Regional Innovation Award Appendix A: Principles of Regional Stewardship

Appendix A: Principles of Regional Stewardship 

Regional stewards – leaders committed to the long-term well-being of place – cross boundaries of jurisdiction, sector and discipline to address complex regional issues that impact economic development, the environment and social issues.  They share basic values of creating broad prosperity; a healthy, attractive environment; and inclusive communities that benefit current and subsequent generations.

Four major principles, or conversations, have emerged that are driving activities within specific regional issues:

Innovative Economy:  Preparing people and places to succeed

  • It is an economy in which rapid change is constant; an economy at least as different from what came before as the industrial age was from the agricultural age.
  • Competitiveness is based on speed, quality, flexibility, knowledge and networks.
  • People work more with their brains instead of their hands, which shifts the emphasis of programs and strategies to the development of skills and knowledge.

Livable Community:  Preserving and creating places to live and work

  • A livable community ensures the public safety and well-being of its citizens.
  • Housing and educational opportunities need to exist for all members of the community.
  • The region considers and may incorporate new visions of design – including dense, transit-oriented development, walkable neighborhoods, safe and secure communities, and protected open space – as well as moves away from traditional land use practices that in the past resulted in sprawl and traffic congestion.
  • The promotion of arts and cultural opportunities can build on the attributes of regions, making them more attractive places to live and work.
  • Adoption or implementation of initiatives supporting workforce wellness and the health of the community overall.

Social Inclusion:  Ensuring that everyone participates and shares responsibility

  • Social inclusion recognizes that the interests of neighborhoods are connected to the future health of the region and vice versa.
  • Long-term regional prosperity is linked to reducing poverty and inequality in metropolitan areas.
  • Increasingly diverse populations within the region must be engaged and participate as contributing members of a “regional society.”
  • Complexity and interdependence of issues means that problem-solving through regional strategies requires broad community engagement.
  • Building trust and relationships requires appropriate tools to support civic dialogue, collaborative public decision-making and civic engagement.

Collaborative Governance:  Finding creative ways to govern

  • Governance, or how people come together to address common problems, is more than government.  At the regional level, citizens, businesses, labor, nonprofits, educators and governments must work together to set direction, solve problems and take action.
  • Today’s regions are a complex system of overlapping, interrelated jurisdictions – much like a network.  Collaborative Governance requires coordination of resources and sharing of information, ideas and power.
  • Social capital has to be created in regions.  Social capital is the networks and norms of trust and reciprocity required to advance civic cooperation.
  • Information has to be shared among all the participants.
  • Success requires process and structural changes that emphasize coalitions and actions across jurisdictions and across sectors.
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