Regional/Greater Community Development News – April 16, 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
… Arlington Mayor… Cluck, Dallas Mayor… Rawlings, Fort Worth Mayor…Price and Irving Mayor…Van…publicly and ceremoniously put their support behind the maximum twice-per-week watering guidelines as a regional standard.
The four gathered for a joint water conservation news conference… discussing the specifics of their cities but asserting in unison that if the fourth largest region in the country is going to continue to grow conserving water for later must be a priority now.
Even though area reservoirs are near or above normal due to recent rains, the Mayors of North Texas’ most populous cities all agreed that shifting from drought contingency planning to long-term water conservative planning will help provide clean and affordable water in the future.
“I’ve received calls from citizens saying if we’re not in a drought and that we have all we need at the moment, why the restrictions?…“Because we want to continue having all the water we need, in good times and in bad times. “
There's been a drumbeat of concern from the regional fathers over the need to think more regionally. Regional transportation,  regional housing, regional jobs. Forget you belong to a state or city, even. Just think of yourselves as citizens of the Greater Washington megalopolis.
That makes sense, to a large extent. Urban areas are starting to agglomerate into mega-regions, linked to each other by premium transit and web-enabled business opportunities. It's silly to box ourselves into provincial jurisdictions. Crafting a regional economic plan, however, is no easy feat. Greater Washington is a rigidly tripartite beast, and its component governments have a vested interest in attracting businesses and residents…
… Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments panel on economic stuff… asked of economic development directors of some of the area's counties and cities: Given the inherent competition among the various localities, do we need a regional economic plan? …
…Toronto's experience with "amalgamation"… gives…cause to rethink my support for regional governance.
In 1998, despite overwhelming local opposition, the Ontario government forced Toronto to combine with several of its municipal neighbors. The idea was to achieve cost savings through efficiency and to form a more potent economic entity. Overnight, Toronto became the fifth largest city in North America.
…cost savings are debatable, and the impact on central Toronto has been mostly bad.… thanks to voters from suburban parts of Toronto, the city's current Mayor… Ford is pursuing decidedly anti-city policies.…
What happened was predicted by Toronto resident Jane Jacobs, who… said that amalgamation would lead to a suburban-focused government at the expense of central Toronto.
…should we really want suburban…residents having a say over…our growth and development as a city? Probably not.
I'm still for regionalism, but not…without significant curbs to protect the interests of the central city.
…Corporate Partnership for Economic Growth…collaboration… leading institutions…establish a unified regional presence
…outgrowth of conversations among CEOs…five years…"
They recognized that to compete in a global economy, you had to have a regional presence and strong collaboration among existing…organizations
… they realized that in order to move the process forward they had to have a dedicated entity and staff to help solve our long-term obstacles to growth and market our assets externally.
… hope to accelerate that process …are not supplanting or taking over responsibilities of local or county development organizations…working with them to augment their efforts.
… regional approach, focused on units smaller than the state but larger than counties, is the usual level for both businesses and governments…world competes in regional economies…If we're going to compete…need to…focus externally to bring more human and financial capital here. Govt entities also deal in regional footprints. …
The Brooke-Hancock Regional Planning and Development Council mulled the merits Wednesday of using social media to engage a younger demographic into the community planning process.
During their quarterly meeting, held in the conference room inside WesBanco's Penco Road offices, Director John Brown pointed out the dearth of young people getting involved in the planning process and questioned whether the planning council should look to social media to get their attention.
"We need to engage them to the point where they want to participate," he said, noting the importance of getting input from all age demographics.
Brown questioned whether the planning council should be using Facebook and Twitter to update residents about developments in their community.
Pat Ford, director of the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle, said consultants helping rebrand his organization pointed out the 20s and 30s age demographic they're looking for is "heavily into social media." ...
Funding for a second round of Regional Economic Development Council awards is included in the 2012-2013 budget, which will be awarded competitively to projects determined to have the greatest potential for creating jobs.
This year's budget includes $220 million; $150 million in new capital funding and $70 million in tax credits from the Excelsior Jobs Program, to implement regional strategic plans. …
More than $500 million in additional resources will be available to businesses and sponsors for economic development purposes consistent with regional council plans. Businesses and project sponsors can apply and compete for these funds through the Consolidated Funding Application.
In 2011, as a component of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's "Open for Business" campaign, 10 regional councils were created to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth in the different regions and compete for $785 million for job creation and community development.
Vacant, blighted airport-area real estate is slowing efforts to make "Memphis: America's Aerotropolis" more than a marketing slogan, a national expert on aviation-based development said ….
But John D. "Jack" Kasarda, who has championed the aerotropolis concept, urged participants in the first Mid-South Aerotropolis Conference to look beyond current conditions and embrace the potential of a concerted, long-term strategy.
The University of North Carolina professor described Memphis as uniquely positioned, because of FedEx's world hub and a Delta Air Lines passenger hub, to prosper from growth in global trade and tourism.
Richard Smith, FedEx Express' managing director of life sciences and specialty services, said Alexander was absolutely right.
"I think the economic upside potentially is huge," said Smith, … chairman of an aerotropolis marketing and branding workgroup. … Kasarda's simplified definition of an aerotropolis is "a city built around an airport."
ASEAN plans to establish an Asean community by 2015. This community will have three mutually re-enforcing pillars: a political security community, an economic and a socio-cultural one. The security community pillar is the Holy Grail of regional security cooperation.
The foundation for Asean political security was laid in Bangkok in August 1967. The Bangkok Declaration is unambiguous in its purpose: to promote regional peace and stability.
In Bangkok, five states agreed “to bind themselves together in friendship and cooperation and, through joint efforts and sacrifices, secure for their peoples and for posterity the blessings of peace, freedom and prosperity”, with non-interference in the internal affairs of member states as the basic premise of regional order.
They also agreed that they would conduct relations among themselves by adhering to the principles of the United Nations Charter. … Academics have called this enterprise by different names: security community, security regime …
The Organization of American States prides itself on being the world’s oldest regional organization.
… challenge today comes in the form of alternative regional groupings, such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), created by Brazil in 2008, or the smaller and more radical Bolivarian Alliance (ALBA), which began as an agreement between Cuba and Venezuela in 2004. In addition, just this past December, in Caracas, Venezuela, regional leaders established the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) as their newest multilateral mechanism. Taking care to exclude the United States and Canada from its membership,…
 … states in the region have adopted a more pragmatic, less political view of the newer regional forums.
… more-centrist countries such as Colombia simply see these new entities as additional forums to address the region’s problems, particularly those in which the United States does not necessarily need to play a role.
What's your vision for the future of your community? Join the Smart Growth Network (SGN) in the first national conversation about how neighborhoods could be planned, designed, and developed to meet the needs of current and future generations.
 This national conversation will occur over the next 12 to 18 months in a range of media, including a compendium of emerging issues, webinars, blogs, videos, and more. One goal of this conversation is to build the depth of the dialogue to attract more people, ideas, and perspectives. SGN believes that the larger the circle, the richer the discussion, generating better ideas for communities. …
The first step in starting the conversation is to build a compendium of new and innovative ideas. SGN is seeking short papers that discuss a particular issue that communities will be facing in the next 15 years.
 - How will neighborhoods and regions be planned, designed, and developed to meet the needs of current and future generations?
 - How can practitioners…

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