Regional/Greater Community Development News – August 20, 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
The Malloy administration Friday announced $8.6 million in grants to promote regional planning and economic development.
"These grants are an investment in less expensive government — government absolutely must do more with less," Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a written statement. "Using improved technology to reduce costs and taking a collaborative approach to providing local services meets the needs of residents in a smarter way."
More than $7 million of the money went to regional councils and planning agencies for Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) , or standardized mapping, systems to better coordinate disaster response..
In addition are the following grants, listed by amount, who gets it, and why: …
The regional grant initiative, under the Regional Performance Incentive Program, is administered by the state Office of Policy and Management. ...
…anyone who sees the Atlanta vote as an indication that Americans won't pay for transportation should take a look beyond the state's capital city. Lost in much of the analysis about the failure of the tax hike in Atlanta -- and most of the state's other 12 transportation districts too -- was the fact that it actually passed in three of them.
In Region 7 -- anchored by the city of Augusta and Richmond County -- Mayor Deke Copenhaver says officials who assembled the project list stuck to mostly nuts-and-bolts work like road resurfacing and widening. "(W)e didn't go with any of the major, sexy projects that would be a lightening rod for controversy."
Regional officials say a key reason the vote was successful in the three regions was because the lists were kept relatively short. "'I think people got their hands around it," says Teresa Tomlinson, mayor of Columbus, which is a merged city with Muscogee County.
In Columbus' Region 8, there were only about two dozen projects, which some proponents say was manageable and could be easily conveyed to voters, unlike the list assembled for greater Atlanta.
3. A recent "territorial review" published by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development assessing the Chicago tri-state metropolitan area was the impetus for the July 17 conference "Milwaukee's Future in the Chicago Megacity."
Milwaukee Water Council and its members are working with the Tri-State Alliance for Regional Development to create an integrated aquaponics ecosystem  that would involve raising fish and growing vegetables year-round in enclosed buildings.
It is also participating in an application for the Economic Development Administration's 2012 i6 Challenge with the Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust. …
One idea of regional collaboration is clusters in the region playing the role of broker between the tri-state region universities, companies and governments, not just for commercialization but for innovation and entrepreneurship, to achieve greater regionwide effectiveness and to maximize the potential for national and international market penetration.
The Water Council's work is an on-the-ground example of how well this approach can work.…
This collaboration between different parts of the tri-state area is the driving force behind its economic development and viability on a global stage. At the Water Council, we know that we compete on the global stage with three other global players: Singapore, the Netherlands and Israel. The only way we can be globally competitive is to work with our regional neighbors to commercialize our research and ideas and to market to the world.
The time has come for our regions to put aside our differences and, through our clusters, come together to form a globally competitive tri-state region.
SAVANNAH’S MAYOR and council have it exactly right when it comes to pollution in the Ogeechee River. What happens upstream affects things downstream.
Since Savannah and Chatham County are about 70 miles downriver from the King America Finishing plant implicated in last summer’s massive fish kill, it’s natural that Savannah City Council go on record and demand that state officials do a better job of protecting the river.
It’s also responsible government.
Indeed, the Chatham County Commission should take a similar stand. So should all county governments downriver from the plant, located in Screven County. That includes the Effingham County Commission, Bryan County Commission, Liberty County Commission and Bulloch County Commission.
“We need to work together as a region…
Mr. Bordeaux is a former state lawmaker who knows how Georgia government works.…
A good way to get the governor to pay attention to what his EPD is doing is to show that the Ogeechee matters to citizens & local government.
Thousands of tons of textiles will soon be diverted from the local waste stream in the Philadelphia region - Bucks, Montgomery, Northeast Philadelphia and Southern Lehigh - thanks to an innovative agreement between textile recycler Community Recycling of Fairless Hills and George Leck and Son Inc., a family-owned and operated waste hauling company based in Ivyland.
In this curbside program, homeowners will be able to recycle clothes and related soft items, paired shoes, bags/belts, known as textiles.
… Adding textile recycling with Community Recycling makes total sense both ecologically and economically.”
According to the U.S. EPA, 85 percent of all discarded textiles – over 11 million tons – are sent to U.S. landfills every year. Community Recycling is an environmentally-conscious textile recycling company that collects unwanted textiles and related materials that are responsibly distributed for reuse, resale and recycling in the US and abroad.
