To support local government redesign efforts and recognize the innovative work already underway, the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center has partnered with state associations to create the Local Government Innovation & Redesign Guide and host a yearly Local Government Innovations Awards ceremony.
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I recently had a very fun opportunity to travel to San Francisco, CA to conduct data collection for our research project on the federal government's Urban Partnership program.
A little bit of history on the program: The Urban Partnership program dates back to August 2007 when five urban regions in the U.S. were selected to participate in a path-breaking federal transportation initiative. The initiative supplied approximately $1.1 billion for an integrated transit, highway pricing (tolling), technology, and telecommuting strategy (aka The 4T's) aimed at reducing traffic congestion in major urban areas.
The initiative was path-breaking because it broke down normal programmatic silos in the federal transportation system, bypassed typical funding procedures, and directed unprecedented levels of funding toward integrated urban transportation strategies.
Our research interest: The opportunity to research this program has been critical to our Center's ability to better understand how collaboration happens--in this case, within the complex policy system of transportation. Our research team's novice knowledge of the transportation field has been graciously tolerated by transportation experts! We have been welcomed by transportation leaders and managers throughout the United States into their offices to discuss the challenges and successes they've experienced in planning, implementing, and deploying the Urban Partnership program in their respective regions. My experience in San Francisco was no exception to this hospitality.
I am grateful for the opportunity to conduct rigorous and relevant research on collaboration that will hopefully help people solve the next complex problem. Next stop...Seattle!