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|Graduate Degree: MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Undergraduate Degree: University of Pennsylvania
Areas of interest: Intergovernmental communication, metropolitan governance, social justice
Mentor: David Ellis, former president of the Museum of Science
Agency: Office for Commonwealth Development
Supervisor: Stephen Burrington, Deputy Secretary of Policy, Office for Commonwealth Development
Project Description: Ariel Bierbaum worked at the Office for Commonwealth Development focusing on three projects to increase the economic competitiveness of cities across the state. She researched municipal best practices across the country for expedited permitting and pre-development processes for encouraging private developers to invest in targeted urban areas. Bierbaum also developed an index of indicators that may be used in the future as a way to gauge the health of cities across a number of broad categories including civic life, education, environment, finance, housing, income, jobs, population, public health, and public safety. Finally, she provided background research about potential ways to implement this type of benchmarking system statewide.