Last month, the University of Minnesota released a new report outlining its economic impact on the state of Minnesota. Among the report’s findings: the U of M contributes more than $8.6 billion a year in economic activity and supports more than 77,000 jobs across the state. U of M researchers generated $1.2 billion in impact and helped create 18 start-ups.
One section of the report also explores how outreach and engagement efforts at the U help to strengthen Minnesota—and cites CTS as an example
Members of the public often hear news about the deteriorating state of the nation’s infrastructure, but in general they are unaware of the efforts and costs required to maintain and operate the transportation systems they rely on every day.
In a recent study, U of M researchers sought to better understand stakeholder attitudes, knowledge, and engagement about financing for local road system management. “It’s important for people to be informed and to be listened to, and to have their opinions taken into consideration in decision making,” says Guillermo Narváez, a former research associate with the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the project’s principal investigator. “This approach very often leads to better outcomes than non-participative decisions.”
Narváez collaborated with Professor Kathryn Quick, also with the Humphrey School, for the project. The research team collected and analyzed data about the general climate of stakeholder knowledge and attitudes toward road financing. Data were collected through media analysis, case studies, interviews, and surveys of county government leaders.