Only Elected Regional Government in the U.S.

By Nate Berg, The Atlantic Cities

Like many metropolitan areas in the U.S., Portland, Oregon, has a regional governance system, a bureaucratic overlay that has enabled region-wide planning and coordination. In many ways, it’s like a lot of regional entities – looking after transportation issues, addressing infrastructure that crosses municipal borders, and generally operating from a mindset of what’s in the best interests of the region as a whole. But Portland’s regional system, Metro, is different than every other regional system and group in the country: its members are elected. With a strong focus on regional planning efforts and a highly regarded sense of urban governance, the Portland region has been a model metropolitan region. So why hasn’t any other place followed?

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