Regional/Greater Community Development News – May 14, 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. 
Top 10 Stories
Home sales are significantly improving, and the progress is being experienced throughout Greater Nashville and Middle Tennessee.
Why are these improvements being experienced when other locations are not yet seeing the same? While we have faced the same economic trends as other places, there are many reasons why we are on the early side of recovery.
First, more individuals, families and businesses are discovering Greater Nashville and Middle Tennessee. From sports to entrepreneurial endeavors, from health care to automotive growth, our region is gaining notice. The Music City Center is also attracting attention as the news gets out to convention planners.
One of the most significant attractions is the sense of community. We experienced it during the flood two years ago. People throughout the region helped those in need from all areas. The sense of unity and the expression of care for people was extraordinary.
But the flood wasn’t the only event that displayed our sense of community. …
Perhaps the only thing Mower County Board members can be certain about in the proposed 12-county regional collaborative of human services is that there's a lot of uncertainty.
The collaboration is being driven by a growing patient base and dwindling government funding, said Julie Stevermer, director of Mower County Human Services.
'Silver tsunami'
The majority of financial assistance is distributed to the elderly and the disabled populations, Stevermer said, and a "silver tsunami" is coming — Baby Boomers.
Given current staff and funding levels, "we will not meet (required) outcomes, given where we are today," Stevermer said of services that are mandated by the government. "We have a competent, committed staff, but how much can they do?"
Redesign goals
The current full-fledged human services offices in each county would be replaced by an expanded network of walk-in and call-in centers sprinkled across the region.
The system also would be developed to rely more heavily on telephone and electronic communications between service providers and recipients.
The service system would be overseen by a centralized administration, and above that, by a seven-member board of directors and 12-member advisory council, made up of representatives from the participating counties.
Potential participants: Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca and Winona counties.
…speech…endorsing a new highway in the Trinity River flood zone, Dallas Mayor Mike …said at one point, "I'm a regionalist," and then he said of people who oppose his view, "For those that feel that way and don't want the city to grow, I can clearly state, I am not your mayor and you may not feel comfortable in Dallas over the long haul because we are going to grow." Check me on this. But was that not "my way or the highway?"
…I'm glad he said it. It was maybe the only sincere moment in an otherwise an entirely predictable exercise in fake objectivity. But, wait. What's wrong with being regional? We live in a region, right? Isn't thinking about the whole region the rational thing to do?
… If you look closely at the so-called regionalism being flogged by Michael Morris, it's really all about trying to reverse or at least stave off that back-to-the-city trend. How? By using a rich but arcane planning entity to steer coveted federal dollars into projects that are pro-sprawl & anti-urban.
A new term has entered the political lexicon of Clackamas County: Portland creep.
Those two words, intended to denote density, crime, congestion and tax-happy bureaucracy, appear on two can't-miss billboards along Interstate 205 near Gladstone. The conservative Oregon Transformation Project's political action committee paid for the billboards to support a slate of candidates who, if elected, would take majority control of Clackamas County government.
The new phrase also sums up what's at stake in this year's race for three seats on the five-member Clackamas County Board of Commissioners: Should the county be a cooperative partner in regional efforts or become more politically independent and fiscally conservative?
… If the Oregon Transformation Project's slate wins, Clackamas County could reverse course and end support of regional planning and transportation efforts.
… whispers started circulating among discontented conservatives about withdrawing from Metro and TriMet.
…discussion on proposed Metro service to Loudoun…
…study Stephen S. Fuller, director of George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis, performed on the projects financial impacts to the region, Virginia Sec. of Transportation…state may contribute more…
…Dulles International Airport…project would help the airport double its traffic and become a global hub…a world class airport.
Fuller, who earlier this week released his rail study, continued to describe starkly different futures for Loudoun, depending on its rail decision.
“With that connectivity, no county in the Washington Metropolitan region can compete with Loudoun,” he said. “Without it, it’s a lot more like Frederick, MD, except for the airport.”
