Bob Graves  |  Associate Director of the Governing Institute

Bob Graves. M.S., associate director of the Governing Institute, is the designated content curator for the FutureStructure initiative and also a co-founder of e.Republic, the parent organization of Governing.  As associate director, Graves writes, presents, moderates and provides advice on smart and sustainable approaches to water, waste, energy, transportation and building systems drawing from his more than 25 years of experience working with private sector companies, nonprofits and state and local governments.

In the 1980s as a co-founder of e.Republic, Graves was instrumental in establishing the Government Technology event and publishing divisions of the company. These divisions expanded rapidly from a single Government Technology Conference in Sacramento, California (1987) to scores of regional and local conferences and print and online publications providing news, in-depth articles, and research to hundreds of governments agencies and IT companies across the country.  He also served as its Chief Administrative Officer and president, ensuring that the company's organization kept pace with its growth into new sectors of research and online publishing. 

In 2006 capitalizing on his academic training in environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Graves co-founded and served as president and editor-at-large of Green Technology, a California based nonprofit publishing organization providing strategy and leadership for clean and sustainable communities. Bob helped produce three international "Governors' Global Climate Summits" with a team from then California Governor Schwarzenegger's office.  He has also headed the production of numerous conferences on green technology, moderated roundtables on high performance buildings and guided training activities for over 5,000 government building officials and design/construction professionals on CALGreen - California's new green building code.

April 10, 2017

A Holistic View of Sustainability

New green certification programs give communities the flexibility to set their own goals and targets.
March 13, 2017

New Alliances in the Quest for Resilience

Interest is growing in approaches that look for redundancies to overcome infrastructure's risks and vulnerabilities.
February 13, 2017

Electric Vehicles’ Slow Merge Into the Fast Lane

Sales are lagging in the proving ground of California. But maybe it's too early to be keeping score.
January 17, 2017

Urban Transportation’s Multimodal Future

Networked alternatives for getting around are about to redefine our cities as much as the horseless carriage did a century ago.
November 22, 2016

Infrastructure's Digital Disruption

Planning that doesn't account for technology's exponential impact will be off the mark.
October 25, 2016

Limited Resources and the Vision of a Circular Economy

Technology is boosting the idea of a zero-waste framework in which everything is used, reused and recovered.
September 27, 2016

Doubling Down on California’s Climate Commitment

Legislation it passed a decade ago has produced significant gains without wrecking the state's economy. A new law holds promise for accelerating those gains.
August 23, 2016

Electric Utilities and the Future They Need to Embrace

Fights over payments and charges for rooftop solar are getting a lot of attention, but the underlying issue is deeper and broader.
July 26, 2016

Where Are the P3s We Need?

We ought to be doing what many other countries are doing: making far more use of public-private partnerships for infrastructure.
June 28, 2016

A Desert City's Sustainability Turnaround

Once derided as the world's least environmentally sustainable city, Phoenix is in the midst of a remarkable transformation.
May 24, 2016

Are We on the Way to 100 Percent Renewable Energy?

With the technology maturing and public support growing, it's looking more and more realistic.
April 26, 2016

Getting Smart About Waste

Technology has a role in moving toward a goal of zero waste, but so does the "soft" infrastructure of citizen activism and effective policies.
March 22, 2016

The Unsettled World of the Automobile

Ride-sharing and car-sharing are complicating life for transportation planners, not to mention automakers.
February 23, 2016

The Accelerating Clean Power Disruption

Policy and technology are driving innovation in the energy sector, and much of it is coming from the utilities themselves.
January 26, 2016

What It Means to Be a 'Smart City'

By linking environmental sustainability and economic growth, Charlotte is showing the way.
December 17, 2015

Tailoring Our Transportation Systems for Self-Driving Cars

In guiding the transformation, governments need to be in the driver's seat.
November 23, 2015

How Transportation Planning Is Stuck in the Past

As a new report makes clear, few of our urban areas are adapting to the changes that are revolutionizing the way we get around.
October 28, 2015

How Will We Handle a Sky Full of Drones?

Regulating them will be a challenge for governments at all levels, but we're going to have to figure out how to do it.
September 23, 2015

Power Plays: The Increasingly Competitive Electricity Landscape

As new ways of buying and selling energy emerge, the system of monopoly control is being challenged.
August 26, 2015

Can Smart Infrastructure Be Cyber-Secure?

With everything increasingly connected, there is a growing awareness of new vulnerabilities.
July 29, 2015

One California Community's Power Switch

Lancaster's effort to build a seamless, integrated energy infrastructure points the way to long-term robustness and sustainability.
June 24, 2015

The Transportation Choices That Millennials Want

To attract young professionals, cities increasingly are going to have to think multi-modal.
May 27, 2015

How We're Learning to Measure Progress on Sustainability

Los Angeles is leading the way with a dashboard that shows the public how the city is doing.
April 29, 2015

Sustainability and the Biosphere We Inhabit

A project that was designed to study space colonization has lessons for communities on this planet.
March 25, 2015

Why a Regional View of Infrastructure Is Crucial

A new report covering the national capital area could serve as a template for other regions to engage the public and deal with funding gaps.
February 25, 2015

The Evolving Politics of Climate Change

Public attitudes are shifting in favor of government action. What's playing out in Salt Lake City is worth watching.
January 28, 2015

The Critical Interdependence of Our Infrastructure

Nowhere is that more true than within regions. It calls for an integrated approach to planning and funding.
December 22, 2014

The Common Threads that Underlie Our Infrastructure Debate

Despite regional and local differences, officials from around the country see eye to eye on some important concerns.
October 27, 2014

Can Water Use Be Cut with Equity and Fairness?

