A once prosperous suburban shopping mall, mired in a declining neighborhood, loses one its last anchor tenants and faces the prospect of closing down. Randall Park in
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, per capita income in
Why is this troubled inner ring suburb 10 miles from downtown
The RPI is advocating this form of Regionalism in large part due to the success they hold out in the 7 county Minneapolis-St. Paul Twin Cities region. The RPI-Twin Cities model shares new growth tax revenues from more prosperous, growing areas to restore the deteriorating urban core and inner ring suburbs. Applying “equity” to tax revenues is designed to help the worst areas of the region by channeling dollars where they are needed most, restoring the vitality of cities.
What is significant about the plight of
The Regional Prosperity Initiative’s land use planning would direct and manage new growth areas throughout the region, which stretches out to
Again, Twin Cities/RPI regionalism fails to deliver as promised. Research released by the Brookings Institution: "Job Sprawl Revisited", the movement of employment in a region, shows that for the period 1998-2006, the Twin Cities areas under a regionalism plan actually lost a greater percentage of downtown jobs and sprawled jobs outside the downtown area at twice the rate of
Another benefit advocated by the RPI brand of regionalism is the cost savings that results from consolidating government resources. The Met Council alone has 3,700 employees, taking on consolidated functions of transit, parks, and libraries among others. Nevertheless, the per capita cost for Municipal Government is 25% higher in the Twin Cities than our region, according to 2002 figures in Cost of Government Study for Northeastern Ohio, funded in part by the Gund Foundation.
The rush to put the RPI plan in place by 2010 is predicated on large part on the “success” of their model in the Twin Cities. This “success” may prove illusory or insignificant in a discussion about seriously redesigning the way
The inconclusive economic benefits of regionalism from the Twin Cities in terms of cost savings, controlling sprawl, and reinvigorating our urban cores should cause our community leaders to reconsider the RPI plans alongside other regionalism plans with measured success.