Better Together’s comprehensive studies look across the City and County to determine whether the region could improve both service and cost by streamlining and eliminating redundancies and better serve the people of St. Louis.


The Will To Change

This summary report identifies common themes across the ten Better Together studies and attempts to answer the question: Why does a region with world-class resources struggle to thrive and compete in a global economy?


Public Finance

The Public Finance study provides an overview of how we as a region operate financially and serves as a resource for basic financial information to inform dialogue around the topic of public finance and the other key areas examined by Better Together.


Economic Development

The Economic Development study endeavors to understand the impact of local government on businesses and the larger regional economic picture. The study examines the use of economic development tools and incentives, investigates the processes and requirements for starting a business, and investigates how St. Louis can take steps towards a more inclusive workforce.


Public Health

The Public Health study examines the similarities and differences between the St. Louis City and County health departments and reports on impacts of the current structure, while exploring possibilities for future models. The report seeks to identify current practices and any potential benefits or challenges to a more regional approach to the delivery of public health services.



Better Together’s examination of Public Safety focuses on three key areas of study: Municipal Courts, Policing, and Fire Protection. These studies examine key issues in each area and the delivery of services across the region.


Parks AND Recreation

The Parks and Recreation study provides extensive information about the 470 parks and other recreation facilities in the St. Louis region and the entities that maintain them, as well as recommendations for improvements.


General Administration

The General Administration studies offer a comprehensive look at how local governments in the St. Louis region operate and at what cost. The studies examine the authority, funding mechanisms, and services of municipalities and their administrative and political structures, as well as the low voter turnout in municipal elections.


Regional Spending Comparison

The Regional Spending Comparison provides an analysis of data concerning the budgets, expenditures, assets, and other financial details of the St. Louis region’s local governments. This data was gathered and made available to the public by Better Together, and the report provides an overview of what we spend as a region, where the money comes from, and how our spending compares to peer cities.