours American Communities to Discuss Economic Development Strategic Planning

Building Communities President Brian Cole traveled this summer and fall to Arkansas, North Dakota, Arizona, and Oklahoma to visit with community leaders about strategies to help rural America rebound from the challenging economic situation.

In July of 2011…AP … "Rural United States is Disappearing." In 1910, rural America comprised 72% of the U.S. population. This compares to 20% in the 2000 Census and 16% in the 2010 Census. …

According to … Cole, rural communities and regions in the United States have two options: either accept the sorry condition of continuing decline, or band together to create a more prosperous and sustainable future.

Cole finds that most communities think that their only option is to recruit companies from other parts on the country. Yet, too often, according to Cole, this strategy fails in a national economy where there are far more communities chasing companies than companies that are actually looking to expand or relocate.


ISO New England Releases Regional Power Grid Look-Ahead - MarketWatch

ISO New England Inc. today released the 2011 Regional System Plan (RSP11), a comprehensive report on New England's electric power system, including progress to date, an outline of transmission upgrades and resource additions needed to provide a reliable supply of electricity, and challenges and opportunities facing the region through 2020....

"Power system infrastructure identified through the regional system plan has significantly improved the reliability of the region's power grid," ... 

The annual Regional System Plan is developed to meet requirements established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, and the Northeast Power Coordinating Council, including the development of annual and peak load forecasts; the provision of information about the amounts, locations, and characteristics of market responses that could meet defined system needs; and a description of needed transmission projects for the region. …


Northeast, mid-Atlantic states form regional network to promote electric vehicles - The Washington Post

The Northeast Electric Vehicle Network … will work to help plan and install charging stations throughout the region as well as attract private investment in clean vehicle infrastructure.
… the network’s goal is to “create the Northeast as the epicenter” of the electric vehicle industry by sharing what has worked and what hasn’t.

Environmentalists and others are looking to electric vehicles to help cut pollution because about 30 percent of the region’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation sector, which includes highway vehicles as well as airplanes, trains and shipping.

The 10 states are Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. Maine is participating in the Transportation and Climate Initiative that is collaborating with the new network, but is not part of the network, …


5140-04 Massachusetts

Northeastern Spreads Its National Reach, Establishing Regional Campuses Across the U.S. - Bostinnovation: Boston Start-ups, Innovation and News Blog

After two years of extensive planning, Northeastern University has announced it will be launching a system of regional campuses in selected American cities. The first regional campus, located in Charlotte, North Carolina, is opening today, kicking off a string of new graduate programs across the country. A second campus, set in Seattle, Washington, is already slated to open next year.

“The American system of higher education is going to change dramatically in the 21st century,” said Joseph E. Aoun, president of the University, “Our existing college campuses are based on a model that we imported from England in the 17th century. This model cannot meet the full demands of contemporary society. We need to develop truly modern campuses — regional platforms for graduate education and collaborations between higher education and industry.”

Site selection has been driven by regional demand for graduate education, …integration of online and classroom learning. …

5140-07  New York

1. Deadline looms for inclusion in regional economic development plan - Press-Republican - Plattsburgh

Time is growing short for project applications to be eligible for inclusion in the North Country Regional Economic Development Council's Strategic Plan. ….

The deadline- Nov. 14. The process only started in early August. "It is an incredibly ridiculous, preposterous and impossible time line," …

"This is a bottom-up approach," he said.

The state has suggested projects should include $5 of private investment for every $1 of state funding, he said.

In addition, projects will not receive funding until after completion.

The North Country's Regional Council faces difficulty in that it covers seven counties that are largely rural, sparsely populated and don't have a large urban center, Douglas said.

This region has never had an economic-development plan to cover all seven counties, unlike some of the other regions. While it means a lot more work, at first, he believes that can be a strength, as the Regional Council can develop a diverse plan that could stand out from the others.

... the Regional Council has already developed a great collaborative spirit, which has led to numerous new working relationships.


2. Smart growth and the regional development councils - News Blog - Rochester City

Smart-growth principles ought to be a part of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council's strategic plan. … One of the plan's strategies is strengthening and preserving the nine-county region's communities. Among the ways the plan proposes to do that: encouraging the adaptive reuse of buildings, encouraging historic preservation, and strengthening public transit.