In addition, Loudoun’s amenities and diversity makes it the most attractive county in the region with rail. With or without rail, Loudoun will do well, he said, but there’s potential to beat competitors to the east in drawing certain business investments.
“No other area in this region can come close for 20 years,” he said.
The Teaming4Success 2012 Economic Summit, sponsored by the Columbiana County Area Chambers of Commerce, …
…accepted a proposal to enter into a regional partnership with the recently-formed Tuscarawas Oil and Gas Alliance in Tuscarawas County.
The Eastern Ohio Development Alliance is a non-profit economic development organization consisting of 16 counties in southeastern Ohio
… The energy business is inherently regional since the shale formations thousands of feet below the earth's surface have no regard for lines on a map, he stated. "There are no county borders when it comes to oil and gas."
 … concept is to create a regional effort that doesn't take away from any one county's efforts at attracting development within its borders but instead is about assistance and sharing of efforts. "We have a lot of great resources in all of these counties, and we can surely share ideas and concepts in facilitating the kind of opportunities that we have to engage with the oil and gas industry."
A coalition of Triangle economic development groups, which traditionally have focused on attracting companies to the region, are behind a new campaign that aims to recruit talented workers.
The $1 million effort is spearheaded by Wake County Economic Development, the business recruiting arm of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. Other partners…
…theme: "Work in the Triangle. Smarter from any Angle."
The goal is to leverage the region's many appearances on "best of" lists -- such as Raleigh's No. 1 ranking in Forbes magazine's list of Best Places for Business and Careers and the Triangle's No. 2 ranking in the Brookings Institution's list of the Fastest Growing Regions for Green Jobs -- as a recruitment tool.
"We're not doing this because we have a problem," … Wake County Economic Development. "We tend to rank remarkably well ... when we talk to companies about the workforce here. We just want to be proactive and position ourself well for the future."
… U.S. Army Corps of Engineers…
…under its Great Lakes Mississippi River Interbasin Study … Corps will release in late 2013 an assessment of the best options for keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes, including the preliminary estimated costs and mitigation requirements for each option.
 … “This new step will result in a more focused path forward that could mean faster implementation of a permanent solution for protecting our Great Lakes from Asian carp.”
…Corps already has developed a number of interim GLMRIS products, including an Aquatic Nuisance Species Control Paper that identified 90 control technologies available to prevent 39 invasive species of concern from transferring through the aquatic pathways in the Chicago Area Waterway System. The Army Corps also has identified 18 other potential pathways for invasive species transfer throughout the Great Lakes region, along the entire basin divide, which already has resulted in action to close off Asian carp pathways of concern.…
The Internet Society today announced the formal opening of its regional office in Singapore, … A global, mission-based organisation, … advocate for the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for everyone.
…Regional Bureaus …connecting its Chapters, members, and staff, and are central to the success of the organisation's mission to ensure the Internet continues to evolve as a platform for innovation, collaboration, creativity, and economic development. …
"We work collaboratively with our Chapters, members, and regional community organisations … bring Internet connectivity to rural communities to enable holistic socio-economic development."
"The Internet Society joins the vibrant ecosystem of more than 135 international non-profit organisations (INPOs) making Singapore their home for the region and beyond," … Director of the International Organisations Programme Office (IOPO), a whole-of-government initiative located within the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).
The following is the 21st Century Council statement from the pre-G-20 meeting in Mexico City, May 4-6, 2012.
Members of the Nicolas Berggruen Institute's 21st Century Council met on May 6 in Mexico City with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, chair of this year's G-20 Summit, to discuss the upcoming issues.
1. KEEPING PAST G-20 COMMITMENTS. First and foremost, the G-20 must stick to its commitments at previous Summits, especially from last year's Cannes Summit, for an inclusive global growth strategy, financial stabilization of Europe, reducing global imbalances and resistance to protectionism.
The absence of a global framework on climate change and carbon prices is stalling the takeoff of the future clean energy economy. This should be a high priority for the G-20.
