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.

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Policy Brief

Shale Development, Impact Fees, and Municipal Finances in Pennsylvania

CMS Policy Brief

Volume 2, Winter 2015/2016

Featured Video
Wherrett Lecture: Francis Fukuyama

Renowned author Francis Fukuyama gave a lecture at the University of Pittsburgh on October 27th as part of the Center for Metropolitan Studies’ Wherrett Lecture Series.


GSPIA associate professor Sabina Deitrick’s recent editorial in PennLive examines the current trends in digital governance among Pennsylvania’s municipalities. In the article, Deitrick explains how students in her capstone seminar on planning and governance conducted a survey of Pennsylvania municipalities to assess the state of digital governance in the Commonwealth.  The students examined how local governments in Pennsylvania incorporated digital technologies into their governance structures and then explored the barriers municipalities face in making the transition from paper to digital.


Dean John Keeler presented Edwin Daley (MPA ’75) with GSPIA’s Distinguished Alumnus Award during a recent alumni gathering in Richmond, VA. Dr. Daley held various positions throughout his 40 year career in local government, and represents the heart and soul of a true and dedicated public servant. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1969 to 1972. He then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Slippery Rock University in 1973 and began working in the public sector for the City of New Castle, Pennsylvania. 


A recently released policy brief by professor Jeremy Weber and MPA student Max Harleman highlights how Pennsylvania’s Impact Fee on natural gas wells helps municipalities address the local costs of shale development. Weber and Harleman found that shale development contributed little to municipal tax revenues. However, revenues from the Impact Fee on natural gas wells, introduced in 2012, caused a doubling of non-tax revenues for municipalities with substantial drilling. The largest increase in spending among such municipalities was on roads. To read the full report, click here, or to access the data click here.   


Near the end of their programs, GSPIA students focusing on city management and urban affairs take at least one capstone class, a special course in which they explore real-world policy challenges as part of a team and develop recommendations to address those challenges. A distinctive feature of GSPIA is that many students—from both the MPA program and the MID programs—have the opportunity to engage with issues not only in our region, but in settings as distant as South America.


In the 2013 mayoral election, three GSPIA alumni competed for the office and GSPIA alumnus Bill Peduto won by a landslide. Since 2014, the mayor of Pittsburgh has thus been a GSPIA alumnus, and working with him are five other GSPIAns in manager-level staff positions; approximately 25 more GSPIA alumni are also currently employed by the city. The success of these alumni reflects GSPIA’s commitment to training students for local public service since the founding of the school by Dean Donald Stone, whose first job was in the mayor’s office in Cincinnati.

Featured Initiative
Featured Publication

Professor David Y. Miller, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and co-author Raymond W. Cox III, Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Public Administration and Urban Studies at the University of Akron, have collaborated on a new book – Governing the Metropolitan Region: America's New Frontier.

The book highlights the multiple dimensions of intergovernmental relationships that create both competition and cooperation in metropolitan regions. According to the publisher, Governing the Metropolitan Region is a new, up-to-date text for the basic local government management courses that address the structural, political and management issues associated with regional and metropolitan government.


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