These concepts are crucial, since the region can't afford continued infrastructure growth, especially when the population isn't growing.

The council is now working on the plan's specifics: how the strategies would be carried out.
… the council should call for a regional land use and development plan. That would help encourage things like adaptive reuse, especially since the region has old infrastructure that could be modernized, he said.

"We have a competitive, rather than cooperative, way of doing development,"... 

3.  Interactive workshop outlines key regional development plans - Hornell, NY 

What will it take to revitalize and strengthen Western New York? Tuesday night, a new plan was unveiled.

In an interactive online workshop, the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council outlined a draft of its regional plan. Though it remains general, it covered key areas such as higher education, entrepreneurship, labor and professional services, advanced manufacturing, agriculture and tourism.

Viewers in each county gathered to participate in the workshop. The option to view from home was also available.

The 10 regional councils, created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in July, have been on a fast track to create plans that will compete for about $200 million in state funding, with the top four plans each receiving $40 million.
The plan must be finalized by a state deadline of Nov. 14 and will be a key piece in the council’s main task, securing state funding for projects that fall in line with the plan.

5140-09 Pennsylvania

Regional cooperation best chance to weather next storm - News - Citizens Voice

The anger being shown by Duryea Borough residents over the community's response to flooding drives home a truism of life in Northeastern Pennsylvania: We are the victims of a situation of our own making. Our many small towns are not able to provide services that residents expect when a tropical storm causes rivers to flood.

Duryea residents pummeled the town council last week, demanding to know why the local government did not sandbag sufficiently to keep the Lackawanna River within its banks. Hundreds of homes were flooded by the effects of Tropical Storm Lee.

Duryea was in no position to handle a disaster of this magnitude. This is not indictment of the local government. It is a basic truth of what we have created in the many local governments that satisfy parochial and sentimental feelings. But towns like Duryea are not equipped to stand alone when Mother Nature takes a punch


'Power of 32' could provide economic strength in numbers - Pittsburgh Tribune

A regional collaboration known as the Power of 32 can be successful in gaining economic development funds & spurring growth for the region -- including for Armstrong County -- county officials said … It's good for their county & they're glad to be a part of the group of counties, the Armstrong County commissioners said. 

Power of 32 brings together 32 counties in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia & Maryland in a regional visioning effort. The project engages residents of the counties in discussions about the future of jobs, economic development & quality of life in the region, frames solutions & creates a regional agenda through 2025. 

It's meant to create a shared vision & regional agenda, instill optimism & inspire a determination to solve the region's problems & seize opportunities & connect people, communities & institutions. Power of 32 offers the region's 4.2 million people a connection as a unified region, by developing new & effective ways to assure a sustainable, innovative & …


SGA Issues of Regional Importance - Southern Governors Association

Southern states have many commonalities — from history to culture to economics. Often, these similarities have resulted in a shared perspective & mutual agreement between Southern Governors. 

Over the years, Southern Governors have deliberated & collaborated on a wide variety of policies & initiatives aimed at enhancing the region’s growth & prosperity. Always, SGA focuses its efforts on issues where the South is distinct from other regions of the nation, and where collaboration amongst Southern Governors will bring mutual benefit to multiple states.

These efforts generally fall into one of five issue areas: Economic Development, Education, Energy & Environment, Health & Human Services, Governance

SGA’s Policy & Legislative Program

Each year, Southern Governors identify a number of policy & legislative issues on which they would like to work together at the Federal level. These issues are chosen through a consensus-based process & have a specific significance to Southern states.

5140-11 Maryland

Maryland's Governor Explains his War on Sprawl - Politics - The Atlantic Cities

Maryland is running out of space. For decades now, a trend toward low-density development - in a word, sprawl … antidote has arrived in the form of PlanMaryland, a statewide smart growth plan that encourages … high-density residential pockets along established lines of infrastructure. … stronger Baltimore-Washington mega-region, and a more sustainable quality of life.

Over the past three years the state's Department of Planning has collected comments from thousands of residents and produced two drafts of the plan. The public feedback period … end … November, … department will prepare a final version for submission to Gov. Martin O'Malley. 

