Filling the Governance Gap


Saucon Creek near Hellertown Northampton

Saucon Creek

A major focus of RenewLV’s work is on regional collaboration (particularly with regard to governance). Indeed, all of RenewLV’s current initiatives aim at creating a region characterized by strong communities, which, undoubtedly, requires some type of collaborative approach between the local municipalities. As many of our readers are aware, the issues related to development and smart growth are not issues that often abide by jurisdictional boundaries. As is often the case with land and water (and, as we have seen, public health) policy, concerns related to these topics do not stop at municipal or county borders.

On Planetizen last week, Matthew McKinney discusses how regional governance is needed in addressing many of these concerns. He reports that the Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy at the University of Montana has been working with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and, from this coalition, it has become apparent that there is a clear “need to fill a governance gap…short of erasing existing political and jurisdictional boundaries, citizens and officials need to develop the capacity to work across boundaries according to the ‘problem-sheds’ of the land and water issues we face in the 21st century.”

Check out Toward an Ethic of Place: Experiments in Regional Governance to read more about some models for regional collaboration (networks, models, and institutions) and the attempts that are being made to address the gap. After reading this piece, what are your thoughts on regional collaboration efforts? What type of model of cooperation could be used in the Lehigh Valley?

For updates on regional collaboration and urban revitalization efforts in the Valley, visit RenewLV’s Join Us page to sign-up as a supporter.

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About Beata Bujalska

Beata Bujalska is the former Campaign Coordinator for Renew Lehigh Valley. She currently lives in Panama, a place that fascinates her due to (among other reasons) its recent development boom.

Posted on November 3, 2009, in Health, Municipal Government, Regions, Trends, Water and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Planetizen featured another article a few days ago about advocates who are pushing for conversations about the appropriateness of state political control. The advocates argue that issues are much better dealt with at the regional level and, thus, regions should be governed similarly to how states govern now. I wonder what the implications of this are? I’ll see if I can look back and find the article.

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