Regional/Greater Community Development News – October 1, 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
More than eight in 10 Americans live in metro areas, according to a comprehensive report from the 2010 U.S. Census [PDF] released last week, and the downtowns of the largest metros posted double-digit growth over the decade. Yet, cities and metro areas continue to be vexed with serious economic and social problems, from poverty and inequality to housing affordability and sprawl.
How do we gauge our progress toward more equitable, affordable, sustainable, and walkable communities? 
A new study, "Are We There Yet? Creating Complete Communities for 21st Century America," released today by the nonprofit Reconnecting America, seeks to do just this, identifying a series of metrics and rankings to measure America's progress toward creating more "complete communities."
Richmond Region, here's food for thought:
It's the right time to revise the recipe for regional projects or collaborative results that should uplift our metropolitan region.
We should move beyond cooperation. That's so '80s and '90s.
A region as large as Richmond's can have a mighty appetite. But our checkbook for shopping isn't what it used to be. Forget about any sprees — unless there's a surprise supporter.
So, we've got to economize and effectively pick our spots.
A tasty result requires excellent ingredients. Thanks to the Capital Region Collaborative's surveys and community discussions, seven such ingredients are in the potential mix. Those ingredients are repeated here with the nutritional aspirations:
Job Creation: "The Region will enjoy a diverse regional economy that is competitive in the national/global marketplace and provides job opportunities for all."
Workforce Preparation: The Region "aligns workforce skills to employer needs." And "every child graduates from high school and is job-ready or college-ready."
Social Stability: "The Region embraces our social diversity as a strong community asset and supports a community where all residents have the opportunity to succeed."
TRI-CITIES, Wash. - The communities that comprise the Tri-Cities metro area could likely have greater economic and political impact by creating a more singular identity and approach; however there are better ways to achieve this outcome than consolidation.
Combining the communities into one municipality likely has more drawbacks than advantages, but expanding collaboration, and in some cases building on relationships and arrangements already in place between the cities, counties and local agencies, can provide "more lasting and beneficial results" than what's currently being achieved.
Those are the key findings of an assessment by the William D. Ruckelshaus Center, a joint effort of the University of Washington and Washington State University that assists communities in their efforts to build consensus and resolve conflicts around difficult public policy issues. The findings are from the first-phase of a multi-part project examining options for the future of the Tri-Cities. They were released today at the Tri-Cities Regional Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick.
From the outside, the trials and successes of the Tulsa Metro Chamber’s work in moving the region forward may not always be apparent. However, under the leadership of community volunteers, the chamber team is dedicated to accomplishing the mission of bringing new business to the region and retaining and growing existing businesses.
More than 130 public and private sector regional partners support regional economic development efforts through Tulsa’s Future, the chamber’s economic development initiative. Tulsa’s Future also unites 27 organizations representing 16 northeastern Oklahoma communities to enhance the economy and quality of life of the region. More than 10,800 jobs have been announced since 2011; of which more than half are above the initiative’s target income of $50,000 or greater, annually. The jobs that exceeded the target annual income of $50,000 or greater support additional jobs with an estimated income totaling more than $295 million.
The dynamic communities of northeast Oklahoma are also united through Tulsa’s Future in a strong commitment to regional economic development. Area chambers of commerce solidified that commitment in 2011 upon entering into an economic development compact, a groundbreaking moment in the region’s history. The partnership includes the chambers of Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Bixby, Jenks, Sapulpa, Sand Springs and Owasso. The spirit of collaboration continues to expand, with other area chambers expressing desire to join the compact.
Lots of folks thought the Transportation Leadership Coalition, one of the regional transportation tax's most vocal grassroots opponents, would vanish after the T-SPLOST went down in flames. They were oh so wrong.
The group's now set its sights on regionalism and the insidious United Nations plot known as Agenda 21 — and plans to educate activists on Sept. 29 at the Cobb County gun shop where TLC (the organization, not the R&B group) was formed.
"We all know T-SPLOST was just a symptom, now we have to cure the disease and it will take all of us," the group writes in a release titled "Remove UN Agenda 21 from Georgia."
So says TLC:
Working together we will successfully repeal regionalism, protect our property rights, and more but, we must have a plan.
Consider all the many ways Georgia can be carved up.
We have 159 counties and as many as 500 cities and towns.
We have got metro Atlanta, 13 other significant metro areas and the rural parts of the state.
We have the two Georgias — metro Atlanta and the rest of the state.
We have 12 metro planning districts (think TSPLOST).
But it takes a special skill to figure how we can be one Georgia.
That was just what Georgia Forward, an organization of civic, government, business, academic and non-profit leaders, tried to visualize at its third annual conference this week in Athens, Ga.
Here is the thesis. As long as we are a divided state with multiple and contradictory visions for Georgia we will never reach our potential.
So how can Georgia build consensus towards a cohesive and inspirational vision for our state? Georgia Forward added another twist this year. How can Georgia in 20 years become a national model for prosperity in every corner of the state?
GeorgiaForward made a valiant attempt to answer those questions over two days of meetings where several issues critical to our prosperity were explored — health, transportation, rural development, thriving cities as well as hunger and poverty.
The rise of collegial and professional sports as billion-dollar industries have likewise led to a rise in regionalist spectacle. Game days become liturgical and individuals spend hundreds on vestments to display allegiance. America has always loved sports and has always been regionally diverse. Now, though, it’s harder to pinpoint regional identity based on accent, food, or ethnicity; instead, we buy our jerseys and caps. 