On the eve of this long-awaited step forward, O'Malley spoke to Atlantic Cities about the perils of sprawl, the promise of density, and the state's city-centric future. 
The legal directive for a statewide development plan has been in place since 1974, but it's gone unheeded. What inspired you to push strongly for a new land-use strategy right now? .


Washington region has nation’s lowest poverty rate - The Washington Post

The Washington region had the lowest poverty rate of any major metropolitan area in the country during the past two years, even though poverty is up significantly and continues to rise. About 8.4 percent of the region’s residents lived in poverty in 2010, compared with 6.8 percent before the recession began in 2007. 

Although the rate represents a steep increase, it is far below the 15 percent national figure and that of urban areas in the West and the South, including Fresno, Calif., and El Paso, where more than 20 percent of people are poor. …

The region’s poverty rates have been among the lowest in the nation for many years. … “We continue to have one of the strongest economies of any metro region in the country,” said Paul Desjardin, head of community planning for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. “It builds on a foundation of the extremely well educated and talented workforce we have here.”

5140-14 West Virginia

Leaders seek drug solutions- Regional meeting addresses growing problem across West Virginia

Leaders from an eleven-county region converged … to share ideas and possible solutions for a drug problem that has helped give West Virginia the most prescription drug overdose deaths per capita in the nation.

A Regional Substance Abuse Task Force with representatives from Mercer, McDowell, Monroe, and seven other counties met at the Mercer County Technical Education Center for the second of six regional meetings scheduled across the state. 

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued an executive order Oct. 6 that created task force regions to bring community leaders together to share ideas, make recommendations and implement customized plans to address drug abuse in their areas and across the state. Approximately 70 people, most of them from Mercer County, attended the regional meeting.

Dr. Michael J. Lewis, cabinet secretary for the Department of Health and Human Resources, visited Mercer County to hear ideas for preventing drug abuse, treating it, and helping substance abusers recover.

5140-17 Georgia

Taylor: Regionalism will bring jobs -

… City Manager James Taylor raised - concern.

“We are a regional community. We need to recognize that and to the extent that we can get the input from the people that live in our community,” …

Even though Taylor is the city manager of Albany, he says if the city really wants to be the hub of Southwest Georgia, Then we have to think bigger. If the plan doesn't look at factors outside of Dougherty County then its just a waste of money.

“Those people are coming to our areas to shop they are coming to our areas to work they are benefiting from our economy. They are certainly are workers that future employers would consider if they were coming to our area, so we need to include them in the process,” said Taylor.

Now EDC officials say it might be back to the drawing board to find a new proposal.
“Through the input of our board there was a sense that whatever strategies that take place in Albany, we need to have a regional perspective and I certainly agree with that,” said Clem.

5140-18 Florida

A call to abolish a regional planning group

A regional planning group that is funded by taxpayers and grants, could become obsolete. Even members of the group are suggesting it might be wise to abolish the SW Florida Regional Planning Council, and start anew.

"I think the group needs to re-focus, and then really prove to members and taxpayers that it is worth the money," said Collier County Commissioner Jim Coletta, who suggested abolishing the group and starting up again with a new mission.

"I agree that it might be a good idea. I believe we need to get a handle on the financial issues and get a fresh start, otherwise there will be no future," said Lee Commission Chair Frank Mann.

The group has members from elected government bodies all over southwest Florida. Local cities and counties pay dues to support the group, along with federal dollars and some grants. The group has done studies on issues of regional importance. However, even members of the council told WINK News: they had a hard time thinking of a major local issue, in which the council has played a high-profile role.

5140-20 Tennessee

1. Regional Governance Districts - Staff Report - Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Affairs

This report is a staff-generated TACIR report written to explore potential strategies to assist the state in responding to globalization, changes in technology, changes in citizen expectations, and other trends affecting our government. This study was originally included as a staff project in TACIR’s Fiscal year 2008 work program. The hypothetical regional governance districts (RGDs) discussed in this report are not meant to be the final word on the topic, but rather as a place for the conversation to begin. Only reports clearly labeled as “Commission Reports” represent the official position of the Commission. Others, such as this
report, are informational.

