Policy Matters is a quarterly series of reports that provide timely research and guidance on issues that are of concern to policymakers at the local, state, and national levels.

Volume 2, Issue 2 by Juliann Allison and Jonathan Davidson is entitled: Collaborative Regional Planning In California: Potential Models for Sustainable Governance.


Executive Summary

California faces several challenges related to population growth, economic needs, and infrastructure development. There is an increasing movement towards addressing these challenges at the regional level, with problems that are too big for any particular local government, and that require planning and coordination across various government and stakeholder groups. For instance, the state’s continuing demographic growth and urbanization intensify the conflicts between regional transportation policies and land use practices at the municipal level.

In this report, we analyze five recent initiatives widely considered to be characteristic of collaborative regional planning as it is practiced in California. We chose cases in new- growth regions such as the counties of Merced and Riverside and in more mature growth regions such as San Diego County and the Sacramento metropolitan area. We find several elements for successful efforts at collaborative planning, including the use of computer graphic technology, innovations in stakeholder outreach, and early recognition of environmental impacts. Thus, while prior efforts are helpful in collaborative regional planning, there are several innovations to help create new precedents for successful planning.

Juliann Allison is associate professor of political science at the University of California, Riverside. She is Associate Director of the Edward J. Blakely Center for the Sustainable Suburban Development. Her teaching interests include international political economy and environmental politics. Her research efforts have been supported by the California Energy Commission and the National Science Foundation. She received her Ph.D from the University of California, Los Angeles and joined the UCR faculty in 1997.

Jonathan Davidson is currently researching policy impacts of the Clean Air Act for the Mellon Foundation. His research areas include land use policy, governmental law, and

alternative dispute resolution. Mr. Davidson received his M.R.P. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, and LL.M in Dispute Resolution at University of Missouri-Columbia.

For interviews and more information, contact Juliann Allison at (951)827-4582 or juliann.allison@ucr.edu