Regional Intergovernmental Organizations (RIGOs)

Between 1920 and 1970 virtually every metropolitan and non-metropolitan region in the United States created an organization of local governments (cities, counties, towns) to address policy problems that were bigger than the boundaries of any one jurisdiction. We have coined the term "Regional Intergovernmental Organization (RIGO)" to identify them, and the Center is the leading research institution in the United States analyzing and cataloging RIGOs. We have identified 475 such organizations. We have undertaken surveys of these institutions and have mapped each and every one. Our database and maps are available for use by researchers across the US and overseas. 

CONNECT (Congress of Neighboring Communities)

The Congress of Neighboring Communities (CONNECT) is an ongoing initiative designed to encourage a new model of intergovernmental cooperation between the City of Pittsburgh and the 35 communities that surround it. Connect's mission is to coordinate the collective activities of the City of Pittsburgh and the 35 municipalities that share its border.

CMS Policy Briefs

Four times a year, we publish a CMS Policy Brief that deals with a significant issue facing western Pennsylvania. These briefs are written by GSPIA faculty, staff and students and are designed to provide policy evidence for current issues the region's policy makers are seeking options and solutions.

Metropolitan Power Diffusion Index

The Metropolitan Power Diffusion Index(MPDI) is a univariate score that measures how many separate governments (local, county, and special district) provide 11 common public services within a "core-based statistical area” (CBSA) and how much each of those governments spends in providing those services.The more individual governments there are spending greater amounts of money on the services, the higher the MPDI score. In 2007, Pittsburgh, after Chicago, was the most decentralized metropolitan region in the United States, according to the MPDI released recently by the Center.

Wherrett Lecture Series

The Center for Metropolitan Studies is pleased to sponsor the annual Wherrett Lecture. This Series dates back to 1955 and brings together local leaders from academia, state and local governments, the nonprofit community, and the private sector to ask and discuss emerging and ongoing problems facing metropolitan regions as those regions are called upon to address a wide variety of social, environmental and economic problems that demand cutting edge and innovative solutions.

Interactive Bibliography on Metropolitan Regionalism

The Interactive Bibliography on Metropolitan Regionalism (IBMR) is an on-going endeavor to collect annotated bibliographic resources about the innovative approaches and reforms that have occurred to deal with metropolitan regional governance and to promote collaborative regional entities, mainly in the United States as well as abroad. It is double-natured. On one hand, it is accessible to all, either within GSPIA or outside, as a reference guide. On the other hand, it is interactive; users who benefit from it can also make contributions to the long-term growth of the bibliographic database as they voluntarily add new entries to it.

Shale Gas and Local Finances

The development of new techniques in non-renewable resource extraction has created significant economic expansion in many more rural areas of western Pennsylvania.  The impact of that rapid development has required local governments, many relatively small in size, to balance having new financial resources with having to financially address new demands and issues created by that development. The Shale Gas and Local Finance Project is an effort to understand better how those local governments are (and perhaps should) respond.

Center for Metropolitan Studies
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