2. Regional cooperation advances quality of life - The Tennessean

Men would typically never come up with the concept of regionalism, unless they understood it as “my region is better than your region.” By nature, men are territorial.

In the animal kingdom, males mark a “property line,” something of an invisible fence that warns other males that this hunting and mating plot is not a tourist destination. Intruders will be chased, head-butted, clawed, gored, bitten or all the above.

It is the territorial instincts and competitive nature of men that makes the growing spirit of regionalism in Middle Tennessee all the more remarkable. I recently attended and gave the invocation at the Mayoral Summit hosted in cooperation by three separate chambers of commerce. The summit featured a panel of the city mayors of Nashville, Brentwood and Franklin and the county mayor of Williamson, fielding questions regarding present and future issues facing particularly the Davidson-Williamson region.

It should be noted that this was not the first such display of solidarity among the mayors. Inspired by a model of regional cooperation he observed in Denver, Mayor Karl Dean in 2009 launched the Middle Tennessee Mayors Caucus, which now includes 40 city and county mayors from 10 counties.

The purpose of the mayors caucus is explicitly stated at “The purpose of the Mayors Caucus is to foster communication and coordination among cities and counties across Middle Tennessee; advocate public policies beneficial to cities and counties, and the region as a whole …and strengthen vital partnerships with the business community to ensure economic prosperity.”



Water conference on tap; coalition supports regional planning - The Joplin Globe

The conference will provide a forum for discussion of water-supply issues affecting Southwest Missouri and nearby states, according to Gail Melgren, director of the Tri-State Water Resource Coalition.

By sharing information and supporting a regional planning effort, the coalition believes it can ensure adequate water supplies for generations to come, Melgren said in a prepared statement.

Among the topics to be discussed will be issues and trends in current water-resource planning, future population and demand needs, an overview of climate, and short- and mid-term solutions to water challenges for regional suppliers.

The conference also will examine federal and state programs for funding water infrastructure, and the legal and financial aspects of joint municipal utility commissions. Hydrofracking, an emerging demand on water supplies, will be a new topic for discussion.

The coalition will report on ongoing steps to develop regional water resources.


5140-27 Michigan

1. Snyder: 'Continued failure not an option' for regional transportation in Metro Detroit

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says "continued failure is not an option" for regional transportation efforts in Metro Detroit.

Snyder, unveiling a series of infrastructure proposals on Wednesday at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, called for the creation of a Regional Transit Authority for southeast Michigan "with the teeth & the commitment to coordinate existing bus services & permanent, dedicated regional funding to invest in rapid transit."

The authority would serve Wayne, Oakland, Macomb & Washtenaw Counties & would be tasked with establishing rolling rapid transit (see: high-speed bus service) along four critical corridors, including Gratiot, Woodward, Michigan Avenue & M-59.

Detroit is the only major metropolitan area in the nation without a high-capacity rapid-transit system, & Snyder cited at least 23 failed attempts to create a regional authority. Meanwhile, public bus systems in both the city & suburbs are slashing service in the face of reduced funding.

2. Getting Around the Great Lakes: Talking transportation in Michigan - Harbor Light

Thinking regionally when it comes to transportation in Michigan

A collection of local, regional and state-wide leaders and legislators recently joined together at the first Northern Michigan Transportation Summit in Traverse City. Adopting the philosophy of collaboration versus competition, the summit emphasized a regional and holistic approach to improving transportation in Michigan.

A picture of a “Great Lakes Region,” was created, including surrounding states, Canada and transportation hubs like Chicago and Detroit as the ideal in mapping future transportation.
Governor Rick Snyder discussed his ideas for transportation on October 18 in East Lansing during an announcement that Michigan will receive $47 million from the federal government for transportationrelated projects. …

Infrastructure issues, combined with a lack of sustainable funding, is one of Michigan’s biggest hurdles, said Kirk Steudle, Michigan Department of Transportation Director, ...

