ULI Regional Collaboration

Florida continues to address a major challenge: how to maintain the state’s economic competitiveness while continuing to offer a high quality of life to its citizens and visitors. Florida’s response to this challenge will have a significant impact on the state’s future. The best response will be effective regional collaboration that creates distinctive, economically competitive metropolitan and rural centers around the state.

ULI Regional Collaboration

The Urban Land Institute, in collaboration with ULI-Southeast Florida and Caribbean, ULI-Southwest Florida, ULI-Tampa Bay and ULI-Central and North Florida, undertook the ULI Florida Initiative on Regional Collaboration in 2003. The ULI Florida Committee for Regional Cooperation, composed of leaders from the development community, civic and environmental groups, community-based organizations, and the public sector, identified state barriers to regional cooperation and worked to establish a consensus on a recommended set of state actions and reforms to facilitate regional thinking and regional action.

The ULI-Statewide committee found that there was a discrepancy between Florida’s traditional approach to responding to growth pressures and its current regional realities. To remain competitive, Florida must take strong and immediate action to embrace a regional outlook. Doing so will expand the capacity of both the state and the localities to support the emergence of regions and their ability to tackle problems.

The ULI-Statewide committee also found that the planning and policy framework needed to be revised on a statewide level in order to develop the capacity to act regionally. The framework needed to include regional thinking and solutions tailored to the needs of each region and the localities within them. To succeed, strong state leadership, funding, and incentives are essential.

The committee adopted four recommendations and identified several strategies to implement them.

  • Recommendation 1: The governor should exercise leadership and an ongoing commitment to statewide regional collaboration.
  • Recommendation 2: The state should enable each region to develop a regional vision and an action plan to implement that vision.
  • Recommendation 3: The state should ensure that all state agencies function in a highly responsive and integrated way to foster and monitor regional cooperation and promote and support regional initiatives.
  • Recommendation 4: Because regional cooperation must be sustained and improved over time, the state should encourage and support, on an ongoing basis, each region’s efforts to make measurable progress toward its vision and to continue to improve regional cooperation.