Creating effective binational, multi-city data science partnerships requires understanding the legal frameworks in which these partnerships operate. The Cascadia Law Initiative (CLI) is developing the legal background necessary to foster collaboration on urban analytics projects throughout the Cascadia Innovation Corridor. As a joint effort between law faculty and students at the University of Washington (UW) and the University of British Columbia (UBC), the CLI is itself an example of the cross-border collaboration its work supports.
The CLI’s initial goal is to identify potential legal barriers to city initiatives arising out of urban analytics research collaboration. In support of this goal, law students from UW and UBC are assessing relevant municipal law differences between classes of cities, and between specific cities, in the Cascadia Innovation Corridor: Vancouver, Surrey, Seattle, and Bellevue. The CLI will use this research to write a practical guide to the differences and similarities between the legal frameworks governing these jurisdictions, with particular reference to municipal power to take robust action on homelessness, affordable housing, and transportation. This guide will be available as a resource for other Cascadia Urban Analytics Cooperative researchers, and will also serve as a foundation for the CLI’s future work.