5140-28 Ohio

1. Letter: Does not support plan for 'regionalism' -

The "Regional Prosperity initiative" is a tax-sharing/land-use-sharing/services-sharing proposal with cities in our region. … 

I think proponents are trying to convince us it's not tax sharing by using cleverly crafted language such as: funds will come only from "new growth taxes," stating there will be "no new taxes," … it's just "resource sharing." … 

A proposal calls for "pooling" 40 percent of new business tax dollars (including school taxes), plus 20 percent of currently collected city income tax. Hudson would be the "giver" not the "receiver," and these revenues would be subjected to an outside authority.…We'd be lumped in with poorly governed and often corrupt cities that continually experience significant population and tax revenue losses that are quite happy to tap into ours. Regionalism would only reward irresponsible governing and lack of accountability, in my opinion. 

…Call your elected officials … let them know we don't need this type of "social engineering."

2. Youngstown News, Nominees announced for region’s 40 Under 40

After stints in Pennsylvania and Illinois, Mahoning Valley native Heather McMahon returned to her roots in 2003.

Two years later, she was nominated as one of the region’s 40 Under 40, an annual list of the top area professionals who excel at their careers and in the community.

She’s stayed here ever since.

“It opened me up to a group of people who were very like- minded,” the 35-year-old managing director of the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative said. McMahon also was honored in 2009 and was named one of five annual MVPs.

On Monday, she helped announce the 2012 class, a list that includes health-care professionals, bank employees, educators and lawyers.
This year is the seventh year The Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley and the Mahoning Valley Young Professional Club has selected 40 honorees for its 40 Under 40 awards.

3. Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative - Ohio

The Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative (MVOC) was launched in summer of 2007. MVOC is a broad-based community organizing effort that seeks to reweave the fabric of communities in Mahoning, Trumbull, & Columbiana Counties. MVOC uses a model of broad-based organizing that blends both institutional (a membership base of churches, schools, neighborhood associations, unions, etc.) with direct door to door grassroots organizing. Currently MVOC works with more than 60 churches, neighborhood organizations, unions, & other grassroots groups. A community organization is a vehicle for everyday people to have a voice in the decisions that affect their lives. Organizing involves finding & developing grassroots leaders, uniting diverse institutions such as churches, schools, & neighborhood groups, & building power to be able to achieve a vision for the community & create systemic change. In many ways, a good community organization is like having a professional lobbyist working for you, your …

5140-29 Indiana

RDA gives grants to Portage, Merrillville and Gary - Post-Tribune

The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority is considering a $1.98 million grant request from Portage to, in part, design a network of trails meant to strategically connect areas near the lakeshore.

The project, touted as an extension of the Portage Lakefront Park and Riverwalk, is expected to link trails in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties and aid in the development of the Ameriplex and Northside Business Park, according to the grant request.

“Much work needs to be accomplished,” said Portage Mayor Olga Velazquez at Tuesday’s RDA Board of Directors meeting, “and we’re looking for opportunities to enhance the economic development opportunities.”

In addition, the grant request would help fund the designs of an extension of the riverwalk to make access more pedestrian friendly and a pedestrian bridge over a channel south of the park.

5140-31 Wisconsin

1. Planners recommend bus system get $11.8 million in federal funds - JSOnline

Regional planners and state officials are recommending that Milwaukee County receive $11.8 million in federal funding to shore up its troubled bus system with new express routes - and stave off deep cuts to local service.

Those officials also are recommending rejection of Milwaukee's bid for $2.3 million for its streetcar project, prompting Mayor Tom Barrett to throw his support behind the county's express bus plan.

The Legislature effectively killed the planned $284 million commuter rail line by disbanding its parent agency, the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority.
That started a process of redirecting some $22 million that had been allocated for the RTA and the KRM, including $15 million from a federal program meant to reduce air pollution and traffic jams.

Seeking to fill a $15 million hole in the Milwaukee County Transit System's 2012 transit budget, County Executive Chris Abele applied for all of the federal money. …

2. About the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission

The agency is one of nine the state created between 1959 and 1974 in response to rapid metropolitan development.

The current 13-member commission was created in 2007.

It's made up of representatives of cities, villages, towns and county government.
A staff of planners and engineers do the research and make recommendations.

Regional planning commissions compile detailed scientific data about such things as projected population growth, development patterns, natural water flows, soil quality and utilities to give expert guidance on future needs for water and sewage facilities and on the best places for new homes and businesses.

