Innovation

What drives civic change?

What drives civic change?

Carol Coletta, CEO of CEOs for Cities, talked with The Real Story about the problems inherent in regional planning. According to Carol, regional planning works better at a conceptual level than in practice. Why? Even though big issues—those involving labor, transportation, the environment, air quality, water—all deserve discussion beyond the local level, there is actually little regional government in place to execute on the ideas. And, as Carol reminds us, adding another layer of government to any decision-making process is probably not in the cards.

She also took on the idea of civic change, and talked about how business and municipal leaders are moving away from big box civic projects to look instead at the value of implementing smaller, more community-driven projects that represent the values of their communities, which are, as Carol says, “more ingrained”.

More from Carol on Friday, as she discusses her views on what American cities will look like—and live like—in the future.

Is regionalism possible for California?

Is regionalism possible for California?

The Real Story is talking to Ed Manning from the Sacramento lobbying and communications firm KP Public Affairs. Today, Ed takes on the subject of regionalism and tries to explain California’s decades-long aversion to playing nice, one locality to another. Ed, a long time watcher of the state political scene, does give kudos to both San Diego and Sacramento for putting together comprehensive “Blueprint” plans for land use and transportation.

Ed also talks about the “series of bad choices” faced by California’s legislators when it comes to trying to deal with the budget, and equates the loss of redevelopment agency monies to the end of investment in public works that help stimulate job creation. Since $1.7 billion has been called back to the Mother Ship in Sacramento from the state’s redevelopment agencies, we’re not going to plan on seeing much neighborhood revitalization or downtown projects continuing toward completion.

The cumulative impact of small decisions

The cumulative impact of small decisions

Paul Campos talks today with The Real Story about the number of state and regional agencies with a specialized purpose—the quality of air or water, for example—that are so single-minded that they can’t see how they play only one part in a much bigger picture.  The result? At best, bad planning. At worst, working long and hard, only to end up at cross-purposes with the folks working in the silo next door.

He sees the failure to prioritize as one of the region’s and the state’s biggest failures. Having clear policy goals is important, he tells us, but there needs to be an understanding that tradeoffs are necessary to accommodate other policies, or we are doomed to deadlock.