Regulatory Reinvention

Public Works has devised next generation regulatory and compliance strategies for a wide range of areas, including environmental, labor, and housing standards.  These approaches help governments target enforcement resources on the worst offenders while encouraging compliance among the rest through cooperative means.  Our strategies include incentives for going beyond minimal compliance, education and outreach, labor-management cooperation, and other creative solutions.

Here is some of what we've done ...

Seattle Regulatory Process Reform

The City of Seattle asked Public Works to provide supporting research and analysis to identify

the regulatory issues and constraints that most directly affect the growth and economic

development of the City’s industrial and manufacturing sectors. Our team compiled and

submitted a preliminary survey of state and local laws, policies, and regulations that affect

shoreline industrial development and operations to inform and provide context for the

qualitative research to follow. We also conducted a series of eleven interviews with

representatives of various affected industries identified by the Seattle Office of Economic

Development. These interviews provide the basis for a qualitative discussion of the broad

regulatory environment faced by industrial firms, specifically, those issues identified by the respondents as presenting the greatest challenges to the development and growth of the Seattle area’s manufacturing and maritime sectors. Read the full report here: Seattle Report Final

California Labor Standards for the 21st Century


In Public Works’ report to the California Department of Industrial Relations, we recommend

steps that the department should take to increase the force, and enforcement, of

government sanctions.  Additionally, we propose a new labor standards structure that will

expand the government’s focus on compliance with, rather than enforcement of, labor



Read the full report here: CA Beyond Enforcement Labor Standards for 21st Century.

Preserving Rental Properties in Auburn, Washington

The City of Auburn asked Public Works to identify strategic solutions for practical,

innovative and creative approaches to addressing the physical decline of its

low-income neighborhoods.  Specifically, the City tasked Public Works with finding

solutions that had limited to no bureaucratic or financial requirements but that

relied instead on on social capital, community engagement, voluntarism, sweat

equity and public/private partnerships.



Read the full report here: Preserving Rental Housing in Auburn.