And they bring local governments together to broker cooperative agreements designed to avoid costly court battles between municipalities and ensuring adequate sewer and water for everyone.

3. Citizen Dave: Is the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission about to die? - Isthmus

… three things that are needed to improve regional planning in Dane County.

First, the commission has been struggling with inadequate budgets and staff for years. … 
Second, the law setting up Capital Area RPC is deeply flawed because it only allows the commission to look at water quality impacts of new development areas within the boundaries of cities and villages. ….

But what about sprawl, transportation impacts and the loss of farmland? The commission can't use those to trump the water quality test. I think some of us were hoping that water quality would be a good proxy for those other things, but that's not how it has worked out in some cases. So, the law should be changed to allow the RPC to look at these other issues.

Third, as noted above, the commission can only have a say in the growth of cities and villages -- … The real threat to the environment in Dane County is not so much what happens in cities and villages, but what's going on outside of them. …

4. Regional planning commission tax levy increased, but by less than they hoped

Arbitrators have ruled that the disputed proposed tax levy for the regional planning commission in Dane County must be reduced, but not as much as county officials had hoped.
The decision adds slightly to the county tax bill and reduces to a small degree the extent to which the county could increase its property tax collections, which are limited by a state cap.
The Capital Area Regional Planning Commission initially proposed a 21 percent increase for its 2012 budget because it has had to keep positions vacant for several years and has still spent through its reserves.

5140-35 Iowa

1. OEDC head stresses regionalism - Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

A sense of pride in Ottumwa & a belief that it can progress is essential to success.
… Ottumwa EDC … plans for a regional effort toward economic development.

The first step is to develop a comprehensive fiber-optic infrastructure plan … figure out where the current fiber exists & where there are gaps.

“If we were talking about a comprehensive fiber-optic infrastructure plan 25 to 30 years ago, we would be on the cutting edge in our thinking … I submit to you that today we need to be developing a plan like this just to have a chance to stay in the game today.”
“In today’s world economy and with today’s regional economic development initiatives, what happens in Ottumwa doesn’t stay in Ottumwa … What happens in each of our communities and each of our counties has a positive or negative spillover effect throughout the region.

“We must work closer together more than ever today to make sure that the spillover effects that we are receiving are, more often than not, positive.”

2. John Skipper column: Regionalism concept has pros and cons

One of the buzzwords I often hear in government circles is “regionalism,” which is code for “combining resources and cutting costs.”

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Could Iowa function just as well with 50 counties instead of 99? Probably. But who’s going to be in charge of making the eliminations?

Does every nook and cranny and valley in Iowa need its own school district? Probably not. But who’s going to be in charge of making the eliminations?

Years ago there was a lot of talk about having regional jails because of all the costs associated with running county jails.

Most sheriffs favored the idea — as long as the regional jail was in their county, and who could blame them. 

One idea where regionalism seems to make sense is in economic development — marketing an entire area rather than just a town.


FEMA Kicks Off First Regional Private Sector Conference in Bay Area

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region IX office today hosted its first regional leadership private sector conference entitled "What's In It for Us?" The one-day event brought together more than 150 private and public sector representatives such as Cisco Systems, Target, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), the California Emergency Management Agency, to map strategies for closer coordination in jointly preparing for and responding to disasters.

"FEMA's collaboration with the private sector is not new," said FEMA Region IX Administrator Nancy Ward. "But the goal of this conference is to help take those vital relationships to the next level before, during and after a disaster. Government alone cannot effectively handle every aspect of a disaster, and it is time we planned accordingly."

FEMA: Regional Operations - Regions Map

5140-44 Colorado

1. Visitors guides offer varying takes on "regionalism" - The Denver Post

The new edition of Discover Denver, the area's official visitors guide, debuts Monday, sending the message of "regionalism," a favorite buzz word of city boosters and politicians these days.

"We've always been regional in our approach to tourism," said Visit Denver spokesman Rich Grant. ". . . We have a full page on Colorado Springs, a full page on Golden and all the ski areas. We've always seen Denver as a gateway to the whole region."

