Case Study

Maricopa Association of Governments


Developing a regional transportation plan guided by public values.


To help support and guide the development of their regional transportation plan in the Greater Phoenix area in Maricopa County, Arizona, Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) enlisted our expertise in understanding public values and transportation priorities of their constituents.


We employed a 4-part research design:

We first conducted a Stakeholder Illumination Lab exploring the values of region residents in terms of quality of life and transportation priorities.

We followed the iLab with a BrightBoard study that validated and expanded upon the insights from the iLab with a general public focus.

We conducted an online survey involving n=1,501 Maricopa residents, and explored additional questions relating to transportation choices, needs and reactions toward funding.

In addition to the full online survey we ran an open public link to an abbreviated version of the survey, which collected data from n=9,000 Maricopa residents.


Through this comprehensive study we were able to understand the mood of the residents in the region and how they feel about their quality of life.

We were also able to draw out important ideas that would strategically encourage support from Maricopa residents for transportation planning and funding.

Notably, through our priorities mapping and values laddering framework, we were able to identify priorities and impactful messages that helped MAG focus its investment priorities and messaging.