Posts on Regional & Collaborative Approaches

Recent Posts |

  • Catawba County’s Innovative Water Service Partnership Model

    It seems like almost everyone, including regulators and utility organizations, recognize the benefits and need for expanded partnerships and collaboration in the water and wastewater sector. Small towns are finding it difficult to meet their growing infrastructure and regulatory needs and are talking with each other and their larger [more…]

  • Lessons for CED from Europe: Inclusive Communities and a New City-Run Food Pantry

    The photo was eerily familiar to anyone interested in CED.  The headline from the New York Times article on September 20, just days before the German national election, read, “Merkel Says Germans ‘Never Had It Better.’ But Many Feel Left Behind.”  The accompanying photo by Gordon Welters, shown here, features

  • Property Buy-Outs: A Good Option for Local Governments and Homeowners?

    The devastating impact of flooding is once more in the public spotlight following the unprecedented rainfall from Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Nearer to home, residents in Princeville, Fair Bluff, Seven Springs, Windsor, Kinston and Lumberton NC are planning how to build stronger and safer after Hurricane Matthew last October [more…].

  • Our Shared Fate

    Our Shared Fate was the title of an Aspen Institute report from 2008, which argued that bridging the rural-urban divide created new opportunities for prosperity and equity.  A Brookings Institution report published in the previous year, made the case that rural and urban areas are interdependent and that national prosperity [more…]

  • Leading development projects through text messages and skype?

    In the community and economic development field, regional and statewide organizations are commonplace. In North Carolina, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina is a statewide economic development agency with regional industry representatives in all corners of the state. The North Carolina Department of Commerce maintains offices throughout the [more…]

  • Community Resilience: Some Practical Questions

    The research project on community resilience at the School of Government aims to help communities think differently about how they prepare for disasters and how they can become more resilient. This is the fourth blog in a series that looks at what enhancing resilience means for North Carolina’s communities [more…].

  • Utility Customer Assistance Partnerships

    Reports such as the recently released American Society of Civil Engineers Infrastructure Report Card shine light on the critical infrastructure investment needs facing communities throughout the country. Given recent funding trends and future state and federal fiscal challenges, local utility customers will likely carry most of the responsibility for [more…]

  • Community Resilience Has Many Faces…Part 2

    The research project on community and regional resilience at the School of Government aims to help communities think differently about how they prepare for disasters and how they can become more resilient, providing data and information that can spark realistic conversations about a community’s future.  This blog looks at [more…]

  • Local Governments and Non-Profits: Building Community Through Partnership

    NBC News recently aired a short feel-good story during its Nightly News broadcast about a code enforcement officer working for the City of Petaluma, California. Joe Garcia had received multiple complaints about a dilapidated home surrounded by overgrown weeds. Clearly the home was out of compliance, and so the natural [more…]

  • Community Resilience Has Many Faces… Part 1

    The 2016 Disaster Recovery Act was signed into law in December 2016 and provides over $200 million to help recovery after Hurricane Matthew and the wildfires in western North Carolina. This appropriation is intended to cover needs not met by Federal disaster recovery funds allocated to the state in [more…]

  • The Power of Partnership: The Case of the NC Commerce Park in Alamance County

    The N.C. Commerce Park in Alamance County, North Carolina is an economic development success story that underscores how vital interlocal and regional collaboration is for community and economic development. It highlights the power of partnership and also the importance of local leaders that share a collaborative mindset.

  • New Report Highlights Public-Private Partnerships

    The Urban Land Institute (ULI) recently published an updated guide to Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) that introduces their varied forms, their utility to both the public and private sectors, and examples of successful P3s from around the county. The report offers insights to local government staff and elected officials as [more…]

  • Strengthening Resilience in North Carolina’s Communities

    Hurricane Matthew and its aftermath underscore the urgent need to find ways to encourage communities to think differently about how they prepare for disasters and how they can become more resilient. Part of this is having data and information that can spark realistic conversations about a community’s future.  Another [more…]

  • Mapping North Carolina’s Local Food Infrastructure

    Strengthening local food economies can be viewed as an important part of a holistic approach to community development. Local food can be a positive contributor to social capital, public health, environmental preservation, and overall quality of life. It also can be an important component of local economic development. In [more…]

  • Live Long and Prosper: Does CED Impact How Long We Live?

