The American West features a diverse set of natural resources and cities. To support a vibrant regional economy, an efficient, integrated transportation system is needed to ensure that both goods and people can get to their destinations. A reliable water system is also needed to provide a steady supply of clean water for current and future generations. These infrastructure systems often rely on regional collaboration.
Yet robust regional governance remains an elusive goal. The provision and regulation of water and transportation services are fragmented institutionally and jurisdictionally, with numerous city, county, special district, state and federal government actors, as well as private and non-profit sector interests, all exercising some decision-making authority. Such fragmentation in governance can lead to a silo mentality, inefficient resource sharing, and ineffective coordination across systems that ultimately fall short of meeting the region's diverse needs.
Our projects study the inner working of regional water and transportation agencies. We examine how different interests are represented in regional collaboration. Our findings aim to provide policy recommendations to strengthen regional collaborative efforts to balance diverse stakeholder interests and improve efficiency in decision-making and service delivery.