It's interesting that Grant uses the word "regionalism," a pet term of former Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper when referring to close ties he helped form with Aurora Mayor Ed Tauer. Leaf through the slick magazine and there's nary a mention of Colorado's third-largest city.
To be fair, the website lists day-trip destinations to everywhere except Denver.

But while practically ignoring Aurora, the Denver guide touts other outlying destinations such as Boulder, the Pikes Peak area and Black Hawk/Central City.

2. The Evolution of Transition In The U.S. - Boulder 

The emergence of the Transition movement in the last four years or so is one of the most hopeful signs in the early 21st century, and Transition may yet turn out to be one of the fastest-growing, most inspiring, and most significant social change movements we have ever seen.

For those of us who had already been working towards relocalization for some years, the community-wide Transition process that Rob Hopkins and his fellow pioneers began developing in Totnes in 2006 was the very first sign of a clear and replicable pathway to community resilience and self-reliance in the face of the converging global crises of fossil fuel depletion, global warming, and economic collapse.

In Boulder County, we had well understood the urgent need for relocalization since we began in mid-2005. ...

5140-46 Arizona

More than 1,000 Launch The Loop - Pima County News

More than 1,000 people of all ages turned out to Launch The Loop on Oct. 22 and walk, skate or bike on the Santa Cruz and Rillito river park paths that were officially joined in the celebration Saturday.

Officials who spoke at the Dedication Celebration all agreed with Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson, who said The Loop is a great example of “what happens when you have regional cooperation.”

Oro Valley Mayor Satish Hiremath praised Pima County for leading the effort that includes the cities of Tucson and South Tucson, the towns of Marana and Oro Valley, the Regional Transportation Authority and the Arizona Department of Transportation.

“It’s a new beginning for this entire region,” Hiremath said.

The connection of the Santa Cruz and Rillito river park paths creates 23 miles of car-free pedestrian and bicycle paths …

5140-49 Oregon

Regional planning initiative approved by county -

After 11 years of often spirited debate in countless meetings, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners unanimously has approved a Regional Problem Solving plan to guide urban growth for the next half-century.

After a three-hour session Wednesday afternoon, the commissioners voted to approve slightly more than 8,500 acres of urban growth reserves in the county, roughly half of which includes parcels on the edges of Medford, the county's largest community.

With the vote, Jackson County becomes the first of any county in the state to sign off on an RPS plan.

Other counties working on long-range urban growth plans have thus far been unable to come to an agreement, thanks to the challenges in getting local governments to iron out potential wrinkles
The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, which has warned cities not to include too much land, will now review the county's RPS plan.

In Jackson County, the population is expected to double by 2060.

5140-50 California

1. SANDAG Approves 2050 Regional Transportation Plan Despite Possible Lawsuits

San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) voted this morning to approve the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). This planned 214 billion dollar transportation infrastructure is funded by local, state and federal funds that are granted to SANDAG as long as certain environmental goals are met. Unfortunately the required goals will most likely not be met.


2. Transit agencies urged to coordinate service

The Bay Area's vast collection of more than two dozen transit agencies could have to cut their operating costs, increase the number of filled seats, pick up speed, share their staffs and plan service together under a plan being developed by regional transportation officials.

The goal of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission's transit sustainability project is to get the Bay Area more transit service for its money by making the region's 28 agencies more efficient as it prepares to ask voters to approve a regional gasoline tax to increase service, possibly in November 2012.

... some commissioners …. want the Bay Area's transportation planning and financing agency to set a more ambitious goal of merging some of the region's smaller transit operators - or even consolidating all of the agencies into a single operator. Numerous attempts to merge Bay Area transit agencies have failed over the past couple of decades.

6000 - Pacific Ocean

7000 - Oceana

7430 Australia

1. Colliding cities: have our cities slipped their metro moorings?

Despite the emphasis in Australia on the “compact city” foreshadowed in every major strategic metropolitan plan such as the South East Queensland Regional Plan; there is a growing trend towards “colliding cities”. We are seeing an almost seamless link-up of cities and towns into complex mega-metropolitan regions.

A spatial settlement inversion/invasion has taken place. What were previously urban islands along the coastline of Australia are now inter-connected, linear urban corridors. Natural and agricultural islands are left adrift in an ever-growing urban landscape.