Los Angeles' and California's efforts to cope with an ongoing drought highlight the need for a systems approach.
September 22, 2014

How We Can Get Our Mobility Back

Government has a big role to play as we work to develop an intelligent, multimodal transportation system.
August 25, 2014

Leadership in a Time of Drought

Looking to maximize its water resources, California is finding that better management and efficiency are key.
July 28, 2014

The Infrastructure the Next Generation of Cities Will Need

It will be technology that will enable "Cities 3.0" -- the transformation of metropolitan centers into hubs of innovation and entrepreneurship.
June 23, 2014

The Golden State's Low-Carbon Future

California is well along in an effort to transition to a environmentally friendly economy. Will the rest of America follow?
May 28, 2014

The Value in Our Garbage

The food we don't eat gives us gas. But beyond renewable energy generation, organic waste holds the potential of big benefits for our communities.
April 18, 2014

The Obstacles in the Pathway to Zero Waste

A resource recovery rate of 100 percent may be a worthwhile goal, but there are plenty of challenges facing governments that want to achieve it.
March 25, 2014

The Soft Infrastructure of Smart Cities

Thanks to technology, the systems that run our cities are becoming more and more interconnected. But how we use those systems is always going to be guided by human intelligence.
February 24, 2014

Making the Most of the Water You Have

In the midst of the worst drought on record, some California communities are showing that there's plenty that can be done.
January 27, 2014

Guiding Change in a Complex and Interconnected World

A new initiative aims to provide a forum for public officials to talk about the future of their communities in an age of upheaval.
December 16, 2013

Community Airspace and the Invasion of the Drones

Unmanned aircraft are coming, and they will raise a lot of issues for local governments to sort out.
November 25, 2013

Greening the Fleet: How Columbus, Ohio, Is Setting the Pace

The city is well along in an effort to leave gasoline and diesel fuel behind and power its vehicles with cheaper, cleaner natural gas. The payoffs go beyond cost savings.
October 21, 2013

Turning 'Scary Places' into the Great Places Where People Want to Live

Sprawl has obliterated much of our neighborhoods' and communities' social infrastructure. The challenge is finding a new economic model that could turn that around.
September 23, 2013

The Democratization of Power and the Electric Utility of the Future

Our one-way, hub-and-spoke model for delivering electricity dates back to the days of Thomas Edison. But disruptive technologies are enabling a new model that will transform utilities as we know them.
August 26, 2013

How Edmonton is Finding Value in Its Waste Stream

By reusing, recycling or composting everything possible, the Canadian city of Edmonton is on its way to reaching the seemingly impossible goal of diverting 90 percent of trash from landfills.
July 29, 2013

Bakersfield's Creative Solution for Trash-Littered Freeways

When the state stopped picking up litter on the highways, Bakersfield, Calif., found a sustainable way to get the job done -- and help the homeless in the bargain.
June 24, 2013

Moore's Law and the Difficult Challenge of Predicting Our Energy Future

The ways we produce and distribute energy are going to change, with end users empowered much as in the world of computing. What we can't predict is when that will happen.
May 20, 2013

Sustainability and Our Horizontal Infrastructure

A new rating system aims to build sustainability considerations into the entire infrastructure process, from planning to implementation.
April 22, 2013

Water, Water Everywhere and Not a Drop to Waste

An engineering feat more than a century ago created a host of problems for communities that depend on Lake Michigan for their water. But those problems also present opportunities.
March 25, 2013

Cities and the Competition for Energy Efficiency

Excellent tools are available to monitor energy use across a community. Isn't it time for cities to be benchmarked against each other?
February 25, 2013

When Cheaper Isn't Better

Governments are beginning to look at energy and other life-cycle costs in their purchasing. It's about more than saving money.
January 28, 2013

Lighting the Way to Cleaner Air

The way we light our streets can do more than save money for the taxpayers. It can contribute significantly to reducing air pollution.
January 14, 2013

Next Generation Street Lighting Toolkit

Public sector LED street lighting is an emerging market with tremendous potential for local governments to significantly reduce electricity costs, environmental impacts and maintenance while enhancing lighting quality. Technology is not the major issue. The real challenge is money and appropriate funding models will be critical drivers in the transformation of street lighting. Upgrading existing city street lighting is a capital intensive investment undertaking at a time when municipal governments are fiscally challenged. This toolkit is provided as a resource to help move these projects forward from start to successful implementation.
January 14, 2013

LED Street Lighting Interview with David Gassaway

Get a hands-on perspective on what it takes to start a citywide street lighting upgrade project. Governing Senior Fellow, Bob Graves interview with David Gassaway, management analyst, City of Rancho Cordova, California.