Regional/Greater Community Development News – March 19, 2012

     Multi-jurisdictional intentional regional communities are, in all cases, “Greater Communities” where “community motive” is at work at a more than a local scale. This newsletter provides a scan of regional community, cooperation and collaboration activity as reported in news media and blogs. More articles are at
Top 10 Stories

While hyperpartisanship and ugly derogation of opponents infect Congress and national politics, we needn't despair. In fact, "the United States is really awash in quality leadership."
That's the case made by Bruce Katz, Brookings Institution ..

"Everywhere you turn, at the city, at the metropolitan or state scale-you find either individual leaders, or more likely networks of leaders, who tend to put place over party and ideology."
Indeed, today's ever-more-globalized and urban-focused economy, … "means city and metro leaders — corporate, university, elected — are not on the periphery of American policy. They're really going to be at the center of it, as national politics disintegrate."
Successful metros demonstrate an interesting interplay between place-making and economy-shaping.
… several state governments, most notably in CO, NY, TN and NV, are actually reaching out to encourage their metro regions to organize across local borders to create economic strategies.
5140-00-00-USA.United.States.of.America, 5140-13-15-Richmond.Regional, re:networks
re:multi-state, re:economic.strategy, re:metropolitan, re:global, re:leadership

The disparity between Boston’s top earners and its poorest workers has widened and will continue to grow unless the region’s educational system is improved to increase opportunities for all workers, and excessive costs, especially for health care, are reined in, according to a biennial report released Wednesday by the nonprofit Boston Foundation.
“Now is the time to get a grip on the growing divide,’’ said Charlotte B. Kahn, director of the Boston Indicators Project, a collaboration between the foundation, city officials, and institutions to track the economic health of Greater Boston.
Income inequality was identified as perhaps the greatest threat to the region’s long-term prosperity.
As more wealth is concentrated in the top income groups, it leaves the vast majority of workers more vulnerable to economic downturns and rising costs of living that can quickly wipe out finances, the report said.
5140-04-08-Boston.Metropolitan.Area, re:long-term, re:threat, re:income, re:education, re:greater

The idea is this: National defense isn't only about containing foreign threats; it's also about strengthening the fabric of society. In other words, sustainable development is a critical component of national security.
… idea that sustainable development must be central to America's global strategy. Marine Corps Col. Mark Mykleby and Navy Capt. Wayne Porter wrote that to thrive in this century's "strategic ecology", the United States must move from a global posture of containment designed to preserve the status quo to a posture of sustainability designed to build our strength at home and our credible influence abroad.
"The Grand Strategy for Sustainability". It's an initiative to reshape economic policies so that market forces produce a more sustainable and secure United States while America leads by example to help build a more sustainable world.
… is rooted in the work of nation's traditional policy laboratories: sub-national regions, states and communities. …
5000.Pacific.Coast-BC-WA-OR-CA, re:sustainable, re:subnational, re:strategy, re:defense, re:security

After decades of congestion, sprawl, and kicking Fulton and DeKalb County taxpayers in the shorts, state lawmakers still don't give a damn about MARTA.
Case in point: the failure of lawmakers to make any progress on the much-discussed legislation that would overhaul how transit systems are governed in the metro region.
… a solution exists: House Bill 1200, legislation proposed by state Rep. Pat Gardner of Atlanta that's largely based on a proposal developed by the Atlanta Regional Commission that was blessed by metro Atlanta elected officials. Her plan would've divvied up voting powers based on a city or county's population and how much it contributes to funding transit.
But every lobbyist and elected official … should be beating down lawmakers' doors to tell them what's at stake. Fulton and DeKalb residents deserve to decide how their money is invested in their transit system. MARTA might be a creation of the state, legally speaking, but it has survived with our support.
5140-17-05-Atlanta.Regional, re:state, re:legislators, re:governance, re:trans.funding

A state law that recently abolished community redevelopment agencies has advocates pondering the future of cultural projects and their funding in L.A., Long Beach and elsewhere.

Gov. Jerry Brown pushed for the change, arguing that there were more pressing needs for the property taxes that had funded redevelopment. Shutting the agencies frees up $1.7 billion for the state and $1.3 billion for public schools and city and county governments in the current fiscal year, …
Now arts advocates will have to persuade financially strapped local governments not to forget the cultural needs that redevelopment had often addressed. If they fail, it could spell the end of an era in which the L.A. region's cities were able to fund ambitious cultural projects.

