Symposium On Regionalism To Include Report Card
By Frank Norton
This year’s second annual State of the Region Symposium, aimed at promoting tri-county regionalism, may stir more than just interest among South Florida leaders.
Event organizers say a panel of judges will present report cards at the symposium, grading private and public organizations and possibly even individuals on their performance in promoting regionalism during the past year.
The symposium, sponsored annually by the Urban Land Institute, is scheduled Nov. 7 in the Broward County Convention Center.
This year’s agenda includes a recap of progress since last year, an update on economic and demographic trends, and the presentation of report cards.
Though judges had long planned on grading organizations, they recently began considering whether to also mark individual leaders on their ability to cooperate regionally.
"There are certain leaders who have worked to advance regionalism in South Florida and others that have not," said Neisen Kasdin, Urban Land Institute district council chairman and former mayor of Miami Beach.
Regionalism advocates use the term loosely to refer to political and economic integration and cooperation.
"It’s a matter of how bold we want to be in naming those names," Mr. Kasdin said. "But certainly we’ll be considering that."
Michael Cannon, managing director of Integra Realty Resources AREEA South Florida, will present data on real estate and other trends at this year’s event. He said he favors bringing to light the past performance of the region’s business, civic and political leaders.
"Statements by various politicians and administers have stymied regional integration in the past," Mr. Cannon said. "We’re not there to embarrass anybody. But there are those in Miami and elsewhere who don’t walk the walk.
"South Florida needs to mature if it wants to become a world class destination and place to live," he said, "and that means not displaying our petty `partisanisms’ like we do so blatantly."
The tri-county region has about 5.2 million inhabitants with an estimated 160,000 and 200,000 commuting between counties daily, Mr. Cannon said. "That’s integration."