April 9, 2019
By Sam Skardon, One Region Project Director
The Charleston metro area is comprised of 27 cities and towns, three counties, four school districts, and hundreds of major employers. That complexity and scale create challenges to getting things done, as well as providing opportunities. Doing big things to improve our community’s quality of life now and into the future – like implementing a bus rapid transit system, improving our education systems for all students, or creating housing people can afford near employment centers – means all of our region’s major players must collaborate for success.
That’s why One Region, in partnership with the Urban Land Institute, is bringing together local high-ranking municipal staff members on a quarterly basis. We have hosted two Local Government Roundtables, with an average attendance of 40 city managers, planners, town administrators, and economic development directors representing 18 Charleston area municipalities.
These forums provide an opportunity to collaboratively workshop ideas, discuss the needs of their municipalities, and ask tough questions directly to experts on major regional initiatives, like Lowcountry Rapid Transit. The meetings have been keynoted by former Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy, followed by the City of Charleston’s former Mayor Joe Riley, who both spoke powerfully on the importance of regional cooperation during their long and successful tenures. Riley even pointed to the gathering as a national best-practice.
Big regional initiatives don’t get accomplished overnight. The LCRT project, for example, is about 5 years into a 10-year process. That said, they definitely won’t get done without strong relationships and partnerships between the leaders and staff of our local governments. One Region is excited about a stronger foundation for all of us to tackle community challenges together.
SAM SKARDON, One Region Project Director
[email protected] | 843.805.3015