Moving Forward on Regional Collaboration

At last week’s Building One Pennsylvania summit in Lancaster, many organizations — both large and small — came out and preached the message of regionalism. As numerous older communities across Pennsylvania are struggling, newer developments are receiving federal and state subsidies and focus government assistance away from the urban cores.

Leaders from Pennsylvania’s communities, advocacy groups, and the urban planning field discussed the need to change state and federal policies that encourage cheap developments in greenfields. If history has anything to teach us, it is that such developments are unsustainable in the long-term. Many of our older communities were also the recipients of such government assistance many decades ago — and now these municipalities are struggling to keep up with rising costs of fixing crumbling infrastructure and taking care of students in the school districts.

What can we do moving forward? The message I took away from the summit was to keep working on regional collaboration and keep spreading the message of regionalism within our respective communities. With enough outreach, legislation and policies will begin to materialize that promote better and more coordinated planning that encourages new development in places that already have existing infrastructure (preferably, in brownfields).

RenewLV will keep working on regional collaboration issues within the Lehigh Valley. While the Lehigh Valley Health Department did not pass the Health Commission meeting last night, there are still many opportunities for moving forward with regionalism here within the Lehigh Valley and we will continue partnering with regional entities on various initiatives.

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 July 20, 2010, in Health, Municipal Government, Neighborhoods, Public Infrastructure, Regions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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