Can We Measure the Quality of Urban Governance? Early Evidence and Lessons from a Manhattan Institute Pilot Study

October 19, 2011

Wednesday, October 19 at 5:30 p.m.
Nye A, 5th floor Taubman Building, 15 Eliot Street

Aaron Yelowitz, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University of Kentucky

Commentary by Stephanie Hirsch, Director, Somerville Promise Alliance, and former director, SomerStat performance management program

American's lives remain deeply affected by what transpires at the local levels of government. Constituents demand leaders who will deliver quality schools, safe neighborhoods, and other key services. Yet in recent years, this task has become all the more difficult, as the economic downturn has left municipal officials with fewer resources at their disposal. Perhaps now more than ever before, policy analysts, citizens, and public officials themselves stand to benefit from an objective, impartial measure of which governments are outperforming others. The Manhattan Institute's Index of Urban Governance Qualityhas laid the groundwork for such a measure. This pilot study ranks five large cities with respect to four areas of local governance: public safety; educational quality; quality of public spaces; and business environment.

This event is co-sponsored by the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston and the Taubman Center for State and Local Government.