Another way to promote decentralized global governance on green growth is for the G-20 to join up with the R-20 (Regions of Climate Action), an organization that works with subnational governments to develop low-carbon economic development projects, to pursue global objectives through the sub-national political entities where growth and pollution actually take place. The R-20 model is simple; a locality sets its own clean energy strategy priorities, then the R-20 brings in the necessary technology and financing. We commend these public private partnerships and consider them additional tools to foster employment.
Financial commitments of the G-20 dedicated to sub-national action networks would greatly enhance the effectiveness and rapidity of green growth. The G20 should formally recognize the need for national governments to work with sub-national governments and related stakeholders to effectively cultivate sustainable development and green growth. Specifically, we recommend the G20 officially recognize the contribution of sub national collaboration on Green Growth through their communiqué wherein G20 leaders commit to:
- develop formal relationships with international representative subnational governments;
- convene meetings with their representatives to learn about the successful policies, programs, and projects that subnational governments have implemented that could be scaled to the national and international levels;
- facilitate the participation of sub national governments and their related stake holders in the design of National Sustainable Development Action Plans and present these plans at the Leaders' Summit in 2013;
- continue to work with subnational governments to implement the National Sustainable Development Action Plans.
As former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin has suggested, projects such as those that could be pursued at the subnational level - in mass transportation, urban development and energy - are the best way to conjoin economic and environmental goals on the ground where the impact can be readily felt.
Greater coordination of economic policies on a global scale, if is to be effective, must be based on accurate analysis instead of false paradigms.
4. EDUCATION. "We are agreed investment in the quality and availability of education is of vital importance to every economy. …
- The G-20 does not need to construct some massive new bureaucratic edifice of world governance, especially in today's world of decentralized and distributed power. However, as an organization with a rotating presidency, it cannot be effective without a mechanism of continuity and institutional memory that can carry forward and monitor commitments from summit to successive summit.
Another solution is to establish a two-track sherpa system in which the "political sherpa" associated with the member country's leadership would work alongside a "permanent sherpa" from the high professional ranks of a country's foreign service who attends to G-20 issues across summits.
When joined with the "troika leadership" - the past, present and future rotating presidencies - the seconded sherpa system could effectively close the gap of knowledge and institutional memory that now exits.

- Effective policymaking in a rapidly changing global economy must be based on accurate information. To that end, the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) should be expanded to include all the G-20 to work in tandem with the IMF as the policy body that advises the G-20.

6. The 21st Century Council reaffirms its view of the importance of the G-20 as the key adjustment mechanism of the global powershift underway. …
Online: G20 Information Center - G20 Research Group at the University of Toronto and  the University of Toronto Library
At, our mission is to find and promote evidence-based methods for increasing political civility. By civility we do NOT mean politeness, decorum, agreement, bipartisanship, or unity. We think disagreement and debate are good things. We think America is well served when political parties represent different viewpoints and then compete vigorously to recruit voters to their side.
But we are disturbed by the increase in recent decades in demonization that characterizes American political debate, particularly among politicians and in the media. We are motivated by recent research in moral and political psychology showing what happens when disagreements activate the psychology of good-versus-evil. Compromise becomes far more difficult; reasoning becomes far less responsive to facts; and combatants begin to believe that the ends justify the means. When that happens, partisans are more willing to break laws, play dirty tricks, lie, and ruin the personal lives of their opponents -- all in the service of what they think is a good cause. Good people are discouraged from entering politics. Good public servants are driven out of public service.
Civility as we pursue it is the ability to disagree with others while respecting their sincerity and decency. We believe this ability is best fostered by indirect methods (changing contexts, payoffs, and institutions), rather than by direct methods (such as pleading with people to be more civil, or asking people to sign civility pledges).
Our approach is to draw on the best scientific research to understand how we got into this condition, and how we can make systemic legal and electoral changes that can get us out.
To use this site, please begin by looking at our "areas for intervention" pages. If you want to dig deeper, check out our Blog, and our "academic resources" pages. If you want to get the word out to others, please see our "teaching and multimedia" pages. ...
+ Q&A: Has [UK] regional strategy derailed? -  Financial Times – Free registration available.

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