Against a backdrop of hyper-political polarization worldwide, this presentation reviews recent transpartisan coalitions of conservative and progressive allies who advocate for policy change about transportation and infrastructure in the United States. Some might view these as unholy alliances where participants make deals with the devil or lend ones enemies undue legitimacy. However, when alliances emerge, public officials and the citizenry are challenged to not dismiss an enemy Other outright when divergent activists and key stakeholders agree on matters of substance and process. Karen Trapenberg Frick will discuss how these coalitions form, the strategies used to disseminate and market coalition messaging, and the implications for policy and planning.
Karen Trapenberg Frick is is Associate Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley and Director of the University of California Transportation Center. Her current research focuses on the politics of major infrastructure projects, tactical coalitions, and conservative views about planning and planners responses. She is also the author of the book Remaking the San FranciscoOakland Bay Bridge: A Case of Shadowboxing with Nature (Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2016).