Redevelopment agencies often viewed the arts as a tool for invigorating tired downtowns and other neighborhoods. … they have pumped more than $470 million into arts venues and artworks in the L.A. area.
5140-50-02-Southern-Los.Angeles-SCAG, re:cultural, re:redevelopment, re:funding.cuts, re:arts

About six years ago, the seven counties of southeastern Wisconsin called a truce. No more poaching, they vowed, when it came to economic development. We're all in this together.
And that agreement, hammered out under the auspices of the Milwaukee 7 economic development group, has mostly held …
But imagine if a similar agreement about rules of engagement could be broadened beyond the seven counties - to the entire Chicago tri-state area. Imagine also that this region collaborated on a number of fronts, that members of Congress from the 21 counties of Greater Chicago formed a caucus to focus on regional issues, that the governors of the three states met regularly. …
We think that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development report offers a first important step toward thinking of the region that begins in Ozaukee County and extends south through Chicago to northern Indiana as a coherent, cohesive unit. We think over the long term there is great economic value in that.
5140-31-06-Southeastern-Milwaukee, 5140-00.CMSA.Chicago.IL-IN-WI, 5140-29-01.1-Northwest-Gary, 5140-30-0x-CMAP-Chicago, re:multi-state, re:collaboration, re:OECD
re:governors, re:economic, re:greater

CORTE MADERA'S Town Council, motivated by frustration at state housing mandates, the One Bay Area planning effort's regionalism and the disruption of a perfectly good town, voted to quit the Association of Bay Area Governments.
Yet, this vote, billed as a win for local control, will actually further diminish the town's power over its own destiny, robbing it of the tools needed to reassert what it deems is lost rights.
State housing requirements don't come from ABAG, they come from the state. ABAG is just the middleman, which does the heavy lifting to determine regional allocations.
By leaving ABAG, Corte Madera loses its seat in the association's general assembly and the voice it had in determining how these allocations are formulated, trading the possibility of appeal before a body of peers for a Sacramento bureaucracy, even further removed from local concerns.

So what did Corte Madera get with its resolution?
Headlines, extra costs, and a muted voice.
5140-50-05-Bay.Area-San.Francisco-ABAG, re:state, re:mandate, re:allocation, re:housing, re:council, re:town, re:regionalism.problem, re:SB.375

15.7 million people reside in the Southeast Coastal Region – along the coasts of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Combined, these states have the greatest regional energy demand in the U.S., and in 5-10 years, that could be matched with one of the greatest energy resources: Southeastern Offshore Wind.
The Departments of Energy (DOE) and the Interior (DOI) combined efforts to set goals in their report, The National Offshore Wind Strategy: Creating an Offshore Wind Energy Industry in the United States.
… The Southeast is home to about two thirds of the East Coast’s shallow water, offshore wind resource. …
It is ideal for the development of a regional policy. The continental shelf is our Southeastern common border – quite possibly the most valuable energy asset we have. Leaders in our region are just beginning to recognize the importance of offshore wind.…
We need to further streamline the regulatory regime, and get state agencies to collaborate …
5140-00.Southeast.Coastal-NCSC-GA-FL, 5140-00.Southeast, re:federal.state, re:states

Cooperation may be the answer to stormwater issues in Rocky View and other southern areas of the province, according to a non-profit society dedicated to the improvement of water management in Alberta.
Alberta WaterSMART, which uses awareness, technology and water management practices to achieve its goals, is promoting dialogue between municipalities as a way to affect government policy.
Representatives from the group presented their mandate to Rocky View County council, ...
“It is going to take a concerted effort to get government to move forward (on changing stormwater re-use policy),” said Lorne Taylor, who represented WaterSMART at the meeting.
“If we can bring a coalition of communities together with a common theme… I believe there is real opportunity for us to do something.”
According to the society, there has been a high degree of verbal interest from several municipalities in collaboration on regional flooding issues, ...
5130-09-00-Alberta, re:collaboration, re:water.quality,, re:water

This report presents a conceptual framework for rural wealth creation, drawing upon the U.S. and international development literature. The framework emphasizes the importance of multiple types of assets (physical, financial, human, intellectual, natural, social, political, and cultural capital) and the economic, institutional, and policy context in which rural wealth strategies are devised. The report discusses the role of wealth creation in the rural development process, how wealth can be created in rural communities, and how its accumulation and effects can be measured.
Keywords: wealth creation, rural development, regional development, community economic development, sustainable development, livelihoods, wealth indicators, conceptual framework, ERS, USDA
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