On NPRs Morning Edition, Frank Deford recently spoke of “Southern Pride and the Southeastern Conference:” 
But, of course, it's impossible to ignore the pride the South feels for its football. As no other section of the country remains so closely connected — …
I don't know when exactly the SEC took over America. I know this is hard to believe, but the epicenter of college football used to be in the Midwest. I'm so old, I can remember when Notre Dame actually mattered, and the real tough players were supposed to come from Western Pennsylvania and Ohio.

One can’t argue with the tremendous success—and dollar value—of the SEC in recent years. But I quote Deford not to proffer a competing Midwestern narrative of football supremacy (for that, I’ll give James Wright’s beautiful football poem “Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio”. Instead, I quote Deford simply to illustrate the incredible intertwining of sports and regional identity, both influencing each other within terribly market-driven forces.
I push a simple formula with my own conclusion: Sports are good. Regionalist identity is good.  Money isn’t bad. But money can turn sports from regionalist narratives rich with history of stadiums and heroes into the shallow spectacle of a game-day beer commercial. …
The North Central Regional Planning Commission is celebrating its 40th birthday this week. It would be hard to travel anywhere in North Central Kansas and not see a public or private sector project that the agency has not touched in some manner. An example – most of the small rural fire stations in the area were constructed with Regional Planning Commission assistance… most recently those in Asherville and Sylvan Grove.
Regional Planning Commission Director Doug McKinney – a veteran of 26-years with the agency – say a lot of new services have been added over the years but, the mission is still basically the same, provide resources and support to make North Central Kansas a region of rural opportunity.
Metro Vancouver scores well in international surveys that measure the quality of life in different urban centres. With a beautiful setting, temperate climate and many attractive amenities, the region has much to offer.
But while it boasts an enviable lifestyle, Greater Vancouver’s economic performance is less stellar. Moreover, the region faces not just economic challenges but significant demographic pressures, with the population set to climb by more than one million by 2035. As more people cram into a small geographic area, there is the risk that long-standing problems around housing affordability, congestion and the provision of adequate transit services will intensify.
How has the Vancouver region organized itself to shape its future? In the main, this task falls to the Metro Vancouver Regional District, a public body consisting of 21 municipalities, one First Nation, and a single electoral district that together comprise Greater Vancouver.
Last year, Metro adopted a new Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) after years of effort to update its 1996 Livable Region Plan. The RGS is the primary blueprint and vision document to direct the region’s growth and development in the coming decades. But among its shortcomings is a comparative silence on the foundations of prosperity.
In Brief - An urbanizing world requires major policy initiatives to make urban resource use compatible with the world's ecosystems. Metropolitan Adelaide has adopted this agenda and is well on its way to becoming a pioneering regenerative city region. New policies by the government of South Australia on energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transport, zero waste, organic waste composting, water efficiency, wastewater irrigation of crops, peri-urban agriculture, and reforestation have taken Adelaide to the forefront of eco-friendly urban development. Working as a thinker in residence in Adelaide in 2003, I proposed linking policies to reduce urban eco-footprints and resource use with the challenge of building a green economy. Former premier Mike Rann is now encouraging his successor, Jay Weatherill, to take further policy initiatives towards making South Australia into a model city region for the rest of the world.
More at Delicious: Links   RSS Feed
Daily via Twitter
Newsletter  subscription
Basic Geocodes - 
Wikipedia page link
 Arctic Ocean
 Atlantic Ocean
 Pacific Ocean
 Indian Ocean

"Global Region-builder Geo-Code Prototype" ©