Management Science for Metropolitan Governance

Local governments of all sizes are facing increasing threats to their fiscal and economic health, community well-being, and environmental resources. Addressing these challenges requires a litany of economic, ecological and societal governance transitions. However, it also assumes local communities can either develop new organizational capacities or divert resources away from more traditional services and activities.

National Science Foundation support

At the Metropolitan Governance and Management Transitions Laboratory (MGMT Lab), we have recently received National Science Foundation support (Award #1941561, 2020-2025) to develop an interactive research and education program focused on understanding and advancing the integration of local government sustainability planning, capacity-building and performance management. This research involves analyzing municipal governments in Indiana to advance understanding of how communities a) formulate long-term sustainability strategies; b) develop the capacities to carry them out; and c) assess and improve performance.

A second interdisciplinary NSF project (Award #1923880, 2019-2024), coordinated with four other universities, involves studying the role of infrastructure and management institutions in transitioning to more sustainable urban water supply systems. This research is analyzing transitions across 16 large-scale urban water systems in the United States to achieve two goals: 1) to better understand the complex interactions among various environmental and human stressors that may prompt transition, and 2) to identify which design choices, related to both system infrastructure and governing institutions, can foster proactive transitions to more sustainable operating states.