The Community Alliance is a cornerstone of the Distributed City Model. Almost every community has a Chamber of Commerce, a lawyer, an accountant, a city hall etc. Each of these groups has a state and national association that has been established to help communities; few of these groups have the resources to develop and sustain an electronic initiative that would allow their members to participate in conferences, training programs, committee activities etc without physically being there. It is tasked with addressing some fundamental issues:
A PowerPoint presentation discussing the role of the Community Alliance.
conversion by PPT2HTML
Moving into the Information Age has been the object of great interest and significant investment for many communities over the past 10 years. Most have focused their efforts on linking their community to the Internet rather than integrating their community into a system. Progress has been slow. Those communities that are of insufficient size to support the "vertical" approach have been- and will continue to be- without adequate resources to "plug-in". Achieving critical mass is critical. For most communities this means that a collaboration among those organizations using bandwidth must be formed. To achieve this in the global economy TCR believes that the creation of a community infrastructure must be accomplished.
The Community Typology identifies the six living environments found within the economic region of a metropolitan center. How each of these community types is supported and, in turn supports, the others, is fundamental to building a technology plan. TCR's Distributed City Model outlines an approach to how this can be accomplished. It is not "THE" plan but rather "A" plan. The Distributed City Model / The "Alliance" is offered as a vehicle for community leaders to work together, as a collaborative, to develop a model that individual communities can then follow.
- How do we stabilize our population and employment base to ensure continuity of local services, be they professional or commercial?
- How do we provide an opportunity for our youth to gainfully return to their hometowns?
- How does the urban community interface with the rural community?
- How do we address the implications of urban sprawl?
- How can communities take advantage of the "Information Age"?
- How do we create an integrated approach to education and training?
- How do we bring balance to the environment while encouraging a globally competitive environment?
- How do we update the regulatory and/or tax environment?
- How do we form meaningful relationships to cooperatively achieve that which can not be achieved alone?
The Community Alliance suggests that if these organizations would collaborate and integrate some of their materials and distribute them electronically there would be a fiscal incentive for their membership to expand their own electronic capabilities to receive them. The financial incentive of not having to travel to the city can be very powerful. Similarly, there are many telecommuting applications, i.e., distance learning, Telemedicine, tele-justice, e-licensing etc. that are ideal for rural communities but which require significant bandwidth to deliver.
The Community TeleCenter Network is designed to address this technology issue Market segmentation and a lack of an integrated vision for a comprehensive marketing and education has prevented many of these services from reaching the communities that need them. With a strong rural leadership, much can be done.
If you want a fundamental change, you must change the fundamentals.
TCR recommends the development of a private sector Bandwidth Collaborative to address this issue. The Community Alliance has the connections, the mission and, collectively, the resources, to develop the market but it needs a private partner to deploy the products and services necessary to implement the concept. The digital divide exists primarily because there has not been a program designed to electronically deliver applications into our communities that meet that local need, that is cost effective to access and that can expand the overall use of electronic services. For more information, review the WHITE PAPERS / COMMUNITY Section of this site.