Innovation Lab

Helping PNW Communities Solve their Toughest Infrastructure Challenges and Maximize Value for Their Residents

How Can All PNW Communities Maximize their Infrastructure Investments?  

Community infrastructure is the lifeblood of our local economies and shapes much of our daily lives – providing us with clean water and air, effective transportation and communication, heat and power for home, work, industry, and more. In the Pacific Northwest, we collectively spend billions of dollars every year to operate, maintain, rebuild and expand these essential systems. Quality infrastructure matters to every community, in every part of the Northwest.

 

Through its Innovation Lab, CSI brings local infrastructure decision-makers proven tools and expertise to develop innovative, locally tailored solutions that deliver bigger, broader community benefits through smarter infrastructure investments. By helping you engage key local stakeholders in designing “integrated solution sets” that solve multiple challenges – over conventional single-problem, single-fix approaches – we help you uncover affordable solutions that get the most value from your infrastructure spend and attract outside funding support. 

CSI provides local infrastructure decision-makers with proven tools and expertise to develop innovative, locally tailored solutions that deliver bigger, broader community benefits through smarter infrastructure investments. By engaging key local stakeholders and world-class innovation experts in co-designing “integrated solution sets” that solve multiple challenges – over conventional single-problem, single-fix approaches – we help you uncover affordable solutions that get the most value from your infrastructure spend and attract outside funding support. 

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Value Planning

This is the Innovation Lab’s flagship service. We use it to support local infrastructure decision-makers struggling with difficult and expensive infrastructure challenges or complex economic development opportunities. We help you step back from conventional – but unsatisfactory – answers, to reimagine projects to maximize community benefits from public investments.

We help you and your key stakeholders – at the pre-design stage of a project’s life cycle – to explore a range of innovative alternatives that can generate economic, environmental, and social value together. Through Value Planning – a systems-based, community-centric approach to innovation – we work with you to convene the right stakeholders and community leaders to first identify local values and needs. And we bring in the right set of nationally recognized technical experts for your particular challenge to conduct research, map assets, and identify alternatives that can address as many of those values and needs as possible.


Value Planning culminates in a one-day workshop where stakeholders and subject matter experts prioritize and develop these innovative yet practical solutions and galvanize around a portfolio of strategies that optimize benefits. Our final report packages a set of smart, cost-effective project investments that help secure support from local decisionmakers and attract funding support from state, federal, and other outside agencies. The report includes recommended next steps for advancing the project.

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We use Value Planning to help you reimagine three types of projects:

  1. Community Infrastructure, where a difficult, expensive infrastructure challenge demands an innovative solution, and Value Planning can generate alternatives that offer greater value-from-investment for the community than conventional, single-solution fixes.
     

  2. Economic Development, where we use Value Planning to craft “Industrial Symbiosis” partnerships, in which businesses co-locate around cooperative sharing agreements for one company’s waste or byproducts to be utilized as a resource for another, generating mutual economic value and environmental gains.
     

  3. Master Plans, where we apply Value Planning at a wider scale to help local agencies, economic development groups, community advocates, and business leaders to collaborate on long-term, multi-project, integrated infrastructure master plans for particular places. Examples include university campuses, ‘main street’ revitalization, business districts, and industry and recycling hubs.