Infrastructure, Trust, and the Shadow of Flint aimed at testing the relative roles of trustworthiness and motivation in driving decisions, facilitating the dialogue necessary for trust between communities and decision-makers, and supporting the potential for innovative solutions to ageing infrastructure problems in the United States.
MSU School of Criminal Justice and Environmental Science and Policy Program invited the Centre for Systems Solutions to jointly design and implement the P.I.P.E.S (Public Infrastructure Participatory Engagement Simulation). As part of the simulation, Michigan municipality members were asked to take on the roles of various stakeholders. The participants, who face water infrastructure problems on a daily basis, were exposed to the in-game dilemmas and tradeoffs that mirrored the difficulties that they encounter in their community. Going through a number of simulated challenges and participating in the debriefing sessions with decision-makers, they were able to inspire dialogue and the unconventional thinking that can support innovative solutions. Because the simulation parameters modelled real-life constraints, the decisions made by the participants often lead to value-weighting strategies that can be potentially applied by the decision-makers in the future.
The project was funded with support from the ESPP Flint Funds.