Infrastructure & Mobility

My MBA capstone research focused on the modernization of transportation infrastructure using public-private partnerships. In December 2019 I announced an initiative to advance Southeast Michigan’s proposed Regional Transit Authority expansion after a major research project in 2018 to try and understand public and private sector sentiment around the failed ballot initiative. The proposal failed to even make it to the ballot given the disruptions from COVID, but the RTA announced in January 2021 that they would be pursuing the initiative again in 2022.

This gives us opportunities to study the process of infrastructure planning, and to get involved to advocate for better infrastructure planning.

Capstone Research and Adjacent Material

On March 18, I turned in all 208 pages of my paper, Prime Movers: Public-Private Partnerships for Scalable, Next-Generation Infrastructure Investment in Southeast Michigan and Beyond. The project was a combination business strategy proposal, academic analysis, and media theory, looking at the culture of innovation, thinking about strategies for building cities and resilient systems in the golden age of corporate greed and municipal austerity, and asking questions about why people believe the things we do about infrastructure.

I interviewed 81 respondents directly on the question of what the future of structure should look like as far as the public versus private divide and asking them what sort of things they were most excited about versus most concerned about. I also collected 236 responses for a survey to try and better understand perception about infrastructure and the public-private divide, as well as to try and understand consumer behavior around transportation. I’ll be posting updates as I work through the specifics.

List of Articles

The list of articles, written either as a summary of research or written in parallel to the research, is here. Enjoy!

2019-2020 RTA Coverage

During my advocacy around the RTA proposal, I chronicled my work with Detroit-based Transportation Riders United and other partners. I also wrote up related and unrelated articles about mobility in Southeast Michigan and beyond.

For more information on transit and mobility, check out the diverse and dedicated Detroit transit scene through our super-cool co-conspirators and other organizations we’re generally a fan of: Michigan Mobility Institute, MOSES, Motor City Freedom Riders, Transportation Riders United, and Young Transportation Professionals of Detroit.

Further Reading

You can find interesting advocacy from the APTA, the Eno Center, and more. Bloomberg Cities (CityLab), Planetizen, Streetsblog, and Curbed all often have quite a bit of worthwhile content. Or, read some books. These are divided by subject.

Power grids, electricity, and infrastructure:

Autonomous (self-driving) cars:

Transit, mobility, and urban systems, generally:

Privatization, libertarianism, public private partnerships, markets, and environmentalism:

Haute Academia:

  • Flesh and Stone: The Body and the City in Western Civilization, by Richard Sennett (★★★★★)

More coming as I sort through my notes.

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