Our Mission

Through research and involvement with state and local governments, state and federal agencies, regional organizations and the civic sector, the Center advances innovations in the governing of metropolitan regions that improves the quality of life in urban regions and the expertise of our students in public service wherever their careers take them.


Center for Metropolitan Studies

Welcome to the Center for Metropolitan Studies (CMS) at GSPIA. We facilitate activities that connect GSPIA and our students to the resolution of important public policy issues confronting our region, our state, and our country. The Center houses a variety of initiatives that address a wide variety of public concerns. Initiatives include: the Congress of Neighboring Communities (CONNECT); the Metropolitan Power Diffusion Index (MPDI); the Interactive Bibliography on Metropolitan Regionalism (IBMR); the National Database on Innovations in Regional Governance; model practices in Pennsylvania local and regional government; and research on multi-jurisdictional issues. The Center is also leading the Power of 32's goal to develop a Government Model Practices Collaborative. We also host a number of major presentations including: the semi-annual Wherrett Lecture Series on Local Government; the Changing Nature of Civic Engagement in America Lecture Series, and the Iris Marion Young Lecture Series on Political Engagement (with the University of Pittsburgh’s Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program).



Program Spotlights

The Metropolitan Power Diffusion Index (MPDI) is a univariate score that measures how many separate governments (local, county, and special district) provide 11 common public services within a "core-based statistical area” (CBSA) and how much each of those governments spends in providing those services.The more individual governments there are spending greater amounts of money on the services, the higher the MPDI score. In 2007, Pittsburgh, after Chicago, was the most decentralized metropolitan region in the United States, according to the MPDI released recently by the Center.


The Congress of Neighboring Communities, CONNECT, is a developing initiative designed to encourage a new model of intergovernmental cooperation in the heart of Pittsburgh. Connecting the city and its 35 common border municipalities, CONNECT will serve as a forum for discussion of and action on issues that affect the core of the Pittsburgh region.



The University of Pittsburgh has launched a new website promoting the university's Year of Sustainability. The site features GSPIA faculty Shanti Gamper-Rabindran and the Congress of Neighboring Communities, an initiative of David Miller (founder) and Kathy Risko (executive director). 


The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs will host the National Academy of Public Administration's 13th Annual Social Equity Leadership Conference, May 28-30, 2014.


The swearing-in ceremony for Pittsburgh Mayor-elect Bill Peduto, MPPM '11, will begin at 1:00 p.m. Monday, January 6 on the steps of the City-County Building in Downtown, Pittsburgh.


Center for Metropolitan Studies
3803 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260

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