Giving Compass' Take:

• The North Texas Innovation Alliance is helping to address local issues and push projects forward within the community while fostering collaboration. 

• How can local donors support these collaborations in their communities? How can donors encourage collective efforts to address local problems? 

• Read more about sustaining collaborative action. 

The North Texas Innovation Alliance (NTXIA) was launched this week to foster regional collaboration in solving common issues through projects and initiatives, Executive Director Jennifer Sanders told Smart Cities Dive in an interview.

NTXIA brings together 21 founding members including 12 Texas cities, a variety of councils and alliances, and even the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Sanders noted a population variance across some of the member cities, but said they share many of the same concerns around infrastructure, equity and mobility.

Sanders said the North Texas region faces challenges common to many U.S. cities, like traffic congestion, while the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the need for more equity and digital inclusion. But North Texas is unique in that it has immense sprawl and "permeable" borders that are often crossed for daily activities, she said. Given that, localities must work together in providing services.

"[Those] services, it's so important that they're consistent and effective across jurisdiction, because that's how people live, work and exist within the region," Sanders said.

An increasing number of governments have taken notice of regional approaches to "smart" initiatives. Groups like the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) have looked to collaborate across jurisdictional lines on solving vital issues like traffic congestion and mobility. Meanwhile, the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance has brought together 12 cities, plus private companies and academic institutions, while the Greater Phoenix Smart Region Consortium looks to help area-cities accelerate the adoption of smart city technology.

Read the full article about collaborative regional growth by Chris Teale at Smart Cities Dive.