    I often think about ways in which local government matters in the daily lives of citizens. This month, a major study was released showing how local conditions, and community and economic development, infrastructure, and planning in particular, may have a direct impact on the most basic quality of life [more…]

  • Community Food Strategies: Food System Network Building in NC

    As I have written about before, I see local food organizing as a powerful community building enterprise. Because everyone eats, local food efforts literally can have an impact on entire communities. And because local food organizing touches upon all aspects of community capital (social, environmental, financial, and so on), [more…]

  • Town-Gown Development Partnerships

    In implementing plans for neighborhood revitalization, municipalities look for partners whose investment can help lift the desire for revitalization from plan into action. In the past 20 years, one of those partners has increasingly become the local university. Local universities and colleges already have a substantial commitment to the place in [more…]

  • City of Greensboro’s SC2 Challenge Yields Six Innovative Comprehensive Economic Development Plans

    The City of Greensboro made history becoming the first city in the United States to award $1 million in a prize challenge for economic development. Joining a select group of cities to administer a prize challenge in collaboration with the federal government (White House Council on Strong Cities, Strong [more…]

  • Capacity Matters For CED, Part 2: News For the NC Food Industry and Farmers

    Food is in the news, and CED professionals should look below the surface images and arguments to a fundamental question raised about local capacity issues important to the NC farm and food industry. In honor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Food for All all-university 2015-2017 [more…]

  • Working Across Boundaries: The Tryon International Equestrian Center

    I’d like to recommend a recent article in the Palm Beach Post that tells the story of the Tryon International Equestrian Center, located in Polk County, North Carolina. It is framed as a “missed opportunity” for the City of Wellington, Florida. Wellington is already a major player in the [more…]

  • Leveraging anchor institutions: A new land bank model in Chapel Hill

    Across the country, local governments are increasingly embracing land banking as a key strategy to catalyze and control the revitalization of their vacant and abandoned properties. As described in this post on the CED blog, North Carolina local governments can cobble together the statutory authority to operate a land bank, [more…]

  • The Heart of Collaborative Leadership

    The need for collaborative leaders in communities and regions has never been greater. Most, if not all, of the community development issues we grapple with are highly complex and “boundary crossing,” meaning they cut across organizational, jurisdictional, and sectoral boundaries. Collaborative leaders are catalysts who bring stakeholders together to address shared [more…]

  • System Leadership and Community Development

    An article titled “The Dawn of System Leadership” was recently published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review by Peter Senge, Hal Hamilton, and John Kania and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in community development. While the notion of system leadership is not new—it is getting at similar [more…]

  • A Gathering of NC Food Councils

    Last week (December 4-5) I attended a remarkable event, perhaps the first of it’s kind. It was a gathering of people involved in local food system work from all across North Carolina, as well as some representatives from South Carolina and Virginia. The title of the event was “Connecting [more…]

  • Guidance for Small Towns on Community Development Outreach Using Information Technology

    While larger towns, counties and state governments are promoting their online services, and investing in social media such as Facebook and Twitter, how can smaller towns make sure they are not left behind? Community development entails on the ground, high-touch work. But potential employers and residents tied to their [more…]

  • Development Finance Initiative (DFI) helps revitalize NC towns – University Gazette

    This article was originally published in the University Gazette on September 9, 2014, as “Carolina program helps revitalize NC towns.” It is republished here with permission. They call them “wicked problems,” the complicated, long-term, seemingly impossible, hard-to-wrap-your-head-around issues for which solutions seem far away. The team involved in the [more…]

  • A Look Inside the Privatization of NC’s Regional Economic Development Partnerships

    In the 2013 State Budget Act, the State of North Carolina voted to defund North Carolina’s regional economic development partnership and to dissolve the four “rural” public partnerships, including the NC Eastern Region, Advantage West, the Southeast Regional Economic Development Partnership, and the Northeast Commission. These four partnerships were [more…]

  • The Role of U.S. Counties in Economic Development

    In a recently released report, the National Association of Counties (NACo) examines the special role that county governments play in the process of economic development. The report’s findings are based on a national survey of U.S. counties and case studies of local economic development in 34 selected counties. The [more…]

  • City of Greensboro’s SC2 Challenge: Using A Prize Competition for Economic Development

    In September 2012, the City of Greensboro was awarded a $1 million grant from the Economic Development Administration to administer an “Economic Visioning Challenge,” as part of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Initiative. This post describes SC2, the “Challenge,” and Greensboro’s focus areas for economic development.

  • Community Food Councils: Questions and Answers

    On April 17, 2014 a webinar was held by UNC School of Government, the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) and the NC Community Transformation Grant (CTG) on food councils. Community and regional food councils (sometimes called food policy councils) are rapidly emerging as important mechanisms to stimulate the kind of dialogue and concerted action [more…]

  • Food Councils and Food Hubs

    This post is a follow-up to a webinar held April 17, 2014 on community food councils. A question was posed during the webinar: What is the relationship between food councils and food hubs? This post addresses that question.

  • Councils, Common Purpose, and Collaboration

    I read a terrific blog post at Harvard Business Review (HBR) the other day about collaboration. The author explained that “purpose is collaboration’s most unacknowledged determinant.” Community collaboration has never been more important as today’s challenges are too complex and interconnected for any one organization–government or otherwise–to handle alone [more…].

