The Future of Hampton Roads (FHR) has been active in community improvement efforts for 30 years.
Beginning in 2004, FHR began publishing a series of reports on a variety of forward thinking focus areas for the region.
The body of work was categorized as "Improving the Competitiveness of Hampton Roads".
FHR urges our readers to (over time) download, read and absorb the magnitude of thought and effort that went into these reports.
As of today, many of these ideas have been put into effect. Yet, there are many areas that remain untouched and are worthy for reconsideration and action.
These thirteen articles/reports here are listed in chronological order below. They are PDF files.
There are two ways to access the information: 1) Quick Link directly to the files, or 2) Listed again, but with brief excerpts shown in addition to their Read links
1) Case Statement The Regional Structure Project, Mar 2004 Click Here
2) Report 1 How the Region Works, Jun 2005 Click Here
3) Report 2 Transforming Regional Structure Feb 2006 Click Here
4) Regional Services Review, Oct 2006 Click Here
5) Commission on Local Government, Jan 2007 Click Here
6) Hampton Roads Workforce Investment, Jan 2007 Click Here
7) HR Partnership News Bureau, Jan 2007 Click Here
8) HR Partnership Visioning, Jan 2007 Click Here
9) HRCCE, Jan 2007 Click Here
10) Regional Tourism Strategy, Jan 2007 Click Here
11) Hampton Roads Metropolitan Council, Feb 2007 Click Here
12) Regional Efficiency, May 2008 Click Here
13) Report 3 Recommendations for Regional Structure Project, Oct 2008 Click Here
On RegionalismClick Here
The Regionalist PapersClick Here
Case Statement The Regional Structure Project, Mar 2004 Read
During Fall 2003, the Future of Hampton Roads sponsored a three-session Forum on "Improving the Competitiveness of Hampton Roads." All of the speakers recognized that regions are the basic units of competition in the world economy. All indicated that the structure of Virginia local government was one of the principal impediments to more effective achievement of any region's agenda for improving its economy and quality of life.
Report 1 How the Region Works, Jun 2005 Read
In the absence of regional government, Hampton Roads does regional cooperation. Over several decades an elaborate structure of public and private decision making bodies has been created, some truly regional, some not. To provide for a more informed public discussion of this complex picture, the Project Steering Committee decided that Phase I of the deliberative process should produce a written description of the present regional structure by outlining the regional agenda of opportunities and issues and the organizations that make regional decisions, all to highlight what we do well and what we do not do so well. For reference in preparing recommendations for structural change, research was also done on the legal framework of regionalism in Virginia.
Report 2 Transforming Regional Structure, Feb 2006 Read
Transforming the Regional Structure, the second report issued by the Steering Committee of the Hampton Roads Regional Structure Project, offers preliminary proposals for reforming the structure of regional governance in Hampton Roads. The first report, How the Region Works, justified the need for reform by describing the opportunities that comprise the regional agenda, the public and private institutions that handle the agenda, and the legal framework of regionalism in Virginia.
Regional Services Review, Oct 2006 Read
The Study Group was tasked to consider the concept of a regional review of various public services providers which would evaluate their individual and collective contributions to the regional vision for the benefit of the mayors and chairs on the proposed Metropolitan Council. The group was asked to consider the types of information to be reviewed, the types of service providers to be reviewed and to initiate a list of the specific agencies to be reviewed. The Study Committee was also asked to identify a "sounding board" to review its work.
Commission on Local Government, Jan 2007 Read
The Study Group was charged with providing detailed recommendations in support of the proposals from pages 12-14 in the Hampton Roads Structure Project's Report No.2 – Transforming the Regional Structure.
Hampton Roads Workforce Investment, Jan 2007 Read
The Study Group was charged with verifying the feasibility and desirability of merging the two workforce investment boards serving the Peninsula and South Hampton Roads.
HR Partnership News Bureau, Jan 2007 Read
The Study Group was charged with providing recommendations regarding a proposal from Report No.2 that a Public Information Office (PIO) be attached to the Hampton Roads Partnership (HRP) to perform three functions:
HR Partnership Visioning, Jan 2007 Read
The Study Group was to provide further description of the process of visioning as well as the reasons that would justify its use as an additional planning technique by HRP.
HRCCE, Jan 2007 Read
The Study Group was chartered by the Regional Structure Project to explore effective public participation – increasing the ability of individuals in the Hampton Roads community to get involved in the decision-making process. The Study Group researched a number of models of public participation, including America Speaks and Voices and Choices. The group familiarized itself with resources such as the International Association for Public Participation and the Kettering Foundation.
Regional Tourism Strategy, Jan 2007 Read
The Study Group was charged with exploring the desirability of creating a regional tourism development and marketing strategy for Hampton Roads and, with respect to structure, the creation of a regional convention and visitors bureau to prepare and implement the strategy.
Hampton Roads Metropolitan Council, Feb 2007 Read
The Study Group was tasked to develop a structure for a Hampton Roads Metropolitan Council, as proposed in Report No.2: Transforming the Regional Structure (see Annex A-1), including mission, membership, authority and functions, decision making procedures, staff, funding, and relationships with other elected officials, Federal and state agencies, and regional organizations.
Regional Efficiency, May 2008 Read
In a never-ending tug of war, taxpayer demand for economy in administration of government and delivery of public services contends with public and corporate demand for additional services, subsidies, and development. Despite recent windfalls in real estate tax revenue, local governments tend to feel themselves under fiscal stress when reviewing the ever-widening scope of public responsibilities in a society that supposedly cherishes small government. Without the discipline of a profit and loss statement, government is often criticized for inefficiency, even in Virginia, which trails all other states in most categories of public expenditure. This is an old story.
Report 3 Recommendations for Regional Structure Project, Oct 2008 Read
This report is a call to action. The proposals for reform of regional governance offered here are needful, practical, affordable, and actionable. Key influencers among the general public, civic organizations, business associations, educational institutions, social services and the media are urged to speak up in support of these recommendations. With such a consensus, the leaders most able to undertake their implementation will be encouraged to do so.
Lastly, please read some theoretical background on these works:
On Regionalism Read
The Regionalist Papers Read
Thank you for your interest in working toward Hampton Road's regional success and prosperity.
Future of Hampton Roads