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09/23/2009

Working Across Boundaries is guide for planning large regions

For immediate release
Contact: Anthony Flint 617-661-3016 x116

       CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (September 23, 2009) – Today’s environmental challenges require planning initiatives that transcend municipal, county, state, and even international boundaries, according to a new publication of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
       Working Across Boundaries: People, Nature, and Regions, by Matthew J. McKinney and Shawn Johnson (2009 / 176 pages / Paper / $25.00 / ISBN 978-1-55844-191-0), a guide for citizens, practitioners, and policy makers seeking to implement regional solutions, underscores the importance of the support of a broad range of stakeholders and the ability to measure results.
       The companion Web site for the book, Regional Collaboration can be found in the Resources and Tools section of www.lincolninst.edu.
       “Our challenges today don’t fit neatly inside city limits or state lines,” said Armando Carbonell, senior fellow and chair of the Department of Planning and Urban Form. “The appropriate framework is more likely to be a watershed, or an ecosystem, or a megaregion that can benefit from a larger land conservation or infrastructure plan. Working Across Boundaries is a kind of ‘missing manual’ for working effectively at this scale.”
       The examples of successful regional collaboration in the book have been studied and field-tested over nearly a decade as part of an ongoing joint venture between the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the University of Montana Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy (formerly the Public Policy Research Institute).
       Regional collaboration can appear complex and difficult, given diverse stakeholders and conflicting interests that play out across complicated geographies. An example that runs the gamut of regional land use, natural resource, and environmental issues is Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Calgary is at the core of a metropolitan region of 19 municipalities struggling with serious urban-suburban conflicts over rapid growth, including water supply and wastewater issues, played out in a landscape of massive resource extraction, such as oil sands, and important habitat for moose, bear, and beaver. Other case studies and examples from across North America help to illustrate the principles, processes, and outcomes of diverse efforts by local officials and a host of networks, partnerships, and regional institutions to close the regional governance gap by working across boundaries
       Regional collaboration draws heavily on its sister field, consensus building, which is based on the theory of mutual gains negotiation. One shared insight is that these processes, to be sustained, need to fulfill an expectation that the benefits to participating stakeholders will exceed the costs. In the long run, regional efforts need to be measured by regional results.
       The authors present an array of strategies and techniques that can be employed across the broad range of land use, natural resource, and environmental issues at scales ranging from the metropolitan to the megaregional, and include 10 guiding principles, five key questions for regional governance, and seven habits of effective implementation.
      
Praise for Working Across Boundaries: People, Nature, and Regions:

This book is a wonderful guide for every citizen who would engage in the process of planning better communities set in sustainable landscapes. With informative examples from across the nation, the authors explain what works and what doesn't, and how to reach across jurisdictional boundaries to connect the parts—city, town, and country.
-- Bruce Babbitt, former U.S. Secretary of the Interior and Governor of Arizona

The principles, strategies, and tools described in this book are a gold mine of information about how to manage regional collaborations and reach consensus around some of the most difficult issues we face today. It is the "how to" guide for dispute resolution and the fair exercise of democracy—a must read for practitioner or layperson alike.
-- Steve Frisch, President, Sierra Business Council, Truckee, California

Matt McKinney and his colleagues have looked closely at past efforts to plan for and manage land use and natural resources at a more-than-local level in North America. The distinction they make between networks, partnerships, and regional institutions is instructive. When communities or resource users have a choice, which approach to working across boundaries is most likely to be effective? The area versus power problem has been around for a long time, but this book advances the conversation by offering a set of principles that stakeholders, agency personnel, and elected officials can use to fit their collaborative strategy to the details they face.
-- Lawrence Susskind, Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Wow! Finally a compass for multijurisdictional land conservation and management has been wonderfully synthesized. With climate change looming and resource implications for human livelihoods and biodiversity conservation a concern, transboundary approaches are the future. McKinney and his colleagues have written a valuable primer that addresses the challenges between the often disconnected scale of how land problems are defined and the scale necessary for effective solutions.
-- Gary M. Tabor, Director, Center for Large Landscape Conservation, Bozeman, Montana

About the Authors

Matthew J. McKinney is director of the Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy at The University of Montana, where he also serves as chair of the Natural Resources Conflict Resolution Program.

Shawn Johnson is an associate of the Center and a doctoral student at the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment.

Working Across Boundaries: People, Nature, and Regions
Matthew J. McKinney and Shawn Johnson
2009 / 176 pages / Paper / $25.00
ISBN 978-1-55844-191-0

       Review copy requests can be emailed to anthony.flint@lincolninst.edu. The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy is a leading resource for key issues concerning the use, regulation, and taxation of land.

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