Within this new urban order, planning and managing this metropolitan/regional complexity is a crucial part of urban governance. But in Australia, the approach has been characterised by a lack of institutional co-ordination and policy integration.

How can national urban policy help mediate the spatial challenges of new urban settlement patterns and address the “beggar thy neighbour” metro-regional mentality?

2. Regional Planning Strategies Approved - Bryan Green, MP - Tasmanian Government

The Deputy Premier Bryan Green today announced new land use strategies for Tasmania’s three regions to keep pace with reform of the State’s planning system.

Mr Green said the regional strategies will guide future development and underpin new planning schemes for all local councils.

“This is another important milestone in the overall reform of our planning system,” Mr Green said.

Mr Green said the strategies would provide a plan for future planning and development in the Southern, Northern and North-West regions

“It builds on the work we have done to make our planning system simpler and more consistent across the State.

It follows the introduction of a Statewide planning template and a new residential planning code to cut costs and speed up approvals.

“The Government is delivering some of the most important planning reforms we have ever seen to meet the expectations of local communities and potential investors.

8000 - Asia


Floods And Regional Disaster Preparedness: Too Little, Too Late? - Analysis


Regional frameworks in Southeast Asia currently exist, some of which are in operation like the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management under the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management & Emergency Response (AADMER). … regional frameworks need to be further strengthened to enhance preparedness & climate change adaptation mechanisms, rather than just responding in times of disasters. …

While regional cooperation at the official level has been significant, more can be done to increase the level of cooperation between ASEAN civil society & business communities. ASEAN must increase its engagement with the scientific community to understand better how climatic changes, in addition to other existing natural & man-made disasters, will affect regional security. Greater engagement with the private entities that are keen on corporate social responsibility will also open doors for targeted funding in projects which may not have had enough government support.



1. India's initiative to crystallise Asian regional cooperation most appropriate

In the era of interdependent, globalised growth,… an Asian century …little more than rhetorical relevance … does not … undercut the significance of concerted efforts for regional cooperation & coordination in Asia, …. It would be natural to expect the largest & the fastest-growing Asian economy , China, to play a central role in making such cooperation & coordination happen.

Yet, China's penchant to be furious on the least provocation, & not merely fast, makes room for various, independent regional moves that offer a role for China but do not wait for that country's initiative. It is entirely apposite that New Delhi should recognise this possibility & has moved to realise its potential, involving Asia's multilateral development bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), in the enterprise. ADB offers the services of not only neutral facilitation but also of institutional backup, apart from its storehouse of knowledge that draws upon the continent's varied development experience. 

2. Ibobi calls for planning aimed at need-based development for state at NDC meet 

Pointing out that the process of economic planning for balanced growth was not an easy task for a vast and varied country like India, Manipur Chief Minister … process of planning should aim at providing need-based development for each region in a manner that would strengthen national objectives… 56th National Development Council … 

Manipur had benefited substantially during the 11th Five Year Plan period, in terms of providing better infrastructure and health care, better education facilities, rural roads, rural housing and creation of employment generation through many national flagship programmes. … need for strengthening human resource and physical infrastructure during the 12th Plan period to enable the North eastern states to respond effectively and catch up with the rest of the country. … large agricultural potential especially that of horticulture in the North eastern region had remained unexploited …


Iraq's Salaheddin province declares regional autonomy

The provincial council of Iraq's Sunni Arab majority Salaheddin province voted on Thursday for it to become an administratively and economically autonomous region similar to Kurdistan, a statement said.

However, for the decision to take effect, it must still be approved in a referendum by residents of the province.

"We announce that the majority of the provincial council voted to approve the declaration of Salaheddin as an administrative and economic region,"

The provincial council of Iraq's Sunni Arab majority Salaheddin province voted on Thursday for it to become an administratively and economically autonomous region similar to Kurdistan, a statement said.

But Ahmed Abdullah, the province's governor, said the main reason for the vote was a campaign of arrests carried out by Iraqi security forces in the province without consultation, raising the possibility that the council's decision was a vote of protest rather than a serious bid for autonomy.

9000 - Indian Ocean

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