For the third year, a group of greater Tucson business and community leaders is traveling on a leadership exchange, this time to Albuquerque, N.M., April 1-3.

The trip is being assembled by Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, in partnership with the Southern Arizona Leadership Council and Greater Tucson Leadership.

Theme for the 2009 trip is “Maximizing a Community’s Potential,” a release said. Attendees meet with Albuquerque leaders to learn “how a city similar to Tucson has earned a highly competitive reputation,” a release said.

“Tucson and Albuquerque are cities similar in size, industry strengths and economic structure, so it’s only natural for us to want to learn from one of our strongest economic competitors,” said Joe Snell, TREO president and CEO. “We want to find out how a city with limited resources has leveraged its assets and strategically planned in order to become a globally competitive economic region.”

Topics to be discussed are downtown development and asset planning; regional planning; challenges of growth and transportation; developing a strong multicultural community; education challenges and reform; and Albuquerque industry successes.

TREO instituted the leadership exchange in 2006 with a trip to Austin, Texas, where participants learned about the city’s high tech assets and why the community attracts members of the “creative class.” In 2007, Tucson leaders traveled to Portland, Ore., to learn about the city’s vibrant downtown, regional planning efforts, and master planned transportation systems.

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