Regional Governance

Problems and opportunities often do not respect municipal boundaries. So, local leaders find themselves crossing those boundaries in order to make their city a better place. NLC provides ideas and information to assist city leaders in working with one or several or many other jurisdictions in the area to achieve a goal.

    Getting Things Done Together: A Workbook for Achieving Regional Goals
    This workbook offers a new and better way to think and plan for action to get things done regionally. It was created for people who are ready and willing to work toward accomplishing an important goal for their communities and neighboring areas: from the local government official or civic leader who wants to increase affordable housing in the area, to the residents who seek to protect a river from pollution, to the business group that believes the local economy needs a smarter plan for attracting high-tech employers.

    Regional Problem-Solving: A Fresh Look at What it Takes
    Are you thinking that solving a particular problem will require coordinated action by several jurisdictions or even the whole region? This essay may help you assess the prospects for effective action: does your area have the governance capacity to come up with a way to address the issue you want to work at?

    Recent Research on Regional Resilience
    The Network on Building Resilient Regions (BRR) examines the power of metropolitan regions to respond to local and national challenges. BRR brings together a group of experts --- including some NLC staff --- to investigate why metro regions matter now, what constitutes resilience in the face of challenges, and what factors help to build and sustain strong metro regions. The Network is supported by grants from the MacArthur Foundation.  The website organize the Network's research and writing by topic areas: economic insecurity, economic resilience, infrastructure, governance and immigration.

    City Examples of Regional Cooperation
    These promising practices are initiatives that take a multi-jurisdictional approach to advocating for citizens' interests, delivering services and maintaining an open dialog in a way that benefits the region as a whole.

    Resilience in the Face of Foreclosures: Six Case Studies on Neighborhood Stabilization (2011)
    NLC, in partnership with the MacArthur Foundation's Building Resilient Regions Network (BRR), commissioned a scan of six cities-Camden, Dayton, Milwaukee, Oakland, Phoenix and Tampa-to determine the actions these communities took to address the ongoing housing foreclosure crisis and specifically to explore methods for becoming a more resilient community. Interviews were conducted with elected officials, nonprofit housing organizations, civic leaders, bankers, developers, housing activists and advocates and other observers of housing and policy work. This publication contains a synthesis of the important findings that emerged from the interviews and a detailed description of each of the six cities' response to the foreclosure crisis.

    Strategies for Globally Competitive Cities: Local Roles in Foreign Direct Investment and International Trade (2011)
    The guide provides practical strategies, resources and promising practices to help local leaders and practitioners enhance the global competitiveness of their communities. In particular, the guide focuses on foreign direct investment (FDI) and international trade - two areas in which local leaders can have a true impact in their roles as catalysts, conveners and connectors.

    Metropolitan Councils
    A metropolitan council, also known as a regional council or council of government, is a general term that encompasses a wide range of entities, including some that are not "metroplitan" and some that are not "councils." They are associations made up of members from a region or metropolitan area's local governments that provide a forum for the elected officials to address regional issues.