  • What @sog_ced is reading on the web: February 2014

    The following are articles and reports on the web that the Community and Economic Development Program at the UNC School of Government shared through social media over the past month. Follow us on twitter or facebook to receive regular updates. The North Carolina Department of Commerce continued to move [more…]

  • Food Deserts and Development Finance Options in North Carolina

    On January 27, 2014, the North Carolina General Assembly’s House Committee on Food Desert Zones heard testimony about food deserts in North Carolina. A “food desert” is defined in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 as an area “with limited access to affordable and nutritious food.” Maps [more…]

  • What We Can Learn About Community Leadership from Sir Ernest Shackleton

    One of the cases I have students read in the leadership class I teach is the story of the Endurance expedition to Antarctica, led by famed polar explorer Ernest Shackleton. This story has received a tremendous amount of attention in the last several years, with several books and documentaries, [more…]

  • What @sog_ced is reading on the web: January 2014

    The following are articles and reports on the web that the Community and Economic Development Program at the UNC School of Government shared through social media over the past month. Follow us on twitter or facebook to receive regular updates. North Carolina Economic Development Board releases its strategic plan [more…]

  • What @sog_ced is reading on the web: December 2013

    The following are articles and reports on the web that the Community and Economic Development Program at the UNC School of Government shared through social media over the past month. Follow us on twitter or facebook to receive regular updates. The North Carolina Department of Commerce released county-by-county economic [more…]

  • Local Foods as Community Development, Some Questions and Answers

    Earlier in this Fall I reported on a webinar co-sponsored by the UNC School of Government and the Center for Environmental Farming System (CEFS) on local food and local government. The purpose of the webinar was to educate local government officials about how the local food movement can be an [more…]

  • What @sog_ced is reading on the web: November 2013

    The following are articles and reports on the web that the Community and Economic Development Program at the UNC School of Government shared through social media over the past month. Follow us on twitter or facebook to receive regular updates. Cabarrus County NC bows out of economic development ‘incentives [more…]

  • What @sog_ced is reading on the web: October 2013

    Law review article on economic development incentives in North Carolina by faculty member Tyler Mulligan: bit.ly/1akGKCO More details about the future of the Rural Center: State Budget Director reports that $85 million in existing grants and $24 million in Rural Center assets are to be transferred to state control, [more…]

  • Why Local Governments Should be Thinking About Local Food Systems

    Last month I hosted a webinar here at the School of Government, in partnership with the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (or CEFS for short),  on the topic of local foods and local government. I was fortunate enough to have with me a who’s who of local foods experts [more…]

  • What @sog_ced is reading on the web: September 2013

    The following are articles and reports on the web that the Community and Economic Development Program at the UNC School of Government shared through social media over the past month. Follow us on twitter or facebook to receive regular updates. Southern Growth Policies Board releases its final Report on [more…]

  • Organizing for Economic Development

    A series of posts last year profiled case studies for “How Counties Organize to Carry Out Economic Development.” Links to the series can be found here (parts I, II, III, IV, and V). The fifth case profiled Union County, NC, where—at the time—local leaders were considering a new multi-jurisdictional [more…]

  • Regional Partnership Develops International Marketing Strategy

    North Carolina is undergoing a lot of changes with regards to how the state funds regional and statewide economic development efforts. One of these changes involves the role that the seven regional economic development partnerships play in the business recruitment process. These partnerships represent multi-county regions, and they work [more…]

  • What @sog_ced is reading on the web: August 2013

    The following are articles and reports on the web that the Community and Economic Development Program at the UNC School of Government shared through social media over the past month. Follow us on twitter or facebook to receive regular updates. Changes at the North Carolina Department of Commerce and [more…]

  • Preparing for the Silver Tsunami: Participatory Planning for Aging in Orange County, NC

    The United States is turning gray, and that isn’t a reference to the wet weather we have seen lately. The number of older adults aged 65 and older is expected to double by the year 2050 to an estimated 88.5 million seniors. North Carolina is no exception, especially given [more…]

  • New Rural Economic Development Division and Other 2013 North Carolina Legislation

    The North Carolina General Assembly wrapped up the 2013 session after approving several pieces of legislation related to community economic development (CED). This post summarizes some of the major legislation of interest to CED professionals.

  • What @sog_ced is reading on the web: July 2013

    The following are articles and reports on the web that the Community and Economic Development Program at the UNC School of Government shared through social media over the past month. Follow us on twitter or facebook to receive regular updates. North Carolina Auditor’s full report on the North Carolina [more…]

  • Does Your Community Have the Capacity to Undertake Community Economic Development?

    Say you have learned of a community economic development (CED) program that seems to be a perfect fit for your area.  The need is already there and well documented, the program provides the right mix of projects, and all the program financial resources are available and already approved.   All [more…]

  • Tips for Preparing for the Next EDC or CDC Board Meeting

    The county’s new economic development director pulls out the last quarterly agenda as she prepares for her first economic development commission meeting. “How”, she wonders as she looks at the last agenda, “could the commission members possibly digest new unemployment data, discuss options for a new industrial park, and [more…]