A spirit of collaboration and public-private partnership has set the stage for the western PA-eastern Ohio-northern West Virginia “Tech Belt” to lead the way in revitalizing American manufacturing. The White House announced…Department of Defense will provide $30 million to establish a National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Youngstown, Ohio. The federal grant will be matched with about $40 million by the winning consortium from our region.
Additive manufacturing, often referred to as 3D printing, is a promising new way of making products and components.…
TechBelt Initiative…region…stretches from Cleveland to Pittsburgh to Morgantown, represents the 10th highest GDP in the U.S.
This federal grant is a big victory for this “mega-region” because it validates the significance of our world-class concentration of manufacturing expertise and academic research. It puts us on the map for corporations and investors looking for the places that are driving innovation in the country.
The great industrialist Henry Ford once said, "Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success." And so it is with economic development. Collaboration and teamwork always yield greater results than working alone.
As a regional economic development marketing organization, North Louisiana Economic Partnership (NLEP) never works on a project alone. It always collaborates with state and local partners to recruit or help businesses to expand in the 14 northern Louisiana parishes it serves. That's why NLEP's tagline is "Together We Achieve More."
The merger between two local economic development groups to create one regional group, NLEP, represents the first phase of "coming together."…
Case in point: The collaboration across the corridor between Louisiana Tech University in Ruston and Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City produced a program so successful that it has been selected for a national rollout this summer. The Cyber Discovery model is a professional development program that mentors high school teachers while encouraging students to pursue an education and careers in science, technology, engineering and math: the STEM subjects. …
Middle Georgia leaders like to talk about regional cooperation, but on Friday they put their talk into action.
The county commission chairmen of Bibb, Houston and Peach counties signed an agreement that spells out how each will allocate funds toward resolving encroachment.
That’s the term for residential properties in the area north of Robins Air Force Base considered at risk for crashes and high noise levels. Officials are looking to buy 250 parcels to clear out the homes.
Brad Fink, chairman of the 21st Century Partnership, said encroachment is the top reason bases are closed. The partnership is a community organization that works to promote the military value of Robins, particularly during a BRAC.
“As we sign this today, we will start looking at encroachment as an issue in the rearview mirror, which is great for Robins Air Force Base,” Fink said.
A B.C government transit review panel calls for improved representation for Greater Victoria's transit service, saying the status quo does not allow for efficient regional planning.
The three-member review panel spent five months reviewing B.C. Transit and its relationship as the government's contractor for province-wide transit services.
The report, released Tuesday, considers three options for improving the existing governance model for the Victoria Regional Transportation Commission. A review of the commission does not favour the current model of having just seven representatives from five municipalities making decisions for the whole region.
Members considered two other options, including a transit takeover by the Capital Regional District as well as increasing the size and role of the current commission to improve representation throughout the region.
The study of Greater Victoria's system is part of a province-wide analysis of transit ...
I was prompted by a post on the Smithsonian blog a few months ago to go back to read The Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update. The Smithsonian post had evaluated the Limits’ 1972 main case projections against actual consumption to 2000, and found them impressively close. Since the most common outcome of the model is “overshoot and collapse”, in a bit more than a decade’s time, it seemed a good idea to understand it a bit better. Quotes and page numbers are from the 30-Year Update edition, published by Earthscan in London in 2005.
The argument of Limits to Growth is built on a model, World3, which has evolved over time, and all models are simplifications. Specifically, it is a systems dynamics model, built around notions of stocks, flows and sinks. Systems models also include delays, which are sometimes poorly understood by economists and technologists – who were among the noisiest critics of the original Limits to Growth book – because their mental and theoretical models assume rapid corrections to systems shortfalls.
A survey released Wednesday by researchers at the University of North Carolina found that despite the many challenges they face, the nation's lowest-income individuals are nonetheless thankful they don't have to endure the unique hardships of the nation's long-suffering middle class.
According to the report, the 46 million Americans who fall below the federal poverty line, though struggling mightily, are at least glad they don't have to live up to some rapidly vanishing American dream of advancing in their career, making more money, and improving their lifestyle, the way their middle-income counterparts do.
"The unrealistic expectations and false hope they experience must be unbearable," Camden, NJ hotel clerk Allison Jacobsen told researchers, noting that while her $22,000 annual salary barely covers her rent and groceries each month, at least she doesn't operate under the flawed assumption that her situation will ever improve. "A life spent constantly stressing out over a dead-end job or struggling to pay off a fixed 30-year mortgage on a continuously depreciating three-bedroom townhouse? It's horrific."
"Can you believe people actually have to live like that?"…
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