Regional Cooperation and Sustainable Growth: A Study of Nine Councils of Government in the Northeastern Illinois Region GCP-97-9

Bonnie Lindstrom

Nine councils of government in the Chicago region exemplify a new institutional arrangement in regional governance.  Formed partially from the need of mayors and managers to consult on issues specific to their subregions and from the mandate of ISTEA for local consultation on transportation issues, the councils of government have become articulate advocates for suburban and regional rather than urban or rural policy agendas.  They exemplify a new form of functional regionalism that emphasizes cooperation and collaboration in transportation planning, solid waste management, regulatory standardization and intergovernmental agreement. The research examines the historical development, functional responsibilities, and subregional economic development agendas of nine councils of government in the six county northeast Illinois region and suggests explanations for their emergence and effectiveness.

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